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Second Day of Leopard (1)

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Classy packaging. Really nice production. Feels really good and was really painless.

Some of the other stuff we noticed. Or want to comment on. There are some good things but as always good things don't matter much if there are bad things. Things that people have in some cases waited a long time (since April 2005) to see fixed.

Which is why we're putting this page first and the 'sibling bugs page' after. You can always try to ignore all the bad stuff and drink some more Kool-Aid™ but you have to get the bad stuff fixed. Otherwise nothing will be right.

These however are the (more or less) positive comments. Yuck it up whilst you can.

  • Really fast boot times. Reboots in maybe 20 seconds or less. Logins are fast too, even if you've zapped the launch services caches.
  • Lot of UPPER CASE everywhere. We think it's cute. Do we like upper case? Not necessarily. But someone evidently thought it would be a good idea and so we'll roll with it.
  • The translucent menu bar. People don't like this and already there are hacks to make it opaque. To us it's no biggie. A (good) biggie would be to have the option of cascading menus.
  • Mail has its activity pane in the main window today. Like iTunes cover art. Cute and easier to manage.
  • You get hundreds of megabytes of language files even if you specifically say 'no'. But most of the time they're easy to remove.
  • Ugly folder icons. They're not that bad - from a distance. Give a perhaps desired 'sober' look. But zoom in on them and they're ugly.
  • Glass on the dock. Choosing such a name gives away who they're copying. But again: this is no biggie. However the alternative 'no glass' dock is uglier.
  • Finder is a tired horse. Still isn't fixed and seems slower and more useless than ever.
  • The system no longer leaves 'tar' files around when unpacking tar.bz2s.
  • Remember how every fanboy programmer was saying 'oh can't I have those cool blue rounded selection rectangles when you're dragging in outline views'? Remember how all they all went and wrote their own or (more often) borrowed code? Remember how we said 'cool it - they'll get to that'? Guess what happened.
  • The default 'Aurora' background. Anything named after the hometown of Wayne Campbell can't be all bad. And you see it everywhere - on the packaging etc. It's good for a change.
  • The system is 'perky'. Every fanboy says this but this time it's true. Who knows why but everything is faster: Xscan searches, Xstring scans: they're all blazing. And our flagship Xfile lists the monster directory man3 in less than a 1/10 of a second - over twice as fast as it was on Tiger and with the same hard drive and hardware.
  • We just scanned for .DS_Store stragglers on this hard drive. This would have taken several minutes on the same computer under Tiger. Here - despite there being twice as many files - it completes in less than half the time. [We had two - and now they're gone, thank you.]
  • Tracker scans the entire home area in just over two seconds. Two seconds. Xscan scans the entire home area for .DS_Store in less than one second. We currently have 4,032 files in our home area. They are listed by Xscan in less than one second. Yes this is good software - but it's also a good OS underneath.
  • File dialogs are better. They're smaller and easier to use and read. Perhaps because of CAPITALS?
  • Black apple on the menu bar. [Of course it has the yin-yang.] We're talking about growing concentration on black as the sexy colour everywhere. In a few years when the Parisian fashion houses start their own about face we'll see a move back to a white style again.
  • There's more difference between active and inactive title bars. This is good. It still doesn't make up for the 'belonging to active app but not active itself' which Apple's HI group removed ten years ago for fear Maccies would be befuddled. But as Steven Paul Jobs said: 'no more horsing around - one interface style and that's it' - and even though they're still pulling a few fast ones (white flippies in Mail) it is overall a lot lot better. OS vendors should provide the OS and all third parties should built solely on that - without the fanboy doodads so prevalent today.
  • The packaging is supreme. This isn't a depressing Microsoft setup - it's dazzling. If Microsoft know the language of business Apple know the language of consumers. It is simply a rush from beginning to end.
  • For ordinary punters this Leopard is the 'jamalam'. For pros it's far better than Tiger and it doesn't expose those naked loose wires what we've seen yet; for the way out super-pros this has got to be 'it' anyway - because it's 64-bit.

And there are more good things. These are just the 'positive' observations after one long first day with the system. And if one could say 'it's good because it's better than Tiger' one wouldn't really be going too far out on a limb because Tiger was horrible.

But unfortunately all is not better than Tiger. Some things are worse. And there are serious issues with this Leopard which indicate the very best programmers might not be in Cupertino anymore (if they ever were).

But to find out more you'll have to turn the page.

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