Mac Musings


Gerard Bagwin - 2000.02.29 -

Aqua Blows

There, I said it. I hate Aqua and the QuickTime 4 interface. I hate those traffic light buttons. I hate the rounded off appearance. And, I have a whole rant about the menu bar: that retarded Mac OS smiley in place of the Apple Menu (what are we supposed to call it now, the Wacky Smiley Face Menu?), that pointless Go menu, and that functionless Apple in the middle of the menu bar. Hey Apple, you want to put a Apple in the menu bar? Put it where it belongs: to indicate the Apple Menu, like it has for the past sixteen years!

The ideal OS should be fast, have useful features, work on all Macs with sufficient memory, stay out of the way, and have a non-obstrusive interface (which is definitely not Aqua!). With these specifications, I arrive at the conclusion that System 7.5.3 was the best system software ever. Like I really need throbbing buttons all over my screen while I am trying to be creative. And what's with the crazy colors everywhere? What is this, Windows?

Don't get me wrong, swanky looking hardware, such as the colorful iMac and the iBook, is cool. The G3 and G4 mini towers could lose those ugly handles. Apple also needs a modular, non-tower desktop machine. They need an intermediate Power Mac 7x00 desktop case - but of course with snazzy colors and finishes. Swanky user interface is overkill. I am sure those throbbing buttons take up memory and bog down system performance at times when performance is crucial.

A back to basics OS is what we need, not inconsistent icon sizes and photographic toolbar icons that mean nothing. We are already getting some of this in Sherlock 2.0 in System 9 (that "Mac OS" phrase doesn't exactly roll off the tongue). Screen shots of AppleWorks 6 show grossly oversized photographic toolbar buttons. Reaction to the Sherlock buttons that I have read hasn't been so great.

I think I am going to stick with ClarisWorks v4, and with v1 on my 68000 machines. (Anybody have a copy of ClarisWorks 3?) In fact, I am typing this in ClarisWorks 1 on my Mac SE running System 6 that I have owned since I was six years old (my primary computer is a Power Computing PowerTower Pro 225 clone, and my PowerBook is a 100). I am using this computer and this version of this software to prove you do not need snazzy interfaces and software full of features you never need to get a job done.

Opinionated? I'll say - and I agree with quite a bit of it. (But then, I still use ClarisWorks 4, Emailer 2, Word 5.1, Home Page 3, and Photoshop 4 on a SuperMac S900 introduced in August 1996 running a 1997 vintage G3/250 processor.) Feel free to email Gerard with your comments. And if you would like to publish a response at Mac Musings, email your comments to me. Daniel Knight, publisher, Low End Mac

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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