the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Trading Stripes for Spots

So now that things have calmed down a little bit, I finally had time to install Leopard on the Mac Pro this weekend. I know I'm a bit late to the party, but here are a few quick thoughts so far...

The Good:

  • Time Machine -- syncs happily to the 500GB internal drive I installed last weekend (amusingly, with the words "honk if you love internal hard drives" printed on the inside of the box). Finally, something is doing at least some level of backup in our house!
  • Safari -- holy crap, fast fast fast! Feels like driving a zippy little sports car compared to the increasingly SUV-like Firefox (which has similar problems on tight corners).
  • Searching for text -- I love the visual emphasis on the search hits that "pops" the search result. It's subtle, but really helps quickly identify where the result is, which is not always easy when looking at a wall of text.
  • Searchable Help highlights menu options -- freaking brilliant. No more wondering where your favorite menu options got moved to (*cough* Adobe *cough*).
  • The Downloads folder. Yes, I already had my own that worked fine, but it's nice that it's earned an official special place, and it works well with the new Stacks feature for getting quickly to whatever I've just downloaded.
  • Hot diggety, Python's really nice out of the box!
  • Quick Look is pretty nice; got a feeling I'll be using it a lot soon.
  • Grammar checker is now just as widely available as the spell-checker. Nice touch.
  • Okay, the eye candy factor is nice too. I do like me some shiny things. :-)

The Indifferent:

  • The new 3D-ified Dock -- not as horrible as all that. I'm slightly amused by how it picks up reflections from the windows above it. I could use nicer "here's what's running" indicators, but I'm just not seeing a justification for all the controversy.
  • The new menu bar -- square corners and semi-transparent... It'll take a little getting used to, but it's not going to upset me.
  • Stacks -- I kind of like these, but I'm not 100% in love with them yet.
  • The new folder icons. Not doing it for me.
  • I wonder how long I'll want to live in the "deep space" look.

The Really Annoying:

  • I have to upgrade Photoshop and friends. Granted, I was still running Photoshop 7, so I'm a bit behind the times on that, but it still sucks that what was working like a champ for me under Tiger completely craps out in Leopard. Boo, hiss.
  • XJournal, my LiveJournal client of choice on the Mac, crashes upon log-in to LJ. No Leopard-friendly upgrade is available yet. Again, boo, hiss.
  • Startup disk? What startup disk? Immediately after my first boot into Leopard, there was a software update that wanted to be dealt with promptly. So I took care of that, rebooted, and was greeted with the blinking file folder of doom, signifying that no startup disk could be found. Not the most rewarding experience after all of the anticipation and the lengthy upgrade.

And now back to actually doing stuff with the computer instead of poking it to see what it does...

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