The Desktop Lives! (5/16/00)

Ah, the nondisclosure agreement-- Silicon Valley's biggest inside joke. And thank heaven for the churning multitudes who are willing to toss their NDAs out the virtual window, because otherwise we'd have considerably less information on Mac OS X as a work in progress. Don't get us wrong; the stuff at Apple's site is nice and all, but what we really need is an evaluation of the system by users who aren't behind the Cupertino Curtain and on Uncle Steve's payroll.

And so, we were thrilled to be told of Holy Mac!'s "in-Depth Look" at the latest developer preview release of Apple's upcoming operating system. Written by "Anonymous Contributor" (bless his NDA-violating little heart), this precious piece is a down-and-dirty look at DP4 through the eyes of a bona fide Mac user, instead of more sanitized fluff from Apple's Marketing department. If you've been getting the idea that Mac OS X in its current pre-release form is a slick, polished, almost-ready-for-prime-time piece of work, then Holy Mac!'s report may shock you. It's full of the important stuff Apple doesn't tell you about: onscreen graphic glitches, miserably slow performance in some situations, unfinished integration with Classic applications, Classic incompatibilities and crashes-- all the dirt you'd expect in an unfinished operating system. There are also plenty of screenshots to satiate your Aqua appetites while you wait out the next three or four months until the public beta.

Of course, it's terribly important for you to retain an internal distinction between DP4 and Mac OS X. Don't judge the latter by the former-- rather, you should use the former to sense the direction of the latter. For instance, you've heard that in DP4 Apple has made Aqua more Mac-like; well, Holy Mac!'s report confirmed the single biggest hope we had about this trend towards Macification: the Desktop is back. "There is now a true Desktop. Files that you drag to the Desktop are not aliases, but are actual files on the Desktop." Woo-hoo! Great news for us in the "you'll take our Desktop when you pry it from our cold, dead fingers" crowd. And there's even an option to have removable disks show up automatically on the Desktop, instead of only in the "Computer" directory. Fixed hard disks still won't show up on the Desktop, but hey, this is a definite step in the right direction...

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The above scene was taken from the 5/16/00 episode:

May 16, 2000: Phil "I Had To Go And Open My Big Fat Mouth" Schiller confirms our worst fears: the Apple PDA is nonexistent. Meanwhile, Apple demonstrates a dual-processor G4 that's literally twice as fast as a single-chip model, but cautions that it may not ship for another year, and an online look at Mac OS X DP4 reveals that the Desktop is back in a big way...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2296: Time To Buy A Palm (5/16/00)   This is the way the rumor ends: not with a bang but a whimper. Or is it a whine? We've all been waiting for an Apple handheld ever since the Newton got Steved over two years ago. At the time, our fearless leader stated unequivocally that Apple would return to the handheld market in 1999; the closest thing we got was a six-and-a-half-pound laptop with a handle...

  • 2297: Just Ship It Already (5/16/00)   So the rumors about multiprocessor G4s were wrong, wrong, wrong. Okay, sure, Apple did in fact demonstrate a dual G4 at WWDC, but that wasn't a rumor-- that was a scheduled event, posted on Apple's own WWDC agenda, so don't start thinking that the rumormongers were thrown a frickin' bone...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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