10.5.2 Disparity between old and new

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So we all updated Mac OS X 10.5.1 to 10.5.2 the other day.

Updated both my iMac and iBook, both weighed in at 180MB. Among the fixes are a couple of UI tweaks, one of these is the ability to return the menu bar to the good ‘ol opaque days. But can you see little snag in the screenshot above? The left and behind is the iMac’s desktop property dialog and to the right is the iBooks. Both are 10.5.2. Hmm, I guess iBooks have no business having opaque menu bars.

Hope that screenshot fits in my blog theme OK, it’s a bit large.

Leopard after a week

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I’ve been using Leopard for well over a week now, 11 days to be precise, so what are my thoughts now?

OS X is going the right direction for an OS, with this release Apple are empowering developers with great API tools for optimal FS management and easier access to OpenGL graphic manipulation. I’m really looking forward to what FOSS and shareware developers are going to come up with over the next year.

An example of what their enhanced file system services is going to help with is the Mozy online backup app which I use to ensure that I still have my files even if Sheffield explodes. At the moment when it does a scheduled backup it has to scan the whole drive for changes. With Leopard and with the appropriate changes to Mozy’s code it will only have to ask the OS what files have changed since the last time it backed up.

With the re-tooled Spotlight I haven’t once pined for Quicksilver, which I have to admit I pretty much only ever used as an application launcher. Not only is the new Spotlight much much faster but it behaves in exactly the ways you hope. For instance if I type “Command+Space…F…I…R…E…Return” in quick succession (probably less than a second for the whole sequence) spotlight won’t bother to try and catch up in the GUI but will immediately close and load firefox. Perfect!

I haven’t found stacks useful at all. In fact the only idea I’ve come up with for using it turned out to not even be supported. With spotlight now being awesome I suddenly wanted to create a smart folder that showed all documents modified today, similar to “Today” under the “Search For” section of the finders sidebar, but with a few extra specifiers to lose some dreg. Problem is, drag a smart folder onto the dock and it doesn’t become a stack. It just sticks there as an alias. Poo.

I love the transparent menu bar when I use un-saturated background, hate it when I use colourful ones. I’ve gone all black-and-white for my desktop, it’s actually pretty cool, very seventh seal. The leopard dock is still a mess to my eyes, my favourite oddity is that those orbs that show which apps are loaded aren’t even orbs, if you look more closely they’re actually supposed to be spotlights with a reflection going through the glass. But the design is so fucked up that no one has even realised.

Many hate the new folder icons. I actually like them, I didn’t think much of the old pin-stripe ones, they always reminded me of random linux distributions. I’m all for subtle standard icons.

It’s nice to have Apache2 and PHP5.2 as default now, still not sure why mysql isn’t installed by default. That’s probably a me thing.

I’ve barely had any beach balls all week. Bliss!

It just seems to do stuff the instant you want it to!

The only performance related issue I have had is a network one.  Apparently Leopard has some bandwidth shaping of sorts, it trys to priorities downloads and all that.  Well, I think they need to check those notes because if I have Azureus download a torrent it cripples all other internet activity.  Even if the torrent download is only coming very slowly and upload is capped at something like 5K it still fucks all internet activity up.

Really happy with it. Which is odd. When I was a windows user I would look forward to each new windows release even though expecting a slower system but hoping for lots of minor differences that I could explore and track down and go “woo that bit of text has changed.”

This is my first Mac OS upgrade (my first mac was just after Tiger) and it feels almost perverse for an OS upgrade to actually be optimized and faster. Those crazy 1 infinite loop guys.

Leopard Issues Episode 1: First Kernal Panic

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In the first installment of what could be many Leopard updates…

Just had a Kernel Panic, you know this when a semi-opaque gray slowly comes down the screen like a curtain, and then a please hold the power button message appears in several languages. This doesn’t bode well, I’ve only ever seen what, 3, 4 max kernal panics on my mac the whole time I’ve had it.

At the time it occurred I was watching a 720p x.264 of the office on the second screen whilst EyeTV was recording Russell Brands Ponderland and I had just moments before unplugged my external DVD drive (it had no disk in).

