I was able to try out and preview Mac OS X Panther 10.3 for the past few months after WWDC and for the last few days I am running a latest version. So, what to expect from Mac OS X when it comes out on the evening of October 24th? Come in and have a look in this preview article. Update: screenshots removed at request of Apple.
The installation procedure hasn’t changed, but now it requires the two first CDs and if you want extra things (e.g. X11), you will need to have ready your third CD as well. I installed clean on both my Macs, because upgrading wouldn’t work on my 12″ Powerbook (Jaguar “had errors” the installation was insisting). That was not a big deal for me as I don’t have any important data on my Macs, but it may be troublesome for people who who are trying to install on their primary machine. The default filesystem used is Journal-enabled (thank Dominic Giampaolo, filesystem god, of ex-SGI, ex-BeOS and ex-QNX fame, for that).
The biggest new feature on Mac OS X, according to Apple, is the new Metal-looking, multi-threaded Finder (re-written from scratch). The user now has handy shortcuts on the left side of any Finder window, shortcuts that lead to folders, other computers, media, disk images etc. You can also label files and folders according to their importance so you can easily spot them with a simple glance at the screen. Additionally, when double-clicking apps to load, a nice effect will zoom in and fade the icon’s application, giving the user a smooth launch feedback feeling.
Exposé is indeed the coolest new trick we’ve seen lately on any OS, making the usage of virtual screens less needed (however, I will still keep my handy CodeTek VirtualDesktop utility). Using the keyboard+mouse, F9-F11 keys or “hot corners”, you can trigger the OS to display your open windows in one large view. The effect is like a big bang, with each window shrinking in size and moving outward until they’re all on one plane. You can then select which one you would like to re-appear on top. It’s configurable to “expose” all windows, just applications, or just move everything out of the way for a clear view of the desktop. It would be great if Apple would add mouse gestures for Exposé though, because reaching for the F-keys all the time isn’t convenient (and I dislike hot corners). The hot corners feature can result in accidentally engaging Exposé, which can be a jarring experience.
iChat AV is a useful AIM clone and if you happen to have an iSight (as I do), it makes it even cooler and more useful, as the iSight enables the videoconferenciing feature. Picture quality with iSight is marvelous, however I would have liked iMovie to recognize the camera as Firewire DV camera (which is what it is). Personally, most of the time I use Fire instead of iChat because I also need MSN, Y! and ICQ support. I hope Apple considers adding these popular formats to iChat (if that’s possible, license-wise) as that way it will see many more “switchers” from Fire or Proteus to iChat.
Fast User Switching’ is here too and it allows you to change users without logging out of your applications (by using another cool looking QuartzExtreme-powered special effect). This is a great little feature for families or people who share the same computer. I would have prefered the option to have a small 16×16 icon on the menu bar that clicking it would drop down the list of users, instead of displaying my full name on the menu bar. Even on 1280×1024, it does not leave enough screen space for some demanding apps that span across 12-14 menu items. It’s bad enough for my name, but I imagine that someone with a full name like Alejandra Francesca Rodriguez López de Medina won’t be happy at all to see that on her 1024×768 iBook or iMac… I filed a usability bug report with Apple a few months ago about this, and the reply was “this feature is working as intended”. Right.
An updated Mail.app brings threading and will filters spam pretty efficiently. An updated Preview application renders and searches through PDFs much faster than previous versions, while the new utility named Font Book fills in a much-needed functionality hole in OS X, allowing you to organize and install/remove Fonts from the system. Another new addition is FileVault: you can secure your documents with AES-128 encryption. Though I don’t think I will personally ever need this feature, I am glad it is there. Safari is now at version 1.1 and cookies seem to work much better now. Internet Explorer 5.2 is also included, and as much as I like IE on Windows, I despise its “forgotten” Mac version. It is Safari all the way for me now, as it is indeed the fastest-scrolling/resizing (and possibly rendering) browser on the Mac platform today.
Interoperability with Windows is even better now. Samba seems to work really well. There is Exchange support, and VPN access to Windows networks is there too. On the third disk you will also find a package with support for Common Access Cards.
Interoperability with traditional Unix is also upgraded with the inclusion of XFree 4.3. I was able to run Gnome and KDE in a Mac OS X window (via Xnest — slower than the rootless X11, because Xnest doesn’t support fontconfig) or directly on the rootless X11/MacOSX shared desktop, or on a “virtual” desktop running in full screen mode on top of OSX. Good stuff, though too bad that ‘xclock’ won’t load though for some reason.
The preference panel has been re-worked a bit, the OS now has much better Bluetooth support, more printer and scanner drivers, USB 2 support, support to setup your Mac as a Remote Desktop Client, telnet/ftp/personal server abilities, print and internet connection sharing and much more, easy to setup and use via the preference panels. TextEdit can now read .doc files.
The UI has also seen a refinement. Widgets and windows are all clean-looking. I like the new tabs (they look like buttons now), I like the new tab views, the lesser trasparency in the menus, the loss of these (ugly on LCDs) horizontal lines on window backgrounds etc. If you are using a metal application and you invoke an alert or an “attached” child window on the master window, the effect of the way the child window pops up out is impressive (see it on Path Finder 3.x as well when you tell it to customize its toolbar). Overall, Apple did a wonderful job on the UI again. However, Java applications have not been updated to use the new look. They are in fact still using the same look as in MacOSX 10.1 (Jaguar 10.2 also had a UI refinement), and needless to say, they look out of place, even if Apple has the best-looking and most integrated Java apps on the planet.
