TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Datadump from New York City: The Adoption of Mac OS X.

Volume Number: 18 (2002)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Datadump from New York City: The Adoption of Mac OS X.

by Andrew C. Stone

I have excellent man-in-the-street news for Mac OS X developers - old time Mac users are now using OS X full time, joining the legion of 'switchers' who are buying Macs for the first time and X is all they know. Having shipped the first suite of native OS X applications, I've been closely following the X adoption by listening to the folks that visit our booth during MacWorld Expos, especially the ones in NYC where you hear the undecorated truth. Critical mass has finally been reached in my estimation because 'da heavies are using it now.

In all previous Expos, I heard things like "When PhotoShop ships, I'll change to X", "when our print drivers are available, I'll change to X", and basically, "when this that or the other thing happens, I'll change to X". Those things must have happened because now users are saying, "The only thing I miss on OS X is ______". This is exactly the discussion that we X developers love to hear, especially for the great ideas they give us!

I have a few "X adoption lead indicator" people, including John Perry Barlow, cognitive dissident and freedom fighter, lyricist for the Grateful Dead and the String Cheese Incident, and ex-Apple Master. He was an '80's Mac user, who saw the NeXT and the Light, and was one of the great journalists for this visionary platform. In 1990 on different Rocky Mountain ranches, the two of us were running NeXTStep, the precursor to OS X and the platform on which the Internet was created. You had to be some kind of unix geek to configure those beautiful black cubes.

By the time NeXT was subsumed by Apple in December, 1996, John had already faithfully repatriated to the Mac. I've followed his foot-wetting into OS X over these last several years, and seeing his home computer running in OS X was a welcome telltale sight indeed.

Walking around SoHo and Greenwich village, you are pleasantly innundated with Apple's new "Switcher" ad campaign. Simple in concept, the ads have a nice-looking but normal person with a look of contempt and a caption like "When my PC didn't work, I used to think it was because of me". The "Switcher" campaign is going to work well, and ex-Windows users are going to be some of the happiest of the OS X lot, and I'll tell you my theory on this:

When NeXT computer ported what is now Cocoa to run on top of Windows 95/NT in 1994, Windows users were given a taste of this new "everything is an object and you can drag and drop data" and all the other cool user interface concepts that were pioneered on the NeXT Computer. Once running on Intel hardware, these ideas were inevitably copied by MicroSoft and other vendors. If you can look behind the dreadful UI color schemes in Windows, many OS X ideas are part and parcel of Windows. So I contend that PC users will actually feel quite at home using Mac OS X, since they don't carry any "not like Macos 9" baggage. My guess is Apple's next campaign will be www.apple.com/9/to/X/Switch!

Since my grandfather lived in New York City, I have a lifelong connection with the $24 rock, including knowing downtown Manhattan before the World Trade Center. But for most of my life, the main anchor of Tribeca was those towers. Just as an amputee is said to have a 'phantom limb', the same effect occurs in our perception of the City, and if you fly into Laguardia, it hits you like a brick. I made a mental note to make a pilgrimage to Ground Zero during MacWorld NYC, since it's only 6 blocks from my cousin Todd Stone's loft and studio.

But living that far downtown had farreaching consequences for Todd. A lifelong landscape painter, he had been painting those towers in early September 2001, and he was in his studio making photographic studies on 9/11. Out of that day came Witness <www.ToddStone.com> : an e-Gallery of watercolors in elegy to those who died that day. Check it out - the site was made on OS X with native Cocoa apps.

After an intense week of schmoozing and finally seeing the advent of the user adoption of OS X, it was time to kick back and enjoy a show at Radio City. Not just any show in that incredibly exquisite venue, but the String Cheese Incident - the Rocky Mountain jam band that's wielding at least one of the Grateful Dead's spiritual torches. Since I have naively grown accustomed to seeing SCI in venues that barely fit 250 people, this was phenomenal! To give you an idea of the energy, before the show, I was on a balcony overlooking the huge foyer. In an impromptu release of all the stress of the week and year, I gave a wild, New Mexico style hoot as loud as I could, echoing off six stories of mirrors and marble. Spontaneously about 1000 people hooted and hollered in return for what seemed like a pretty long time. Wow!

The show [and after parties and parties after that] were memorable, but wandering around Tribeca at 4 am, I recalled my promised pilgramage to the WTC. Approaching Ground Zero at that eerie time of day, the omnipresent construction lighting illuminated the moisture and dust above the biggest hole I've ever seen in Manhattan. A native New Yorker and I began circumambulating the site, totally alone inside the phantom limb. By the time our circuit was almost over, we were heavy with grief. Then, in this miraculous sort of way, we approached an amazingly verdant park, covered in Irish clover and ancient stones. The sprinklers sent a cool mist over the city streets and our weary bodies, and I swear I'm looking at Ireland.

Reality is stranger than fiction - I was actually gazing upon a piece of Ireland! Stones from each County were brought along with a complete stone ruin to commemorate the lives of those who lived and died during the Irish Potato Famine. I reflected back on the struggles we've had surviving the OS X Adoption Famine, and realized hunger would soon be just a memory worth preserving. As the city awakes, I can leave town knowing that Mac OS X's time has come. In a world where software technologies live and die so quickly, and in a fantastic twist of fate and incredibly focused energy, NeXTStep-OpenStep-Rhapsody-Cocoa has risen to be the most copied and hopefully one day, the most used, operating system in this part of the universe.


