About | ACP | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Home » Learning Curve

Macintosh System 7

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.


There's a great site for Mac enthusiasts at the following URL. Turn Flash on and have fun. There are a lot of ancient games there that can be fun to play.

http://www.myoldmac.net/webse-e-flash.htm

There's also a lot of insight to be gained into what this Macintosh System 7 was really like. For let us not forget it is this standard the 'fanboys' are still whining about, this standard they keep pressuring Apple to return to, this standard they'd like to see NeXTSTEP become.

As evidenced by the screenshots on this page, there isn't a lot to return to.

640x480

As seen in the following screenshot, things are still mostly black and white, nine inches, and 640x480 pixels. It looks cute all right, but you have to remember where the rest of the world was at the same time.

Macintosh System 7 appeared in 1990; one of these screenshots is from 1995; Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the WorldWideWeb on a NeXTcube already in 1989; Microsoft came out with their Windows 3.0 in 1990 and followed it up with Windows 3.1 in 1992; and Dave Cutler's NT was almost out the door by then as well.

Apple were still stuck in 16-bit land. With minimal colour at best and with a system configuration that looks like a throwback to the first days of the personal computer. A quick directory count comes up with a low two digit figure.

This in comparison to tens of thousands of directories on OS X - or any flavour of Unix - today.

There's no denying it's cute; there's just no way this could ever be considered 'industrial strength'. It definitely makes the user feel at ease with Susan Kare's graphics and careful layout but it's not something industry could use.

It's a toy.

It's a sometimes useful toy, but it's still a toy.


Most people have by now tired of listening to the Siracusa and Gruber nonsense about metadata and spatial programs; what switchers, increasingly in the majority, don't realise is just how much out of tune these whining demagogues are.

You can have spatiality on Macintosh System 7 - spatiality being a propensity for folders to only appear in one place and at a single time. Much like document windows act today. With a system as simple as System 7 it makes sense and it's appealing.

But there is no way you can either benefit from or even preserve spatiality with a local file system with upwards of fifteen thousand folders - and that's not counting what awaits on the network.

And that's not taking into account that the folders are shared - that other people will be accessing them and moving them around - and that you'd need a massive terabyte storage unit just to manage 'spatiality' for the smallest corporate networks.

And that's still not taking into account that no user, no matter how precise the photographic memory, is going to remember and recognise exact screen positions for hundreds of thousands of 'folders' or in any way be able to benefit by it.

It was cute while it lasted, even though it was way behind everyone else - including Microsoft - but it's long since way behind its time.

There's no 'going back' in case you didn't realise it. And so the next time you hear someone whine about 'the good old days' or 'spatiality' you can remember what the world was like back then. You're presumably reasonable - you understand the world has to move on. You're not like the rest.

The 'fanboys' still want to see one program, running in cooperative multitasking mode, and one folder to put it in. Don't listen to them - look forward. Ignore them.

Nexties and switchers have waited years for these colossal idiots to explain how they would implement their great ideas and tired of the exercise. So here it is. Look yourself. This is the system they would return you to. But be careful: don't go back much further than this or you'll end up in a foregone era when they didn't yet have electricity.

Anyway, have fun at that URL. Play Asteroids, Breakout, Memory, Pong, Tetris, and Space Invaders. Just don't take it too seriously.


Before installing any application in OS X, be sure the application will not perform any malicious activity.
 - Apple Computer

Exactly how do you propose people do that?
 - Brendon C Bleebwart

Wake up, Neo...
 - Trinity

Knock knock, Neo.
 - Trinity

The idea that Macs can't get viruses is simply absurd and I wanted to highlight that fact. It was pure coincidence that Leap.A had already (been created to) set out to prove that the old wives tale is false. InqTana was more or less an exercise in proving folks wrong about the possibilities of Mac malware.
 - Kevin Finisterre

We OS X users have been living in this great world where we are more vulnerable than other Unixes, but we weren't seeing any attacks because we weren't targeted. I think we are going to see a lot more of this in the next year.
 - Jay Beale, Bastille-Linux & Intelguardians

This is a very very sad day for the Mac platform. I always hoped that this would not happen in my lifetime. [sic] I am almost in shock now. I can't believe this is reality. All because of this bastard with his pics. I am extremely pissed, sad, and scared. This guy needs to pay - this is war IMO.
 - CoMpX at Mac Rumors

See Also
Perimeters
Seeing Double
The Other Shoe
Hyde Park Corner I
The Chocolate Tunnel
OS X: Still Not WYSIWYG
Peeking Inside the Chocolate Tunnel
Apple's 'Unix' Runs Arbitrary Code on Boot?
Input Managers — The Cure

OS X patch faces scrutiny
Trojan flaw persists in OS X
Experts Claim Security Flaw Remains
Apple criticised for persistent Trojan flaw

About | ACP | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Copyright © Rixstep. All rights reserved.