posted by Eugenia Loli on Wed 15th Oct 2003 22:47 UTC

"Problems, Conclusion"
The Not so Good
First thing I did after I installed the latest version of OSX on my Cube was to set it up as an Airport Base Station. I find the process of doing so quite convoluted. It involves 3 different preference panels plus 1 application found on /Applications ("Internet Connect") and so you need to play around quite a lot until you figure out how to do it. At least, it doesn't require you to mess with the command line.

Another personal gripe I have is that I can't change the color of the Dock and I can't place apps beneath it without resorting to hacks (on my 12" Powerbook I want to have my Fire window underneath the Dock, as shown on my 10.2 Jaguar desktop. I always place the Dock on the sides, because most monitors are 4:3 or 16:9, which means that they are much wider horizontally, so this way I save screen space).

I would normally jump for joy at the new ability to apply AppleScripts to Finder's files and folders via the Action menu. It is a similar concept to BeOS' Tracker addons and Gnome's Nautilus scripts (not a coincidence, as both were implemented by Pavel Cisler, who is now working for Apple's Finder). However, I just can't figure out how to use them. I enabled the "Actions", I added some scripts in there, I right click and I only see options how to edit and remove these scripts and not how to APPLY them to the selected files/folder. Plus, my changes seem to only work for the specified selected folder or file and not across the board. I found this extremely frustrating, and I believe it is the one single new feature where Apple needs to refine the usability on how to set it up and use it. Until I can get this working, I have disabled Applescripts on my Finder.

And speaking about the Finder, it still has some bugs. Choosing "Clean Up" from the menu, it will mess up my icons and place them on top of each other on certain situations instead of actually... cleaning them up.

As I stated above, I love Safari. It is simple, cute, fast, does the job. However, I personally need two specific features:
1. CNTRL+Z (command+z) to undo a mistake that I might have done while typing fast on a textarea (it happens all the time when I am typing a post on OSNews or on Hotmail) and poof, all my text is gone inside that textarea, possibly by a shortcut I typed without me wanting to do so. I lose my whole text and there is no way to get it back, so an Undo or CNTRL+Z inside the textarea is most wanted.
2. I need a Windows Media Player plugin. Apple is touting Windows interoperability, but this is a sore spot right there. I usually need to view WMV video and movie trailers that happen to not be available as QuickTime or Real, but most of the time I wanna watch music video clips at launch.yahoo.com. I mean, I've got the Internet bandwidth, why not be able to enjoy Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Linkin Park videos as the average Windows user can at 300 kbps? :P

One of the biggest differences between Windows and Mac OS X, in my opinion, is that Microsoft always tries to retain as much compatibility with previous versions as possible while Apple doesn't. I noticed that with Jaguar and I noticed the same with Panther: about 10-20% of the third party applications just won't load anymore, or they will crash on load. I understand that this policy has dsitinct advantages, but that's a lot of incompatable apps (out of 7,000 available for OSX) and while most of these will be recompiled in the next few months by their authors, the inconvienience caused is already there.

Oh, and boo-hoo, my favorite background image on Jaguar (a blue-ish image with little fading rectangles) is apparently not included in 10.3.

I had no problems with stability (except a 'Grab.app' crash while taking these screenshots), but OSNews Publisher David Adams has had a hard crash about every three days while using Panther (7B85), caused by interactions with various applications.

Conclusion
To put a long story short, I love Panther. It has a few problems as I outlined above, but overall, this is a great update. It is a worthy operating system, easy to use, easy to set up, easy to get pleased by it. It just works. In my opinion, the only true desktop alternative to Windows is Mac OS X today, not Linux (not yet at least).

I highly recommend every Mac user to upgrade to Panther and I also recommend PC OSNews power users with some extra cash to spare consider buying either the juicy new 12" 1 GHz Powerbook (from $1599) or the older G4 1.25 GHz PowerMac (from $1299) which do come in very favorable prices (for Apple machines) for the amount of features they carry (in comparison to other Apple machines).

I wouldn't mind seeing an upgrade plan though. Users who have purchased Jaguar just last year, they should not be forced to pay the whole retail amount of $129 but an upgrade plan of about $50-60 bucks should be offered to them.

Installation: 10/10
Hardware Support: 8.5/10
Ease of use: 9/10
Features: 8.5/10
Credibility: 9/10 (stability, bugs, security)
Speed: 7.5/10 (throughput, UI responsiveness, latency)

Overall: 8.75

Related reading: Mac OS X Jaguar 10.2 review last year.

Table of contents
  1. "Installation, Goodies"
  2. "Wow, More Goodies"
  3. "Problems, Conclusion"
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