Rolling notes

Those with a nervous or easily-bored disposition may choose to skip this post, but for the rest of you:


Tiger pretty much rocks. It’s a little rough around the edges, something we’ve rather come not to expect from Apple of late, and one suspects there’ll be a 10.4.1 update relatively soon. But mostly, it rocks. Big time.

There’s the obvious stuff that’s been marketed – Spotlight, which is very nearly as good as I’d hoped and believe me, I first saw this demonstrated 11 years ago; Dashboard, which is a neater and less buggy implementation than the almost-fantastic-but-actually-not-quite-right-in-a-way-that’s-hard-to-put-your-finger-on Konfabulator.

There’s the less obvious stuff that’s also delightful – being able to call up dictionary definitions pretty much anywhere, and that they’re really nicely typeset (no, I’m not joking); waaay faster window drawing, which makes application switching really fast; a QuickTime Player that finally feels like it belongs in X, rather than being a hold-over from the Mac OS 9 days.

Then there’s the under-the-hood stuff that normal users won’t notice – CoreData; Quartz2D Extreme; CoreImage; ContentEditable in WebKit; see John Siracusa’s excellent review for way more detail than you really want.

Finally there’s the really weird stuff, like the button bar in Mail (what were they thinking?!), the weirdly unfathomable behaviour of Spotlight searches in the Finder, and my finally realising just how slow laptop hard drives are compared to decent desktop units.

But all in, it feels like a solid upgrade that’s preparing the ground for things to come. Which is slightly unexpected, since Spotlight is such a big deal and Dashboard so whizzy I was half-expecting to see it as a ‘feature’ release. It is, and it’s worth getting for the new stuff alone. Heck, it’s worth getting for the performance improvements. But it’s really worth jumping on the bandwagon for all the stuff you won’t initially notice. There’s some unfeasibly cool stuff going on in Tiger, just beneath the surface.

I’m just hoping people work out what to do with it all.


Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. So, the whole point of taking it in was to dry it out, replace the water-damaged bits, fit new seals, and make sure it didn’t happen again. Imagine, dear reader, how dismayed I was to pick it up with the engine compartment full of water – again – and the cover soaked through and mouldy – still.

I’m now waiting for the right staff to come back in on Tuesday, then we shall see what they have to say for themselves. But it’s clearly a bit of a farce right now. Ugh.

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