Tuesday, October 30, 2007

reason #10.5 why i love mac: Leopard review

Leopard's been out long enough that all the technorati have weighed in. if you want reviews full of insight and depth, you can read pc world, slashdot and pogue. two resources i found particularly helpful were Leopard: Should You Upgrade? and this List of Applications Not Compatible with Leopard.

in short, if you absolutely positively need your shit to run without any glitches, you prob shouldn't upgrade now. but you knew that. however, if in this bleak world you need a nipple of hope to suckle on, knock yourself out. because Leopard will show you how things COULD be in a perfect user-centric environment.

the boring background stuff

[macbook pro, 2.33ghz intel with 2G ram]

a clean install where you blow away everything and start from scratch is obviously your best bet. not for me. getting XP and MS office running on parallels was such a monumental task that i ended up going with the Upgrade install for Leopard because i was afraid i wouldn't be able to get XP running again. how fucked and telling is that.

another reason to love mac? no licenses, no registration, no nothing of the kind for Leopard. stick the disc in and run. FUCK YOU MICROSOFT.

the Leopard user manual is 3 sentences of installation instructions and 60 pages of new feature highlights. Leopard took about an hour to install, easypeasy, asking nothing of me beyond my installation choice. like a colonoscopy, it's the prep, not actual procedure, that's the bitch. backing up my system (i used SuperDuper -- free!) was the biggest pain, just because it took several hours, during which i got sucked into cleaning out my 240G music folder and 2am sat morning found me dancing to "vogue" in the dining room. yeah, my weekends go OFF.

the really really good stuff
the finder ("explorer" for you poor windoze ppl)
is how life should be. apple's porting the swish Cover Flow UI that's so successful on the iphone/itouch over to the conventional OS. scrolling left to right, or up & down will visually march you through your files. that's right: you can see a preview version of the beginning of your doc without opening the native app. verrrry noice.

this is especially useful for scrolling through pix and for confirming a Turd or PDF doc is the one you're looking for before opening it up. hitting the space bar shows you the entire doc -- still within the Finder.

doesn't play with all apps, obviously: visio docs are simply icons, for ex. but IMO this Quick Look feature, along with Cover Flow, are worth the Leopard pricetag.

but there's more. there's Spaces.
Spaces allows you to create virtual monitors and tab easily (the response is immediate) between however many views you establish. you can assign apps to always appear in a defined space, or you can drag & drop windows in the collective view.

if you habitually find yourself wading through eighty-million open windows just to replay that new puscifer song in itunes, you will find Spaces inVALuable.

Time Machine's autobackup functionality is a good idea in theory but apple needs to invent a virtual external harddrive (pref firewire) that's as itinerant as me and my Lapple.

so those are the big hits. there're secondary ones, like safari's widgets collusion and improved tab UI. sometimes it's the little things that make a diff, you know? -and safari tabs now have nice modeless feedback: when you pull a tab out of the lineup, it changes to a iconised window to set the expectation you're creating a new window, but if you pull it downward again it morphs back into a tab. oh apple, you're so GOOD.

the not-so-great stuff

other stuff, like duded-up iChat, exacting parental controls and integrated Mail -- meh. and Leopard's not perfect. i had problems with net access -- firefox and safari would not work, while i could get to the outside world via terminal and, ironically, itunes -- until i installed the Login & Keychain update (which would seem to have SFA to do with browser access, but w-e).

parallels runs, but not without inexplicable "timeout" error notices (that have no effect AFAICS). open office 2.3 runs too, but i get a “command timed out” error upon loading and neither the OO or X11 dock icon will bring to front a doc i've got open -- making that Spaces feature even more useful. the latest version of GIMP is incompatible, and i'm not even opening the adobe CS can of worms, but if you're considering adopting Leopard and you're not reliant on the so-far unsupported apps, take the leap.

what i like about Leopard is that it makes me more efficient and organised.
and happy. happy's a big one.

UPDATE:  today parallels released a beta update for 3.0 (build 5540) optimised for leopard.  since updating, i haven't had any more "timeout" funniness.  That Was Easy.


fatmammycat said...

Why it's like déja vu. I'm sure I heard dribbling sounds like this elsewhere today.

Mayrasmom said...

nice to see what Vista was supposed to be like...

finn said...

ha ha.
if you REALLY want to run vista, you should buy a mac. because according to PC World the fastest vista machine is a macbook pro.

has the paramour been dribbling on you FMC?

fatmammycat said...

Indeed he has, it wouldn't install initially and there was some deeping sighing and coffee making, and then somehow-by the power of Mac- he did fix his problem and has been heard to cheep happily to himself as each new Mactacular glory is revealed. That by the way is my newest word. If something is beyond awesome it is Mactacular. I can think of no higher compliment.

finn said...

did the P do a clean install, or an upgrade?

when D imitates me talking about apple he sounds like homer talking to pinchy. oh maaaac, i made you some risotto. i don't talk that way at ALL mind you.

big pensis monitor --> Kapple --> Leopard --> ??

fatmammycat said...

Sure ya don't, and the P went with upgrade. He says he's gonna do mine later. Oooooo.

hummm, kaplard? Not very Mactacular sounding though. Although Megakaplard has an overlord tone to it that tickles my gizmo.

finn said...

he will bootabley back you up first, right?
of course he will.

Megakaplard has an overlord tone to it that tickles my gizmo.
i don't know if you want to be mixing transformers and gremlins. that's like ginger ale + jameson.

fatmammycat said...

Hmm, I see what you mean, somethings should not be mixed. Like vodka and tia maria and coke with a Guinness head on an empty stomach. Sounds good in theory, but will get you barred from pubs and mean you need a basin by your bed all night. a yack.
G-kard might work. G-Grande, K for kapple, ard-tail end of Leopard or... Kleo. YES! the Kleo!

finn said...

it's a winner -- for the simplicity (= apple) and for the nod toward those who purportedly know the future (newton ne1?)

is the foot any better?

finn said...

oh fuxk that link didnt work. sometimes iphone is pan in thw arse. fark!!! just wiki ms cleo. i suzzpect shes purely an amerkin phenomenon.

(i didnt rly mean that, iphone)

fatmammycat said...

Hah! I can hear you say that in a Homer voice too all while rubbing iphone against your cheek.
Ix nay on the foot healing. It doesn't hurt at all if I squeeze it but it just can't take any weight, it's sort of under the arch and towards the start of the heel. Velly painful. But I'm sure it will be okay after a day or so. The rest of me feels surprisingly not smooshed, the stairs are a bit of a pain, but really, not so terrible.
I will wiki cleo.

fatmammycat said...

Urgh, a 'merikan Derek Acora.

addon said...

drool .... envy ..... want ..... me too .... plz .....

Anonymous said...

What is all this crap? Where is the Puscifer review?

Or did I miss it?

Manuel said...

Ordering one now.......

finn said...

i hope you were sober when you wrote that, manuel.

westo, if you're referring to the new leonard cohen album, yes it's tits, it's been looping for a day now, and i'll post something tomorrow. maybe.

adam there are rumors that telstra and iphone have been courting, with the possibility of a 2008 launch. and iphone is basically a distilled leopard, so you may have yours soon.

TheNewCW said...

I've been having the same problem with openoffice. It doesn't affect the functionality, but it is pretty annoying. Does anyone know of plans to fix that?

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?