OS X Review

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There seems to be a lot of talk about the new features in OS X 10.4/Tiger–specifically Spotlight and Dashboard. For those that greatly dislike these features, there is an app called DisableTigerFeatures that will disable them. I have not used it and do not know how it works, so I cannot say if it simply hides the UI for these two things or if it actually removes the feature and frees up the associated CPU and memory they require.

For those that are interested, here is my take…

Spotlight – It is a great idea that I really want to like, but cannot. I intentionally have not yet reinstalled LaunchBar, just so I would force myself to use Spotlight. As Substitute mentioned the other day, it does not remember any sort of history like LaunchBar (or Quicksilver), so if I type “fire” and arrow down to “Firefox,” the next time I type “fire”, the instant message application “Fire” is still the first to show up in the list. Additionally, the extended URL-query launch stuff is entirely nonexistent in Spotlight. I got so used to, for instance, CMD-SPACE “ama” SPACE “hitchhikers” to bring up the Amazon search result page for “Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” or CMD-SPACE “thes” SPACE “red” to bring up the synonyms for “red.” The dictionary and thesaurus are available from Dashboard with a much nicer UI, but are not as quickly accessible–requiring a lot of mousing and typing rather than just a few hotkeys.

Dashboard – I am beginning to like this. Admittedly, I only use the GMT clock, month calendar, weather, and sometimes calculator (a scientific calculator with base conversion would have been much more useful). I find the vast majority of widgets to be silly and useless.

Mail App – Meh… The UI is slightly more clean and the spam filter seems to work a little better at catching the stuff that slip by my installation of Spamassassin.

Safari's RSS – Huh? Is the Safari RSS reader actually usable? I like the fact that it pops up an RSS icon in the URL bar for pages with the right headers. I find the RSS view to be worthless. Including PDF viewing directly in the browser is nice.

Keychain – The handling of keys, passwords, and certificates is greatly improved. This probably only matters to me and nobody else.

QuickTime – It still cannot play mpeg files without purchasing the proper plugin. Fortunately, the old plugin still works in the latest iTunes.

iTunes – So, tell me again, WHY do I want to play videos in iTunes and store them in ~/Music instead of ~/Movies?

Posted in: Dear Diary

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