Monday, May 02, 2005

A Whimpering Tiger

Hmmm. I have Mac OS 10.4 installed and a Tiger in my tank. Dashboard is useful (of course, the KDE guys had this one figured a long time ago, although not as nicely packaged). I have yet to be impressed with Spotlight. My internal drive took about 10 hours to index. Searching for something simple (I chose "snow") worked well. I immediately found pictures, etc, related to snow. Next I tried a "real-world" search: patents. I have several patent applications on my machine and lots of supplementary data, including many mail threads. This time, I was not so lucky. Although Spotlight returned the right Folder, indexing of mail seems to be both slow and very incomplete. After an hour of searching, I had to rely on more manual means of finding the appropriate email message. That is not encouraging. Did you know that Spotlight will, by default, carefully index Mail's Junk folder? That's just not thinking. All four mail messages regarding patents that it did find were spam and filed as such in Junk. Sigh. And, while I'm ranting, who decided to index fonts? Why is that useful? I turned it off pretty quick.

I think we all knew better regarding Spotlight. Right? It is technology, after all, and not magic. We know how they do it and we know they don't really have the data to make the kinds of decisions they marketed. It couldn't stop us from hoping, though :)

Tiger also broke the three mail bundles that I used (GPG, Mail Prioritizer and Mail Appetizer). I had to uninstall all of them before I could get Mail 2.0 to work. That's OK, I can live with Prioritizer now that Mail supports mail priorities natively. The lack of GPG/PGP mail could bother me. I hope the authors catch up to Tiger rapidly.

Desktop Manager, a nice virtual workspace manager for OS X, thankfully supports Tigers (mostly). Transitions no longer function, but at least it works.

I haven't tried Automater yet, but plan to. I hope it lives closer to its hype than Spotlight.

Reading RSS natively in Safari is cool. I'm still not sure it is as cool as Apple have claimed, but it is useful.

In summary, don't coming running to Tiger if you want stability or have a need for every app that you are currently using. But if you are a gadget junkie, the wow factor is enough there to be worth the upgrade. I won't go back, but am definitely looking forward to the next few OSS upgrades. At least Terminal is still fully functional!

1 comment:

  1. It's just crouching! There's a new GPG mail out now. I also installed a new GPG version at the same time. The Desktop Manager guys have released a new version that claims Tiger support. In a few hours of usage I didn't have any problems. The devel build is pretty crap though, functionally OK, but removes a lot of features I liked. I'm sutre they'll come back.