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My first review of Leopard

Saturday, October 27, 2007 by Dave Winer.

Update: "I want my white menubar back." Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named gumby.jpgFirst a little background. I stopped using a Mac in 1997, as Apple was transitioning to the new operating system. I started using the Mac again as my primary OS in late 2005, a little more than two years ago. This is the first new version of the OS to come out since I switched back. Permalink to this paragraph

Based on a tour of the new features, pretty late at the end of a long week, it's safe to say an OS is still just an OS, the purpose of the OS is to stay out of your way until you need it. Leopard may be prettier than the last version, I'm not sure it is or isn't. Not sure I'll use many of the new features. For people who hadn't used VNC before, "screen sharing" would certainly be a big new feature if they're working in a networked enviroment. And maybe the new backup code will fit into my routine. I have some ideas about that. (Maybe I'll just have one computer on my LAN that is backed up and copy things there if I want them backed up.) Permalink to this paragraph

File sharing is more convenient in Leopard, the shared computers are listed in every Finder window, and this is good. FInding the disks that are available on each of these computers is one step easier too.  Permalink to this paragraph

The Preferences applicaiton appears largely unchanged, except the Networking section where a lot of functionality seems to be missing. I have to look at this more closely. Permalink to this paragraph

The Download stack is lost on me since I don't use Safari or Apple's mail app. I would find it useful if Firefox had a similar feature (but they kind of do, I can direct all downloads to a specific folder).  Permalink to this paragraph

Update: The Download stack is just a folder, you can direct Firefox to download to it. I think I saw some Apple marketing on this feature that implied that only Apple apps could use it.  Permalink to this paragraph

All in all, changes to an OS aren't that important. The action is in the apps, and for me, just a couple of primary ones, the web browser and my integrated writing and programming environment. It's been quite a while since there have been meaningful improvements to either, and those improvements would end up meaning a lot more to me than improvements to the OS. Permalink to this paragraph

There isn't much you can do, after the Mac has been around for 23 years, that hasn't already been done.  Permalink to this paragraph

Net-net, my first impression of Leopard is that it isn't a big deal one way or the other.  Permalink to this paragraph

Matt Neuburg takes a dim view of the changes in Leopard.  Permalink to this paragraph

PS: I wonder if the next version of the OS will be called Leonard, to honor Leonard Rosenthal, a famous Mac developer in the 80s and 90s.  Permalink to this paragraph

© Copyright 1994-2007 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 10/27/07; 9:16:49 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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