Mac OS X Beta? Later

I've been using the OS X public beta for the past 48 hours--about 24 more than I needed to decide that I'd wait until the real OS X shipped.

The first thing I did after installation was turn off Aqua's colors. Blue buttons don't really bother me, but I thought the reset might stop that annoying throbbing when they're highlighted. It didn't. I'm clinging to the hope that "Dethrobber" will be an option in the final release.

Then I tried to print a Microsoft Word document on my ink-jet printer. No can do. You see, Word is a Classic app. And my printer is a USB printer. There's no USB-printer support in the Classic environment.

This floors me. After two years of telling everyone to junk their old Macs, junk their serial peripherals, and jump on the USB bandwagon, Apple has the nerve to come out with an OS that doesn't support USB printers!

Since when does beta mean "basic functionality is missing, but we're going to ship it anyway because we told you we'd have it out in September and we wanted to make a big splash in Paris"?

Then there's networking. Remember Open Transport?

It lets you change your network configuration on-the-fly, great for PowerBooks or for when your DSL line dies. It's not in the OS X beta. Every time you change your network setup, you have to restart. Another step backward.

Finally, there's the Finder. Yo! Apple! Mac users like the old Finder. We like spring-loaded folders. We like being able to make Finder windows really skinny. We don't like acres of screen real estate being gobbled up by eye candy. The new Finder is vastly less efficient than its predecessor. Fix it.

Are there things I like about Mac OS X? Yeah. The font panel is cool. Two thumbs up on built-in support for two-button mice. And the force-quit feature is quite handy. As for the rest, I'll reserve judgment until a final version comes out.

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