Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
Weblog about cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore.
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Tue 19 Apr 2005

Why upgrade to Tiger?

Category : mac and the internet

I used to be healthy skeptic of an OS upgrade. I survived the entire OS 9 barrage of conflicts and the growing pains of Cheetah (OS X 10.0), never more than a beta release, from the trenches of an extremely healthy and productive OS 8.6 system on my Powerbook 1400/233MHz CPU with its 64MB RAM and 6GB hardisk.

However, armed with a new iBook in February 2002, I jumped into 10.1 and it performed admirably during an overseas conference and a month later, on an international expedition.

Speed bump
My 2002 G3 iBook 600MHz/640MB RAM was pretty much at the bottom of the hardware line as soon as I got it, and by adding the maximum amount of RAM and keeping my hardisk well-maintained, I had pretty much optimised its performance and was reasonably satisfied.

Then Jaguar (2002) and Panther (2003) provided unexpected speed increases.

OS upgrades come a cost, enough to make budget-conscious mac addicts hesitate. Despite this, the speed at which Classic started up on Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.2) had me shell out cash on the spot. And Panther's (Mac OS X 10.3) speed increase was just as impressive on a friend's iBook 600.

Look and feel
I am a real skeptic when it comes to geek hype - just look at the look on my face when Panther was being demontsrated for the first time during a meetup.

After a little experimentation, I succumbed. Each new version of OS X provided a whole new feel and was accompanied by productivity enhancements which lent credibility to the phrase "it's like getting a whole new machine".

While shareware is great at stretching the envelope and providing specific enhancements and functions, when Apple integrates a function within its OS, it runs so smoothly and sweetly that the original shareware is pretty much doomed.

Spotlight on Spotlight
Of the 200+ new features, I am looking forward to Spotlight.

I need to retrieve a variety of data from archives dating back to the 80's. These days data includes specific emails, files, folders, bookmarks, contacts, pictures, music and video tracks; we've diversified and the amount of new data being archived has increased exponentially. Furthermore, many items fit across projects or classifications. I've used a reasonably-disciplined approach to labeling and archiving my information and use work-arounds to problems, but I feel I've a new approach is needed for this onslaught.

Perhaps this is a result of ease of searching in Google, and the holistic search and find of QuickSilver. Successful Gmail search results has me comfortable about not categorising my emails. It takes getting used to, but new methods are needed for this new age and Spotlight looks to deliver that to mac users. Integrated to the OS, I expect a quick and seamless performance compared to current desktop tools and a significantly outstretched Finder!

And that's the beauty of the mac experience - this functionality will packaged so attractively, new users will adopt the technology without even realising its functionality!

Resistance in futile
This time around, the confidence provided by the previous two OS X releases led me to meekly ordered the Tiger (10.4) via eduadvatnge without a murmur of resistance, even in the absence of the hype that surrounded Jaguar and Panther.

Where's the buzz?
A check of release dates of OS X via Wikipedia revelaed:

  • Mar 2001 (10.0, Cheetah).
  • + 6 months, Sept 2001 (10.1, Puma)
  • +11 months, August 2002 (10.2, Jaguar).
  • +14 months, Oct 2003 (10.3, Panther).
  • +18 months, April 2005 (Tiger, 10.4).

Hmm.. this is actually the longest wait for an OS X release so far! But where's the buzz?

I guess the mac meetups and the discussion on the me@n mailing list flagged the flame of expectation previously. Both have been relatively quiet in 2005.

Or perhaps with Panther, most of our primary needs have already been satisified.

Posted at 6:56AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .