I've been reading what everyone has to say about their OS X experiences for a year now. Now that I've finally gotten FCP 3.0 and After Effects 5.5 (and Photoshop 7.0 is coming soon - as you can see, my main work is video production), I FINALLY took the plunge and purchased OS X 10.1.3. I have two Macs - a 933 Mhz G4 and a 500 Mhz G3 iMac DV-SE, both outfitted with 1 GB RAM. I felt a little trepidation going to OS X, as I've heard so many negative things about it - speed issues and aesthetic issues, for the most part. I've been using OS X for a little more than a week now and I have to say ... WOW! Granted, I have a lot of RAM on both machines (I hear that is key), and I'm happy to say I have zero problems with speed, even in the G3 iMac. My careful comparisons of video render times, etc. using After Effects 5.5 and FCP 3.0 show that they are virtually identical in speed under OS 9.2 (not Classic) and OS X. Actually, some things tend to go a wee bit faster in OS X, although not dramatically so. The biggest surprise is that Cleaner 5.1.1 works even faster in OS X than it does on OS 9.2. This level of performance is the LAST thing I expected from OS X, after reading endless negative diatribes from people. Now for aesthetics ... again, WOW! Aqua IS gorgeous; I'm definitely in that rare minority, but I think the much-hated Dock is absolutely brilliant! I didn't appreciate the simple beauty of this idea until I started to use it. After only one evening of use, I had zero desire to ever go back to neither a cluttered desktop (perhaps I am neurotically obsessed with clean surfaces, ala Jobs) nor the old Application switcher. BTW, leaving hiding and magnification on doesn't cause the iMac G3 to lag at all. (But I did decrease the size of the icons to suit my taste and turned off dock bouncing - don't care much for that particular effect.) Also, I don't mind at all the absence of spring loaded folders (I always found it a bit disconcerting to have all those open folders all over the desktop) and I LOVE the anti-aliased text. Plus OS X has no problems recognizing my firewire HD and CD burner, something OS 9.2 can still occasionally be flaky about. So the verdict is: absolutely elegant and works better than OS 9 for me. Perhaps I was right to wait for version 10.1.3; maybe I would've had problems with earlier versions. I don't know. Yes, OS X still has room for improvement and further development (it's annoying that OS X cannot play VCDs), but, as it stands right now, it's simply stunning in its performance. OK, so why go on and on about this, you may wonder? I guess because I have had such positive experiences with this new OS, and all I ever read (at least 97% of the time) are negative and problem-ridden complaints (which may be valid, true) which certainly made me leery of buying OS X. Of course, I guess it's the tendency to post about an OS only when it's giving you problems, so the hapless individual looking to find info on OS X begins to get turned off after reading so many negative things about it. But I'm happy to say that I was blown away by this OS and it works wonderfully for me (even on a 500 mhz G3, yep). So here's an unbiased, fully positive assessment of OS X from someone who was expecting the worst. I just hope that anyone who has been hesitant about using it (like I was) reads this and gets another view. And just think - this is only 10.1.3. It can only get better and better ... Oh yeah, after showing OS X and what it can do to six different people (five Windows users and one OS 9 loyalist), all 6 were won over. Two of the Windows users just bought new G4 iMacs (can't wait to set up the machines for them), the other 3 Windows users desperately want a Mac now, and the OS 9 loyalist just called me this evening to tell me she just returned from CompUSA with - you guessed it - OS X. Apple is on a winner here.