Reason I had unplugged the drive is because Leopard seems to be pinging it (if pinging is the right word) around every 5 minutes whilst there is no disk in, the drive makes a faint buzz and then sighs, Tiger never did this. Anyway, i’m finding it mightily irritating.

It seems that any JPG which has been touched by lightroom will cause Finder to relaunch if you try QuickView on it. Very odd.

Any now for software compatibility

Native-Instruments stuff is an issue because most of the update installers for their apps bomb out. This means that for many of their plug-ins I’m stuck with the original PowerPC versions, which don’t work in an Intel host DAW.

PictureSync is a great app for uploading to photo-sharing sites such as flickr right from such apps as aperture, iphoto and lightroom. Anyway, currently in Leopard you can’t license the app, nor can you authenticate it with flickr.

Popcorn 2 cannot burn a disk, tells you the drive didn’t respond. (External drive, haven’t tried the internal).

Leopard goes back to the future 1, 2 and 3

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Received Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard today.

Actually I shot my wad prematurely on what was a dry run if you will. Um, I mean I got all impatient watching that count down timer on Apples site and ended up downloading it on Wednesday.

I did an erase install ‘cos I had all sorts of crap cloging my HD up and its nice to have a clean system now and then.

It’s taken till today (Friday) to get all my software and stuff back on here so in the end I’m only now getting the Leopard experience, on launch day so getting it early was fair enough in my book.

Still not sure what to think of it, it seems pretty fast, and it’s very refined. But I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed by the new features.

And I’m having a hell of a time with Time Machine. The backups keep stalling part way through, still haven’t managed to do the initial run.

The box is awesome, it has a sort of hologram effect that’s really crazy. Probably been starring at it for hours. Simple things entertain me.

Update: After stalling again but letting it carry on the rest of the evening Time Machines first backup kicked off again and managed to complete.  Woo.

Leopard developer preview

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Installed the developer preview of leopard onto an external drive yesterday.

leopardcollage.png Bullet points shall convey my thoughts…

  • It feels faster than tiger, which is surprising because my iMac is a 32bit core duo and leopard is stuffed full of 64bit stuff.  It might feel faster because I hadn’t had a chance to stuff the drive full of crap.  But still, peeps with 32bit mac’s need not worry about a speed hit.
  •  I was underwhelmed by the features.  I’m hoping i’ll be pleasantly surprised by hidden nuggets, but right now i’m not holding my breath.
  • Finder is hugely disappointing.  Quickview is good, but despite the iTunes-esq appearance the rest of finder still just feels like finder.  It just isn’t a shell you expect in 2007.  There’s no paradigm shift.  No breadcrumb bar.  No tagging.  No editable extended attributes support.
  • Yeah quickview is pretty nifty, it opens files incredibly quickly, even things like spreadsheets open in a flash, and I was impressed that it showed tabs for the different sheets in an excel spreadsheet I tried.
  • Spaces is going to come in useful for those times that I leave an app on my TV and don’t fancy turning it back on just to drag it back to the main desktop.
  • Time machine is so so easy to set up and it works well.  However, I choose a network location.  Then went back to leopard today and tried Time machine and it complained that it hasn’t been set up.  Reason was that I hadn’t yet in that session visited/mounted the network location.  So you still need to be careful of that, and create automounts for network locations.  Which I might add finder still offers up no help for.
  • So yeah, I get the feeling network support ain’t going to be any better in leopard.
  • The new dock looks nice and flashy at first, but it didn’t take long for my eyes to grow tired of it, it looks a tad cluttered.
  • Still no way to turn off display outputs at will.
  • Apple seem to be moving away from having pop-out sidebars for setting attributes.  Such as in iCal.  Now when you create a new event you double click it and a nice looking floating palette emanates from the event.
  • The menu bar doesn’t look any better in real life than it does in the screenshots.  Even worse, when you click an item the drop down menu is more opaque than the menu bar and looks completely out of place.
  • And that’s all the weather.
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