Mac OS 8.6

Mac OS 8.6 Picture

Mac OS 8.6
Company: Apple Computer, Inc.
Estimated Price: Free!

Microsoft should take a cue from Apple. While the world’s largest software manufacturer gets ready to charge almost $100 for a bug fix to their Windows 98 computer Operating System software, Apple Computer Inc. prepares to release a major improvement to the Mac OS, this time Mac OS 8.6.

Mac OS 8.6 will be a free download for owners of 8.5. Apple not only put many, many work hours into their latest Operating System, they’re also going to give it away free of charge to all users. Can you imagine? But it’s true, and as Mac users, it’s simply more proof of not only the superiority of our computer platform, but of the fact that Apple actually cares about its customers and users, not just in the bottom line and profits.

While Mac OS 8.6 will be free, it does not diminish the value of the product. Mac OS 8.6, from my testing, seems to be the most stable and fastest of all the Mac OS releases to date. Most of the improvements are not cosmetic, but are rather in the code. This version is not only faster, as I mentioned, but it’s almost free from the bugs which have plagued Mac OS 8.5.1. (though, to be honest, there was not very many of those!)

New in 8.6:

ColorSync 2.6.1
UDF 1.5.2 – (which supports read and write DVD’s)
AppleScript 1.3.6
Sherlock 2.1 – You can finally resize the search window, which was lacking before. About time, I say. It also runs much faster than before, which is either because of this new version of Sherlock, or the new Nanokernel. While I’m not sure which is the reason, I’m very pleased with it.
PlainTalk – A new version of PlainTalk, meaning iMac owners can now enjoy this neat software.

More importantly, however, is the new Nanokernel which features, among other things, multitasking integrated into the nanokernel, and a multiprocessor library that can run with Virtual Memory enabled and full symmetric multiprocessor capability.

Mac OS 8.6 brings the Macintosh Operating System much closer to Mac OS X, which is still slated to be released sometime later this year. Overall, Mac OS 8.6 just feels peppier, more responsive, and more stable.

This is a great upgrade for your Power PC Macintosh. While G3 owners will gain the most benefit from the speed increase, all Power Macintosh computer users will notice a general stability and speed improvement with their systems.

Hats off to Apple for a great product at a great price. This is one of the reasons Mac users are so die-hard supportive of the platform. It’s indicative which company is headed in the right direction–the one who gives away an improved product, not just a bug fix and not the one who charges its users for an update to fix problems which should not have existed in the first place.

Tim Robertson

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