After one month of Mac OS X Leopard, I’ll give the latest Apple “operating system” a two thumbs up, but with a few misgivings. Only a few.
On the other hand, some Leopard reviewers positively gush, and others obviously hate Apple’s latest cat. What gives with the mixed opinions?
I’ve used all of the Mac’s OS X versions except the original OS X server which still carried the platinum look from Mac OS 8. Progressively, each version of OS X has improved markedly over the previous. Leopard is no exception.
To be fair, Leopard 10.5 seemed a little buggier than Tiger 10.4. Some applications and utilities needed upgrades, I ran into a couple of kernel panics, and some strange behavior in Leopard the first few weeks. Nothing serious, but the obvious bugs of a major release.
Most, if not all, of that buggy behavior disappeared with Leopard 10.5.1. All my Macs have been humming along as if they were the last version of Tiger, except I had all the cool new features of Leopard. One of my Macs is almost five years old. It started with Jaguar. Leopard runs better on that old Mac than Jaguar did when it was new.
After a few fits of drive swapping to get the right external Firewire drive hooked up on a couple of my Macs, Time Machine has kicked in and worked flawlessly. Files are just there.
Here’s a little tip. Open your inbox in Mail. Then click on Time Machine and see what happens. You’re presented with your inbox from yesterday, last week, last month. All that email you thought you deleted is still there. Uh oh.
See? Leopard is a pretty cool cat, right? Not everyone thinks that what Apple is doing these days is spot on. Consider this Hit Piece from Adam Penenberg of FastCompany. Yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but some opinions become so far fetched when compared to reality that the writer loses all credibility.
Then consider this Gush Piece from Tom Yager, noted technologist, in InfoWorld. Remarkably, and in detail, Yager outlines why Leopard is a Perfect 10. Does Yager have any credibility left after gushing his heart out for all to see?
At another end of a different scale are all the responses to Leopard problems that show up on Apple’s discussion groups and in the popular Mac site, Macintouch.
Yes, Virginia, perspective is important. If you browse on such sites too long your version of Leopard will start acting strange, even if there’s nothing wrong. Misery loves company.
After installing Leopard on half a dozen Macs ranging from older PowerPC models to G5s to Intel Macs, I can say that problems encountered are about the same as it was with Tiger, maybe a bit more, but much less since Leopard 10.5.1. Much. As in none. Fortune Mag chronicled plenty of issues, though. But were they really problems, or has the Mac user base grown so much in recent years that any problem seems compounded by numbers?
I loved this little slam dunk from Microsoft. The headline reads Apple Admits Leopard Problems. How ominous is that? Of course, MS was just regurgitating CNet’s teeny tiny flame bait article which made it seem as if Leopard was causing all sorts of problems worldwide. Funny thing, it wasn’t.
Back to Who Do You Believe?™ and Who Do You Trust™ and what to do about it? I tend to put more trust in Tom Yager’s gushingly sweet piece on Leopard than on almost anything from the hacks at CNet. I also trust my own experience. If I run into a problem that I can’t get around, then I start to see if there’s a trend building elsewhere. Sometimes there is. Sometimes I’m the one doing something wrong.
Is Leopard a dramatic improvement over Tiger? Absolutely yes, but in subtle, under-the-hood ways, with some candy coated features on top.
What’s your experience with Leopard vs. Tiger?