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Ars Technica Reviews OS X 10.5

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the latin-for-exhaustive dept.

OS X 522

E1ven writes "Ars Technica has published their in-depth review of the newest version of Mac OS X. John Siracusa both covers the user-visible features such as the new UI tweaks and Time Machine, and dives into the increased use of metadata and the new APIs introduced and what they mean for the future of OS X."

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166183)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse technica [goatse.ch]

Dumbledore is a pole smoking cocksucker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166659)

Dumbledore is a pole smoking cocksucker and so are you.

I realize we all love Portal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166187)

But did the review really have to end with:

"This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS!"?

OSX and security (0, Offtopic)

klingens (147173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166197)

Have those claims been peer reviewed? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166523)

The security article was posted what, a few hours ago?

Re:OSX and security (5, Informative)

Mathiu (165818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166623)

The article looks wrong, my install of Mac OS X Leopard doesn't exhibit any of the issues he describes:

$ netstat -an | fgrep LISTEN
tcp4 0 0 127.0.0.1.631 *.* LISTEN
tcp6 0 0 ::1.631 *.* LISTEN
$ lsof -iUDP
COMMAND PID USER FD TYPE DEVICE SIZE/OFF NODE NAME
SystemUIS 164 username 9u IPv4 0x674d458 0t0 UDP *:*
Adium 175 username 8u IPv4 0x674ca38 0t0 UDP *:49181

lookin good (5, Interesting)

Vanden (103995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166215)

All of the reviews I've read thus far, including Ars, have been very positive. It's amazing how much can be done in a corporate/development culture like Apple in 2.5 years compared to the debacle that is Vista, which MS took 5+ years to produce (not that there's nothing at all positive about Vista, but looking in comparison).

Hopefully a good step forward for Apple that will lead to larger market share. I'll be installing as soon as my job gets its site license worked out.

Re:lookin good (4, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166287)

It's too bad Vista and OSX will never compete with each other directly. When you can install 10.5 on the same range of computers as Vista (along with all the myriad problems and support nightmares for Apple that go along with that) we could really see which is the better operating system. I've installed and tested Vista on a wide range of desktops and Laptop computers and it's stability and compatibility is wider than even XP or Ubuntu (the other two OSs I commonly use). This is important for a lot of people, myself included. I'd never consider buying a computer I couldn't rebuild or modify (or build entirely) so using Apple's software is never an option for me.

Re:lookin good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166431)

Funny? I don't get it. Troll makes even less sense. Someone mod overrated for the trifecta.

Re:lookin good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166715)

I don't get it.

There's no "WTF are you smoking?" mod.

Re:lookin good (3, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166477)

The point of the Macintosh is that you don't expose yourself to the inevitable problems that come as a result of that.

The Mac OS doesn't compete with Vista as operating systems, but the platform as a whole, as a device for doing things, does compete with other platforms and manufacturers.

I don't see any reason for Apple to want to try to do what Microsoft does, and as a user of their products I frankly don't want them to. The reason I've always felt that Apple gear was worth the price is because it's a predictable, known quantity, and because it's sold as a system rather than as bits and pieces. While being able to assemble it would admittedly be nice for hobbyists (and it was nice back in the day when Apple sold motherboards through their VAR chain, so you could build them), it's not a compelling feature for most of their core market.

Re:lookin good (3, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166607)

...and as a user of their products...
Perfectly fine. However, there's a group of people that wants something completely different than you do. I wouldn't be happy with the restriction of the Mac platform, and maybe you'd be frustrated with a PC. The reasons you like Apple are the same reasons I don't like them and prefer the alternative. This doesn't make either position more or less valid than the other. Both of us end up just as satisfied with our respective outcomes. But for people not in your camp, Apple is not competing with MS for their business.

(And to the childish mods: if you disagree, post a reply. My original response wasn't a troll, flamebait, overrated or funny. You're not accomplishing anything productive by abusing the mod system.)

Re:lookin good (1)

cyber-dragon.net (899244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166839)

I am curious what restrictions you found with OS X? This is a serious question as I switched to the OS X platform specifically because I found it more open and usable. I could do half again the work in 3/4 the time as I could on windows and was far less frustrated daily and spent much less time on maintenance and finding things. With Mac Ports any of my favorite Unix utilities were a command away.

That was my experience however... I am curious what restrictions you felt there were that caused you to avoid it and go with the one I found significantly more restrictive?

Re:lookin good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166867)

Meh. It kind of was flamebait - this is a discussion about what's new in OS X 10.5, and saying "I can't use it" doesn't add anything to the conversation. It's just an invitation for flamage.

Or did you think that nobody knew that you can't install it on self-assembled PCs?

Re:lookin good (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166947)

because it's sold as a system rather than as bits and pieces

You do realize that the majority of Windows machines are sold as a system, not as bits and pieces. It's a fairly small subset of the population that builds their own computers. And aside from the motherboard, everything else on a Mac is just as configurable / replaceable as with a Windows machine. Apple fans might tend to choose not to upgrade components, but there isn't any real reason that they can't (again, aside from the motherboard / mainboard)...

Re:lookin good (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166981)

being able to assemble it would admittedly be nice for hobbyists
Assembling a Mac is a hobby? Admittedly some fanatics would enjoy the work, but at the same token it makes the Mac sound like a toy.

The myth of the upgradeless (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166669)

I'd never consider buying a computer I couldn't rebuild or modify (or build entirely) so using Apple's software is never an option for me.

Nor would I. That's why I bought a Mac desktop, where I can replace all the same components I can with a PC desktop... and lets face it, with just about any PC chassis you're going to be almost as limited since motherboard formats change over time. Over the years people have offered processor upgrades as well, made easier of course by them using Intel chips now where processor swaps are just as easy as any other PC motherboard.

And of course I have a laptop. And just like most laptops, there are more limited changes I can make - but Mac laptops come with a good range of i/o options, including gigabit ethernet and firewire 800.

Are you honestly saying you never ever would buy a laptop? To me I just can't see saying that someone would never buy a Mac because they can't upgrade one, is just not being true to yourself. You don't want a Mac for other reasons, that's fine - but lets all stop pretending the upgrade options are so very different.

Re:The myth of the upgradeless (3, Interesting)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166803)

Nor would I. That's why I bought a Mac desktop, where I can replace all the same components I can with a PC desktop... and lets face it, with just about any PC chassis you're going to be almost as limited since motherboard formats change over time.

Sadly that's not really possible anymore, as each of the three desktop offerings is made less versatile than a standard desktop PC by design decisions. The Mini uses low-end laptop components, sacrificing performance in the quest for small and quiet. The iMac uses a laptop MB and processor (most notably limiting RAM expansion), can fit only one hard disk, and saddles the buyer with a non-reusable, non-upgradable monitor that will still be looking gorgeous when the iMac is obsolete. The Mac Pro uses a staggeringly expensive dual-Xeon board (with equally expensive FB-DIMMs) and custom componentry throughout. (Oh, yeah, and costs $2200 and way up.)

