Don't Flame The Messenger (6/12/01)

Bored with the lack of interesting happenings in the Mac scene right this minute? Well, nothing spices up a dull party like a healthy round of heresy! The Register's Tony Smith evidently just installed a new mail server and decided to stress-test it under a worst-case scenario, because he has officially gone on record with his stated opinion that Mac OS X's Aqua interface "isn't as innovative" as the "Luna" user interface in the upcoming Windows XP-- an act which, as you all know, is tantamount to dousing one's genitals in steak sauce and then repeatedly flicking the ear of a sleeping Burmese tiger.

Not that we think you should flame ol' Tony, because if you actually read his reasoning, he makes some good points. Aqua, at its core, is the same old point-and-click routine we've all been using for donkey's years; sure, the Finder got wacky and has a "new" column view (which is itself at least a decade old and virtually unchanged from NeXTSTEP), the Dock makes us look at the bottom of the screen instead of clicking in the upper-right corner to view our running applications, etc., but for the most part, these are all just slightly (and sometimes arbitrarily) different ways of doing the same old things. That's not necessarily bad-- unless there was room for improvement and Apple didn't really make things better.

Luna, on the other hand, may be Aqua-inspired though ugly as sin (Tony likens it to "what you'd get if you told a colourblind guy to copy a Monet"), but it apparently also adds just about the last thing you'd ever expect to see coming out of Redmond: what appear to be some honest-to-goodness functional innovations. In particular, Tony points to the "My Pictures" folder as an example. Mac OS X's Finder includes a nicer preview option over previous Mac OS versions, but it still only lets you see a thumbnail of a single file at a time. In contrast, Windows XP's "My Pictures" folder "provides a slideshow feature" and a variety of ways to preview the images contained within; other basic consumer-oriented tasks such as compressing a photo and emailing it to Grandma are just a click away (via tight "integration" with Outlook Express, we'd wager).

So instead of flaming Tony (who is a Mac user, by the by), think about the number of steps your mom might have to take to email you copies of the digital pictures she took if she were using Mac OS X 10.0.3. Assume that the camera is even supported by Mac OS X in the first place; after transferring the images, she'd probably have to locate them via the Finder, preview them one at a time to find the good ones, switch to Mail, create a new outgoing message addressed to you, and then drag in the pictures she wants to send-- oh, and hopefully they're already email-friendly JPEGs instead of uncompressed TIFFs.

The process isn't brain surgery, to be sure, but we have to admit, Tony's description of the way "My Pictures" will supposedly work does sound simpler. Here's hoping that Steve's whole "digital hub" strategy will extend to super-simple, consumer-friendly digital photo processing (among other tasks) come Mac OS X 10.1 next month. We've long had to endure goofy claims that Windows's interface is "almost is good as a Mac's"; in October we don't want to have to start hearing people say that it's better.

SceneLink (3111)
And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors

As an Amazon Associate, AtAT earns from qualifying purchases


The above scene was taken from the 6/12/01 episode:

June 12, 2001: The granddaddy of all rumors sites pours cold water on the "removable tablet iMac" theory. Meanwhile, Pixar employees are whooping it up in their new Steve-designed headquarters (complete with Love Lounge), and The Register's Tony Smith dons his asbestos skivvies to note that Windows XP's interface may be more revolutionary than Mac OS X's...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3109: But What A Dream It Was (6/12/01)   It's just one of those weeks; chalk up another day in the lull. As confirmed Apple drama junkies, we're so starved for Mac-themed news, we've taken to monitoring CNN on the off-chance that maybe, just maybe, Steve Jobs flipped out and is holed up in a clock tower with a rifle and a scope; alas, no such luck (so far)...

  • 3110: What, A HAPPY Workplace? (6/12/01)   Whither Steve goest, so goeth AtAT-- and since nothing particularly dramatic seems to be happening at Apple these days, it's probably as good a time as any to check in over at Pixar. Steve's "other company" might basically run itself (we're told His Mercurialness spends the lion's share of his precious time on Apple), but at least one aspect of the computer animation outfit bears his distinctive brand of micromanagement: the new headquarters...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(432 votes)

Like K-pop, but only know the popular stuff? Expand your horizons! Prim M recommends underrated K-pop tunes based on YOUR taste!

Prim M's Playlist

DISCLAIMER: AtAT was not a news site any more than Inside Edition was a "real" news show. We made Dawson's Creek look like 60 Minutes. We engaged in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here was "inspired by actual events," but so was Amityville II: The Possession. So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©,1997-2021 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).