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The upgrade prompts certainly annoy the heck out of me. What really gets me is how they also try to trick you into upgrading by randomly throwing up the number pad prompt; making you think that this is the regular fingerprint prompt. That is devious. And then Tim brags about the percentage of adopters, as if this was driven by the mass appeal of the upgrade. It is dishonest. But this is standard Apple procedure these days.
I am always cautious about upgrades. Besides my preference to have early adopters get slammed with the bugs and waiting for a fix, I have found it to be extremely rare that an upgrade from Apple hasn't wrecked something useful (sometimes many things all in one shot), so I prefer to stay with what works instead of trusting Apple's pig in a poke.
Mikeymike said: Performas of the mid '90s had more "firsts" in them than anything Apple has ever done since. Same with the PowerBooks.
One can see in the third illustration, the abortive Apple "themes" that they had been playing with; the idea being that people could change the look of their UI to all sorts of Apple and third-party looks (including the Sponge Bob / Tinkertoy look seen in the menu bar, but Apple only demoed them, then offered just two: blue and graphite, ditching the wilder options before they hit the streets. Apple decided that the Mac OS must have a look that clearly identified the Mac as being different than a PC and not some random user-selectable look. This was also in the day of the Copland disaster. Apple really was in serious disarray.
As for the flashy clashing colors and overt techy look, innovative art back then was largely related to the advancement of Photoshop (along with KPT) and 3-D apps, with designers tending to go over the top. TechTool Pro (which is still around) had an interface featuring a metallic-sounding robot voice speaking prompts and with all sorts of visual depth to the UI. It would be laughable by today's standards, but people thought it was pretty cool in the day.