I see the logic behind Steve's not wanting to offer a prosumer/hobbyist desktop. It would violate his design principles, cannibalize his high-margin iMacs, and create support problems for some users. But what he should do is license OS X on a very narrow basis. Allow one or two white box manufacturers to sell OS X-capable mid-price desktop machines with a very limited range of hardware, that could be extensively tested to keep "it just works" intact. Make the boutique makers offer their own support. I think you'd find small makers eager to take up the challenge for what would probably be a $200-$300/box OS X premium. I know I'd pay it!

Re:The myth of the upgradeless (4, Informative)

kgruscho (801766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166879)

Apple tried allowing licensed clones at one point and were not happy with the results. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_clone [wikipedia.org]

Re:The myth of the upgradeless (1)

floamy (608691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166899)

The Mac Pro is very expensive, but nothing you mentioned there is nonupgradable. I can shove new PCI Express video cards in, as much memory as I can imagine, and the same processors many PC slashdot'ers have. Because it's an expensive rig you don't consider it upgradable?

Re:The myth of the upgradeless (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166995)

Sadly that's not really possible anymore, as each of the three desktop offerings is made less versatile than a standard desktop PC by design decisions.

The Mini is actually one of the easier systems to upgrade, since you just have to pop the case off. Much easier to get at than a laptop... I can upgrade much of the system with improved laptop components (like a faster drive and more memory). Mostly the things people would upgrade anyway.

The iMac only holds one disk internally but offers Firewire 800 which is fast enough even for serious photo editing. As I said, Macs have excellent i/o options which somewhat reduce the need to upgrade the system itself.

The MacPro is expensive, yes - but you were talkign ABILITY and not EXPENSE. In my experience people either build a cheap system whose needs are met by something like a mini or iMac already, or they are building Uber Expensive Gaming Rig in which case you are talking MacPro money anyway!

Yes you can get away with something in the middle cheaper by building yourself, I used to build my own systems as well. But then I realized I valued my time, and was tired of myriad components that always needed just a little tweaking to actually work right together...

But I digress, again I am addressing the myth that Macs lack upgradability and expandability compared to most PC systems in use.

Re:The myth of the upgradeless (1, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166951)

Nor would I. That's why I bought a Mac desktop, where I can replace all the same components I can with a PC desktop...

Let us know how you go swapping out the motherboard in that thing. The video card is also pretty much a token gesture, given you have to search far and wide for one that you can be sure will definitely work with the Mac's legacy-free EFI and then within OS X.

Not to mention the minimum buy-in for an "upgradable" Mac is a US$2500 Mac Pro.

and lets face it, with just about any PC chassis you're going to be almost as limited since motherboard formats change over time.

Yeah, that one change of the mainstream motherboard form factor from AT to ATX over the last ~25 years (with a ~5 year overlap) sure caused problems.

You don't want a Mac for other reasons, that's fine - but lets all stop pretending the upgrade options are so very different.

Please stop pretending the upgrade options for the average Mac are even in the same class as the upgrade options for the average PC. They're just not.

Re:lookin good (1)

reddburn (1109121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166727)

so using Apple's software is never an option for me
Does this include Quicktime?

Re:lookin good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166977)

For me, absolutely. Quicktime is crapware. I vastly prefer the simple alternative codec for playback support on this relatively uncommon and quite superflous Mac movie format.

Re:lookin good (-1, Offtopic)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166809)

I rarely reply to my own posts, but this is absolutely unacceptable and I needed to. This applies only to the moderators of the parent post:

Exactly where in my post above did I ever approach something resembling a troll? Every word was true and pulled directly from my own experiences or it was opinion (which, SURPRISE, might be different than yours). The Apple fanboyism is, by far, the worst this site has to offer. It's sickening. Mod THIS post offtopic if you like, because it is, but my original one was fine at +2 (what all my posts start at). I suggest all of you read the moderator guidelines again because frankly none of you deserved the points. When you abuse our moderation system you do a great disservice to everyone that uses this website and you erode the credibility and perception for whatever "cause" you think you're propping up. I'm done with this thread and discussion, which is a shame because I think there was a lot of good things people had to add and that I had to add as well.

Good luck at M2

Re:lookin good (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166875)

"I'd never consider buying a computer I couldn't rebuild or modify (or build entirely)"

And you are referencing Vista?

I thought the license likes to die when you touch your computer wrong?

And if you apply your restriction to software the same way you are referencing hardware, what OS other than Open Source based ones can you rebuild or modify?

Re:lookin good (0, Troll)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166679)

Most of the complaints about Vista are in relation to drivers. OSX won't even run on AMD cpus... if OSX were actually competing in the same space as Vista, it'd be a laughingstock.

Re:lookin good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166795)

Riiiight, because it'd be really tough for a company that's already running its OS on PPC, i386, and ARM to make it run on a freaking i386 CLONE architecture, assuming it ever wanted to.

Christ on a rusty bike, are you so blinded by your irrational hatred for the fruity OS that you can't think straight or something ?

Re:lookin good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166893)

you are still locked in to their computer hardware

MS can run on AMD and Intel
MAC can run on Intel....

more choice, end of story

Re:lookin good (3, Informative)

tyrione (134248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166829)

There's no question that OS X Leopard runs on AMD. It's that they have no plans to release it on AMD. The foundation of OS X has run x86 since Openstep 3.1. They kept it current until it was time to switch. If Intel screws over Apple they can switch to AMD.

Re:lookin good (-1, Troll)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166997)

There's no question that OS X Leopard runs on AMD.


Except it doesn't. You know that hack that lets you install Leopard on vanilla PCs? Doesn't support AMD at all.

Could Apple make it work on AMD? Of course, but that's the point. Apple only has to make it work on the tiny selection of hardware they provide.

The point is that making fun of Microsoft for taking 5 years to put out Vista isn't a fair point at all since Apple doesn't even have to support something as basic as a *compatible* X86 chip.

Man, I love my Mac... (1)

microbob (29155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166217)

I used Linux as my primary desktop for years and years (started on Caldera), but I must confess that my Mac with OS X leaves all of 'em in the dust. XP was okay, but all the virus noise kept me at bay. Vista was an improvement, but all the constant interrupting was annoying.

As it looks, it'll be along, long time before I switch OSs again. Sure I'll keep trying the new ones as they come along, but I don't see anything on the horizon..say 3-4 years, that'll make me move.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166257)

must be a case by case thing... I mean my mac is cool and all, but Ubuntu it is not

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

sycotic (26352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166307)

all the constant interrupting was annoying
I hope this doesn't start some sort of argument... but: OS X does the same thing, right?

I am sure that when I had a Mac a little over a year ago the GUI used to dim the background and prompt me for a password when I wanted to do things that required elevated privileges.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (4, Insightful)

Repton (60818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166393)

I run Tiger. My regular userid is not an administrator.

