I remember the first moment I moved a mouse across an OS X Desktop. At that time, it was the beta of version 10.0 — and I very well remember the word elegant as my first impression. (My second impression was Unix done better.)
That’s really saying something because I’m an old personal computer operating system curmudgeon: I cut my computing teeth on Atari, Commodore 64, and TRS-80 Model III machines, and I still feel much at home in the character-based environment of DOS and Unix. Of course, I’ve also used every version of Windows that His Gatesness has produced, including the much-improved Windows 7. And yes, I’ve used Mac OS since before the days of System 7, using a Macintosh SE with a 9" monitor (and a built-in handle).
But out of this host of operating systems, could you really call one elegant before now? (Even Mac OS 9 didn’t deserve such a description although it did provide the foundation of convenience and simplicity.) OS X — now at version 10.8, affectionately called Mountain Lion — is something different: It’s a fine-cut diamond amongst a handful of semi-precious stones. It’s the result of an unnatural marriage, I’ll admit . . . the intuitive, graphical world of Mac paired with the character-based stability and efficient multitasking of Unix. Who would have thought that they would work together so well? OS X performs like a Ferrari, and (unbelievably) it looks as good, too.
Therefore, you can imagine just how I immediately jumped at the chance ...