One Big Mother Download (8/16/01)

If you're a Mac OS X user who has been drooling nonstop ever since Steve took us on a test drive of next month's 10.1 release at the Expo, there are a couple of things we recommend that you do. The first is to get a mop, because you're making a really gross mess with that four weeks of saliva on the floor. The second is to mosey on over to Mac OS Rumors, which has a mini-report on the two latest developer builds of the "Puma" Mac OS X release that has you so glandularly overstimulated.

MOSR's report on builds 5G15 and 5G24 ought to provide a Puma fix for those of you who otherwise mightn't have survived until next month. From our perspective, though, the most interesting stuff there isn't the screenshot of the DVD player application, the mention of "built-in RAID disk array creation support" in the new version of Disk Utility, or even the claim of "a roughly threefold perceived speed boost overall" compared to 10.0.4; instead, we zeroed in on the fact that Apple had posted a downloadable version of 5G15 on its developer seed servers yesterday-- and then pulled it down again shortly thereafter "due to high demand." In other words, Apple's servers were getting pummelled into oblivion by registered developers all trying to download 10.1 at once.

Now, ever since it was made clear to us that, when it's released, 10.1 will only be available on CD-ROM for $19.95 "shipping and handling," we've been a little down on Apple for not planning to post a downloadable version of the update. Now we understand Apple's reasoning; reportedly, that developer build download consisted of a 450 MB disk image. Evidently developers had to download the entire image, then burn it to a blank CD-R, and then boot from the resulting CD and install. Zoinks! Download size and Apple's bandwidth bill aside, if the final version of 10.1 is going to require installation off a bootable CD, we can definitely understand the company's hesitation in offering a download option. It's one thing for a developer to download and burn an installer, but Mac OS X is, at heart, a consumer OS-- imagine the tech support calls from people who burn the disk image incorrectly, or wind up with a corrupted download. Not fun.

Apparently the developer download will be back once Apple configures some servers that can handle the throughput; developers are also getting the update in the mail. Meanwhile, next month we'll still be forking over twenty smackers for the update, but at least we won't be quite as grumpy when we sign the check. Hey, Apple-- if you're out there, may we make a suggestion? How about giving away the update for free to customers lucky enough to be able to bring their original Mac OS X CD into any Apple retail store? If that's not feasible for some reason, no worries; we'll just get our money back by drinking $20 worth of free Evian at the Genius Bar, instead.

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The above scene was taken from the 8/16/01 episode:

August 16, 2001: Motorola's slide continues, as the company announces plans to close another two semiconductor plants. Meanwhile, struggling Be finally found a buyer in nearly-as-struggling Palm, and Apple posts a developer build of Mac OS X 10.1 on its servers-- but not for long...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3245: Ready To Close Up Shop(s) (8/16/01)   In this Age of the Deteriorated Attention Span, we're guessing that not many of you may recall a simpler time way back when Motorola's financial troubles constituted an actual plot twist on this show, instead of the status quo...

  • 3246: Big Fish Eat The Little Fish (8/16/01)   Speaking of corporate purchases, we've got one that's nearly a done deal, and man, it's a doozy. Faithful viewer The M@d H@tter was the first of dozens of AtAT fans breathlessly noting that beleaguered Be has finally found a buyer-- and it just happens to be beleaguered Palm...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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