Monday, October 29, 2007

Generic PC

Mac OS X Leopard now has "icons" which can scale up to 512x512 pixels. That should be iconic enough for everybody!

And they've retained their subtle humor, sometimes with an edge. This is their icon for "generic PC". Hah. I remember working on monitors looking like that.


Anonymous said...

subtle? Like a sledge hammer. I guess they know their users. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Hmm ... if I was Apple I wouldn't poke fun at Windows being crash prone. Why? For the simple reason that Mac OS X is more crash prone than Windows.

When I first installed Mac OS X 10.4.0 it crashed several times a day. This behaviour was manifested on a clean and fresh install and from doing nothing but running Safari. I suspected a hardware failure, but all tests passed successfully. And after reading the forums, I learned that many others were witnessing the exact same problem.

Initially the problem was so bad that the system wouldn't stay up long enough to download and install the first OS updates. From there on, after each update, stability did gradually improve. And now at 10.4.10 it's quite usable. The individual applications, such as Safari, still occasionally crash, but they don't bring down the system.

Apple poking fun at the Windows' 'blue screen of death' is particularly ironic given that the first reports on Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5.0) reveal that Leopard itself is plagued with a 'blue screen of death' issue.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I think that has been the experience of a minority. For me, OS 9 and earlier crashed many times a day. But on average, OS X (all versions) have crashed less than once per month.

Anonymous said...

"For me, OS 9 and earlier crashed many times a day."

That makes their poking fun at Windows' crash proneness all the more embarrassing.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Well, all right.
Certainly it's safe to say that Mac OS's stability has increased dramatically since the nineties. And I think I've heard the same is true of Windows.

Anonymous said...

Classic Mac OS (6,7,8,9) and OS X are different operating systems. Here is the history of Mac OS X:

1989 Nextstep 1.0
1990 Nextstep 2.0
1991 Nextstep 2.1
1992 Nextstep 3.0
1993 Nextstep 3.1
1993 Nextstep 3.2
1995 Nextstep 3.3
2001 Mac OS X 10.0 "Cheetah"
2001 Mac OS X 10.1 "Puma"
2002 Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar"
2003 Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther"
2005 Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"
2007 Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard"

Of these, I have used 3.2 and 3.3 (on a NeXTstation), 10.1 and 10.2 (on a PowerBook G4), and 10.4 (on a Power Mac G5).

I don't remember 3.2 or 3.3 ever crashing (but they must have, once or twice).

My PowerBook running 10.2 has also been very stable. It has crashed a couple of times, but then I've put it under strange tasks and serious loads, for example by processing huge 3D renderings on it. In general, this has been one of my better computer investments.

10.4 running on my Power Mac was a disaster. I understand there is consensus that this is the most unstable version of Mac OS X to date. They've fixed it by now with a series of updates, but after the much more stable 10.2 and 10.3 this was quite a surprise to many.

The next couple of months will show if Apple will be able to regain people's trust with 10.5. I certainly hope so. So far the initial reports are somewhat mixed (see link in previous comment).

Regarding Windows, there was a similar discontinuity after Windows 95. Up to that point the OS's were based on MS-DOS. Windows NT (and successors) is a different operating system based on VMS by Digital Equipment Corporation, and written by ex-DEC engineers.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Maybe I was lucky with 10.4.

Anonymous said...

If you got 10.4 pre-installed and it was already at 10.4.2 or 10.4.3 that would explain it.

But if you installed it yourself from 10.4.0 on a freshly initialized disk, I'm really surprised you didn't experience any problems. In that case it would have to be subtle differences in hardware configuration that didn't trigger the issues in your case.

Or, if you upgraded an 10.3 system, something about the existing system could have been the reason for your not experiencing the issues.

Anonymous said...


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"Mac OS X is more crash prone than Windows."

Ah, perhaps. But thanks to its 90% market spread, Windows still holds the undisputed record for NUMBER of daily crashes! Quantity makes up for quality. :-)

Dbdude said...

Yes, but isn't that the infamous "Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)"? Makes sense that Apple would choose it for the generic PC image.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I guess it could be. Would be over a dozen years since I saw one.

(Guess I was lucky, the windoze machine I worked on in my day job was not all that unstable.)