So yesterday I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my main development/production machine from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion.

I'd had Mountain Lion on a separate partition, to be able to test software using it, but more and more tools aren't working with Snowy any more so I finally felt it was time to make the jump.

Now, before I get started, I've been using every version of Mac OS since System 1.1. I recognize that operating systems change. I jumped from OS 9 to Mac OS X 10.0 when it was first released (actually, before it was first released; I started using OS X with Developer Preview 3).

I get that things change. OS X is so little like System 1.1 that it's hard to imagine they share any common DNA at all.

And yet...

What is this I don't even. It's not fear of change or reluctance to try new things that make me say "What the fsck, Apple?" 10.8 is rapidly gaining ground on my List Of OS Versions I Can't Stand.

There's a part of me that wonders, somewhere deep down inside, if Apple didn't smart under accusations that the upgrade from 10.5 to 10.6 was nothing but a glorified service pack, and so decide to show the naysayers that they could release an OS update that was really, really different.

Jarringly different. As different as an elephant and an elephant seal.

I just can't figure out the rationale for a lot of the changes, except that they're change for change sake. They re-imagined Mail.app from a simple but serviceable way to read mail into this weird thing that tries to use space more efficiently and actually seems to have the effect of being more cumbersome to use. And the idea that user interface elements should more closely resemble the user interface of iOS, an operating system with an entirely different user interface paradigm, is...it's just...what the fsck, Apple?

Every now and then Apple hits one out of the park. System 6.0.8 was awesome. Mac OS 7.6 rocked; I used it for a long time. 8.6 also rocked. OS X 10.5 was good; 10.6 was fantastic.

And every now and then Apple does something...unfortunate. System 4.2 was dire. System 7.1.2, the first PowerPC release with its plague of "Error Type 11" dialogs, was a disaster of epic proportions. Mac OS 8.5...I don't know what happened there, but I bet Apple's engineers wish they could have a do-over. OS X 10.0 was so hopeless that Apple released 10.1 for free...and insisted everyone upgrade.

And now there's 10.8, an operating system that I like even less than System 7.1.2.

Ugh.
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