Developers will feel at home with the new developer tools Apple is offering, XCode. By using clever tricks like distributed builds, zero linking, ‘fix and continue’ (an SGI innovation some years ago), code completion, fast search, predictive compilation etc. Apple is now able to offer truly competitive tools that should bring new development houses in the Mac platform and enrich it with more applications.
Other new features on OSX include a more automatic iDisk for .Mac users, better text-to-speech quality (still sub-par, though, compared to some specialized solutions I saw a few months ago), better font rendering, updated Address Book with new features, updated iSync and iCal and many more changes under the hood. Oh, I should not forget that the mouse acceleration and speed has been worked out and now we get much faster motion by the input devices. Personally, I would upgrade for just that feature alone as it has given me grief in the past.
Last but not least is Panther’s speed. Users with older Mac computers (like my G4 Cube 450 Mhz) will welcome the overall new speed levels and UI responsiveness. File operations seem faster now (e.g. unarchiving, moving files from disk images to your drive etc), launch times are much better, scrolling is better too. While UI responsiveness is still not as good as in Windows XP or other OSes because of the technologies used for Cocoa/Carbon apps, the OS is fully usable and it won’t be a problem for most users. Applications that don’t use Cocoa or Carbon (e.g. X11 apps) resize and scroll extremely fast, which means that the OS’ speed is not the limitation, but the advanced techniques used on Cocoa/Carbon apps (e.g. proper non-flicker algorithms, PDF engine etc). And that’s a good thing overall. It is a give and take kind of thing: you sacrifice some UI responsiveness and you get a headache-free and good looking modern desktop.
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? 😛
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.
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.
Hardware Support: 8.5/10
Ease of use: 9/10
Credibility: 9/10 (stability, bugs, security)
Speed: 7.5/10 (throughput, UI responsiveness, latency)
Related reading: Mac OS X Jaguar 10.2 review last year.
Eugenia … is X11 now included in the default install. Also, what do you call it when you launched the Gnome Desktop, is this equilavent to ‘vmware’ or is it actually a true gnome desktop running on top of Aqua.
They do have ‘somewhat’ and upgrade path. I qualified for the up-to-date program, since I got a PowerBook 15″ 1.25. I bought it before their Oct. 8th cut off, but apparently they have updated there update to include all new PowerBooks and G5s. Also any system purchased after Oct 8th now qualify as well. Good for new system owners but I do have to agree for existing users somehow getting some sort of discount would be good.
>is X11 now included in the default install.
It is included in the third CD, but it is not installed by default. During installation you have to tick its checkbox that you want it installed.
> when you launched the Gnome Desktop, is this equilavent to ‘vmware’ or is it actually a true gnome desktop running on top of Aqua.
Haha, none of the two.
It is running on my Slackware machine and then I redirect its display over the network, so instead of loads Gnome on the Slackware X server, it loads it on OSX’s. And as you can see, I use “Xnest”, which is a progam that will allow you to have Gnome/KDE/etc running on a window instead of taking over MacOSX’s rootless X11 desktop. I can understand your confusion though, it is pretty confusing for most.
>They do have ‘somewhat’ and upgrade path.
That’s not a real upgrade policy. It is a “favor” for those who purchased the machine on the month that the new OS came out.
I am going to buy a 15″ powerbook…yes I am (don’t tell my wife )
My question: I do not want to dual boot, as I see no need for it anymore. However, what do you think is the prefered setup for running both OSX and Linux
a. Yellowdog with Mac-on-Linux
b. OSX running Yellowdog via Xnest or someother method.
As I see it, b will give me more hardware compatability, but A is the far geekier solution….
Any input would be much appreciated.
>OSX running Yellowdog via Xnest or someother method.
This can not be done on the same machine. It requires the Xnest to run on a different machine. YellowDog needs to be running, not to just be mounted.
>Yellowdog with Mac-on-Linux
Slower than the real experience. It is handy if you need to be under Linux to do some work, but if you don’t need to use Linux, better run OSX natively.
As always, Eugenia provides a very thorough review, analysing most of the pro’s and con’s. Reviews like this make it worthwile visiting OSNews every day (multiple times a day, in fact). Thanks
So, is there a way to run OSX and run Linux from within OSX on the same machine?
What other options do I have?
As usual, you are very thorough and very honest, which is the hallmark of a good review writer.
BTW, from watching the videos Apple put up of some of the WWDC conference sessions, it seemed like Apple was making backwards compatibility a very high priority in Panther. However, you’re finding that some apps are incompatible with Panther or at least seem to be (they just crash). This is upsetting, though I imagine most legit developers are already compiling updates of their software for Panther. Still, I wish that Apple at this stage in OS X’s evolution could manage the upgrade process a little better.
Panther overall sounds like an awesome upgrade, and I look forward to using it.
>So, is there a way to run OSX and run Linux from within OSX on the same machine?
