Get Off my Lawn
I never liked Microsoft Windows. Back in the early 90s, I’d spent more time in DOS than Windows 3.1, like most people I knew. We had Macs at school, and for some odd reason, I hated them with a passion. I don’t even know why. Which is funny considering how many I currently own, coupled with iDevices, Apple TV and an Airport Extreme.
Identifying with the second part of the lyric, Windows 95 failed to “Start me up,” I switched from the DOS/Win3.1 ecosystem to IBM’s OS/2 Warp. That probably explains why I have a PlayBook… OS/2 was a great system, or would have been great if I could ever get my SoundBlaster and CD-Rom to work with it. It was stable, I’ll give it that. But I couldn’t really do much with it, and had to take the Windows plunge for the rest of the decade.
Switching over to Mac OS 8.5 was an eye-opener. Despite the graphical user interface, I found it easier to transition from DOS to the Mac than to Windows. Things made sense, and I loved the keyboard shortcuts. Even today, I get frustrated that I can’t access a hard drive or USB stick from the Windows desktop. Why do I need to open a damn explorer window?
As wonderful as I thought the Mac was, I’m not particularly excited with Apple’s current direction. I chose the Mac to avoid full screen apps. My workflow involves a dozen windows scattered around like the paper on my desk. It’s a chaotic mess, but that’s how I roll (and roll from one computer to another). Whenever I clean my desk (or my desktop), I can’t find anything for weeks.
Mac OSX has seen so many design shifts, I can’t remember them all. First we had Aqua, which kept me on OS/9 for a good 18 months longer than I’d planned. After Aqua was some brushed metal theme, heralded, I think by iTunes and most applications had some ungodly mess of Aqua and metal. Now we’re on to something else, something that doesn’t include permanent scroll bars or other useful visual aids.
Today, we have Mountain Lion and Windows 8. I haven’t upgraded past Snow Leopard and have no desire to. There’s not really anything I want in the newer OS. But Windows 8 is different. Many Windows users are complaining, saying it’s a poor hybrid of tablet and desktop, too much is sacrificed. But it’s different. And I’ll probably dislike it as much as the previous versions, but it’s got this long-time Mac user thinking about the possibility of a Windows system.
And that’s something.