Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 26th Oct 2007 05:36 UTC
Mac OS X "What's new in Leopard? A lot. From the unified interface (goodbye, brushed aluminum) to major under-the-hood changes, to wholly new apps, Leopard is a substantial, albeit evolutionary, advance for Mac OS X that builds on a solid foundation and adds a modicum of eye candy to reinforce the notion that this is something new and improved. It's also fast - especially impressive given the new graphics sprinkled throughout the OS."
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wallyd376
Member since:
2007-10-26

Before i get too far into this review, i just want to say this. I upgraded my 10.4.10 install of Tiger to Leopard 10.5 (gm) build 9a581) with all the excitement of a little boy on christmas morning, however, within two hours found myself backing up my personal files wiping the install, going back to tiger.. the reason, the dock. The OS is almost perfect. Yes there are little things that bugged me, but overall great.. but here is my BIG NOTE TO APPLE... we (the end users) do not like features being taken away from us... and your way is NOT always better.. So, before you creative professionals who need applications a mouse click away and people who like clean organized docks go upgrading.. you should read my review.. because everyone at all the major publications are paid well to blow smoke and reality distortion dust up everyones butt, i'm not.

Ok, that being said...

Icons: BAD: If you need them large in the sidebar, you may want to wait.
1.) The Icons are hideous compared to past version of mac os x. Mac os has been known from day one for beautiful 3d, realistic icons that have made other os's icons look like crap.. now for some reason in 10.5 apple took a step back an has gone to a flat, dull icon theme.. not really impressive. I can actually say.. vistas look better, and thats a sad comment. Also, on the icon rant, the icons in the sidebar of the finder can not be set to a larger size. The current "tiny" icons are hard to see and navigate, especially for children, elderly or people with special needs. That seems like a serious OS design flaw. There should really be an option for larger icons or at least they should automatically grow and resize when the sidebar divider is pulled out and made larger, they are just much too small.

Default Wallpaper: BAD: all i can say is.. who is the startrek fan at apple?
2.) The default wall paper is also apples most hideous offering to date. It makes me recall old lame redhat and caldera linux background from the early 90's.. The swirly 60's startrek theme is probably where steve jets his magic reality distortion dust from. It's just bad. Why not some new blackish variation on one of the many faces of the blue swishy background? Not we get.. "lame space" ! My suggestion is digging into the system/library folder on the root directory, finding the core services folder and replacing the file "DefaultDesktop.jpg" with something easier on the eyes. That picture file is the background shown when you start up your computer behind the login screen.. and i'm guessing.. because i haven't tried it.. the default background for time machine. But im not entirely sure on that one. I personally like something a little more solid and subtle that draws my attention to the windows and icons on the desktop.. this new default image screams so loud you can see anything but "space".

Finder + Coverflow: aka: Coverblow.. who cares..
3.) The finder itself is great as a whole, it's fast and does it's job well and the redesigned look matches the rest of the mac os x experience really well. The only drawback, as mentioned above, is that the icons in the sidebar can not be resized. The only other comment I would have about the finder, and this is probably shared by most people, is that quick look is a stupid eye-candy feature, and not really useful for anything other than browsing photo collections.. which i can easily do in iPhoto.. or apples pro application formats. As a graphics professional, i been through a few version of adobes bridge application and others like it in the past few years, and most people i know never use bridge or choose not to install it during the install process. The point being, the finder already previews file... images, pdfs, and a few other formats.. I would have wished apple would have ditched the whole quicklook thing in place of just getting the system to correctly preview illustrator, indesign, quark and other commonly used media files in the finder. Creative professionals: NO.. 10.5 still does not preview the most commonly used graphics formats.. even with the much talked about cover flow.. the issue is skirted and never answered directly by apple because they want you to upgrade.. so.. now you know..

4.) The dock... well what can I say.. absolutely unusable.
In the past, i would create a folder and place shortcuts to all of my applications in it and sort the shortcuts in folders, i could then drop the folder in the dock and with a simple right click have access to all of my applications from a organized menu and have a nice clean and tidy dock to boot. Now, enter the leopard dock.. I can still get a pop up, but a hate all of the real-estate it uses on the screen, also, from the pop ups, you only get one level.. so if you have a folder that contains another folder of shortcuts for example, you can only open the folder, not preview multiple levels.. Let me explain: I hate having a million icons in my dock.. my current tiger dock contains, from left to right, the finder icon, preview, mail and a firefox icon, then the spacer, a folder that contains all of my application icons, and then the trash icon. A total of six icons all together.. I like my dock really clean, small and out of the way. My icon folder contains several folders called adobe, internet, games, utilities etc.. and those folders contain all of my shortcuts.. a simple right click from the dock lets me access every application that i need without ever having to dig around in the finder or applications folder. This functionality has been completely removed. That drives me nuts.. Also, when folders are placed in the dock, they use the icon from the first file in the folder instead of the folders icon.. So your custom folder icons don't work anymore.. That makes the icons hard to figure out.. especially if the files in your folders change a lot.. who was in the HIG department at apple and what the hell drugs were they on. The dock at least needs some options that can be set by the user, like.. turn OFF stacks and grid or fan or.. what ever the hell it's called and let us be able to use the functionality of the old dock with the new look.

I think power users will be up in arms about the limited dock functionality.

Reply Score: 3

Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

One word: Quicksilver ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

or launchbar, or even spotlight. "power-users" don't use the dock.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Gorgak Member since:
2007-05-30

Please don't choose your operating system based on the look of icons and wallpapers. That's _such_ a small part of what you want an OS to do for you.

Reply Parent Score: 1

wallyd376 Member since:
2007-10-26

It really has nothing to do with icons or wall paper... it's usability issues.. Icons that are too small to see on 12" or 15" laptop displays (side bar icons) for people with poor vision, this is really a problem.. no matter what the icons look like.. also, apple has taken away basic user input methods with the new dock.. In the windows task bar (or kde for that matter).. you can click the menu and you get a pop up.. choose.. say..office.. and you get a fly-out menu.. you can keep going deeper into folder levels until you get to the application or file you need.. with the dock.. if you click a "stack".. if the stack contains folders.. you can not go deeper into folders from the dock.. it forces you to open the folder..

for some reason, apple is forcing "stacks" on the end user.. I could care less, but at least give the option to have a "list" view like previous docks. The crappy thing is, if you dig into the dock.app in the system, core services folder and view the contents of the dock.app.. i found that in the file dockmenu.string there is the option for "Fan, Grid and List!!".. except for some reason apple disabled this basic user input feature.. why?? I have folders full of application aliases sorted in folders by what they are.. internet apps, graphics apps, programing apps... etc.. and I have connected server mounts in my dock that all with a right click in tiger gave me a need menu with flyouts that i could quickly search for files without having to open a single window.. I can't do this now in leopard.

No not icons and wall paper issues or even 3d eye candy. i could care less about that.. it's apples microsoftish approach of guiding us towards the "stacks" technology" while breaking something that worked just fine. if it ain't broke dont fix it.. feel free to improve it.. just don't break it.. Apple broke an essential system function in the dock.. and from the reviews on almost every forum.. people HATE the way the dock works now.. and im not talking about the major sites like macworld and stuff that are paid to basically blow smoke up apple ass.. hit macosxhints or google tinker tool or onyx.. everyone is requesting hacks to fix the dock's crippled functionality so it can actually be used in a work or production environment.. In my field, time is critical and money isn't free.. so shelling out for 3rd party apps to do some basic thing like menu navigation of more than one level is ridiculous. I don't have time to be digging through folders for things, and i sure don't have room or the vision for a dock with ton of icons in it..

Reply Parent Score: 1