1. You need a PC emulator, like Connectix
2. You need another machine running on your home network and connect to it (a I do).
I suggest that you have OSX running and then load whatever linux apps you need since most require just can actually compile on your mac; plus apple added linux apis onto their system… x11 (at least the betas i tried on jaguar) is not a vmware solution… the apps are actually running on your computer…
if you install yellowdog, you can get all the mac apps you want on their via Mac-on-Linux but that aint exactly best for speed…
i suggest you try out OSX and then if you dont like, just install yellowdog…
no harm done there
I am going to buy a 15″ powerbook…yes I am (don’t tell my wife )
<< My question: I do not want to dual boot, as I see no need for it anymore. However, what do you think is the prefered setup for running both OSX and Linux
a. Yellowdog with Mac-on-Linux
b. OSX running Yellowdog via Xnest or someother method.
As I see it, b will give me more hardware compatability, but A is the far geekier solution….
Any input would be much appreciated. >>
Neither one is particularly geeky, I have a 15 that I run Yellowdog with MOL and GNU Darwin PPC under a dual boot. The only machine really not supported by YDL is the 17 inch Powerbook. Hardware compatibility with Linux in general is pretty well improved now, I have several x86 and PowerPC boxes with SuSE x86 and YDL PPC and all te hardware is picked up out of box. The only hardware issue I did have was with my iPod with Linux but that has changed with gtkpod
GTKPod works very well with the iPod and yes it will compile on YDL, But if you have to access the Apple Music Store or you just cant live without iTunes, MOL will allow you to interface your iPod with Mac OS X and iPod performance under MOL is pretty good.
Why would you need to run Linux on a Mac? I’m just curious. I have tried running YDL on my iBook and it was fun to play with But I would much rather run Linux on a Wintel Box (they’re still useful for somethings). Mac OS X is BSD based and can probably do all the same stuf that you would want with Linux. You can even load fink on it and do an apt-get install ‘yourfavoriteprogram’.
Is that new tabs in this screenshot at http://img.osnews.com/img/4832/panther3.jpg (Settings, File Exchange and Devices)?
Another thing that I just noticed that it has only two button of scrollbar in the bottom. I personal would rather to have it both at the top and bottom. Did this changed in the new MacOS X or it’s always that way? I had to ask, because I never own any Apple product. 🙂
>Is that new tabs in this screenshot
>Did this changed in the new MacOS X or it’s always that way?
>>Is that new tabs in this screenshot
That’s pretty awsome look, I like it!
Mostly cuz I really, really like Linux. I like the feel of it, the look of it (I am one of those people that tweak the ever loving crap out of their WM) and the apps. Now, if I can get all my GTK+, QT+ and Python apps running on OSX, maybe I will not have a need for it. Time will tell.
” Another thing that I just noticed that it has only two button of scrollbar in the bottom. I personal would rather to have it both at the top and bottom. Did this changed in the new MacOS X or it’s always that way? I had to ask, because I never own any Apple product. :-)”
TinkerTool lets you choose.
1. What is the memory consumption like?
2. For your installation, how much space does it took?
You can add double scroll tabs with this app and much more.
>1. What is the memory consumption like?
Same as before I would think as Apple still continue to sell computers with 128 MB minimum (eMac, iBook low end models).
>2. For your installation, how much space does it took?
3 GB I think (out of a 40 GB disk).
double scroll ‘buttons’, I meant to say. oops. 🙂
Why must you taunt me so with your articles on OSX? I think that OSX is one of the best operating systems I’ve ever used and wanna use it on a regular basis so badly, but that damn hardware is so out of reach. I’m the kind of guy that buys a new PC bit by bit (Since I don’t have the willpower to save up a lump sum), and I just can’t do that with a mac. Ah well… someday.
Panther isn’t out yet but I can vouch for Jaguar.. I’ve already installed Ethereal (GUI version), nmap (front end), Gaim, KDE, Nessus, netrek, xpilot, and a bunch of others.. As long as the X11 environment is launched, these run natively under OSX with a recompile from source code. OSX has Apache, perl, PHP, java .. CUPS, SSH, FTP, it’s all built-in (all of by default of course for security). You can install most anything on it that’s open source
For my pre-order of Panther to arrive (hopefully on 10/24, like the Apple store said)! I purchased the 5-license package and plan on upgrading both mine and my wife’s iMac.
Great review, Eugenia, lots of good information, with a nice smattering of screen shots. I particularly like the shots of Xnest. I usually run X11 rootless, and connect to my Linux PC to run apps like OpenOffice.org (it runs MUCH faster under Linux on my PC). Does Xnest come with Panther, or did you get that from somewhere’s else?
Xnest comes with Panther’s X11.
What I do is open two xterms, I ssh into my Unix or Linux box from one of the Mac OS X xterms (e.g. ssh firstname.lastname@example.org, make sure that SSHd is running on your Linux/unix machine), tell it that the $DISPLAY is the ip address of the mac, for example:
export DISPLAY=10.0.0.13:0.0 (for rootless X server)
export DISPLAY=10.0.0.13:1.0 (for Xnest – in a window)
and then on my *local* MacOSX xterm terminal (not the ssh’ed one) I tell it to:
Xnest :1 -name “Gnome” +kb -ac -geometry 800×600 &
and then on my SSH’ed terminal I tell it to:
And that’s it, Gnome will load on Mac OS X.
