It's Mellowing With Age (3/26/02)
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C'mon, tell the truth-- last Sunday, on Mac OS X's first birthday, did it feel to you like the operating system was a whole year old? You'll notice that Apple, which has always found some way in which to celebrate the iMac's birthday for three years running, kept absolutely quiet about this Mac OS X milestone. And while we certainly don't mean to imply that Apple is actually embarrassed about what some might consider to be Mac OS X's slow progress to greatness, it's worth noting that Apple still hasn't tossed together a TV commercial to show the masses just what all the fuss is about. Or should be about. (Yes, the print ads that have been showing up in national magazines are spiffy, but nothin' says lovin' like thirty seconds during Must See TV.)

Don't get us wrong; we love Mac OS X. We're using it right now. The last time we booted AtAT's main production system into Mac OS 9 was to play Unreal Tournament-- before a playable Mac OS X version surfaced. Sure, the system still has some warts, but for an OS that's only been out for a year, Mac OS X's warts are surprisingly few. Nonetheless, we get the distinct impression that, from a public relations perspective, Apple doesn't yet think of Mac OS X as a home run so much as maybe a ground-rule double, and here's why: you can have the bestest operating system on the planet (as, arguably, they do), but without a solid line-up of applications, it's still not something you want to trumpet from the rooftops. After all, one year out of the gate, Mac OS X still lacked official release versions of Photoshop, Palm Desktop, and Retrospect.

Well, apparently some developers were sitting tight until that first birthday rolled around, because as faithful viewer Chris Harrison pointed out, Palm waited until a day after that blessed occasion to announce that Palm Desktop 4.0, long in beta, is now finally available in a 1.0 release. Or, rather, a 4.0 release-- but a non-beta version, which is the important thing. Maybe this will prompt some of those third-party developers to get off the fence and start porting some of the conduits upon which we rely for our daily survival. (Are you listening, AvantGo? And this means you, too, Vindigo. Don't make us come up there.)

And whoa nelly, apparently what they say is true: after the first birthday it's all downhill-- because just a day after Palm blessed the platform with its sync software, Dantz went public with the official release of Retrospect 5.0, complete with full Mac OS X compatibility. Finally, we can actually back up our Mac OS X systems, instead of relying on a backup strategy based entirely around fastidious prayer, self-flagellation, and the occasional human sacrifice to appease the dark and hungry primeval gods of irretrievable data loss. Although, you know, we're going to miss at least some of that.

But yessiree, life begins at 1, and it just keeps getting better from here on in. Heck, in just a few short weeks, we Mac OS X users will even have Photoshop at our disposal. Support for backups, handhelds, and industry-standard image processing software? Brace yourselves, people; maybe Apple will soon start shoving its new operating system down our throats in thirty-second chunks during prime time after all. Happy birthday, Mac OS X!


 
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The above scene was taken from the 3/26/02 episode:

March 26, 2002: First at the Grammys and now at the Oscars, it's the hottest fad to sweep the nation: free iPods for the rich and famous. Meanwhile, just after Mac OS X turns one year old, a pair of long-awaited crucial apps hit the release stage, and a group of middle school kids are analyzing high-resolution images of the surface of planet Mars-- using suspiciously new and expensive equipment...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3649: Free To The Rich & Famous (3/26/02)   Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to present the cruel irony of the iPod: Joe Average drools over the product but can't justify spending $399 for the convenience of carrying a thousand songs in his pocket, while the lucky few who can afford to buy them by the gross and use them as stylish clay pigeon replacements for a few rounds of skeet-shooting, well, those folks get them for free...

  • 3651: Bribing Schoolkids Is Fun (3/26/02)   As all of you paranoid Mac conspiracy theorists are no doubt well aware, Steve Jobs has been quietly skimming funds from Apple's sizeable cash stockpile for the past several years and using the moolah to pay for the construction of a massive underground alien weaponry and cloning facility far from the snooping eyes of this planet's nosy world powers-- in other words, on Mars...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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