OSX will prompt me to enter an administrator username and password under three circumstances (in my experience):

  1. I install a new application.
  2. I click the unlock icon in system preferences (to allow me to make system changes).
  3. I want to shut the computer down and someone else is logged in.

In all three cases, I expect the prompt and the reason is clear. I think it works well...

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (4, Interesting)

microbob (29155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166427)

Not even close. The volume of "are you SURE you want to do this?" prompts that I get on Vista far, far outweigh the number I get on my Mac. I can get upwards of a dozen per day on Vista (heck, I don't even use it *that* much) and maybe once a week I'll get interrupted on OS X.

Let not even discuss the sheer volumes of the little balloons that pop up in the bottom right. It feels like both XP and Vista always want my attention. Hey, no security is installed. Hey, you need to activate. Hey, you have new updates to install. Hey, are you sure you want to do this? Are you really, really, really sure????

For me, a good OS gets out of the way and lets me work...I don't need something yapping at my ankles all day.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166459)

I don't need something yapping at my ankles all day.

Thank you for that little vision. Vista (or XP for that matter) as an annoying, barking, 3 inch tall Chihuahua is just perfect.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166683)

I get a vision of a jack russell terrier when the icons jump out at me from the (hidden) dock in OS X. /recent convert to OS X

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166833)

Shaped like a paperclip... oh, wait, that was something else.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166649)

Not even close. The volume of "are you SURE you want to do this?" prompts that I get on Vista far, far outweigh the number I get on my Mac. I can get upwards of a dozen per day on Vista (heck, I don't even use it *that* much) and maybe once a week I'll get interrupted on OS X.

What the hell are you doing to trigger so many UAC prompts ?

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166737)

That's a little many, but I get at least one per day to update antivirus and/or antispyware definitions. And, like GP, I use Vista for occasional specialized tasks (in my case, in a VM in OS X).

I get quite a few authentication requests in OS X too. But I don't find them nearly as annoying because they don't dim the screen, block all my other applications, and sometimes hang the system for a second or two before appearing.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (2, Informative)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166531)

Really, the issue is what requires elevated privileges. OS X will prompt you if you're trying to do something like modify a system-wide file (basically, anything that's not in your home directory), or changing your security settings, but that really doesn't happen that often.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (4, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166979)

[I apologize for the long post, but I'm procrastinating from vital schoolwork and this is as good of a way as any to do so.]

Okay, this argument has come up in most Vista articles here. After one of them about a month ago, I started logging every UAC prompt I've gotten, because I didn't believe that Vista actually prompts for *that* much more than what you would get on other systems. I cannot compare with what OS X does, but I can somewhat compare with what Sudo does on Linux. These comparisons are not completely fair, because I'm running Vista in the normal setup, with the almost-admin user, but I have no reason to believe that there would be many more prompts with a limited account.

Since I started logging, I have gotten 72 UAC prompts in 25 days I have spent most of my time booted to Windows. I'll break down the prompts in a few ways.

First, by reason:
* 29 prompts were for program installations or updates, things that would require 'sudo emerge' or whatever on Linux. 10 of these prompts were while starting Firefox; I'm running the Alpha version, and get prompted to update to the latest nightly each time I run it. 4 of them were from trying to install one particular program, it's patch, and trying to work around a couple compatibility issues. One prompt was for Windows Update, to update Vista itself.
* 10 prompts were from when I logged in and this buggy hardware monitor program that I have ran. For some reason, it requests elevation. (Then, after running for a while, pegs one of my cores and I kill it. One of these days I'll remove it from the startup sequence...)
* 10 prompts were from enabling and disabling my NIC. I was having network problems for about a week, and was trying to diagnose. (This is essentially doing 'ifconfig eth0 down/up' in Linux, except that it tries to get a new DHCP address upon up, and I don't recall if ifconfig does this. )
* 8 prompts were from when I was trying to solve a weird permissions issue when I was trying to delete something. This involved various permutations of trying to take ownership of the file, changing permissions, doing something in the Users dialog, etc.
* 5 prompts were from opening the anti-virus dialog
* 2 prompts were for OKing software for the firewall
* 2 prompts were from doing some process management stuff; one from instructing task manager to show all processes, and one from running ProcessExplorer in admin mode, probably to try to figure out what program was holding a handle open to a USB drive.
* 1 prompt was from messing with the Steam service
* 1 prompt was from opening regedit
* 1 prompt was from opening the drive format dialog so I could see the options in it
* 1 prompt was from a user environment variable change. This is not entirely necessary -- a user doesn't need admin rights to change them. However, the dialog Windows provides to do so involves both user-local and system-wide environment variables, and doesn't appear to provide a way to access it with the latter in read-only mode, hence the elevation request. (XP does BTW.)
* 1 prompt was for something TrueCrypt related, but I'm not sure exactly what
* 1 prompt was for something that I have no clue about, because I got distracted before recording what caused it and forgot ...and 2 that I must have thought I counted but didn't. Oops.

Now, let's compare with what would have happened on Linux:

29 program installations. Assuming you're like my impression of most Linux users, you're using something like Portage or Apt to install programs, which means you're doing it as root, and need to sudo. In Linux it is usually possible to install programs locally, usually by downloading the source, doing /.configure with the appropriate options, and then building. However, when doing so, you have to worry about dependencies and such yourself -- the exact thing that made Linux an absolute PITA to use before distributions started widely using package management stuff. Because of this, I'm going to count installing programs as something that requires admin on Linux. In contrast, Vista heuristically detects installers, and elevates them. This is both good and bad, because it usually makes things easier by making sure that it's running with enough rights, but it also removes the option to do a limited install. For instance, Cygwin doesn't need admin rights to do an installation -- I've done it as a limited user on XP -- but Vista elevates it anyway.

12 were network configuration -- either the ifconfig eth0 up/down thing, or firewall configuration. These all require root privileges on Linux, though I haven't seen a Linux installation with an application-level firewall, so 2 of these are borderline wouldn't-be-necessary-in-Linux (a later category).

7 were file permissions/owner twiddling, and also would have required root on Linux. However, the problem would have been less likely to arise on Linux because of the simpler security model.

1 was turning on AV protections, something that almost certainly would have required admin rights on Linux.

The previous 3 categories make 49 prompts for things that would have required root rights on Linux; 9 are borderline, the other 39 are pretty clear-cut cases.

7 prompts were sort of weird, in that I was opening a dialog that allowed changes to settings that require admin rights (and would on Linux), but wasn't actually changing them. This is probably a factor of the fact that Windows is GUI-based, and Linux is potentially CLI-based. 1 of these is a clear win for Linux -- the format dialog, where I just would have read the man page on Linux. The other 6 are mostly a toss-up, with a preference going to Linux. (What I mean by that is that the UAC prompts were above what you would get in Linux.)

10 were this HW monitor thing. You can count that however you want; I'm going to consider this neutral. I have tried a couple other HW monitors, and they didn't require admin rights, so there is nothing innate about the way that Vista works that makes it impossible.

