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Apple have really got it bad at the moment. Or was that good. If your looking at it from a product design and financial point of view, Apple are great. But from a OS point of view, it's a madhouse. We have OS 9.0.4 on some new Macs, OS 8.x on others. Pretty much all new Macs have OS 9.1, and new PowerMacs have OS 9.2, although people have upgraded to 9.2.1. And then there's the OS X debacle, or is it treat? With 10.1, the latest version of X, it's looking like we can all jump over to the new regime, but until I get a new Mac I'm not so sure. I'll find out soon enough, soon enough. But OS 9, I am totally sure on. If your new to all this Mac business, then OS 9 is the operating system used on Macintosh computers (you know, the nice red and yellow and green and blue machines...), and does the same as a Windows system. What? No way, it does 1500% more than a Windows machine. Any feature on your Windows machine at the moment I can trace back through Mac. Microsoft even got Word on to a graphical user interface running on Macintosh while Windows was still on the drawing board. Also take movie making. People in the PC world are slowly drooling over hooking their video cameras up to their computers and sticking videos together. In the Mac world that's old news. Jump back a year and a half and you would of found people going "Wow" over that. Now we have so many more plug-ins that do hundreds of things that you can't even dream about yet. Take Airport networking. On the PC, people are still scrabbling around trying to get that going. Well Apple have supported Airport since 1999, and now it is almost defacto. Just shove a card in and off you go. If it was that simple on Windows, we'd all be doing it. But the amount of incompatiblities, driver problems and other problems have made wireless networking a dead loss on PC, which is a shame because it's a great idea. If you have more than one ounce of creativity in you, you need a Mac. The Mac OS has been proved to actually make people work better, and I agree. Workers found themselves to be 40% more efficient on a Mac. Instead of say, finding something on the Internet and saving it, then opening it in an editing program, you just drag the image from the Internet on to the icon of your photo-editing software. I'll do it now, before the comments come in: if you want to play lots of games, don't buy a Mac or this OS. It's not right. These are machines for people who want to do creative things like making music, editing video, doing computer artwork and designing websites / animation. Not for your 'quick game-a quake before I browse some internet porn' crowd. With new Mac's you get OS 9.2. This will allow you to do these things... * allows you to run Macintosh software * allows you to access the Internet * and join Airport networks - wireless networking. Just think: sit out in your garden and write Dooyoo ops and post them without having to go near a phone socket. * and LAN's * and burn CD's, watch DVD's, do 'work' sort of work (whatever that is...) and generally have fun. So what's so cool about 9.1 / 9.2 / 9.2.1? * Sherlock. This is handy. On Windows 98, if you want to hunt a file down, you fire up Windows Find and leave it to find your file. Well, Sherlock builds a li'l index on your hard drive and let's you search it in nanoseconds. No more kicking around waiting for a HD search to finish. And it works on the Internet too! * Scheduled startup and shutdown. How would you feel about having a computer that boots itself up so it's ready for you to use when you get to work, or when you wake up. And a computer that will shutdown when it's 5.30pm and your going home? The Mac does that. It's a rather useful idea. Especially for offices and schools. * iTunes. The super-cool MP3 pla ying program lets you 'Rip, Mix and Burn' your CD's in to 'personal playlists'. It also lets you listen to downloaded music from the 'net. (Naughty ol' Napster, etc.) * iMovie 2. Comes with all new Macs. Let's you put together your own videos! Plug in a DV-camcorder and edit all your vids on your Mac. Handy eh? But the best thing about Mac OS 9 is the fact that you, yes, you can screw about with it. Is something going wrong? Then just jump in to your extensions and fix it. DLL's and VXD's become "Monitors Panels" and "USB Extensions" etc. It's not in Techno-speak, it's in English. Which seems to be dying a horrible death as we speak, or type rather. :-) (sorry...) For example, whilst running Windows 98 (on my brothers PC) it had so many problems on the Internet. The amount of pages in PC magazines telling you how to fix things and how to tweak performance just hits me when I open a Mac magazine and instead of tweaks and tips and solutions to readers problems we are trading what to DO on a Mac. Mac OS succeds in being the OS for the rest of us. Get yourself a Mac and OS 9. Until OS X becomes good and great (it won't be long people... sooner than we think). Buy a Mac and you'll never go back.
Mac OS 9.1 is in my opinion a better operating system than even Mac OS X. It's easy to use, looks attractive and does everything you need it to do. The appearance has not really changed from the the earlier Mac OS', the folders have all got that nice, 3D file look, the windows are smooth and it has shadows and lighting for effect. The folders can be coloured so it's easy to find important ones, the desktop and windows can have a very useful 'snap to grip' option put on them where they are always layed out neatly. A new search facility; Sherlock 2 has been introduced, it can not only search the hard disk but it searches the internet for sites, encyclopaedias, channels, news, people and more! Mac OS 9.1 crashes less than earlier operating systems, Mac OS 8.6 seemed a lot more buggy to me. Mac OS 9.1 has full support for all ports including laser communication onesand stuff like that.
In March, Apple released their next generation operating system - OSX. This is a big change both under the covers, and for us, the users. The Mac has always suffered from the fact that if one application crashes, it can bring the whole system down - not with OSX! Now there's full memory protection. In addition you don't get the half-updated windows in the background if you're in a modal dialog, and all dragging is live - you don't just get window outlines as they move. In terms of appearance, everything looks great - bright shining colours, and transparency is used very effectively. It all complements the current design of the Mac hardware. However, there is a catch - lack of native applications - some will run in an emulator within OSX, but, for instance, I can't write CDs and I can't watch TV or DVDs. But this is a first release, and I'm eagerly anticipating what's to come over the next 12 months.