Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) - Initial Impressions

OK, I have been able to "play" with Leopard a little bit and here are my initial impressions: My System

MacBook Pro 15", 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 100 GB Hard Drive

Best Feature

Spaces. Having different virtual desktops is not a new concept. But, it is for Mac OS X. And I can see this being a mainstream feature for me. One space for coding, one space for web browsing, one space for email. It is especially useful on a laptop where I hate having to minimize, drag, etc. in order to get to windows and see multiple windows.

Most Disappointing Feature

Time Machine. Why, you say? Well, because I cannot use it with a configuration that you would think would have been easily supported (and, apparently, was in some of the Tiger betas). I have my external hard drive connected to an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS) so I can back stuff up from multiple computers over my home network. Well, that is not a supported configuration. So, to back stuff up using Time Machine, I would have to unplug my external drive from the AEBS and directly connect it to my MacBook Pro (there is a supposed workaround that I am not sure I want to try). I am hoping this is fixed sometime in the future.

Biggest Surprise

The upgrade process. It was such a seamless upgrade from Tiger to Leopard. Just popped the DVD, chose "Upgrade" and off she went. No blue screens of death, no missing applications, and even my Windows Partition via Boot Camp was, for the most part, unaffected.

Wish It Was Better

Safari. Actually, maybe I should say the support for Safari. The browser is fine. It is fast as claimed. But, it still feels like a 3rd class citizen as far as many of the sites I use are concerned. For example, I am writing this post in the editor and it can't really handle it (it squishes all of the text in one big paragraph). FireFox and Internet Explorer still dominate support for web-based applications and sites. Maybe this changes now that Safari has been upgraded nicely.

Other Notes

  • I still need to play a bit more with Finder and Spotlight to fully give my impressions of those.
  • Boot Camp (which allows you to run Windows) is working great -- although, during the upgrade, it changed my video card from NVida to Standard VGA. That was weird and I had to reinstall the drivers from the Leopard DVD
  • The appearance of the menus and windows is strangely close to Microsoft's Aero Glass interface that is found in Windows Vista. I don't find this good or bad, just interesting.

Best Review of Leopard

The best online, and thorough, review of Leopard has been by Ars Technica