1 was the Steam service thing. This is something that, were it present in Linux, may or may not need to run as root. If it did, I would have needed root rights there. I'm calling this neutral.

1 was process explorer. Doing an lsof for files that root has open I really hope would require that the user has root privileges, though I don't know for sure. I'm counting this as the UAC prompt being for something you would need Sudo for. If I'm wrong, then I think that the security loss of being able to see what files others have open far counters any benefit you get by not having to click "accept" in Linux to see them.

1 was the TrueCrypt thing. I have no clue what it was doing to need elevation on Windows, so have no clue if it would need root on Linux.

1 was to see all processes. This UAC prompt is unnecessary on Linux, because you can see all (or at least most) of the information without rights anyway. This is very similar to the lsof case: I think that the information loss, even if it's pretty small, in being able to see the processes everyone else is running is a toss-up with being able to see them without an explicit okay.

1 was this one I forgot about.

--

Whew. Now that we have all of that categorization, most of the prompts I've gotten were for things that I would have needed Sudo for on Linux anyway, and only for a a few of them would I definitely not have needed sudo for.

So the other comparison is the actual presentation of the process. Each has an edge over the other. On Linux, stuff like the KDE keyring allows you to make multiple changes as root with reauthenticating. If you open a shell as root, it gets even better, because it doesn't even time out. Thus you can issue several related commands at once. For instance, instead of doing an enable/disable NIC and getting a prompt every time, I could have issued several in sequence. I usually have a root shell open for this ability when I'm using it anyway. On Windows, it doesn't cache UAC acceptances. On the other hand, if you're doing something in a shell in Linux that needs admin rights, it just tells you that access is denied and you have to do it again with sudo. In Windows, the prompts are somewhat on an as-needed basis. If you're not running as a limited user, you only have to click yes or no, which is easier than typing a password; this largely negates the above Linux benefit in this case. All-in-all, I think UACs give a better presentation if you're not running as a limited user, and Sudo probably does if you are.

UAC isn't perfect, but it's not nearly as obnoxious or intrusive as many people here seem to think it is.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (2, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166359)

You know that most people just turn off UAC, right? Everyone that I've talked to about it said they turned it off after the first message. It's annoying, and if you're computer literate there's really no reason for you to have it on; you wont benefit from it at all. I'm far more annoyed at Ubuntu's constant "admin password required" to do anything important, I see those far more than the Vista UAC message (when it is turned on).

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166545)

UAC is the best feature in Vista. It's the only thing I like about Vista and, yeah, I run Vista in VmWare in my MacBook.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166811)

You know that most people just turn off UAC, right? Everyone that I've talked to about it said they turned it off after the first message. It's annoying, and if you're computer literate there's really no reason for you to have it on; you wont benefit from it at all.


Yeah, you turn off UAC, then you get a nasty red shield with "Windows is not protected" and balloons saying "User account control is off". A power user can ignore these security warnings since they probably already do the right steps, but a normal user will turn it off, see the red shield, then "fix it" and boom, UAC is on again.

Worse yet, there are apparently a set of distinct tasks that can only be done with either UAC off, or UAC on. Some tasks require UAC to be on, while others require it to be off (I can't remember the list, but there are a few picky settings).

Some things with UAC on just really make life miserable - before I reinstalled Vista, I copied off my downloads and a few other directories to a USB disk (why redownload files that are downloaded in the past week?). Afterwards, with UAC on, mysteriously all the executable files cannot be run at all, even answering "Allow" to the UAC prompts. Useless. Permission repairing, setting security, etc., I could not figure out how to get those executable installers running again. Turn off UAC, boom they work just fine. All it takes is a folder on a network drive, or copied from a thumbdrive, and you can be seeing this happening relatively often if one of your applications gets tagged like that. Worse yet, Windows may decide your app is insecure and start prompting you with UAC prompts. It's random enough to be frustrating...

I found the old IE model a bit annoying (where every file downloaded off the internet gets marked with a "downloaded" attribute (NTFS)), but at least it prompts you if you want to run them, then lets you run them. Better than making it look like it works, but fails silently.

The strange thing is, Unix, OS X, and Linux get it right. If you're changing a user setting, no annoying prompt. A system setting - a password prompt (and it's usually good for a few minutes, so you can avoid seeing it repeatedly). The differentiation between user and system is such that rarely does one need system privileges, so seeing the dialog is a rare enough event.

Vista's "user virtualization" (where the system registry keys and system folders are silently mirrored to user accessible versions) could accomplish the same thing for the millions of broken Windows apps out there, and the amount of prompting kept a minimum... but it's like Microsoft intentionally decided to inundate us with this "security".

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166379)

I used Linux as my primary desktop for years and years (started on Caldera), but I must confess that my Mac with OS X leaves all of 'em in the dust.
Ironic, I've used OS X for years and years and the numerous issues have pushed me more towards Windows, Linux and the BSDs.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166591)

Ironic, I've used OS X for years and years and the numerous issues have pushed me more towards Windows, Linux and the BSDs.
Are you sure you're talking about Mac OS X? I don't find it ironic, I find I find it very odd.
Not that you might have problems with it, but that you think any of those systems you mentioned would alleviate any of them.

I'm genuinely curious, what would switching your primary desktop to any of them fix for you?

I used Linux as my primary desktop for years and years (started on Caldera), but I must confess that my Mac with OS X leaves all of 'em in the dust.
I started with RH 5.something but I'm otherwise in the same boat. I keep Ubuntu in a VM right now, and someday might build another desktop PC with either Fedora or Ubuntu on it (I do miss winex/cedega), but do I expect it to beat the experience I've had with my iMac & OS X? Heeeelll no.

Re:Man, I love my Mac... (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166711)

Also genuinely curious what those issues are (other than lack of reasonable desktop hardware).

OS X has had considerable performance problems in certain specific server applications. And it's not a platform for gaming. Other than those two weaknesses (and occasional Apple lack of configurability) what have you found lacking?

Hatred for the interface changes (1)

zhevek (147623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166225)

The story writer seems to have some pretty deep hatred for the interface changes to the dock, menu boxes, etc. Sure makes me want to skip upgrading my two 10.4 boxes.

Re:Hatred for the interface changes (5, Informative)

Carthag (643047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166273)

If you read the other reviews Siracusa did for Ars Technica, you'll see that he has a long and difficult history with the OS X GUI. If I were you I'd try out 10.5 myself and see if it is a worthwhile update or not. All in all, I got the impression from his interview that while there were some changes that he absolutely loathes (rounded menus etc), there are many as well which he have been longing for (disabling the "are you sure" check when changing extensions for instance) or which really impressed him with their usability (quicklook).

Re:Hatred for the interface changes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166743)

John Siracusa does have a long-standing hatred of some Mac UI design decisions.

But you see, his views are backed by reasonable arguments.

That's why, as a loyal Mac user of 22 years who hopes to never buy a PC again, I actually respect and agree with his opinion of the Mac OS X GUI.
Sure he's emotional about it, but he does know what he's talking about.

