Many have mourned the iOS-ification of OS X, but what can you do about it? The Mac Observer scribe John Martellaro has some ideas on how you can outsmart Apple’s iOS-ification of your favorite Mac operating system, and keep control of your machine.
t’s very clear now that, on the Mac, Apple is departing from the traditional way of interacting with a UNIX OS with a beautiful, elegant but traditional GUI. The introduction of sandboxing, the blending of the UI experience with that of iOS, coined, “iOS-ification,” and the deletion of much of the UNIX related marketing material at apple.com means that aggressive, technical users will have to search for smart ways to use OS X that meets their needs. Here are six suggestions.
1. Stay with Snow Leopard. Martellaro says that Snow Leopard was the “apogee of the UNIX (BSD) OS for the technical user”. With the launch of Lion, Apple began to depart from the personal, technical OS and began to “cast its lot” with touchscreen, multi-touch, iOS aiming for a general consumerization of OS X.
He says to identify what you need to run on your Mac, and then lock yourself into Snow Leopard if possible. Sure, Apple will eventually stop support for it, but by then there may be a better solution.
2. Use Virtualization. Go ahead and run Mountain Lion, but then make sure you have virtualization software such as Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion. Inside there, you can run a Linux distribution that will allow you to still have the hands-on experience you crave.
3. Become a UNIX Power User. Learn how to dig under the hood, using the hidden technologies that lay under that pretty shell. Martellaro says, “It requires some study, but it’s the most fun you can have without marital aids.”
4. Support Your Local Sheriff (and Developer). Even though a lot of developers, purely for financial reasons, (not that there’s anything wrong with that), will dive into the Mac App Store and write “Apple Approved” applications. Others will preserve the old ways of doing things as long as they can. Support those developers. You may just find developers still doing it the “old-fashioned way” have a closer relationship with their pool of users, and may be more responsive to inquiries and requests.
5. Create a Community. Rally around the flag boys! Join user groups, get involved with the Open Source community, help a Mac brother or sister out!
6. Create Your Own Apps. This one is an offshoot of #3. You don’t have to become a full-blown Xcode developer, although that’s cool too, learn how to write scripts, amazing things can be done using scripts. There are facilities within OS X that can convert scripts to double-clickable applications.
Martellaro finishes by saying that there are those who will enter the Mac world, and Mountain Lion will be the first OS they’l use on the Mac, and that’s fine. But, there are many Mac users who will need and want to do things a different way, they’ll want to get their hands dirty, and do things their way. The six ideas above could help figure a way to do that.