Macintosh OS The good the bad and the OMG

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by comda, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #1
    Greetings MacRumors!

    Being only 19 and getting into the world of Apple and their macs in late 06' with an indigo Imac G3 ive played around with my fair share of apple products. Some more then others.

    My school having a very very low budget my grade 6 teacher started buying G3s and G4 from his own pocket. Snow Imacs began to show up in the class an early Emac even a Quicksilver and a B&W G3. I mainly worked with these systems fixing them up and they where running Panther and Tiger. A few G3s came with Jaguar.

    What i want to know is the comments of those who used Apples earlier Operating systems when they where modern. Was Os 8 and 9 really that bad along with the first editions of OSX?
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    OS9 was ok. Fairly stable on it's own.

    But I work(ed) for newspapers so QuarkXPress 4.04 would bomb on occasion. Sometimes it was a complete lockup.

    ATM Deluxe (Adobe Type Manager) was hell though. Never worked as advertised and continually screwed up fonts and font management. But without it you had NO font smoothing on screen. If your fonts were jagged ATM Deluxe could smooth them.

    Once Kaleidoscope came around in 2001 or so things were pretty cool. Kaleidoscope (still online too) was the precursor to Unsanity's Shapeshifter.

    My main beef with OS9 was the GUI continued to look dated over time and as the app developers began to move towards OS X the system either started to get taxed (bombing more frequently) or the latest version was OS X only.

    You could not really do much with OS X until Jaguar. There was not even decent Windows SMB integration until 10.1.5 and the ability to work with Exchange did not come around until 10.4. 10.4 was bad enough trying to BIND to a Windows Active Directory Domain and keep the Mac useable too.
     
  3. MagicBoy, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

    MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    As to whether OS 8 and 9 were bad, it helps to go back and look at the history of the Macintosh OS as of 1996. The OS was creaking under the strain after more than ten years. Lack of protected memory and pre-emptive multitasking caused a lot of system instabilities and the Pink/Taligent/Copland projects that were to result in a new modern OS with these features and more had all failed.

    The rot had set in at Apple in the early 90s. After Steve got forced out by Sculley and the company continued to grow it lost its way and lured across managers from other Silicon Valley megacorps. Various projects to update the OS (Pink, Taligent and Copland) spiralled out of control and failed. Some useful technologies like QuickDraw, Quicktime and a new networking stack came out of these projects and were incorporated into System 7 and Mac OS 8.

    There was a solution, and it was called NEXTstep, and the company was run by an Apple founder by the name of Steve Jobs…

    Anyway back on track. Mac OS 8.5/8.6 were an improvement over 8 which was a bit buggy. Apple continued to work on OS9 while OS X was in development.

    I worked on a helpdesk that supported a travel company in the early noughties. They used Quark 4 to produce the brochures with a workflow system. OS X wasn't fit for purpose and Quark were mired in their own issues, so they were still running OS 8 on the G3 Macs and had a couple of early G4s with OS 9. The complaints we used to get from the users were consistent. Quark, ATM and all the extensions for the workflow would regularly lock a Mac up due to something as simple as bad font and could take a couple of hours work with it. There was an assumption by the experienced staff on the offsite helpdesk that they were overstating the issues, but visiting the customer and spending a couple of hours with them one afternoon completely changed my mind. By the time I left that job a couple of years later they were running trials with OS X Jaguar and InDesign.
     
  4. eyoungren, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    And this was one of Quark's biggest mistakes.

    I was on the Quark forums when the beta for 5 got released. The then President made a completely idiotic statement that alienated the customer and user alike and completely showed Quark's priorities - company first, customers last. Quark had to close down the user forums for a year and a half because pissed off users were posting thread after thread.

    They had the attitude of "We are Quark and we are the industry so we will decide what to give you and when to give it to you."

    That's when Adobe started slipping in free copies of InDesign to schools, colleges and into pro software bundles. Buying it outright was $99-199 or so, compared to QuarkXPress at $399. And ID 2.0 ran on OS X.