Andrew C. Stone, chief architect at Stone Design <www.stone.com>, develops low cost publish to web, print or PDF applicatoins for Mac OS X, and has patiently awaited the adoption of OS X since 1989.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cocktail 8.3.1 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
QuarkXPress 11.0.0.0 - Desktop publishin...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.50 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
PDFpenPro 7.1.1 - Advanced PDF toolkit f...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Create fillable forms and tables of content... Read more
Garmin Express 4.0.18.0 - Manage your Ga...
Garmin Express is your essential tool for managing your Garmin devices. Update maps, golf courses and device software. You can even register your device. Update maps Update software Register your... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.6.4 - Organize your digita...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more
jAlbum 12.6.4 - Create custom photo gall...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.16 - Connec...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
Spotify 1.0.4.90. - Stream music, create...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
djay Pro 1.1 - Transform your Mac into a...
djay Pro provides a complete toolkit for performing DJs. Its unique modern interface is built around a sophisticated integration with iTunes and Spotify, giving you instant access to millions of... Read more

Create Your Perfect Vacation Day With Ma...
The Make My Day app, by Lonely Planet, gives you access to a new series of mobile guidebooks that focus on some of the worlds most famous cities. [Read more] | Read more »
Jelly Reef (Games)
Jelly Reef 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: You are the ocean. Touch the sea with your fingers and guide jellyfish through a roguelike underwater world. | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: April 20-24, 2015
The Apps of April How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many... | Read more »
The Dynamic Duo of Tile and Your Apple W...
If you often lose things like your wallet, keys, purse, or pants, Tile could be your new best friend. [Read more] | Read more »
Desktop Dungeons: Enhanced Edition is Co...
Desktop Dungeons, the puzzle roguelike game, is adventuring onto your mobile devices soon, giving you all the excitement of Desktop Dungeons wherever you go. [Read more] | Read more »
Now You Can Control ProCamera 8 With You...
ProCamera 8 + HDR, the photo, video, and editing app by Cocologics, recently updated to add Apple Watch controls and a few other fun functions. [Read more] | Read more »
Discover Your Reflexes With Minimalist G...
Discover O, BYOF Studios, may look simple at first with its' color matching premise and swipe controls, but as you speed up the task becomes more daunting. [Read more] | Read more »
Here's Another Roundup of Notable A...
Now that the Apple Watch is publically available (kind of), even more apps and games have been popping up for it. Some of them are updates to existing software, others are brand new. The main thing is that they're all for the Apple Watch, and if you... | Read more »
Use Batting Average and the Apple Watch...
Batting Average, by Pixolini, is designed to help you manage your statistics. Every time you go to bat, you can use your Apple Watch to track  your swings, strikes, and hits. [Read more] | Read more »
Celebrate Studio Pango's 3rd Annive...
It is time to party, Pangoland pals! Studio Pango is celebrating their 3rd birthday and their gift to you is a new update to Pangoland. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! New 11-inch 128GB MacBook Air for $799,...
Best Buy has the new 2015 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $799.99. That’s $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new model from any reseller. Choose free home shipping... Read more
Final day for Best Buy’s 4 Day Sale: Up to $3...
Best Buy has the new 2015 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $799.99 through April 27th. That’s $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new model from any reseller. Choose... Read more
College Student Deals: Additional $50 off Mac...
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through May 9, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage of... Read more
Save up to $300 on a new Mac, $30 on an iPad,...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Zoho Business Apps for Apple Watch Put Select...
Pleasanton, California based Zoho has launched Zoho Business Apps for Apple Watch, a line of apps that extends Zoho business applications to let users perform select functions from an Apple Watch.... Read more
Universal Stylus Initiative Launched to Creat...
OEMs, stylus and touch controller manufacturers have announced the launch of Universal Stylus Initiative (USI), a new organization formed to develop and promote an industry specification for an... Read more
Amazon Shopping App for Apple Watch
With the new Amazon shopping app for Apple Watch, Amazon customers with one of the wearable devices can simply tap the app on the watch to purchase items in seconds, or save an idea for later. The... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $100 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $199, $100... Read more
Intel Compute Stick: A New Mini-Computing For...
The Intel Compute Stick, a new pocket-sized computer based on a quad-core Intel Atom processor running Windows 8.1 with Bing, is available now through Intel Authorized Dealers across much of the... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Support Technician IV - Jack Henry a...
Job Description Jack Henry & Associates is seeking an Apple Support Technician. This position while acting independently, ensures the proper day-to-day control of Read more
*Apple* iOS Specialist - TCML (United States...
AppleiOS Specialist Senior Apple /iOS Administrator/Engineer responsible for configuration and distribution of desktop, laptop and mobile devices to State Employees Read more
*Apple* Client Systems Solution Specialist -...
…drive revenue and profit in assigned sales segment and/or region specific to the Apple brand and product sets. This person will work directly with CDW Account Managers Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Support Technician IV - Jack Henry a...
Job Description Jack Henry & Associates is seeking an Apple Support Technician. This position while acting independently, ensures the proper day-to-day control of Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.