You can also do “startkde” or “startxfce4” or “wmaker” to load other window managers, instead of “gnome-session”.
I’m happy to see the note about mouse speed issues being resolved (I hate mouse speeds in OS X). But what about other problems? Such as the Finer not updating the desktop contents without having focus? Or FAT floppy problems? Keychain annoyances? Terminal problems with file/folder case and space name issues? Removing developer tools once installed without logging in as Root? Etc…
You can set the Expose button to be a mouse button. Works great with the side button on my logitech mouse.
Oh, I meant you can set it to a mouse button without doing anything funky. Like mapping the side button to alt-control-F12 or whatever.
In my honest opinion, the new finder feature of colored labels is very a great idea, but I think their implementation is lacking. The labels are too in your face. I think they should have went with a single colored label instead of the label with multiple gradients or whatever you want to call it. Personally I love the idea of icons on icons that Nautilus has had for a while, but their implementation is lacking in some respects as well. Just my .02 cents.
>Such as the Finer not updating the desktop contents without having focus?
This is a new Finder, I didn’t notice this problem.
>Or FAT floppy problems?
Sorry, no floppy drives here.
It seems to remember my passwords to my Samba much better now.
> Terminal problems with file/folder case and space name issues?
Use Xterm baby!
> Removing developer tools once installed without logging in as Root?
I never seen this one…
>You can set the Expose button to be a mouse button.
I need my mouse buttons for other things…
because shopping around for laptops, after looking at dell, toshiba, compaq, checking out the prices at Sam’s Club, etc etc etc.
I found the prospects rather blah.
I like the fujitsu lifebook 2120…that could be a go.
but with a 12″ powerbook, or hell even the 12″ ibook, it’s just a sharp looking/light/efficient piece of machinery.
I can run my linux stuff(I’m a sysadmin), and the bonus is that I can boot into OS X and play.
I happen to like FreeBSD, and OS X is intriguing.
how’s that for an answer?
“because I can”
Linux on your Apple laptop is a good idea because you can run console with framebuffer and switch back to X when necessary. Does panther offer switching dynamically between console and Aqua anybody (Eugenia)? Plus you can use mac on linux to run OS X.
> Does panther offer switching dynamically between console and Aqua anybody (Eugenia)?
No. You need to login as “> console” as your username in order to go to command line in framebuffer mode. From the moment you enter Aqua, there is no turning back. Aqua is pretty integrated to the system and there is no in-and-out of it.
> > Removing developer tools once installed without logging in as Root?
> I never seen this one…
I think he’s referring to uninstalling WebObjects developer tools?
I read what he said about using Grab for the screenshots…and had to poke through to utilities and try it out.
It does do that, but, may i suggest the never crash, no problem
<command><shift>3 for full screen
<command><shift>4 for selection
<command><shift>4 , then space, for selecting individual windows
no other app necessary, straight out of the finder, works in any app.
Isn’t it funny that Mac OS lovers have had to buy Mac OS X three times and only now will they get back the colored label feature that arrived in, I think, OS 8. Then there was the spring loaded folders which didn’t come back till Jaguar, right? (These are some reasons why some people, like me, considered OS X a bit of a downgrade in places) Plus, it isn’t as elegant as it was. I like that the filename field can be colored, but, to quote someone here, it looks a bit “in your face” and what ever happened to the color casts on the icons?
I also do not like these new tabs. They aren’t very clearly designed. Which tab is the current one? The lighter one? the darker one? Sure it is more obvious when you have more than two tabs, but what about when you only have two? There needs to be more visual association between the tab and the page of content it connects to.
Which apps are crashing for you? Are they haxies etc… that weren’t guaranteed to run by Apple, or something like Word. I think it’s quite a different situation, and shouldn’t be extrapolated to all apps (i.e., 10-20% of all apps crash, or 10-20% of the quirky utilities on one system…)
Very thourough, and touched on all the points I would have liked.
Panther looks really impressive, If I had a mac, I wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade.
I especially like Expose, if only for the eye candy.
> Which tab is the current one? The lighter one? the darker one?
The darker one. The screenshot does NOT have focus on the window itself, that’s why you don’t see the *blue* color on the selected tab. Mac OS X with Panther has brought a new UI feature: to completely “unfocus” widgets when the window is not on focus, not just the window manager, as all other OSes do.
The new tabs do make sense UI wise, because tabs, are in effect, buttons.
> Isn’t it funny that Mac OS lovers have had to buy Mac OS X three times and only now will they get back the colored label feature that arrived in, I think, OS 8.
That’s flamebaiting and unfair Jace. When you rewrite the whole file manager from scratch, there is no way you can have all features at once as before. Finder is not at all the same file manager as OS8/9 was.
I think he’s referring to uninstalling WebObjects developer tools?
