About Mac OS 9.2.2

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Whilst waiting for my iBook to be restored via AppleCare, I’ve been using an original Bondi iMac running OS 9.2.2. I still like OS 9 Just Fine, though I really really really missed Safari, the Schubert it PDF Browser Plug-In and NetNewsWire. But I appreciated using what I still think is the Best E-Mail Client Ever, Emailer, from Claris by way of FogCity Software. Emailer is exceedingly AppleScriptable, easy to write in, handles multiple accounts (including AOL) and doesn’t do anything I don’t want it to do. Emailer is elegant, and courteous, and was End of Life’d years ago. I also appreciated using the Best Word Processor Ever, MacWrite Pro. Also End of Life’d. Also from Claris. (Notic a theme?) Both of those still work under Classic, by the way, and I do still use them sometimes, (though not as often as HyperCard) (also from Claris). I also used MarinerWrite for files I knew I’d be working on when my iBook was returned.

But the experience, particularly the ease of use of these applications, got me thinking about the many applications that try to do everything and that are designed to make decisions so the user doesn’t have to (and isn’t allowed to). I hate that. It’s one of many reasons I don’t use Microsoft Word or Outlook unless there’s payment involved.

There is a place, still, and an active eager user base for “elegant” applications, and they do exist for Mac OS X. I very much like Mariner Write. I’m enthusiastic about Nisus Writer Express, and will write more about it soon. Mellel has real promise as a word processor (more about that later, too). Apple’s Mail is getting better all the time (and Eudora is getting worse). Apple’s iLife applications and Keynote meet my criteria (though there are some improvements to be made). I’d be interested in other Mac (or Unix) applications people think are well-designed, and easy to use, elegant, efficient and intelligently creative. What do you like ?

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