"Prepare For Glory!"
The tagline for the movie 300 where are small group of scantily clad Spartans take on a giant army at the Battle of Thermopylae.
Is it a coincidence that Apple is touting 300 new features in their Leopard upgrade of MacOS X or are we to see another analogy between the small but scrappy Apple, Inc. taking on the massive Microsoft Windows once again?
Probably a coincidence. It does give me a title for a blog post, though, and that is close enough for me.
My copy of Leopard arrived last Friday and I installed it on all of my Macs by the end of the weekend and so far I've been really quite happy with it. There have been a few issues like Last.FM's client locking up after launch and occasional annoyance with the new Finder sidebar but overall I am really loving many of the new features.
My top 10 favorite Leopard Features:
- Core Animation As a developer, I love the possibilites this unleashes. I'm already playing with ways to use this to make our shows cooler. Sweet!
- Spaces Even with multiple monitors, the number of windows that I have to deal with is huge. Between having lots of browsers open for testing the site, terminals, mail, iTunes, iCal, Skype, Adium and all of the rest, Window management is still really tough. Spaces does a fantastic job of making this workable again. My one minor annoyance, the default keystroke for switching spaces is a commonly used text editor combination. Easily fixed.
- Tabbed Terminal Windows Geeky, yes, but I love being able to keep them all together. Request: Let me name them independently.
- Live Partition Resizing I had two partitions on my laptop. One for the Leopard beta and one for Tiger. Once I had upgraded the Tiger partition to Leopard, I didn't need the other partition anymore. In Disk Tools, I just deleted the Leopard one, and dragged the Tiger one to take the full space, all while still running in the OS. No reboots and no lost data. Brilliant!
- Quick Look When nearly any file is selected in the Finder, just hit the space bar to get a very fast preview of the file. This is now the quickest way to figure out if this is the right photo or text file I'm looking for. Cool animation too :)
- Photo Mosaic Screensaver You just need to see it - it is brilliant!
- Safari 3.0 The new Safari is much much better than version 2.0 and I really like the inspect element feature. Add a script debugger like FireBug and I'll relegate FireFox to compatibility testing only. (FF is sooooo buggy).
- Spotlight Calculator I do little calculations all the time. New in Leopard, all you need to do is hit Cmd-Space and then type a calculation and it gives you the answer right in the Spotlight window.
- Mail To-Do lists and Notes. Just very handy. The fact that they sync between my Macs through .Mac is icing.
- Upgrade I've upgraded 4 machines from Tiger and each of them went flawlessly.
With all of this goodness, the jury is still out on a few things.
- XCode 3 and Interface Builder A ton has changed here and it is taking a bunch of time to relearn things. Interface Builder in particular had a huge overhaul but I've run into a number of places where I can't find the magical clicking/dragging combo to hook things up.
- Time Machine I haven't turned it on yet. Now that my safety backup disk is free after the flawless upgrades maybe I'll give it a shot
- Back to my Mac I love the idea of being able to control the screen on my desktop machine at home while I'm out at one of our myriad coffee shops with the gypsy dev team. I just haven't tried it yet outside of our house. I'm dubious that it will work well, but I'll give it a shot :)
- Boot Camp Parallels and VMWare work great and I don't need to reboot. World Of Warcraft still works. Why bother?
- The glassy menu bar Feh. Not as nice as the glass in Vista, yet somewhat annoying.
So this 300 seem like a pretty formidable group. Let's hope that they fare better than the Spartans did.
Oh and speaking of Spartans losing - Go Blue!
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