Nope. I don’t even know what WebObjects is. What I’m referring to is the developer stuff that comes with OS X on the Developer CD. I installed it to see if I could compile CUPS. Once I found that to be a total waste of time and effort, I went to remove the developer stuff; no one using our Mac wanted or needed it. Tough luck. There’s no uninstall process and I have to log in as root to trash any of it (and how much do you want to bet it isn’t as simple as trashing the Developer folder?). Yeah, that’s really user friendly, Apple.
I begin to wonder if Apple has any people left from the old days of designing things in a user oriented way.
While the Developer tools don’t get installed by default, they ARE part of the system. From the moment someone installs them, it will have to be for a pretty good reason, so I don’t see any reason to uninstall them. And if you want to add fink and stuff, or develop for Qt, you need them.
You mean this….
Works as advertised pretty well. 🙂
I’d love to own a new Mac running OSX. My brother has two Macs; at least one’s a dual G4 I think and the other’s a laptop. I’m tired of fighting Windows, and I’m tired of Linux being so fiddly… One day!!!
iSight is just a FireWire cam. Being DV takes some more brains in the device.
I have a few other Video grabbing apps that just query the OS to see if any video cameras are plugged in and *recognize* the iSight as simple DV video and they import it fine! I am sure that doing so for iMovie would be easy too, but it ain’t.
Microsoft’s web site says that a Mac version of Windows Media Player 9 is “coming soon” (the current version is the equivalent of WMP 7). While I’m not hopeful they’re going to make it a true plugin for Safari, at least it should be possible to play the content.
I noticed an app running in your lower-right corner of the screen that I hadn’t seen before, but reminded me an awful lot of the Workspaces in BeOS. Is this a new Panther feature, or just some app that I have overlooked?
I would like to say that is is possible to assign Expose actions to the extra buttons of a multi-button mouse, unlike Eugena said in his review.
And personnaly i would have given a 8 or 8.5 mark for the speed of Panther, because its really fast now, even on old configurations, not to mention that on newer machines (i would give 9 in this case), it is as fast as windowsxp but with a much, much advanced windowing system. 7.5 is really unfair….
And the finder has not yet been re-written form the scratch, as said, but it still a Carbon application. The revolution of the Cocoa Finder will come later…..
I didn’t like Aqua at first, but it really grew on me after awhile, and I really came to like it. Now, Apple goes and butchers it! First they introduce metal, now they get rid of the window-stripes and make tabs look like buttons? Where will it end?
“I’d love to own a new Mac running OSX. My brother has two Macs; at least one’s a dual G4 I think and the other’s a laptop. I’m tired of fighting Windows, and I’m tired of Linux being so fiddly… One day!!!”
I just was given a stock 450MHz G4 powermac (sawtooth) and it runs OS X 10.2 and I have to say it’s quite fast and very useable. I love it. You can probably find something like this for a few hundred bucks on the web.
>Is this a new Panther feature, or just some app that I have overlooked?
It is an app that I link from the review: http://www.codetek.com
>Where will it end?
Nowhere. UI design is an alive process, it changes and it gets better with time.
Eugenia, may I please know where can I download the BitStream Vera fonts for Linux like the ones shown in your KDE screenshots?
> While I’m not hopeful they’re going to make it a true plugin for Safari, at least it should be possible to play the content.
Not on launch.yahoo.com though. It requires the plugin to popup the window and redirect you to the real wmv file.
I have not tried it yet, but on Macslash, they have linked to the story and some one made a comment about your complaint about undo in safari to which there was a responce “how about command z”
does that work?
No, it doesn’t.
When you open a terminal does it default to C shell or BASH cause I remember reading somewhere Apple was going to make BASH the default shell?
I think it is still csh, I am not sure (easy to change though . I know that the xterms open bash though, which are the ones I mostly use.
One of the screenshots shows Gnome and the version of Mac OS X (10.3) with a G4 867 mhz w/ 640 RAM.
– Is this cpu and RAM enough for a confortable, not annoying, user experience with the Panther “update” ?
(I am about to buy an eMac (CRT display) to try OS X but can’t decide on the 1 Ghz or the modest 800 Mhz. If ypou happen to know which VGA card your “Cube” uses (ATI ?) would be good to know too)
I just received my dual G4 from the Apple Store yesterday, but it has an order date of October 2, so I don’t qualify for the upgrade.
>- Is this cpu and RAM enough for a confortable, not annoying, user experience with the Panther “update” ?
Yes, it works well. I also run OSX Panther on a G4 450 Mhz and while it is a bit slower responsiveness, it is _still_ absolutely usable.
>If ypou happen to know which VGA card your “Cube” uses (ATI ?) would be good to know too)
It used to have an ATi Rage 16 MB, but a good fairy gave me a GeForce 2 MX 32 MB AGP which supports QuartzExtreme.
>I am about to buy an eMac (CRT display) to try OS X but can’t decide on the 1 Ghz or the modest 800 Mhz.
As I advise on the article itself, you better buy the 1.25 GHz G4 PowerMac. This powermac is way faster than any of these eMacs (because it has much more cache, not just becasue of the Mhz difference) and it is expandable. And for $1300, is a bargain. The same machine costed more than $2,300 just a few months ago, but the price was slashed because of the G5 arrival. If you are a power user and you don’t have the money to get a 12″ Powerbook ($1600), get that PowerMac G4 instead.
