Date: 2010-02-07 05:29 (UTC)
I certainly remember it myself. IIRC, Stephenson wrote it on BeOS; at the time he was very much a huge BeOS fan:

The ideal OS for me would be one that had a well-designed GUI that was easy to set up and use, but that included terminal windows where I could revert to the command line interface, and run GNU software, when it made sense. A few years ago, Be Inc. invented exactly that OS. It is called the BeOS.

The reason many (not most, but many) BeOS fans ended up migrating to OS X is pretty much because it's the only other operating system that really meets that criteria. In some ways it's still not as elegant as BeOS was, but it's... well, the best way of putting it for me is that OS X can get out of my way better than any other operating system I've used, and that's really important to me in day to day use. This is why, I confess, I often find conversations like the one with Altivo baffling: I've been using computers an awfully long time myself and have a lot of experience with a lot of various UIs. Any assertion of the form "Macs are so restrictive and make you do things their way" is so far removed from my experience it's hard for me to grok that we're talking about the same machine.

(I should note that I got pretty good at getting Windows 2000/XP to get out of my way, too, and was a perfectly happy user of Win2K for quite some time. It and FreeBSD just both required a greater amount of fiddling to get me to my happy place.)
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