Leopard, Part 1 - Installation and Desktop
As I said in an earlier blog, I’ve installed Leopard on three of our four machines. As you also might expect, most of my experience with the new operating system has been on mine, i.e, a 2.66GHz Mac Pro with 6GB of RAM and my MacBook Pro, a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo powered machine with 3GB of RAM. Most of my running time on the latter has been using a Maxtor Easy Touch III 320GB Firewire 800 external hard drive as my boot drive. More on the complications of upgrading that setup later; suffice it to say it is working and working fine.
Despite what I've heard in other parts of the Mac community, I have used the Upgrade method of installing OS X since OS 10.1; and I have never had the problems with it others seem to have. Therefore, I installed Leopard in the same way. That said, the Leopard upgrade installation has left behind the most bugs of them all. Even so, things still went fairly smoothly. On the first reboot on both my systems, the system did hang on a blue screen for about two minutes; but in every case, it continued normally afterwards.
To begin the installation, I simply inserted the Leopard DVD into each machine. The installation window (as shown above) appeared, and I double-clicked on the “Install Mac OS X” icon. The installer then presented the standard windows you might expect, i.e., the EULA acceptance and the window presenting options for installation. Since I did nothing to customize the installation, the installer assumed I wanted to use the Upgrade option and stated that at the bottom of its window as well as presenting a statement that the upgrade would take 5.6 GB. I think I selected the hard drive for the installation next before it asked me for my user id and password; and once supplied, it rebooted. Then it began the Installation DVD check Apple’s been presenting for the last few OS upgrades. (I let the DVD check run during that first installation but after that clicked the “Skip” button to save time.) Once that was finally done, it began writing files while showing me a progress bar and a wildly inaccurate estimate of time remaining that started out at 2 hours and 12 minutes and rapidly clocked down from there. From the reboot to the end of the installation window (when it reboots and goes through various hoops to finish the installation), took forty minutes on my Mac Pro and fifty minutes on my MacBook Pro when installing to its internal hard drive.
I always run my Docks on the right side of the screen, so they both appeared as the 2D dark but somewhat transparent version. On both machines, all applications that had been on the Tiger dock were successfully carried forward. The picture shows my MBP desktop with the Grab application highlighted in the Menu bar, which is semi-transparent in Leopard. Frankly, I don’t see that it adds anything aesthetically or functionally to the system; so, I’m not sure why they did it. Further, the bar appears more silver than it might otherwise because of the “Aurora” desktop being displayed; selecting an Aqua desktop makes the menu turn a shade of light blue. (While I’m displaying the native Leopard “Aurora” desktop here, I actually like the Aqua desktops more and plan on running them most of the time.).
If you look closely at the Dock, you can see that the Applications folder is now represented by what appears to be an Address Book superimposed over a brown folder. Not sure why Apple picked that one, but it hasn’t been hard to get used to. What is cool is what happens when you click on it. Instead of the Finder folder view, it displays all applications in a semi-transparent window where you can launch any application with a single-click.
The downside of it is that when you do click on an app, the window disappears so that launching multiple applications from it is impossible. However, there is a workaround; and that is to click on the “Show in Finder” button near the bottom of the “window”. This presents the Applications folder in the Finder folder view you’re used to and that doesn’t move or disappear until you close it.
Unlike earlier versions of OS X, when you right-click on the Applications folder in the Dock, you no longer get a Windows-like cascading menu of applications you can pick from. You do get a contextual menu, but it shows only “Sort by” (Name, Date, etc.), “Remove from Dock”, “Show in Finder”, and “Open Applications” selections.
The other thing you may notice is that the little black arrow that pointed at running applications has been replaced by a much-harder-to-see white dot.
That’s all I’ve got time for today.
In my next blog, I’ll post boot, shutdown, and application launch times using Tiger and Leopard and different machine configurations. The blog after that will talk about the bugs I’ve seen. After that, who knows?