“If you are a power user and you don’t have the money to get a 12″ Powerbook ($1600), get that PowerMac G4 instead.”
And if you did have the $1600, I’d encourage you to consider the dual 1.25GHz PowerMac G4 rather than the 12″ PB…
Can you kill a process like the Dock from the Process Viewer? Or can you relaunch the Dock from Force Quit in the same way that you can relaunch the Finder on Jaguar?
Well, depends if you need a laptop or a desktop. If you need a desktop, get that G4 PowerMac, if you need a laptop, get the 12″ powerbook. These are the best options for *power users*, cause eMac/iMac or iBooks are consumer products with more limited expandability/speed as opposed to power-user hardware.
Speaking of speed…
I was quite comfortable with a laptop that recently broke- it was a 1ghz PC with 512mb RAM. It wasn’t a barn burner or anythng, but it booted quickly, was responsive, and compile times didn’t seem to take too long. Can someone with experience with both PC and Apple computers recommend a computer that is roughly equivalent?
And how does Xcode compare (feature wise) with the newest VS.NET? I love autocomplete… I have briefly scanned the xcode website, but doesn’t see that particularly mentioned.
PS: Eugenia: the screenshots are gorgeous.
Yes, you can force quit Dock and then it re-loads automatically by itself.
I see code completion mentioned now, don’t know how I missed it earlier. Still curious about how it compares to VS.NET and the equivalent Apple processor speed (roughly of course).
I don’t know, cause I have .NET on a very old Celeron 533 machine, while XCode runs on a much faster CPU with more cache.
You never mentioned whether or not the version you were using ever crashed. Did this release of Jaguar every crash to the point of no return?
Only the betas did, when my firewire iSight was not on while booting. The latest versions work fine with no crashings for me. If you actually read the article, you will see that I do speak of stability.
>It would be great if Apple would add mouse gestures for Exposé though
FYI: No gestures but you can already assign Exposé functions to mouse buttons with or without modifiers. I’ve assigned the middle button on my LogiTech mouse to the All Apps function, COMMAND-middle button to Current App and OPTION-middle button to Desktop and it works great.
>I just noticed that it has only two button of scrollbar in the bottom.
>I personal would rather to have it both at the top and bottom.
Both at the bottom is the default but there is a hidden preference to put them in both places. Look for the freeware TinkerTool app from MacUpdates.com or VersionTracker.com.
From your article:
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.
Folder Actions have been around for many years on the Mac as far back as Mac OS 8.5. Far outdating Gnome or BeOS’s features and they were in Jaguar as well. What has been added is a better UI for adding scripts to the library folder directories and for attaching those scripts to specific folders. Knowing that, the fact that Mr. Cisler implemented something very much like them for Gnome and BeOS, is more likely that he saw Folder Actions on the Mac and added them to those OS’s.
Folder Actions are special AppleScripts that you can attach to individual folders. To do so, choose a folder and cntrl-click on that folder and in the context sensitive menu you will see an option to attach a folder action. The folder actions that you can add are those scripts that are in the folder that you were referening to in your article. The GUI you saw was to allow you to add scripts you wrote that were in some folder in the file system to the standard folder where Folder Action scripts should be stored. You can take any script (as long as it supports the folder actions protocols) and put it into the “folder actions” folder(s).
Anyway, you can read about Folder actions in the online help as well as about AppleScript in the online help.
If you want to add the same folder action to multiple folders, you can do it by hand or (low and behold) by scripting the Finder itself. You can get a list of the folders and attach folder actions to them via writing an AppleScript to do it. Again this is talked about in the documentation.
Hope this helps….
Good review, Eugenia. I appreciate reviews like yours as I debate with my pocket book about getting Panther now, or later.
I would like to offer my 2 cents on your comment about the differences in backwards compatibility of third party apps for Mac OS X vs Windows.
[quote]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.[/quote]
This is true to some extent but let me add more to the story. I think Apple is particularly protective of their UI and cares very little about “breaking” apps (or “hacks”) that mess with it. However, when it comes to applications in the most strict sense, those like the word processors and media editors etc Apple far exceeds Windows in backwards compatibility, speaking from my experience on both platforms. For example, I still run CricketGraph 1 on my OS 10.2.8! That app was written for System 6, 68K macs, survived unchanged to run on the original PPCs and now is running on the G4 processors through every incarnation of OS X. Now that is backwards compatibility! Sure it is lame to run apps in “classic” mode on OS X, but at least Apple provided the option while pushing the OS forward. The only major app I had that broke through any hardware or software migration by Apple was VirtualPC 2, which did not survive the OS 9 to X transition, but was updated by Connectix with an OS X native version. I think if you look at how many apps survived the transitions between Windows 1, 3, 95, 98, 2000 etc without requiring patches and overhauls by the developers you will see a very different story than your statement implied.
But you may have unwittingly hit on a fundamental difference between Apple and Microsoft’s OS development approach. Apple is making huge improvements in the under-appreciated system core to make the OS faster and more reliable with every release, having the unfortunate side effect of keeping certain developers on their toes to keep up with the changes/improvements while Microsoft is uninterested in doing the under-appreciated hard work of improving their OSs core, instead keeps adding more bloat/features with each slower running release of Windows. Personally, I prefer Apple’s approach even if it means I have to go without my favorite interface hack for a week out of the year (which actually did happen to me once, TinkerTool needed some work to go 10.1 to 10.2.)
