A Month Of Leoparding

/ 26 November 2007

Well today is November 26th, 2007. There has been one full month that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard has been public. Lots has happened and there is lots to report. In this month the OS has already gained it’s library of bugs (more on that in a later paragraph) and has also been updated to 10.5.1. It has been a truly full month and lots has occurred. There has also been a slow-started amount of leopard-specific development especially around compatibility and Quick Look.

The OS has already been opened with tons and tons of hints and tricks for customizing the OS. The mac user community has jumped on and published thousands of hints online, some of which are odd, but other’s of which are useful (especially if you don’t like the look of the OS that much). There have been hints on how to force the Dock back to it’s old look, get the clock window back, and make the menubar fully white. Those are just a few that I’ve stumbled across, and there are many more.

People have voiced their annoyances with some of the changes that Apple has made in the new OS, but many (including myself) have come to not look back and only look ahead. These changes include everything from the 3D Dock to the way iCal displays the event information. But when you think about some of these annoyances people have had you need to remember that most of the hints that these folks have used to be able to use the OS are actually changes made to plist files and/ or system files. That means that Apple built the OS to be able to turn back towards the old look and feel.

There have also been many developments tied to 10.5. Most of this has been when it comes to the need to make your apps work with the new OS. But the introduction of some new types of files have made some developers release new tools that use those technologies as their target. A developer who hated what Quick Look did with folders has made his own Quick Look generator for folders that also displays the contents of that folder as a list. People have also started to publish extra background packages for iChat video and Photo Booth. There are many more that I have not stumbled upon.

But lets face it, a new OS does mean a huge set of new bugs. My family noticed some bugs (including some serious ones). These include Finder bugs and system bugs. There is an issue where Time Machine’s use of a network disk on our local network will make the host iMac for the disk say that the disk was ejected when it wasn’t and then there’ll be a ghost disk as well as the real one. You need to unmount the real disk and re-mount it to get it all back normal. During the time that the ghost is visible the disk also isn’t shared on our local net. Another (more serious bug) involves iChat 4 and internet sharing. When internet sharing is on (for FW Time Machine; Mary and I) iChat 4 won’t do an Audio or Video chat on the ethernet wire but will across the WiFi. With internet sharing turned off it all works properly. There have been some serious bugs with Time Machine and Spotlight that I haven’t seen, but do crash your macs. This can be fixed by forcing Spotlight to bot index your backup disk (or sparsebundle). Of course there are many more bugs that I haven’t just mentioned here but that do exist.

I hope that 10.5 has been as usable and functional for you as it has been for me during this first month of it’s existence. I hope this next month (until Christmas) is just as good and maybe even provide us with some more bug fixes. Enjoy, Alex.