Newsletter #457 Preview: No, Apple Isn’t Going Downhill

August 31st, 2008

I still remember, nearly 20 years ago, setting up a brand new Macintosh system in my home. Up till then, I did most of my work at the office, but I had seen the future, more or less, and telecommuting was going to be a large part of it, so I had to be prepared.

Now I had used Macs at the office almost from day one, as soon as they become practical solutions for getting real work done. But I was also losing assignments, because I couldn’t complete them after the workday ended.

In any case, not 15 minutes after opening QuarkXPress to edit a document, I got a system error prompt. If you remember the days of System 6, there would even be a Restart button in the dialog, but it would rarely do anything, and that was the case this time. So I forced a restart, and got back to work.

In those days, a stable Mac was one that didn’t crash a couple of times a day, and it was awfully easy for that to happen, particularly if you fitted your Mac with lots of third-party stuff. Even the useful hacks, such as the ones that would allow you to select fonts without going through the drudgery of using the traditional method, Font/DA Mover, could do nasty things. The reason is that the developers had to use unsupported tricks to fool the system into accepting their unorthodox way of handling your font library.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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