Anyhow, as you say, this is just in my opinion! Once again, thanks for a great review that considered important improvements and problems with Panther that I will certainly be adding to my mental score sheet before plunking down the cash.
Wonderful article, Eugenia. I’ll always have fond memories of you and BeOS.
How do Exposé and user-switching transitions work on dual monitors? Has any one seen?
Does anyone other than me feel that the new ‘tabs’ are not only ugly be confusing. They don’t seem to me to be represtative that another panel/screen is available by selecting the new tab
“Such as the Finer not updating the desktop contents without having focus?”
This is a new Finder, I didn’t notice this problem.
If finder has been written from the ground up, as you say, it is highly likely that they’ve utilised kqueue which they have added.
Also, another cool this is that you no longer need to install the poll emulator! yeah!
Nice review. Thank you.
I’m running 10.2.8 on my 500 MHz G3 Powerbook (256 MB) and it’s responsive enough for me. The Panther speed improvements will be gravy.
I really like PB and IB. Can’t wait to see Xcode.
> How do Exposé and user-switching transitions work on dual monitors? Has any one seen?
Oooh. Good question. I’m on a dual-monitor setup myself and curious too. Exposé is gonna rock.
I am also running 7B85 on my iBook, 800MHz. As far as I can tell, with Panther it is the fastest iBook I have ever used :-).
The “new” Finder does not implement kqueue. You have to click onto the desktop to have it redraw the actual content. Also sometimes the “new” Finder won’ t show mounted CD-Roms on my desktop. The only solution to this is to restart it (at least that is what I found out).
I’d like to echo previous comments about grabbing a new Power Mac G4. The Single or Dual 1.25Ghz now available from the Apple store are most certainly good purchases. OTOH, if you happen to be lucky enough to find a Pre-July G4 (the FW800 models) then you should grab it instead. They feature FireWire 800 and Airport Extreme, something the current G4’s do not. I just grabbed a Power Mac G4 Dual 1.42Ghz for $1999. Not only does it wipe the floor with the G5 1.6 (and come with more mem and HD space) but edges out the 1.8, as well, in many tasks.
Check places like smalldog.com for late model units.
I just checked the Terminal with “echo $0” and it says that’s Bash. So, no csh anymore by default.
I’ve owned my Powerbook for over six months and have never ever used OS 9. When we install Panther, do they give us the option to obliterate OS 9?
There is no OS9 installed when you install OSX 10.3. If you want OS 9, you need to have its CD and install it manually later atop.
Has tab navigation been fixed so that tabbing in a form filled with fields doesn’t cause any fields with drop-down lists to be skipped? This is my biggest pet peeve with OSX so far. E.g., if I’m filling in my name and address in a form with fields, my hands are on the keyboard happily tabbing from one field to the next. When I’ve filled in my street address, then tab to City, then tab to the State field, oops, it skips right over the State field, at which point I’m forced to take my hands off the keyboard and use the mouse to scroll down the list till I come to my state.
Windows is much, much smarter and user-friendly in this regard. When I tab to the State field there, a list of states drops down, and I can press a letter to take me to the place in the list that has the name of the first state that starts with that letter. I don’t have to use the mouse at all. Please tell me Panther has fixed this mess. Thanks.
Concerning folder actions, I think that you don’t understand the idea. I don’t know BeOS nor Linux (I’m a pure Mac guy but I assume that the MacOS implementation does not follow the same logic.
You say “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”.
You cannot apply scripts to selected items: attached folder actions scripts are automatically applied by the OS when you perform the following operations: open/clode/move the folder or add/remove files into/from the folder.
You can thus use folder actions for example to automatically send a file by email to some recipient just by dropping this file on a folder.
You should now also understand while actions are specific to a folder and does not apply across the board.
You can have a look here for more information:
Hope it will help.
To complete my previous message, you should know that you can do what you thought folder actions were supposed to do by adding the Apple’s script menu
Now, you can apply scripts to selected Finder’s items
I have serious doubts as to whether the new Finder was written from “scratch”. To begin with, by all reports the new Finder is still a Carbon application. I see absolutely no reason why Apple would have used Carbon over Cocoa for something like the OS X finder, considering portability back to OS 9 would certainly not be an issue. Second, it sounds as if kqueues are not being fully utilized for filesystem event notification (although they probably are for the search feature)
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. For those of you who read Joel on Software he has written some excellent articles on refactoring versus rewriting:
Here’s a pertinent portion of the first article:
“Before Borland’s new spreadsheet for Windows shipped, Philippe Kahn, the colorful founder of Borland, was quoted a lot in the press bragging about how Quattro Pro would be much better than Microsoft Excel, because it was written from scratch. All new source code! As if source code rusted.
The idea that new code is better than old is patently absurd. Old code has been used. It has been tested. Lots of bugs have been found, and they’ve been fixed. There’s nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t acquire bugs just by sitting around on your hard drive. Au contraire, baby! Is software supposed to be like an old Dodge Dart, that rusts just sitting in the garage? Is software like a teddy bear that’s kind of gross if it’s not made out of all new material?”
