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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 


Comment From e-mail: I won't waste any more of your time, I just want to ask you what do you think of the new OSX?  I am finished with Apple and therefore computers, IF this is the new operating system! IF I cannot SEE my folder on the desktop, MOVE my folder on the desktop, PLACE as many folders on my DESKTOP, then I'm done!  I don't want to work inside of a window.  I like my "window shades" to collapse windows, NOT microsoft like Minimum sizings and an icon bar at the bottom taking up valuable screen room!   sighhhhhhhh......... Unless I'm missing something?  Maybe we can have it EITHER way?  If you any pull or say so, PLEASE tell them to keep it simple!  Have it simple enough that I can still explain it to my 75 year old father that; his hard drive icon is his file cabinet, you take a folder out of it and lay it on your desktop, you open your folder and take out your file, or you throw it in the trash!  I don't want to tell him to go to a Start menu (start what?)  go to his Cdrive (what's that) search for a folder if he knows the name, select open from another menu and select DELETE to the recycle bin?????????  Please don't let them do this!!!!!   Like I said.......What is your comments on OSX?

Woz:First, I'd like to say that some things about the future that are very good can be held up by holding onto what we're using now and familiar with.

One could argue that USB allows plug and play with many devices, whereas it worked poorly with ones in the past using serial ports or even SCSI. The only way to get away from the past is to leave it out and give you USB only. You could still ask why Apple didn't just put 3 serial ports on every Macintosh to do Printer, Modem, and LocalTalk. Maybe 4 ports or 6 ports to cover other devices. It doesn't seem so hard to do the right thing. Why couldn't the software be rewritten to be more compatable with the conflicting ports of the past? We all know that a lot of things went wrong for us with no good reason. But, rather than wonder why Apple did some really stupid things here, we can just swallow USB and pay the price and have a better world today. This is just an example where Apple has made great strides to the future.

I have a lot of internal worries about whether I'll like MacOS X in a lot of areas. We Macintosh users love our Finder-Desktop combination and are used to using it. I couldn't discern at MacWorld if MacOS X forces you to give this up totally, but it may well. In the days of the Apple ][ and the IBM PC, MS-DOS on the PC gave you Finder-like commands right up front. You had to run utilities on the Apple ][ (or, more appropriately here, the Apple ///) to do common things like move files and duplicate files and the like. It was really nice to turn on a machine and have the useful common commands at your fingertips, I'll give that one to MS-DOS. The Macintosh Finder-Desktop partnership was like that. You had the filing system right in front of you and the simple concept of just double clicking a folder to open it was about all you needed to find and do everything. It still works well to this day. On the other hand, the file manager approach, showing your files hierarchically, has a benefit of always displaying the path that you traversed to a file, and showing you visual cues of both the source and destination for some file moving and copying. I wonder if the Macintosh community is going to accept MacOS X as better in this regard, or hate it, or maybe not be totally happy but live with it and even support it since it's Macintosh.

I do hope that your father, and my mother, can be very easily shown how to use and understand MacOS X. I hope for that more than I hope for the performance and functionality benefits.

I love Window Shade, as almost all of us do, for minimizing windows to avoid screen clutter. But I don't totally mind the dock of MacOS X. I like the fact that I can arrange on the desktop where I want a window positioned and then 'shrink' it there. Positioning a window, or moving it manually, leaves a good memory cue in your brain, even if that window gets covered. You often don't have to minimize any window, until you want to see one underneath, one whose position you remember because of your own recent actions or because you saw it expand to that position. Nobody said to me that we lose Window Shade with MacOS X, but we probably do. Now, I sometimes use the pop-up Finder windows, which are a sort of minimization. It does seem to reduce clutter sometimes and is vaguely similar to Windows minimization. The dock seems much better for this. It leaves a graphical cue to the window that was minimized, and the flowing effect, even when the novelty wears off a bit, does lead your eye and mind to the location in the dock that a window gets minimized to. It's not as good as before for remembering what is what, but it's better than it could have been. I do wonder again how we Macintosh users, with our own methods for organizing our desktops today, will take to this very new method. Will it be the next watermark OS or will it be New Coke? I don't think it will be New Coke because it's not one simple thing being changed. There will be so many benefits to MacOS X that a few unsatisfying aspects will have to be swallowed.

Keep in mind that I'm not knowledgeable regarding MacOS X. I've only seen the MacWorld demo. So maybe I can be an example of some thoughts and even fears that others have. But my comments should not be taken as authoritative. I will certainly try and switch to MacOS X early, if reasonably possible, and hope that my future is noticeably  better than things today. I hope that things will be less buggy, have fewer conflicts, run more smoothly, be easy to figure out, have my actions more accurately interpreted, get more meaningful error messages, etc. If not, I'll be quite disappointed and remember it for a long time.


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