Happy XIV Birthday OS X!
Fourteen years ago today, was the launch date for Mac OS X 10.0. The code name, which Apple has been emphasizing more than the numerical numbering of the OS since the launch of “Jaguar” Mac OS 10.2 in September of 2002, was “Cheetah.”
My personal story with Mac OS X 10.0 started on the Monday night a week earlier, but why requires some further explanation. A few years before I started representing Apple (this was years before the Apple Stores) by working events call “Apple Demo Days.” These events were run by an outside company that Apple hired to get Mac enthusiasts to work in a local Computerware or Fry’s Electronics stores and demo new Apple hardware or software. The first one of these I worked was for the new iMac in August of 1998.
Apple invited a group of us “Demo Days” people down to their Cupertino main headquarters to demonstrate the new OS and even gave us a copy to install on our own Macs and use during the week leading up to the launch. It was quite amusing to read the rumor sites that week talking about the new OS and how it worked or features they thought it would have while I was actually using it. I know developers are able to do this all the time, but for me, your average user, this was quite an exciting time.
I worked a little too hard preparing myself for the big day, caught a cold and subsequently lost my voice. The morning of the 24th, I clearly remember drinking this foul cold medicine as I left the house in hopes that I could make it through the day doing nothing but talking. I managed, but people had to huddle close to hear my low raspy voice.
I worked at a place I was very familiar with, the Dublin, California Computerware store. I had spent many of Sunday afternoons roaming around this huge store dedicated to everything Apple and Macintosh. The people that worked there were friendly, offered in-store service and a giant selection of hardware, software, cables and accessories. Computerware was the “Apple Store” before the Apple Stores.
I had a blast working that day, despite not being able to talk very loudly. I learned that no matter how much I thought I knew about this new Apple OS there were questions I was not able to answer. It was also very apparent that Mac OS X was something familiar but clearly something very different. It was not just an upgrade from Mac OS or “System” 9, but a whole new OS that was going to take years to grow up and mature.
It was a hell of a start and 14 years in, now at version 10.10 or "Yosemite" the Mac is stronger than ever!
Make sure to share your personal story with OS X in the comments below and to read more about that day and to learn more, check out the following links:
Apple's Press Release
Wikipedia - Mac OS X v10.0
Correction: Post was updated to reflect that March 24, 2015 is actually OS X's 14th Birthday. #mathishard