Sunday, 1 May 2005
|0946 - There's a tiger in my laptop|
After seeing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday, I took advantage of being in the Twin Cities to go by an Apple store and look at Mac OS X 10.4, better known as Tiger. After asking about compatibility with my existing applications (notably, Final Cut Pro HD and DVD Studio Pro), and being assured that both would run, I took the plunge.
It installed on my laptop in about an hour and a half, including verifying the contents of the DVD. (It comes on a DVD now; if you need CDs, you can exchange it by mail.) I didn't have any problems with the software itself, although two programs I use, CodeTek Virtual Desktop and the OS X tunnel driver, wouldn't run. Someone will no doubt update the latter; there's no update for the former yet.
On the whole, it looks good. Spotlight and Dashboard both work as advertised. I was mildly surprised to discover that the Dashboard yellow pages applet already knew my ZIP code, so I didn't have to tell it to look in Fairmont. I was disappointed in one bit: while the main Calculator application now has an RPN mode (RPN r00lz, d00d!!), the Dashboard applet does not. The system feels a bit faster, though not dramatically so.
I won't be installing it on the iMac for a while yet: I need to build Hercules for the predominantly available version of the OS, and that ain't Tiger yet. Supposedly, you can build for downlevel systems, but I haven't figured out how to make that work for packages built outside the control of Package Builder.
current mood: pleased
current music: Marshall Tucker Band - Ghost Riders in the Sky
The main thing about Tiger is that I wonder if it actually offers any substantial improvement to the OS, or if it's just a couple of mega-hyped features (e.g: Spotlight) which would be minor were it not for the RDF.
Spotlight sounds nifty, but it's not $129 worth of nifty. Considering that I pay pocket change for Linux (I do actually pay a liscence fee to Warren, because I believe his work on Mepis is worth my money) an Operating system would have to autodetect all my hardware, do my homework for me and give me blowjob before I start forking over that sort of dough, let alone buy new hardware just to run it.
But then, as a student I've got very different economic imperatives from someone who has paid his dues and is reaping the rewards of decades of hard work.
The main reason I decided to go for it (for $199, since I needed the family pack - two machines, you know) was not because of Spotlight, which I don't expect to use much; it's because there are some serious architectural improvements that will become significant later on. The biggest is the kernel restructuring they did to make Spotlight work: all file accesses pass by an interface that allows Spotlight to update its index, and in the process gives a lot of other abilities as well.
The Ars Technica article on OS X is a good discussion, and is worth wading through their hideous interface to read.
That only applies to Cisco VPNs...but yeah, if you depend on one of those, you should hold off for now.