Welcome All Java Geeks (4/10/02)

Even more so than "People Buy Shiny Things," Apple's primary credo in the Second Jobs Dynasty appears to be "If You Build It, Geeks Will Come"-- "it," in this context, being Mac OS X, and a "geek" being anyone of a technological bent who previously would no sooner have chosen a Mac than he or she would have swallowed live flaming bees in a quest for spiritual enlightenment. (We'd like to apologize in advance if we just inadvertently offended any devotees of some obscure flaming-bee-swallowing religion with which we're not familiar. Please don't set fire to our compound. Thank you.)

Now, as we've noted in the past, a higher Geek Ratio among Mac users is a good thing; a wildly varied gene pool is what ensures the survival of a species, and (to put it in as ragingly stereotypical a manner as possible) it's about time we stirred a few more pocket protectors and taped-up pairs of glasses into the mix along with all the black turtlenecks and tie-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirts. The Mac community can only benefit from extra breadth, and once again it's clear that Mac OS X, with its various geek-friendly aspects, is doing a great job of bringing some of the more hardcore techies over to party with The Rest Of Us.

Case in point: Java. By most accounts, Mac OS X is a perfectly spiffy development platform for Java developers. Check out Peter Coffee's latest article in eWeek, as pointed out to us by faithful viewer David Hansen; in it he remarks that the Mac platform has gone from being "infamously unfriendly to casual programmers" to becoming "the machine of choice for out-of-the-box programmability." Sounds pretty much on-target to us, since just a couple of years ago, programming a Mac using anything other than Applescript required prospective developers to shell out some cash, but now developer tools (with Java support) are included free with every new system. Best of all, just because those tools are free doesn't mean they're lame; according to Peter, "Apple has done a tremendous job of making Java code run well-- really well-- on the Mac." And you know that when it comes to gauging relative Java performance, with a surname like "Coffee," the man must know what he's talking about.

Still not convinced on the Java front? Then prepare yourselves for the Big Gun, because the MacEvangeList recently linked to a Computerworld interview with James Gosling-- the guy who actually invented Java in the first place. (That's Java the language, not java the drink; if it were the latter we'd have to name our first-born children after the man or something.) And what does Mr. Java himself have to say about the Mac? He's got plenty of Windows systems kicking around, but he's "shifting to Mac," partially because Microsoft's operating system licenses are no longer "tolerable," but also due to a certain X-factor: "The thing that kind of broke it for me is that I needed a new laptop, and... Apple switched to OS X."

So there you have it, people: Java development, just one more way in which Mac OS X is helping to boost the Nerdiness Quotient among our burgeoning family. Oh, but don't worry-- there'll always be a place in the Mac community for the slightly more arty right-brain segment of the population. For example, faithful viewer Ben Head tells us that Apple's booth was hands-down the biggest draw at the National Association of Broadcasters conference this week, with TV-types practically coming to blows over getting a chance to test-drive Final Cut Pro 3 on those luscious new Apple Cinema HD Displays. Geeks and creative professionals alike united in their lust for the Mac... kinda makes you cry a little, doesn't it? (snif)

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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 4/10/02 episode:

April 10, 2002: Turns out that Mac OS X is so cool, even the guy who invented Java is using it. Meanwhile, Apple posts some Mac Genius job openings that reveal a handful of new stores coming soon, and Microsoft (sort of) pledges to continue developing software for the Mac-- and we even have a reason why you might want to believe that...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3681: 4 New Stores, 3 New States (4/10/02)   Wake the kids and phone the neighbors, retail fans, because the latest batch of unannounced Apple stores is hot off the griddle and ready to elicit what we're sure will be the awed "ooohs" and "aaahs" they so richly deserve...

  • 3682: Contractual Goofiness (4/10/02)   There's been a certain amount of hand-wringing recently about what might happen once that landmark "technology agreement" between Apple and Microsoft expires this August. You know the one; it guaranteed that Bill and crew would continue to develop and sell Mac versions of Microsoft Office for five years, in exchange for which Apple would make Internet Explorer the default web browser on all Macs...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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