Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Mac News

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I guess everyone interested in that kind of thing has seen Apple's new announcements regarding MacOS X.3 and the new PowerMac, so I'll go straight on to dropping a few comments on whatever the promotional material on Apple's site states:

Finder – I don't know whether I am really going to like the new window style. That'll surely depend on whether Apple manage to restore working spatial navigation with them or use them as an excuse to completely abandon that bit of user-friendlyness altogether. I am quite sceptical about wasting good screen real estate for the 'Places sidebar' in every single window. Not even iTunes does that. I hope the speed of finding things is as good as they claim it to be. It's certainly not impressive right now.

Exposé – Looks cool and certainly admits that for some reason the screen appears to be more cluttered in OSX than it was in classic MacOS. The film they demonstrate doesn't look like this really makes thing simpler. Certainly a feature you need to try and 'feel' yourself to see whether it's useful. I like the increased use of French by Apple. OS X.4 will probably have a feature to restore deleted items: Déjà-vu.

iChat – looks cool. I never understood why Apple dropped QuickTime conferencing years ago, and now they're back. I hope it'll be compatible with many other clients. I'm not too sure it will be as it still only seems to do AIM for messaging. That's the reason why I never bothered using iChat, despite the pretty and useful speech bubbles it uses: Most of my friends use ICQ and they won't switch to AIM just because I want to use iChat. (Proteus also seems to support Rendevous connections now, btw). Apple's camera surely does look very sleek. I never had a webcam, so I'm not too excited.

Fast User Swithcing – Definitely something that has been missing in OSX so far. All that Unix stuff may be nice technically but with all the swapping and long application launch times, nobody really wanted to log out just to let someone else quickly check a web page. Nice one. I also like the attitude that makes Apple say Because we can: Mac OS X animates transitions from one user to another. The current desktop becomes a texture placed on a 3D cube that rotates out of view while the incoming account desktop rotates into view on another side of the cube.

Mail and Address Book – We'll see whether the update for Mail will improve the program. Improved support for threaded discussions sounds good. Better HTML rendering is superfluous, let's hope they finally provide a button to turn it off permanently. Let's also hope there's finally support for nicknames when sending mail. I simply can't get used to having to enter the proper names when sending mail to my family. It was about time that the Address Book learned to print. Hopefully it matches Claris Organiser (aka Palm Desktop) in its abilities. Let's also hope that the Adress Book becomes less sluggish.

Security – Sounds good. Finally there is the option to enter the password after waking from sleep.

Preview – While this may seem one of the less exciting points, I am actually most excited about it. A faster PDF engine with a search facility. If Apple live up to their claims they may actually obsolete Acrobat Reader, as I hoped. Direct PostScript support is warmly welcome as well. And odds are good that these feature can be easily used by other applications.

Fonts – I don't do a lot of graphics stuff these days and hence don't handle a lot of fonts. Remembering the days when I did, better support for font management surely sounds like good news.

Faxing – almost a dead technology, I can't remember when I last sent a fax, but some people regularly use them, so it's probably a good selling point. Finally fax software with natural Address Book integration, I suppose.

Xcode – looks like this will be next ProjectBuilder. Many neat things in the specs, cutting down the waits and all. Even for my tiny projects I find the waiting annoying, so this should be extra neat for the pros. Probably a good way to justify buying those dual processer machines as well...

New WidgetIn a few screenshots on Apple's web pages you can see the widget I put in here which we could see on Apple's pages, say in the product descriptions, before. It might be a replacement for tabs. I'm not sure yet, whether I like it, but it seems to use less space than tabs, which is a good thing.

G5 – the newst toy. Not mine to buy, certainly, nice performance as it seems – but who cares? Being a Mac person, I'll look at the case first anyway. It doesn't exactly look thrilling, but quite elegant, almost Bauhaus style. It seems to be safe to say that the era of luscious curved shapes that culminated in the clam-shell iBook is over for now. I like the fact that they included USB and FireWire ports at the front now – a clue even the PC folks have gotten by now. I also like the fact that, judging from the presentation, the machine looks very cleanly designed both visually and technically. Finally, they included full audio support, including digital audio – as if to make up for the machines they shipped without any audio in.

Oh, and everyone's favourite web browser was declared ready for prime time today. Surely, I'll put it through its paces soon. There'll be no more apologetic 'it's only beta' comments from now on.

June 23, 2003, 23:42


Trackback “WWDC 2003” from freeform goodness:

As far as most of the Panther features go, Sven did a pretty good job of summing up the good and the scary.

June 24, 2003, 2:43

Trackback “2003/06/24 09:39” from 2lmc spool:

WWDC Coverage Roundup: Panther

June 24, 2003, 11:32

Trackback “WWDC 2003 Keynote” from Michael Tsai’s Weblog:

Matt Gemmell has my favorite writeup of Panther and its new metallic Finder. I can’t wait to see how Apple will change the human interface guidelines to suit this whim. Personally, I think it’s time to change the default system fonts and s…

June 25, 2003, 2:50

Trackback “WWDC 2003 Keynote” from Michael Tsai’s Weblog:

Matt Gemmell has my favorite writeup of Panther and its new metallic Finder. I can’t wait to see how Apple will change the human interface guidelines to suit this whim. Personally, I think it’s time to change the default system fonts and s…

July 23, 2003, 21:44


Comment by Nicholas Riley: User icon

Some comments…

Finder - yes, searching is that fast. The Places sidebar can be hidden.

Exposé - Seems terrific, a replacement for command-tab. It lets you use the entire screen as huge buttons, instead of the dock icons.

Tab widgets - take a look at the FontBook page, you’ll see a screenshot of the character palette, which is (almost) exactly the same as it is on 10.2. Open the same palette and compare. It’s a tab replacement, I think I like it, especially the shading makes it clear what portion of the window the tabs are affecting.

June 24, 2003, 0:39

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