    This is one of the reasons that QuarkXPress 6 was shipped in such a rush. Give the customer the middle finger and they make a powerhouse of your competitor with it's rinky dinky layout app overnight. Quark has NEVER recovered and has remained behind the curve since 2003.

    It's 2015 and you still cannot stroke text in XPress withough outlining it first. And this will be the first year that Quark has PDF/X-4:2008 capability.

    Now, don't get me wrong because I still love XPress, but at one point I made the decision to switch to ID because I wanted to learn the program. I still have many friends in the company and have been privy to a few beta test programs and releases.

    I'm truly hoping that with XPress 2015 (to be released this year I would guess) Quark makes up ground. InDesign has some things I like, but mostly I just hate the damn thing.
     
  5. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #5
    Yeah, agreed. I apologise if this is going off topic a bit!

    I lost touch with the publishing side after I moved jobs (and physically!) in '03. I only tend to see it from the procurement side now. We've one user in what remains of the marketing department who uses an old version occasionally now, otherwise they use InDesign. Adobe gave Quark a good kick while they were down by bundling InDesign as part of Creative Suite since most creative professionals were also using Illustrator and Photoshop. Our guys couldn't afford the exorbitant upgrade fees for Quark when they bought Intel Macs and jumped a few OS X versions in the process. InDesign was there with their CS package so ...:D

    I've been merrily getting spam emails from Quark for the last few months touting features in 2015, I think there was one last week saying that 2015 will out in the next few weeks.
     
  6. comda thread starter macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #6
    I heard about NextStep and saw that cube computer/server they had released. What i see so far is issues with compatibility between OS and software released. If apples software wasnt that great did people just buy these computers because they looked cool? I mean the G3's and G4s i find someone useful for music and basic web maybe old games in Os9 but thats all i use it for. But when G3's where released (tray bondi's and early Dvs at least) they had OS. i dont really understand what was so amazing other then the design if the software was this painful.
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #7
    It only got painful towards the end of life when everyone was converting to OS X and ram/drive space requirements really started to hit OS9's capacity.

    For business, Office 98 dominated. And for design, it's not until the last decade that Windows and PCs have made inroads. In the late 80s and 90s if you walked in to a design shop the only computers there would be Macs. Because Adobe apps ran on Mac first.

    QuarkXPress itself, as well as Pagemaker (Aldus, not Adobe) dominated the layout and design industry from 89 to 2001 or so.
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #8
    Apple software of the mid-late 90s might not look great with my rose-tinted hindsight specs™ on. I'm probably being harsh judging them by modern standards.

    There wasn't a better alternative to Mac OS. It was the best GUI out there for a Personal Computer, which is why the publishing industry and creative professionals headed to the Mac en-masse. Windows 3 was clunky, and couldn't match the Mac on any level, therefore the killer apps were developed for the Mac exclusively. Windows 95/98 caught up a lot of the gap, but had similar stability issues to Mac OS 8 having similarly creaky single user legacy DOS/Win16 code under the hood. Apple sole advantage then, as now was having complete control over the hardware and software. PCs were cobbled together from myriad different component combinations all of which had to work with Windows.

    Apple also had financial issues. They ran a high right pricing strategy which got them in all sorts of red ink troubles by 1996. The R&D for the failed OS projects were haemorrhaging the cash in the bank and they had a lot of employees on the payroll. If you think modern Macs are expensive you haven't seen the 90s pricelists - a mid 90s PowerMac 8500 in basic spec started at $4500. That's not adjusted for inflation. So $7-8k in current dollars perhaps?

    As for looking cool, yeah they were designed nicely, then again PCs of the era were pretty horrid. At the end of the day they were still just platinum beige boxes than continued the theme from the original Mac of 1984. The only interesting stuff was being made by workstation manufacturers like say NeXT, oh and IBM had a one hit wonder with the Stealth.