Meh (1, Redundant)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166535)

I've been using Leopard for three days now.

I don't notice the changes all that much. After day two, the changes kind of faded, and the features became more important than the subtle UI changes.

I don't think it's just me, and I can see a strategy behind it; like a car company, Apple keeps evolving the sizzle around a particular model while tweaking the internals to get ahead or stay competitive. It works for me.

UI (1)

boyter (964910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166239)

It seems to have a lot of UI changes for styles sake. While I understand that will get people to upgrade surely its on the same level as the how most people see the change between XP and Vista. Dont get me wrong though I quite like that OS X. What I would really like them to do though is fix the Dock Bar so that when things are minimised to it they can be easily distinguised and save me looking through them all to find the one I want.

Great Review (4, Informative)

AndrewStephens (815287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166241)

I came across this article this morning. It's great to see Ars Technica pumping out another of their signature ridiculously-in-depth technical reviews. I have just (like 15 minutes ago) finished installing OSX 10.5 on my MacBook. The review is right about some of the aesthetic changes being a step backwards, but on the whole it feels snappier and some of the new functionality (stacks, time machine) is fantastic. I am looking forward to having a proper play tonight.

Ars Technica (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166297)

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The freakin' Dock (4, Interesting)

realmolo (574068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166301)

Seriously, does ANYONE think the Dock is good? It's an unholy combination of the "Launcher" from the old days, and the Windows taskbar. It does neither job very well.

The weird thing about OS X is that in most ways, the GUI isn't as good as MacOS 9. I mean, the only real problems with the "classic" Mac GUI were that there wasn't a easily visible way to keep track of/switch between running programs, and the Finder was a pain to work with. Well, and the lack of right-click context menus.

The Dock is a crappy task switcher, and the Finder is still broken in most of the same ways it has been broken since, oh, 1984.

Apple just bugs me. They have neat products, but they could be GREAT. They aren't bound by compatibility like MS is, or even Linux. They could do whatever they want. The best of everything. But instead they keep refusing to improve the obvious things.

Re:The freakin' Dock (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166343)

Seriously, does ANYONE think the Dock is good? It's an unholy combination of the "Launcher" from the old days, and the Windows taskbar. It does neither job very well.
I don't and I use a combination of operating systems daily. OS X, Windows, Linux, OpenBSD etc.

I just don't find the dock that natural at all. It feels irritating that I have to customize it to make it useful and even then, I still don't like how it operates.

Re:The freakin' Dock (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166411)

"The best of everything. But instead they keep refusing to improve the obvious things."

Kind of like Linux.

True (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166673)

Short, but excellent point.

Truth is, all OS's out there now have this problem, but in different areas. OS X is a great mix of hackability and UI, Linux is king of hackability, Windows... Windows needs a damned soul or to drink blood to survive, I don't know how to fix that. Given Mac OS X and Linux, Windows is irrelevant.

Re:The freakin' Dock (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166429)

I will give you that the dock is a horrible application switcher, but who uses it as an application switcher when you have alt+tab and expose? (By the way, in OX-X you can use the mouse in the alt+tab menu). I personally like the dock a lot for iChat, e-mail, and newsfeed information. For an application launcher I use Quicksilver, but I hear the speed of spotlight in leopard has made Quicksilver pretty much obsolete. I have never found Finder broken, and don't quite get exactly what is broken when people try to explain it to me, but I find it just as useful and easy to navigate as explorer in XP.

Re:The freakin' Dock (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166645)

Note that Vista also includes support for the mouse in the Alt+Tab menu.

I'd have to agree the Dock implementation is horrible. I had the pleasure of downloading a file and burning it to CD on OSX today, and I'd have to say it was a pain just navigating between windows with the Dock. Frankly, the 'Burn to CD' Functionality is alot smoother in Vista also.

In my book, the only real downside to Vista over OSX is the UAC, which like most other people, I have partially disabled. So I also rarely see a UAC box.

I think it's great (4, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166443)

Personally I don't see the beef people have with it. It works well for me. I like the "shelf" look that people are bitching about as well. Perhaps it's because I don't give much of a crap about "the angle at which the icon points", for crying out loud!

The other main complaint is the menubar - it's about 10% (guesstimate) transparent. It just adds a subtle shading to the otherwise-white bar. I rather like it, as did most of the commentators in the discussion that I skimmed through. Some people get far too fixated on minute inconsequential details...

I mean, the only real problems with the "classic" Mac GUI were that there wasn't a easily visible way to keep track of/switch between running programs, and the Finder was a pain to work with. Well, and the lack of right-click context menus

So Leopard has an easy way to switch/keep track of running programs (the Dock), the Finder is no longer a pain to work with, and OSX has a context bar. And this one is worse ? I got to admit, I'm not an "old-mac" fan - I thought the OS was a piece of crap, and I far preferred my unix workstations of the day, so perhaps there's some magic thing the old OS did. I'm *really* not seeing much wrong with Leopard though. It's still the best damn unix workstation I've ever used, and I've used a lot of them...

Simon.

Re:The freakin' Dock (3, Insightful)

pammon (831694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166489)

> They aren't bound by compatibility like MS is, or even Linux.

Oh, how I wish that were true....but Mac OS X has very strong compatibility requirements, far stronger than Linux and in many ways stronger than Microsoft.

When Windows and Linux went 64 bit, they just broke all the drivers. Apple maintained compatibility with 32 bit drivers while enabling 64 bit software.
When Apple migrated from PowerPC to Intel, they maintained binary compatibility with all the old software via a transparent emulator - something you don't find on Linux and that works only partially on the Xbox 360.
The application frameworks - Carbon, Cocoa - are very much bound by backwards compatibility.

Linux, with its tradition of open source and recompiles, has it easy.

You're doing it wrong (Re:The freakin' Dock) (4, Interesting)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166559)

So said realmolo:

The Dock is a crappy task switcher, and the Finder is still broken in most of the same ways it has been broken since, oh, 1984.
You are doing it wrong. The dock isn't meant to be a task switcher. It is a launcher/shortcut area. If you want an application switcher, you have a few options: exposé and cmd-tab to name two. If you want a task switcher, you really can't beat exposé, though most Mac greybeards are probably comfortable with having a portion of the window from their other task visible behind the current front window (which really only works if you are only doing 2 or 3 things at one time).

According to the article (with which I agree), the only real reasons the finder seems to be broken is because Apple is making it a crappy combination of a browser (or explorer, if you are more comfortable with that term) and a spatial system (like the old finder) instead of clearly separating these things and letting the user to decide what they want to do. The new global view options mung things up even more as far as an intuitive UI goes, IMHO. I guess I can understand the gripes about the Finder, but I really don't use it that much. I prefer using it as a browser in column view, and with that I rarely have to have more than two finder windows open to do any given task. However, my organizational style is probably quite different from others.

