Friday, April 29, 2005


Mac OS X Tiger Upgrade

I'm not a rabid Mac fan, but I had nothing else planned for this weekend, so I decided I'd give the new Mac OS X upgrade a whirl.

The first step was acquiring it. I knew that April 29 was the big day, so this morning I stopped at CompUSA on the way to the airport. This is when I discovered that the official premiere wouldn't be until 6:00 PM. It's a little sad to think that Apple believes their biggest fans would have nothing better to do on a Friday night than go to a computer store, but maybe they are right.

So, I returned at about 6:15 PM, while on the way to a birthday celebration for my brother (Happy Birthday, Steve!). Several of the employees were wearing tiger Halloween masks. I went to the Macintosh area of CompUSA, expecting to find Tiger boxes there. There were none to be found. So I flagged down a manager and asked if they were selling Tiger. I was told to go to the Customer Service desk. OK, I go to the desk. I stand there for ten minutes while the clerk at the desk goes back and forth between a customer's paperwork on the desk and a back room. Finally, he asks me what I want. I say I want to buy Tiger, and he tells me to go over to the cashier. So I go over to the cashier and say that I want to buy Tiger. "Buy what?" the cashier asks. "Tiger, the new Mac OS." The cashier clearly has no idea what I'm talking about, so I point over to the Customer Service desk and suggest that he talk to his co-worker. They confer for a while, then a few minutes later the cashier comes back with a black box with a big 'X' on it. So, it took a total of about fifteen minutes to buy Tiger from the time I walked in. Thanks, CompUSA.

After the birthday dinner, I got home and put the install DVD into the iMac. Fifty-five minutes later, my iMac is running Tiger. I haven't really explored it yet. Spotlight says it will be eight hours before my drive is indexed, so I can't play with that yet. The Dashboard widgets are neat; I've missed the Desk Accessories menu that the classic Mac OS had.

The only annoyance so far is that Safari made itself my default web browser and RSS reader, so I had to reset those to Firefox and NetNewsWire respectively.

Other than Safari's coup d'etat, I don't notice any differences. There's no fancy new UI theme, no animated agents or cartoon balloons popping up asking me if I want to try new features, no change to my startup apps, no new icons on the Desktop. It just works like it used to work, and that's what's really cool.

[UPDATE: OK, there is one big annoyance: Tiger "upgraded" Quicktime to version 7. Unfortunately, my Quicktime Pro 6 license key is no longer valid. So now Apple wants another $30 for another Quicktime Pro key. I'd be happy to stay with Quicktime 6, but that is not an option. See Jeremy Zawodny's blog for a great statement of the frustrations of Quicktime users.]

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