    It wasn't until OS X (and NT4/Windows 2000) that the operating systems caught up and became relatively stable, then it took a couple of years for the major software packages to be rewritten to take advantage of the new Operating Systems. Back on the helpdesk referenced a couple of posts above my PC ran Windows 95B, which ran a standard issue build and was reliable by the standard of the time. That said it used to get rebooted a couple of times a day as it would invariably slow down then blue screen. Nothing wrong with the computer, just bad memory management in Windows. Nowadays most operating systems will go weeks if not months between reboots in general desktop use. The GUIs might look similar, however the plumbing underneath progressed massively in the last 20 years.

    The early days of OS X and WinNT were a bit painful because the operating systems took advantage of better hardware than was affordable at the time. Moore's law soon sorted that out.
     
  9. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #9
    I 1st got into Macs when my high school got a new fleet of iBook G4s and eMacs. I learned OS X with Mac OS X Panther. Just the year before I went there they had a fleet of iMac G3 slot loads in various colours running OS 9 (I never used these). I got my 1st (usable) Mac in 2005. It was a Tray Load iMac G3 333MHz with OS 8.6. I never ran OS 9 on this machine but i did upgrade the firmware and installed OS X Panther on it. It was mainly used for school. I did use PowerMac G3 AIOs in grade school. I have no complaints about OS X Just like Linux it "just works".
     
  10. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    ctmpkmlec4

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #10
    Linux has gotten better lately with hardware compatibility. However, I have seen many instances where Linux does not "just work." OS X "just works" because Apple has control of the hardware and software. Linux has the same hurdle to overcome as Microsoft because Windows and Linux both have to run on a myriad of different hardware combinations. Install Debian on a Power Mac G5 and tell me if everything "just works." I promise there will be some tweaks and hacks to make everything work.
     
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    Some of the earliest computers I remember using at school were Apple ][s. I know we had two different types-some were the compact ][Cs(with monochrome displays), and I think that the others were either ][+ or ][es(they had color displays). In any case, all of them were directly booted into the late '80s/early '90s educational programs that were popular in that environment.

    I didn't really have much other experience with Apple until I was in High School(2002-2006). We had a "Mac Lab" that was full of mostly tray-loading and a few slot loading iMacs. All were running OS 8.5/OS 9. We did a lot of typing and other general work on them, and were constantly admonished to "save our work" because they had a nasty habit of randomly shutting down. By the time I graduated, they were being slowly replaced with Wintel boxes. I think that there was also a G3 AIO in the library which served as the card catalog, but couldn't swear to it(we still had a paper card catalog, and I used it). I also used a G3 B&W some in journalism class with Pagemaker.

    I didn't really use Macs in college, with one exception. One computer lab on campus(the one in the Science building, where I spent most of my time anyway) had a couple of graphite G4 towers across the back row. I wasn't enough of a Mac nerd then to say positively, but seem to remember green power LEDs, which would probably mean that they were either Sawtooth or Yikes! models. In any case, they were running a fairly up to date version of OS X for the time(probably Jaguar or Tiger). I never did any serious work on them, but it was a pretty poorly kept secret that they could print for free to the printer in the lab(all other printers across campus were $.06/page). Therefore, I used them from time to time for printing :)

    At home, I cut my teeth on a Tandy 1000a that was a hand-me-down from my dad, and went through a progression of his hand-me-downs. I went through three Windows laptops in College and Graduate School, when my final one(a Toshiba) failed me at a very critical moment. I bought a new Macbook Pro in the spring of 2012-partially as a reward to myself for passing a very important milesetone of my graduate education(and a part on which my Windows laptop had died) and partially to have a computer I could count on to get me through the rest of graduate school. I haven't looked back.

    Since getting into older Macs, I've come to really appreciate OS 9. It has its problems, and will concede that side by side with its contemporaries(the much detested Windows ME is probably the best parallel to draw) it looks fairly dated. Even so, it functions remarkably well-something that can't be said of Windows ME-although the lack of protected memory and the fact that a crash brings down the whole system is still a problem.
     