Personally, I’d prefer it if Apple recycled large portions of the old Finder for the new one… it will make for a better overall Finder as much of the code will have already undergone extensive debugging and testing. Apple certainly hasn’t been one to throw the baby out with the bathwater and scrap perfectly good programs when they’re simply in need of a few modifications here and there.
I’d certainly find reusing portions of the old Finder preferable to discovering that Apple did in fact rewrite Finder from scratch, using Carbon for the API and reimplementing a bunch of polling code to monitor changes in the underlying filesystem, rather than using kqueues for proper filesystem monitoring.
(Unfortunately, I think this still means no Cocoa Gestures support for the Finder… would’ve been nice)
elinida eisai vre?
ti kaneis ? ola kalaaa?
he he he
In my experience VLC (http://www.videolan.org/) can play most of Mickeysofts proprietary video files (like wmv) … It’s also much faster than Quicktime, and includes fullscreen view for free.
This is my default video player on all my platforms (osx/linux/windows)
MS endorses and promotes the strictest RIAA/MPAA/Ashcroft bullying of end-users. Don’t kid yourselves — WMV would open your Mac to MS-grade DRM, if only for WM files today. Tomorrow, in the name of “openness”, WMV will want to display all of your media.
Sorry, but I prefer to keep my viewing preferences to myself. If I miss out on a decreasing number of WMV-only files because of that, tough.
I don’t use PayPal, I don’t use eBay, I don’t use WMV, I don’t fly JetBlue. If you want to be spied upon, that’s up to you, but me — let Ashcroft search my soul the old fashioned way — by buying a judge.
As far as a comparison goes, they are both different beasts in terms of what they support. As for the interface, Xcode has caught up to VS.Net in my opinion at least (finally autocomplete).
In terms of coding, Xcode has a lot of nice things like zero link, fix and continue, distributed compiles, etc. It really makes my application development that much faster. Coupled with Cocoa, Carbon, C, C++, Java, Applescript and whatever else you want to throw in there, it makes producing the perfect application so easy.
<em>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? </em>
Well how about bugging Microsoft first then to write the missing codecs – Mac OS X is still on WMP7 and half of the content doesn’t work. It’s not Apple’s responsibility to include third-party software that doesn’t exist. Just like it’s not fair to rag on Apple (as someone recently did) when Aladdin’s Stuffit Expander wasn’t working as they required – lesson 1: contact the developer of the application in question! D’oh!
“Hardware Support: 8.5/10”
Can you upgrade at all from 10.2 > 10.3? I didn’t know that was possible.
I really don’t like VLC, try MPlayer, it’s really fast (Mandrake Linux 9.1, NVidia-Drivers) it plays many video file formats and … there’s a OS X-Version, too (yes, with a great GUI) http://mplayerosx.sourceforge.net/
Great job, Eugenia! I’ve been reading about Panther and its features for so long – but your review really puts it all together into a user experience. You really do have “an eye for the UI” 🙂 A really great overview!
About those 1.25 MHz G4’s that Apple still sells – they are a great deal. Of course, you do have to have a display too, which is no problem for some, but may be for others. If you’re not a “power user”, eMacs are good deals too, except you have to get more RAM. Get an iSub though and you have a fairly decent sound set up too. If you get .Mac, the Mac experience is really fun, especially for families.
I know people flame and love to argue about the speed of OS X. I’ve been using it since the original public beta, when it was dog slow. It is nice, for a change, to get OS updates that actually make you’re older hardware faster. One trick with OS X i’ve found is you’ve got keep it as optimized as possible. My wfe has an original 700 MHz eMac (with 1 gig of RAM which helps). But, I repair disk permissions all the time and run Disk Warrier once a month to optimize the directory. And, use no haxies, etc. (which is no fun for me), but these things really help. Even that 700 MHz eMac, although no speed demon, is very usable. So, I can’t wait for Panther for many reasons.
Eugenia, what is your take, in an overall sense, of Aqua vs. brushed metal? Is Apple slowly completely getting rid of Aqua??
I have a G4 550 Titanium waiting for me at home along with a new Toshiba 60GB hard drive ready for panther! I am going to replace my windows XP machine with it i think.
The “Mac-as-Airport-Base-Station” problem confuses me. Confuses me to the point that I went and tried it. I can’t see how it requires more than ONE tab of ONE preference pane. In fact – just a single click.
Also, Panther compatibility. I’ve seen stuff about this on forums and in some cases it’s different on one machine to another. Dreamweaver seemed to cause havoc with the new Save dialogs but on another machine they were fine. That said, all things equal with new installed apps and not just ones copied from a Jag install, I’ve seen zero problems. Also…the inconvenience is NOT “already there” because with the exception of developers, journalists and previewers, the OS hasn’t been released.
Want to give us some examples of apps that don’t co-operate?
Are there any screenshots of XCode around?
Yeah, the lack of an upgrade price sucks. Whenever I’ve bought Apple products, there have been little proof of purchase vouchers in the box. What the hell is the point of these if you can’t use them for anything?