Happy birthday Mac OS X 

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Mac OS X boxes

is the 20th anniversary of the launch of Mac OS X, now called macOS Big Sur (11).

I haven’t been using Mac OS X for twenty years, but I did install the initial beta, and every version since, eventhough at first I essentially booted into Mac OS 9 when I wanted to get things done. I believe I switched for good on its second iteration Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar).

Many features were missing at first, and performance was terrible, but it felt like the future (and according to Steve Jobs, its candy-gloss UI was “lickable”). I especially loved the fact that Unix was underneath, and that you could open a terminal and launch a shell on your own computer. I was accustomed at the time to use zTerm to connect to my University’s mainframe or ssh into my web hosting provider. I could now run my favourite development tools right on my personal computer!

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”
– Steve Jobs on Mac OS X’s Acqua user interface, January 2000

It took a little while to switch completely, but I never looked back.

Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah About Box
Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah

It’s amazing to see how much of the initial release is still here in one form or another today. The Dock is still very much the same. It has a few added features today such as stacks and recent apps, but it is still very much the same in its essence.

Happy birthday Mac OS X ❤️

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