  12. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    ctmpkmlec4

    Joined:
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    Lyons, KS
    #12
    We had Apple ][ computers in elementary school (circa 1991 to 1996). I changed schools where there were nothing but Windows 95/98 PCs in the computer labs. I had never used a Mac until 2010, and my first one was an iMac G5 ALS. I've been hooked ever since. My new 21.5" iMac came last week (I'm using it to type this), but I don't see me parting with PowerPC anytime soon. I will say that I am planning to thin out my collection a bit; it would probably make my wife happy.
     
  13. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #13
    I meant that Linux "Just Works" in PCs getting it to work on PowerPC and PC Laptops can be a bitch at times

    ----------

    Windows ME is actually fairly stable on a Windows XP era Machine.

    Infact I had a old Windows 95 era Packard Bell computer that was too slow to run W2K or Windows XP it was like a 233MHz. Windows ME was rather fast and stable on that old machine.
     
  14. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #14
    I should add that the PowerMac G3 AIOs in grade school (and a sole iMac G3 Tray Load) that the all ran the Apple At Ease OS I have no clue if it was At Ease 2.0 or At Ease for Workgroups 4.0
     
  15. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    ctmpkmlec4

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #15
    This statement is still not 100% true. I will reiterate what I said: Linux has gotten much better being compatible with various hardware. But, to say that it "just works" is inaccurate. OS X "just works" until you go the Hackintosh route. When Canonical designs its own hardware to go with Ubuntu, only then will Linux "just work."
     
  16. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #16
    It also depends on what hardware you use. If you are using a Windows XP era computer with Ubuntu it does "just work" because i have done this on plenty of Windows XP computers. If you use a Windows Vista or 7 era computer.... that's a different story...

    EDIT: I have found that CentOS "Just Works" in areas Ubuntu doesn't such as broadcom wifi
     
  17. zodemecu macrumors newbie

    zodemecu

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    #17
    Sorry but no, it doesn't. I've been installing GNU/Linux from time to time on a couple of different PCs, Debian to Ubuntu to Fedora to Gentoo and so on just for fun. Alot of times it doesn't work. Usually there's always something that needs to be fixed. It doesn't help either when you're searching for help and alot of the help looks like this

    # *commands commands commands*
    # *commands commands commands*
    # *more commands commands commands*

    It's getting better, but it sure doesn't "just work". But with tons of different window managers, login managers, desktop managers, GUIs, package mangers and so on I'm impressed that it works at all. :)

    Alot of times things both looks and feels fresch, then comes this problem and it feels like nothing really have changed.

    --

    Btw, sometime i'll try to install Debian on this G5 just for fun.
    Mac OS sure has changed alot. The times that i'm using Windows it sometimes feels like that too need this restart that apple did in a way with OSX.
     
  18. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I had a bad experience with OS 9. My Dad's macintosh ran it and I was forced to use it to sync my iPod back in the day. If one app crashed, the entire system crashed meaning that many times syncing was made even longer and sometimes even corrupted my iPod.

    OS X didn't get really good for me until Tiger. I used the ones previous which I thought were better than OS 9 despite some bugs and lacking in features, but Tiger really brought the pain when it came to being competition to Windows XP. Tiger is still my favourite OS X today. It's simple and yet powerful.
     
  19. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #19
    Linux works fine on most mainstream hardware. Most issues are with the usual problem children, like Broadcom, or with more obscure hardware. Any Linux on a PowerPC will be much less polished than the same distro on amd64 or i386.

    My main complaint with Linux in general isn't that stuff doesn't work; it's that it isn't documented because Linux documentation varies wildly and is often not updated. If I know in advance what will work and what won't, I can figure out another solution or decide whether I want to bother at all.

    But often the first time you find out that something doesn't work is after you install it. The only documentation you can find about your issue is some guy's blog post from 2007 on different hardware using a distro 9 versions older than yours, but you try what he did anyway because you figure it's probably close enough, fail because it really isn't close enough, then try to fix your fix by going backwards, creating a spaghetti mess in the process. This could be avoided just by keeping thorough and updated documentation on the local system.

    (then you install one of the BSDs;))
     

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