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My iMac 24″ goes back for inspection / a chance to play with Tiger

August 15, 2008 Leave a comment

My iMac has gone back to Apple for an inspection and hopefully, a new screen.

I backed up my 24″ iMac using Time Machine and formatted and secure erased the HDD, reinstalled the factory supplied Tiger install before sending it back to Apple.

Just for old time’s sake, and just scientific curiosity, I played with the Tiger installation (10.4.9) for an hour or two before switching it off and shipping it back.

I’ll state my final impression right up:

I could not believe how much progress Leopard has made and how much a retrograde step it was moving back to Tiger!

There, I said it. For all the (all the? a bit of an overstatement, perhaps, when compared to Vista) bad press that Leopard received, Tiger is a bit of a dog to use compared to Leopard for all the things I tend to do, and I have gained a new level of respect for the newest, occasionally troubled OS.

Finder

The old sidebar is much less useful than the new one, and the dynamically scaling icons to fit extra stuff in appears a bit unnecessary. As for speed. Crikey, it was much slower than I remembered, often beachballing when performing a task.

Networking

It seems that every time I double clicked on a network share the computer would beachball. How did I live with that?

Then up would come the prompt for the computer I was connecting to. After entering the password, The drive mount selector would appear. I’d double click on that only to have the icon mount on the desktop, the finder.

Repeat for each mount and with eight mounts, things start to get out of hand!

Tiresome, tedious and not at all intuitive.

Then there’s the strange Network icon that appear with an alias to my server that when you click on it throw an error saying the original file cannot be found etc. etc. do I want to fix it…

Stability

As for stability, I’d forgotten how finicky the Disk Utility was when it came to mounting my four drive raid combi on Firewire. It locked up immediately and permanently on opening and preventing me from logging out. It then required me to forcibly turn off the computer and restart, with the Firewire drive switched off.

Nearly a year after launch, Leopard is rock solid. OK, so a few apps have memory leaks, but I can now leave my Leopard Server running 24/7 only restarting for updates and patches.

There was some good bits to Tiger though

The lighter, more translucent appearance of Tiger was fresh and bright, like an Apple Store, after the dull grey of Leopard and the blue apple and rounded corners of the menu bar are much softer and more gentle.

Also, shadows subtly handled in Tiger, with delicate, subtle shadows rather than the the crazy-arsed SHADOW!!! that surrounds each window in Leopard.

There was less memory usage off the bat.

The Calendar application had its sticky inspector panel, which required only one click to edit each entry. The thrice damned Leopard Calendar drives me up the wall! Bring back the drawer is what I say!

All in all, I’d give Tiger a respectable 8 and Leopard a superb 9 out of 10!

 

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