That said, I haven't used Leopard yet, but there are a few things that I'm really not looking forward to. The Dock doesn't seem like too much of a nightmare if it is pinned to the sides (stacks default to grid view, I'm told). I'm a "pin it to the left, keep it small, and keep it hidden" dock user. The new folder icons and their previews on the dock look like they will drive me crazy, but it shouldn't be hard to change that (hopefully).

Anyway, I don't think the dock is really meant to be a task switcher. Just a launcher that can also give some basic application status information.

Re:The freakin' Dock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166567)

OSX has a few issues but they are minor compared to the problems I have every single day will all my Windows based PCs. I keep hearing people whine about interface issues that bug them but what bugs me is constant crashing and compatibility problems with PCs. The only real problem I'm having with OSX is the new version of Firefox is a trainwreck but I'm having trouble with the PC version as well, I can't even get it to install inspite of constant and annoying prompting. OSs are like most products, people get branded and the biggest complaint is that the other products don't function like the one you're branded to. The real telling truth is that millions of people a year are switching from PC to Mac and I'm not hearing of people switching from Mac to PC. Once they make the switch they tend to stay Mac where as PC users have a lot to complain about.

Re:The freakin' Dock (1)

JayWilmont (1035066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166635)

I do. I like the dock - I think it gives quick access to things that you want quick access to: launching frequently used programs, what windows are minimized, and as a bonus, it can bring you to all of the windows open for a specific application! If you want an application-switcher, then try apple-tab or expose. Also, I find simply hiding applications helps greatly with clutter, and anticipate leopard's spaces will help even more.

Dock much better than you are thinking. (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166709)

Seriously, does ANYONE think the Dock is good?

Yes, I like it far better than the WinXP Taskbar (which I also use every day) or other Linux equivalents I have tried.

To me it does a far better job of telling me what applications are in use than the taskbar (which tends to run about three to four lines long in use), and acting as a store for my most common application sets. As someone else said, you use Expose for task switching which is simply the best mechanism for said switching that I have used to date.

The Dock is a crappy task switcher, and the Finder is still broken in most of the same ways it has been broken since, oh, 1984.

It's well threaded now which fixed just about all of my remaining complaints. Since I can't see why anyone would use anything other than column view I really am pretty happy with how it works now. Even the lack of FTP support for me is a "do not care" since I don't mind using Terminal for that anyway, and it can have files drug into it just like finder...

Then again, I never did like the OS 9 UI overmuch so I guess I have a different sensibility.

I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (0)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166351)

There is nothing new in Leopard that would interest most geeks.

Time Machine? I have had something very similar to it set up since the Panther days (via rsync [mikerubel.org] ).

3D interface? According to the ars review, it's not so hot.

I was so hopeful that ZFS would make it [oreillynet.com] to Leopard. It has, but only with read access AFAIK, and certainly not in time machine---ummm, not very useful.

So, lots of eye candy for the casual user. Anyone care to chime in why a geek might want to upgrade?

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166381)

Do you develop software? If so Leopard has a LOT new and enhanced features at just about all layers in the system that allow developers to do things more easily and robustly then they could in the past.

Do you use software? The former developer features will result in better software for you to use.

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166447)

Thats the main new "better" thing in Vista, and no one cared, though Im sure Leopard will do just fine even without that.

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166395)

Dtrace, better 64-bit support, better process parallelization, native VNC.

Put simply, 10.5 lays the foundation for a lot of neat stuff to follow in the 10.5.x line.

ZFS: Zune File System? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166397)

Can't Apple create anything on their own? Ripping off Microsoft? Who's next on their hitlist? Xerox?

Re:ZFS: Zune File System? (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166791)

Does this mean we can get Apple-flavoured squirts?

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166627)

I'll through 2 small reasons I've noticed:

1. When manually adding search domains and then receiving a DHCP addy that pushes more search domain directives 'nslookup' and 'dig' can now correctly parse '/etc/resolv.conf'.

and

2. X11 is installed by default and when forwarding back to the local X server Terminal.app will automatically launch it.

Two small items that where big annoyances to me in Tiger. Probably not a big deal to most...

Are you joking? Geeks gain the most!! (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166747)

There is nothing new in Leopard that would interest most geeks.

Totally wrong!

In addition to great improvements in the dev environment, GC in ObjC, and the presence of Dashcode for quick things - you have whole new frameworks like Core Animation (which can be useful to improve usability if used in moderation).

Or for the pure UNIX kind of geek you have an optimized 64-bit kernel, that finally has a filesystem wit the BeOS featureset (read the article). And a new and improved Terminal.app.

So the normal users basically get a faster OS with Time Machiene and a shinier look along with lots of incremental app upgrades, while the geeks among us get so much more...

One big one: Boot Camp! (1, Redundant)

gregeth (688579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166771)

So, lots of eye candy for the casual user. Anyone care to chime in why a geek might want to upgrade?
If you look around Apple's site now any mention of boot camp on Tiger or a download for it has completely disappeared. While it was only in beta, Apple did clearly advertise it with their Macs as a feature available for new Macs. Those who have purchased Intel based Macs with Tiger can no longer get boot camp for their Macs, unless they upgrade to Leopard. Unless, of course, if someone wants to correct me on this, but I can't find anything on it. It just seems typical of Apple to abandon their users like this.

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (2, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166853)

Nope, none at all. Objective-C 2.0, a new version of Xcode, Core Animation, the Dashboard development app....

Or were you talking about a different kind of geek?

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (1, Redundant)

overunderunderdone (521462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166865)

Really? Did you read the same review I did? It seems Siracusa was saying the opposite, that all the exciting stuff is for developers that users won't even notice (Aside from the cool new stuff developers can do with it) DTrace, FSEvents , Core Animation, Core Text, better 64-Bit support, Objective C 2.0.

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166871)

"So, lots of eye candy for the casual user. Anyone care to chime in why a geek might want to upgrade?"

Dude...that entire article was an answer to your question. Didn't you even read it? (I know, I know, this is Slashdot...)

75% of the article is about EXTREMELY cool changes under the hood that nobody but a developer geek would even care about.

Re:I see no reason for a geek to upgrade (5, Informative)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166905)

There is nothing new in Leopard that would interest most geeks.

This is a troll, right?

  • DTrace
  • 64 bit
  • Unix certification
  • Scripting bridges for Ruby and Python, Xcode and IB support for them.
  • Sandboxing.
  • Terminal improvements (lots of them)
  • CoreAnimation
  • CoreText
  • Objective-C 2.0 w/ Garbage Collection
  • LLVM for OpenGL (and more uses coming soon)
  • More efficient and more widespread use of threading.
  • ZFS soon.
  • Boot Camp

What exactly on this list is "not of interest to geeks"?

Vista Review? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166417)

So where's the rest of Ars' Vista review? I guess they want to wait until SP1 is released. Just goes to show that Vista is still in beta and consumers are the guinea pigs. RTM's been out for almost a year.

My review of OSX (5, Funny)

kuactet (1017816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166421)

9:00 a.m.

Despite having no friends, no life, no education no job, and no prospects, despite the war in Iraq, a plunging dollar, the looming energy crisis, global warming, and the sheer horror of being alive in this day and age, this morning, I woke up happy, for today would be my most exciting review: OSX 10.5 was being released.

I am not normally one to get excited about reviewing a product, especially if it is my first time using it; usually there is a feeling of trepidation about stepping outside my comfort zone, but today, it is notably absent. Perhaps because I have been following this product since its inception, living the Apple lifestyle in preparation, and becoming fully engrossed by the user community. The experience has been like a second birth to me, and the release of 10.5 is the wonderful culmination.

But I should back up. For those of you who have been living normal, healthy lives, 10.5, also known as the Leopard is the single most anticipated OSX release of all time, packed with 300 new features that would surely leave its competitors (the monolithic Microsoft and agile Linux) stunned and possibly bleeding as it whizzes by in a blur of growing market share and spots.

Apple Inc., the Cupertino-based personal electronics company behind the Leopard, burst into the public view in 2001 with the introduction of the phenomenally popular iPod music player. Apple then followed up that success with the iPhone brand cellular phone, which has sold a whopping 1.4 million units since its summer debut. Today, Apple hopes to leverage that success to bootstrap its long-stagnant personal computing platform, the Mac.

For the last decade, the Mac has maintained a relatively constant 5% share of the global computing market. In recent months, however, increasing disillusionment with the new Microsoft Vista operating system has pushed more and more people into Apple's open arms, but the uptake has been slow. The release of the Leopard, Apple hopes, will be the impetus for users to peek beyond the simple familiarity of Windows. Drawn by the prospect of a bigger and better world, they will slowly venture beyond their thatched grass huts into the thrilling unknown. The Leopard will then snatch them up and drag them into its stylish and intuitive tree to feast.

Or so it is planned. But will Apple be able to succeed where so many others have failed? Will it finally be able to wrest control of the desktop from the Monopolist? Yes, of course. But it is my duty as a reviewer to show, not just tell. So join me as I prepare to drink deeply of the Steve Jobs Kool-Aid and plunge myself into the Leopard, to prove this Apple revolution is truly the way of the future.


Part 1: Getting OSX

3:30 p.m.

The cold rain pours down outside, but under the glass roof of the Christiana Mall, it is warm and dry. Twenty yards away is the only Apple Store for miles, and consequently where one must go for the latest Apple releases.

Though I had arrived early, there is already a sizable line, stretching back to where I find myself now. The head of it, I am told, had been waiting since early morning, growing progressively more excited as the day wore on. His manic energy is infectious, it seems, and the light buzz of excitement percolating through the crowd quickly set my nerves on edge in the best possible way. This, I reflect, is better than most drugs.

I strike up conversation with the man waiting impatiently in front of me. When I ask him what he intends to do with the Leopard when he brings it home, he stares at me for twenty minutes. His steady gaze says more than any words could, and when he tells me he will teach it to love, and then maybe make a movie, I weep for the sheer joy that wells up in my heart. He holds me, understanding.

5:57 p.m.

The excitement has reached an almost painful level. It is a silent buzz permeating the very air; the crowd is like a swarm of angry bees awaiting a software release, but there is no danger of being stung. My chest begins to throb. Is this how it feels?

5:58 p.m.

The anticipation builds higher and higher as the seconds crawl by. I thought it had been painful before, but now it is agonizing, dreadful, pre-orgasmic. The crowd begins to murmur and I feel the fabric of reality cracking.

5:59 p.m.

And, suddenly, the buzz is cut off: a store manager, black-shirted, goateed, and chiseled like a Greek god, has stepped out, and is waiting to address the crowd. There is instant silence, not even the sound of breathing. The surrounding mall, too, is quiet, as though grasping the gravity of the situation.

Apple's local Adonis speaks in a whisper, but everyone can hear:

"Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard... is on sale..."

6:00 p.m.

"... now."

Release.

Oh God, release.

The women moan and the men shudder. I go weak at the knees and drop down, thanking Jobs for the simple gift of being alive to witness this moment, and I am not alone.

6:02 p.m.

One by one, we stand, reforming the original line, and slowly thread into the store. There is no hurry, no urgency in our movements. That moment has passed; this is the afterglow.

6:25 p.m.

I stand at the counter dedicated to this event. I had often come here, in my fantasies, but no amount of dreaming could ever measure up...

"One copy," I say, slapping $129 onto the counter, "Of the Leopard."

He smiles. Not the store policy smile of the world-weary cashier that has been on his feet far too long. No, he is genuinely happy as he reaches back and pulls a box from the stack; this job means something.

"Welcome to the fold, oh my brother," he says, holding out the box. He leans forward and plants a kiss on my forehead as I accept the prized software. Our fingers brush, and it is love. I smile sadly, for I cannot stay; he smiles, for he forgives me.

The box is heavy in my hands. No, not heavy; sturdy, powerful, as though the beast contained within was projecting itself beyond the confines of its cardboard prison. Or perhaps it was the weight of newfound brotherhood.

Kool-Aid indeed.

6:51 p.m.

All through the drive home I kept glancing over at the box, halfway worried that if I took my eyes off it for too long, it would disappear, like a dream. I shielded it from the rain with my body on the way to the car, and again on the way inside.

I don't even kick off my shoes, instead running straight to my laptop and powering it on.

I sit down in front of the glowing screen and gingerly opened the Leopard box. I tip it over, and the DVD comes out; I like to think I didn't imagine the small roar that accompanied it. There is no manual, a testament to the operating system's ease of use.

The disk itself is simple, and deceptively light. I pick it up gingerly an insert it into my computer's drive. I shiver in anticipation as it begins to spin up. This is the moment, finally, that I had been waiting for...


Part 2: Installation

An error message?

Oh.

My laptop is an HP. Not a Mac. So OSX won't work. At all. On the other hand, the packaging is nice.

Four stars.

Re:My review of OSX (2)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166783)

This would've been better if it was titled "article text" and everything after "part 2: installation" was after the cut.

