The Birth of Oh! Ess Ten

As gestations go, this one was the lengthiest in the history of the Macintosh world. 15 months from the announcement of conception, to birth. I was in the audience at MacWorld San Francisco 2000 when the proud daddy, Steve Jobs, announced that we would soon have another little OS to feed in the near future. With the help of a giant screen, he showed us ultrasound pictures of what the little rascal would look like. And because almost everyone loves babies, the crowd oohed and ahhed at the child’s anticipated future antics.

It was a difficult pregnancy. The first projected release date was aborted and genetic code sent to all the wannabe developers to see what the problem was with the DNA. “Four arms! Six legs! No, no, let’s give it twelve eyes!” and the scientists were at it again…forming this love child from fantasies of one mighty superman Operating System that would be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap RAM hungry applications with a single bound.

And the months dragged on. Pundits and powerusers endlessly talked the anticipated birth to death on websites, messageboards, print magazines, and in chat rooms. But when it came to the reality of what this child was going to be like, it was no different from any other pregnancy. Would it look like mommy, daddy, or the postman?

Then again the announcement in January. This pregnancy had gone on long enough, and labor would be induced on March 24, 2001. Everyone who had a hand in fertilizing this youngster was anxiously awaiting this day in computer history. It was a relatively easy birth. The anticipated CD’s popped up on store shelves and in mailboxes all around the country, just as predicted. One could almost hear a collective sigh as cupholders on all the G3+ compliant computers were opened up to load the precious bundle. And then….

The baby stared crying. And pooping it’s britches. And because it was a hungry little bastard, it wanted more RAM.

I have been criticized by more than one person by stating my own personal truth. I don’t like babies. For most, babies symbolize the miracle of love, the preservation of the species, and hope for the future. And I can get down with that. What I mean when I say I don’t like babies is that I don’t like to be the one responsible for their care, comfort, and feeding. I was not born with a strong maternal instinct, and my feelings for little oh! ess ten are no different.

Oh sure, I’ll coo at it when you poke it’s little head out from under it’s 9.x blanket for me to admire. And I might just hold it for a minute when you show it to me on your powerful G4 with 512mb RAM machine, as long as it’s nursing quietly on a native application. And I’ll applaud with you when it begins to crawl and finally walk. But I really don’t want to spend any time at all with it until it’s big enough to toss a baseball around, and mow my lawn.

Yeah, little oh! ess ten is a cute little bugger. Cootchie cootchie coo. And it looks just like you! Now you take it. It’s wet, it’s hungry, and it needs a nap.

Beth Lock

Leave a Reply