- 17 Mar 08, 11:38 GMT
I’ve been using Leopard, the latest OS X issue, for the last five months now and was interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences of it, as well as sharing mine.
My overwhelming feeling about the release is one of disappointment, especially compared with the benefits and features that Tiger, the previous iteration, introduced.
So what are the causes of my disgruntlement?
The first is the failure of Leopard to match expectations. I can’t blame Apple entirely for this, as expectations were my own.
But there’s no doubting the fact that Apple stoked the hype - and why not, they are a company selling a product after all.
My first expectation was that Leopard would at least match Tiger in terms of ease of use, responsiveness and stability.
But on every machine that I have installed Leopard, the computer is less stable, more prone to crashes, and "hangs", while start-up times are longer, applications feel more sluggish.
The spinning beach ball, representing an application "hanging", is now a close friend, rather than a casual acquaintance.
This is despite bumping up the RAM on each of my machines to 3GB. And it’s not as if my Macs are old. My iMac is the first of the Intel-powered machines, while my Macbook is just over 12 months old.
To be clear: I’m not saying my Macs are now crash-prone, glitch boxes. But there is a definite, measurable decline in performance since I installed Leopard.
And I’m not alone - these problems have been documented on many forums.
However, the latest issue of Macworld magazine reports that 81% of new Mac owners are very satisfied with Leopard.
Some of the key features of Leopard have proved less than useful - Stacks is a gimmick and quickly becomes impractical once a folder has more than a dozen files in it, while improvements to the Finder are still a work in progress.
In some cases Leopard seems to have taken a step backwards.
The new Front Row system has been crippled so that music can no longer be streamed from your Mac to an Airport Express plugged in to a hi-fi.
Why would they do this, unless they wanted to force consumers into buying an Apple TV?
There are also well-documented issues with Leopard and wi-fi networks - from periodic dropouts to problems getting connected at all.
It’s not all bad however; Quick Look has become adopted into my workflow as a simple way to check files, from video to photos.
And it’s now simpler and quicker to network your Macs thanks to the visibility of machines in Finder.
Spotlight, the tool to search your indexed hard drives, is more responsive while Time Machine has removed my worry about back-ups.
So am I alone here? Has Leopard been a disappointment?
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