November 6, 2003
Panther is My Hero
So I installed Apple's new OS X.3 release, aka Panther, this week and life is good. Real good. I mean really, really good . Mark Pilgrim describes what's new in Panther much better that I ever could (and I strongly recommend his introduction), but the take-away I want people to get right now is how much snappier the OS feels.
I honestly feel as if I've installed an accelerator giving me a few hundred MHz boost in CPU power. This may not be as noticeable on newer machines, but it makes a world of difference on my getting-long-in-tooth TiBook 550. A colleague relaying reports from other happy users notes that this may be the first OS update in history that actually makes your machine run faster rather than slower with requisite new features and the, until now, expected, concurrent performance hit.
Nearly all my dev and office apps (Macromedia Studio MX, Director, BBEdit 7, MS Office, Photoshop 7, Transmit 2.6, RDC, Amadeus II, RDC and others) continue to work without issue, but there are a couple gotchas to watch out for.
Some other quick items of note:
Panther natively understands and can create/extract .zip files, which may allow some users to skip purchasing/upgrading Stuffit, although it appears that PC user recipients of Panther-created zip files will see excess junk in their zip archives when files with resource forks are archived in this manner. If this is likely to be a problem for you, it might be a good time to go look at that Aladdin 40% off offer.
Mounting volumes and then running away
A major annoyance in previous versions of OS X was what happened when you dropped off your network w/o first unmounting any of your network volumes. Those of us with laptops probably were burnt by this the most. I'm happy to report that Panther is smart about this type of thing and doesn't spin you off into never-never land while trying to contact your dearly departed mounts. Instead, Panther lets you know that the mount has gone MIA and asks if you want to forget about it. Yes, please!
Panther brings Safari 1.1 to the party, and you may just have to go to the party to get this release (Panther-only?). Apple engineer Dave Hyatt's blog posts the fixes and feature additions in Safari 1.1 and Safari 1.1, Part 2, even whetting our appetites for just implemented features like tooltip title attribute handling and more. Todd Dominey shows off the text shadow property in Safari 1.1 to good effect, being a CSS-2 feature which he claims only Safari 1.1 currently supports.
Apple says Font Book "lets you install, preview, search, activate and deactivate the fonts you need." May cut into Extensis' Suitcase sales; Suitcaseless designers will find this functionality welcome indeed.
With one more plug for Mark Pilgrim's introduction to Panther, keep an eye on this space for more observations and compatibility issues as I come across them, and please feel free to add your own impressions and experiences with OS X.3.Posted by Lewis Francis at November 6, 2003 12:13 AM