This guy knows little about UI principles, IMO (-1, Troll)

graviplana (1160181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166437)

I read the review written by John Siracusa today. I have to say I disagree with him on many points. What makes him qualified to nitpick these changes? SE/30? He's used OS X since 99? That's kid stuff. Basically, this review is from a PC-centric-everyman point of view. To me, this review is basically a Jazzed-up Troll that is being passed off as Silicon Ten Commandments. Specifically, where he loses credibility in my book is when he says: "...The phrase "arbitrary graphical change" has become increasingly applicable, and the sheer number of possible looks for any given element of the OS has exploded." - arbitrary according to you, Johnny_come_lately! You would think someone from Ars would study up more on Interface Design. 3D effect? Manipulation of Data, Depth as part of the User Experience? Metaphors? http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/XHIGHIDesign/chapter_5_section_2.html [apple.com] Translucence is part of a real world set of Metaphors. It's not Eye Candy. As an astute poster has mentioned on /. in the past, translucent objects are used in the real world every day. Map Panels, Dividing walls, Map Overlays, etc. find use by Engineers, Scientists, Military, etc. Continuing to use the metaphor is a progression towards advanced 3D UI's IMO. This guy just doesn't seem to get it. When real world metaphors that use cues,depth, reflection, translucency are used they help for people to FORGET the interface and focus on the task. This is arguably the goal of a tool such as a computer, a Turing Machine, a Robot. Getting closer to real. Get it? Instead, we get this guy whining about the minutiae admittedly that we all love so well and have to focus on as part of our work here but the rest of the world doesn't really care about. In short, to recap, If a computer or gaming platform is a task enhancing device or tool, then real world metaphors in the user interface that bring it closer to an intuitive, natural interaction similar to real life are to be promoted. Think of it as suspension of disbelief to use a phrase from Cinema. /rant

Re:This guy knows little about UI principles, IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166687)

Transparency is usually crappy because it's distracting. The text/images behind what you're working with interfere and make it harder to see what you're doing. Vista really got this right because they didn't just crank down the opacity on window borders, they made the borders blur what was behind them. That way you can tell what's there, but it isn't so distracting because you can intuitively tell the difference between foreground and background.

dom

Re:This guy knows little about UI principles, IMO (1)

graviplana (1160181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166757)

I would argue that Vista got it wrong and Leopard got it right, that Vista was taking cues from OS X development and that your comments are inaccurate. Post as something other than an AC and we'll talk. One more thing about the review: the Ars reviewer knows lots about code, but not lots about UI's. Yes UI's matter.

Re:This guy knows little about UI principles, IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21166751)

You sir, need to go wash your mouth. It seems your tounge is all brown.

Honest opinions appreciated. (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166491)

This might be a tad off topic, but I was just wondering what Apple is going to do for OS 11. I mean, Leopard and every other point release of OSX has had improvements. But nothing as ground-breaking or readily apparent as upgrading from OS 9.x to OS 10.x. In order for Jobs to out-do himself will he have to go on sabbatical and start from the ground-up again? Or will OS 11 just incorporate more little tweaks and features that users have to be told are there in order to notice? Or will it incorporate more superfluous stuff like the Beryl/Aero-like desktop switcheroo thingy?

Re:Honest opinions appreciated. (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166801)

I think they are currently laying the groundwork for it, and it will be instead of or immediately after 10.6. I think OS-11 will be when we see Quartz GL, resolution independence, ZFS, and much more enabled by default, in addition to being completely 64-bit. I think this will be after LLVM has reached maturity. But then again, OS-X may live on for a decade to come due to the marketing fondness of the big "X".

Re:Honest opinions appreciated. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166887)

Apple has trademarked quite a few more big cats. With the new two-year release schedule I think you'll be waiting a good eight to ten years to see an OS 11.

OS releases SHOULDN'T be as overwhelming as OS 9 to OS X. Apple was way behind the times with OS 9 and badly needed a big jump. They managed to pull it off, and now they're making steady, really quite quick progress. But the giant leaps are bad -- they disrupt everything and they're risky and expensive for both Apple and it's customers

And with it comes (0, Offtopic)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166497)

one of the silliest advertising campaigns of recent history:

Add a new Mac to your, uh, Mac.

I expect Google will be suing shortly (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166703)

From TFA:

Spotlight has been substantially rewritten in Leopard, and is noticeably more responsive. It does not, however, use FSEvents [the public API]. Instead, it continues to drink from the [undocumented] /dev/fsevents fire hose, grabbing each individual event as it happens. This may seem like a failing of the FSEvents framework, but it's really more of an acknowledgment of the nature of Spotlight as a system-level facility.

John's right about Stacks... (4, Insightful)

graffix_jones (444726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166821)

After having used Leopard for the past four days, the one feature that I so far love to (almost) hate is Stacks. From a theoretical standpoint, Stacks sound great, but Apple's implementation leaves something to be desired. In it's current incarnation, Stacks are barely usable, especially if you relied on the old Dock functionality that turned any docked folder into a nested hierarchal menu.

There's currently a debate [arstechnica.com] going on in the Macintoshian Achaia over at Ars on whether or not Stacks are a useful addition to the OS, or a horrible mess that should've been sorted out before Leopard's release. My personal opinion is that while Stacks show promise, making them a substitute for the old functionality (hierarchal menus) was unwise (to put it kindly). Stacks should have been an addition to Dock functionality, not a replacement for a widely-used system of navigation.

Leopard... (0, Troll)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166825)

I was pretty underwhelmed after spending 4 hours downloading Leopard from Apple Developer Connection and the installing it at 5am. Nothing really appeared different. I should note that I've only had a mac for 4 months. I'm generally happy (though I spend more time in Vista 64 than in OS X (work.. .NET)) with the Mac, but I'd be pretty pissed off if I ran out to an Apple store, shelled out $129 to see a pretty reflecting dock menu at the bottom.

XCode is still a pile of crap compared to Visual Studio .NET.

Re:Leopard... (1, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166909)

Difference of opinion. I find MS's developer tools absolutely abhorrent and quite like Apple's.

Plus XCode is free. As is the full developer documentation. What does Visual Studio and MSDN run you these days?

Introduction movie (4, Interesting)

Niten (201835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166831)

This review is great, I'm glad we have a source like Ars Technica to provide counterbalance to all the vapid and superficial product reviews we usually find elsewhere; Siracusa goes in-depth on every topic from the UI to the filesystem to the new Core APIs and Objective-C 2.0. I agree on just about every point, particularly his comment about Apple's need to eventually supplement OS X with a first-class managed code language and runtime [arstechnica.com] :

I'm sure there are Mac developers reading this that don't see any problem at all, in 2010 or otherwise. I could go off on another tangent about how programmers always seem to think the language they're currently using provides exactly the right amount of abstraction for the task at hand, with anything less dynamic being considered barbaric, and anything more dynamic seen as crazy and unsafe, but I'll spare you and save it for a blog post.

(As much as I love working and programming on the Mac, seeing how nice .NET is really gives me concern for the long-term future of Apple's platform.)

On the other hand, if you're not interested in all this technical mumbo-jumbo and only wanted to catch a glimpse of the new intro movie, here it is [arstechnica.com] .

Re:Introduction movie (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166917)

Like Python (first class and installed by default for years)?

Or the newcomer, Ruby?

Siracusa (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166949)

I love the depth Siracusa goes in his reviews, but I hate having to wade through his obsessive nitpicking. Real users don't care about most of the complaints he has. There's this culture of Apple nerd that has built up the idea of this perfectionist OS X that exists only in their heads, and anything that violates their ideals is some crazy Jobs-mandated idea. Like the translucent menubar, which really just exists because Apple recognized that people are setting their digital photos as their backdrop, so the menubar now tints to blend in instead of being a big white streak across the top. I like it. I also like the 3D dock. I don't nitpick these things or reference Fitt's Law or do any of the other crazy things the hardcore devotees do.
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