Leopard in the house

I’ve been using the new Mac operating system, Leopard, since Friday, and I like it very well. Probably one of the coolest things is “quick look”—press the space bar with any file selected in a directory listing, and that thumbnail zooms in to provide a nearly full-size preview. Even works with multi-page documents, and with RAW files.

The built-in file backup system, Time Machine, is also wonderful. Automatic hourly backups of your hard drive! But it seems to be a quick way to fill up your entire backup disk, and I am not sure I want multiple daily backups. Especially if it is backing up files that haven’t been altered since the last backup, like the multiple gigabytes of those Apple Loops for Soundtrack, which I never use. That’s what it looks like it’s doing.

The down side to this new OS is that a bunch of my programs are now very unstable. Word 2004 has crashed repeatedly while trying to print documents, and Google Earth won’t start. My preferred PDF viewer, Skim, has crashed several times.

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9 Responses to “Leopard in the house”

  1. Joe Says:

    I’m diggin’ the Leopard too. My favorite feature of the moment is the way networking was improved. It’s so easy to connect to other computers within the finder now.

    The app problems you speak of can’t really be blamed on Leopard. Apple seeds developers with the new OS months before it comes out so that they can ready their products. They seem to believe that it’s better to update the system substantially with each release rather than keep things as is to ensure backwards compatibility with every app ever made (see Microsoft). That said, many really old OSX apps work in Leopard, so maybe it depends on the developer?

    Never heard of skim, but I did a quick search and they don’t seem to like to put dates on their releases. I’m assuming they don’t have a Leopard version yet. Quicklook is good for that kinda thing though, and there’s always Preview. So unless Skim has some feature you’re dying for, you shouldn’t be too crippled. I ditched Office for iWork when it came out awhile ago, with the exception of Excel which was replaced by Numbers a few months ago on my system. There’s a new version of Google Earth you should get, it works fine with Leopard.

    As far as Time Machine goes, I don’t believe it’s backing up everything every hour. My hard drive would have been maxed out long ago. I have a 1.5TB external drive that’s backing up both my machine and Monique’s. It’s still got 850GB free and it’s been backing up both systems for 2 weeks. I went in and made sure it’s not backing up things I don’t want it to, like video scratch disks, or temporary storage. It’s really easy to specify what not to back up.

    Glad you’re enjoying the new OS! I can’t wait for work to install it on my MacBook Pro!

  2. Curly Says:

    Skim lets you highlight, underline, and draw boxes and ellipses around text in pdfs. It then keeps a set of bookmarks of the things you’ve marked. Very cool.

    I’m going to buy iWork this week, if for nothing else besides Keynote.

    One thing Leopard does that the previous OS didn’t: it keeps the same view options for all Finder windows. I don’t like this. The old OS would remember which ones I had in List view, and which in Thumbnail view.

    Also, the Flickr.com uploader page doesn’t work now. Could be unrelated to Leopard, but I have to use the “basic uploader” if I want to get anything uploaded.

    Thanks for the tips. We should try “share screens” in iChat sometime.

  3. Joe Says:

    I see an update in your future. That fixes the flickr flash thing.

    I haven’t noticed the finder thing, maybe I like it better? I didn’t like with Tiger how you could drag something over a drive and then a new finder window would spring up in icon view. Gimme column view every time unless I say otherwise and I’m good.

  4. Curly Says:

    Figured out the Finder quirk. You set a default view, and then individually tell it which windows you want to display differently. I prefer the old way, where it just remembered, and no box checking was required.

    And that update does not fix the flickr thing. I uninstalled my flash player, and installed this update, and it does the exact same thing. I select “Choose Photos,” then choose a photo and click “Select,” but then it just returns me to the “Choose Photos” screen, just as it was at the start. Plus, I’ve had Flash 9 installed for months, and this flickr hiccup just started happening with the very first time I tried to upload after installing Leopard. Coincidence, maybe . . .

  5. Joe Says:

    Worked for me.. I tried it before and I saw the same problem you were seeing. then I installed that update and blammo it works. Did you not uninstall first, like it recommends?

  6. Joe Says:

    Oh, nevermind, I see you said you did uninstall. Weird! You’re welcome to stop by and upload some images.

  7. Mark Says:

    I’m still fooling around with Leopard, but so far, so good. I think upgrading to CS3 earlier may have helped… MS Office is a bug fest. I still cautiously use the original OS X version, but I’ll wait until Office 08, that should be much more stable.

    I think Time Machine has some weird file voodoo going on. For example, I went into the backup disk (Time Machine’s partition is 266 GB), so far there are 6 different “time” folders. I did a “get info” on just the first 3, and they each came back between 87 to 89 GB. Well, that should mean for six folders, I should already be at like 500 GB, but the 266 GB disk says that it still has 169 GB available.

    This tells me that although it seems to be keeping “real” files of everything, all the time, it is actually doing some weird ghost voodoo stuff, because it is really only using like 97 GB total so far.

    So I’m still not sure what I think about Time Machine, and hourly backups are a little too intense for what I do… But I love the effect of the desktop dropping out and giving me that space vortex action! I feel like a Guild Navigator… Mmm Spice…

  8. Curly Says:

    Yes, I agree that Time Machine is doing some crazy stuff. I watched it update this morning, though, and it showed that it was only updating 10 MB of material, so I know it’s not eating up the backup drive.

    But Finder is acting crazy, and Spotlight frequently crashes on me. I basically can’t use spotlight if I have my external drives attached. It begins to search, then freezes, and can’t be dismissed until it goes away on its own.

    Part of the problem is that it’s the first release, but another part is that I need a faster computer . . .

  9. Mark Says:

    Yes, I think Leopard is a fat cat, but I seem to be doing okay, performance-wise. There is some major glitch that has to do with moving files between drives – maybe your troubles with the external drive have to do with that, or maybe there is some other problem with your external’s file structure that is hanging the new system.

    They are collecting info about the glitch at http://www.macintouch.com/

    Or, maybe it’s time to do some house cleaning and reformat your external. A new OS is always a good excuse for that kind of stuff…

    Anyway, have fun with it. I just wish it would make me coffee.

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