History of ‘Mac OS’ 

Yesterday, OS X got renamed macOS to better match its mobile and TV-bound cousins. While I can get behind everything matching, lots of people have been rolling their eyes a little bit at the lowercase m.

The reason is a pretty good one. Before the days of Aqua and the Dock, the Mac operating system was named “Mac OS.” Some may think that name comes from the very beginning of the Macintosh, but it doesn’t.

“Mac OS” made its debut in version 7.6 of the Mac operating system, to help increase Apple’s visibility during the clone era. Clone makers couldn’t use the word Macintosh to market its products, so Apple’s branding was getting lost. Buying a Power Computing box running Mac OS 7.6 put the Mac’s name back in the conversation in a world of third-party hardware running Apple’s software.

Mac OS 7.6 Installer

Before Mac OS 7.6, Apple referred to its operating system as “System Software.” This terminology first appeared in February 1986, with System Software 1.0 In reality, this name was an umbrella term for System 3.1 and Finder 5.2.1

While it’s nice to think of “Mac OS” as the name of the classic operating system, it really didn’t last all that along. Mac OS 7.6 shipped in January 1997; Mac OS X shipped in September 2000 as a public beta.

  1. This naming scheme worked for many years, as Finder was a separate application from the system itself. For example, “System Software 2.0” was really System 3.3 and Finder 5.4. Today, this seems like madness. 

Connected #95: RelayCon WWDC 2016 →

This week’s Connected is something really special:

The Relay FM family comes together in San Francisco to discuss the WWDC announcements, in front of a live audience.

We were joined by Serenity Caldwell, John Siracusa, Jason Snell and CGP Grey to cover Apple’s busy keynote in front of 150 people. It was truly humbling to meet so many listeners, and to those on the waiting list, we will be increasing capacity next year. Thank you all so much, and I hope you enjoy the episode.

RelayCon San Francisco wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing sponsors. Thank you to Cards Against Humanity, Textexpander from Smile, MacStadium, Dash, and MacPaw.

A photo posted by Casey Liss (@caseyliss) on

The Apple File System →

It. Is. Real.

Apple File System is a new, modern file system for iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS. It is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.


RSS Sponsorship: Working Copy, Powerful Git client for iOS →

Working Copy is a powerful Git client for iPhone & iPad. It lets you clone repositories, edit files, commit changes and resolve conflicts. Other applications can open files inside Working Copy, granting Git access to all of iOS.

Having Git on both your regular computers and your iOS device is the ideal bridge between traditional and post PC computing. Work with the latest tools on iOS to embrace the future without leaving the stability of your current setup behind.

Development workflows are rapidly moving to iOS. Download Working Copy now.

Hopes and dreams for WWDC 

I’ve been crazy busy this week getting ready for WWDC and just realized I hadn’t published my government-mandated list of predictions and desires. The items below are in no real order, but it’d be great to see them all. Forgive me if it reads like I’m in the middle of a fever dream.

Update: I’ve graded my wish list now that the keynote is done.

Mac OS X

  • Renaming OS X to “Mac OS” would be better than “macOS” but I think the latter one will win because Phil Schiller likes everything nice and tidy – YES
  • Night Shift & Dark Mode – NO
  • Improved Mac App Store app with fewer bugs and fewer bugs and fewer bugs – KINDA? iCloud can be used outside the MAS now.
  • Relaxed sandboxing rules for App Store apps – NO
  • Overhauled Mail.app with modern features like snoozing, filtering and better support for Gmail’s unique features – NO
  • A Safari UI that doesn’t try to center everything in the window chrome – NO
  • Safari support for WebRTC – NOT SURE
  • New hardware but LOL SIGH I KNOW. – LOL


  • Improved app picker for iPad multitasking – NO
  • Drag and drop between multitasking apps – NO
  • Dark mode – NO
  • Copy and Paste that actually works – UNKNOWN
  • Updated AirPlay that works more like Chromecast and allows the sending device to be used more freely while AirPlay is going – NO
  • Emoji search and maybe stickers – NO AND YES
  • An update to the third-party keyboard system that makes them usable – UNKNOWN
  • Collaborative Notes.app – YES
  • Way to turn off the news headlines in Spotlight easily that doesn’t disable other features – YES


  • Redesigned app screen – KINDA. The Dock is a big deal.
  • Speed and connection reliability, but that may need new hardware, which won’t be on Monday – YES
  • Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh something else to get excited about – YES. NO MORE FRIENDS CIRCLE


  • Night Shift & Dark Mode – YES
  • Centralized sign-in for cable or ISP credentials that apps can reference – YES
  • Additional data sources for Siri – YES
  • Picture in Picture – NO
  • Include media only found in a local iTunes folder in the “Movies” and “TV” apps. A lot of my content is locked away in the “Computer” ghetto and it’s a pain to remember what is where – NO
  • Amazon Prime Video A pony – LOL


  • Siri API that allows Siri to send and retrieve information from third-party apps as easily as it does things like Reminders and Calendar now – YES. If you fit into one of their intents.
  • Increase in amount of free space for uses. 5 GB is LOL, Apple – NO
  • Improved iCloud email rules and spam filtering – NO
  • Revamped iMessage with rich media previews and attachments – YES
  • Better handling of split iMessage threads because ain’t no one got time for that – UNKNOWN

Terrifying mission patches →

Loren Grush, writing about National Reconnaissance Office’s mission patches for various rocket launches to put … secret things … into orbit:

Well it turns out that releasing creepy AF mission patches is a long-standing tradition for the NRO. It’s a far cry from the cheery NASA mission patches we’re used to. Instead, many of the NRO patches follow a specific formula: large scary animal grasps Earth.

Seriously, go look at these things. Yikes.