23rd January 2008

Review: Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5)

Mac OS X 10.5 LeopardWell it’s been just over a month that I successfully upgraded my Laptop (17″ G4 PowerBook) to Apple’s newest version of OS X, Leopard, and IMHO the big cat does not disappoint. Hundreds, if not thousands of other Apple/Mac – centric bloggers have all posted fine reviews of Leopard, including detailed synposes and opinions on all the various new features and improvements, so I am just going to focus on those things that I really like, that in my opinion make Leopard worth upgrading to.

First, and it may be a small thing to some people, but it’s huge to me, is the fact that the Print Dialog (in every application I’ve used so far) has a mini-preview built right in, so I no longer have to click on the extra “preview” step to see how many pages my file would print and figure out which pages I want – it’s all right there in the Print Dialog – nice!

Another minor improvement that saves me tons of time is the vastly improved preview function of the Finder. I don’t fully utilize it’s Cover Flow feature often, but I love that it can now show me an actual preview of highlighted files – even in the Open Dialog. Many times I’ve remembered what a file I want looks like, but can’t remember what I named it, so being able to browse through a list of files and find the one I want without having to open them all is something I really appreciate.

Then there’s Spaces – I absolutely love this new feature. Although I primarily use my Laptop when I’m traveling, I need to stay in constant touch with my team while working, which means my email and IM apps are open, as are my graphics and web development apps, and numerous browser windows. Before Leopard my desktop was cluttered and switching between windows was confusing, even using Expose, but now by using Spaces I can keep everything neatly organized and switch between the virtual desktops easily. Sweet!

I’ve saved my favorite new feature for last – the new and improved Preview, which now lets you combine PDF files easily, as well as re-order pages in a multi-page PDF. In my previous post How To Combine PDF Files, I spotlighted a terrific App from MonkeyBread Software called Combine PDFs 2.1 . This App is still a great choice for any Mac user still running Tiger or older Mac OS’s, but in Leopard you can now combine and rearrange PDFs directly in Preview. Super sweet!

To be honest I haven’t found anything yet that I don’t like about Leopard, and since there are enough things that I really like about it I’ve decided to take the plunge and upgrade my desktop, which is my primary working machine, this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes…..

Kitten
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8 Responses to “Review: Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5)”

  1. On January 23rd, 2008,Pages tagged "leopard" Says:

    [...] bookmarks tagged leopard Review: Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) saved by 1 others     quikieemart bookmarked on 01/23/08 | [...]

  2. 1 On January 24th, 2008,AsceticMonk Says:

    Thanks for the review!

    I am facing a dilemma. I currently own a 15″ PowerBook G4, the last model before Apple released MBP. I am pondering whether to buy a brand new MBP, or simply save money and just install Leopard on my PB. My primary concern is the performance of Leopard on my PB.

    So, I wanna ask you how is Leopard’s performance on your 17″ PB, any slowdowns? Thanks!

  3. 2 On January 24th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    No slowdowns, in fact it seems much zippier now, in particular Safari is noticeably speedier. Part of that could be that I did a clean install (Erase & Install) and then copied back all my apps, docs & settings using the Migration Wizard from my backup drive. But I definitely think it’s worth trying the upgrade first before ditching your PB for a newer MBP. The upside would be that if it improves performance for you, you’ll have saved yourself some $$ until the day you really need a new MBP, and worst case is that you’ll have improved the value of your PB if you decide to sell it before buying a new one (I hope that make sense).

    Be sure to backup everything first, and if you do decide to sell it and get an MBP, use the super-secure erase via Disk Utility to get rid of your old data.

    Good luck! I’d love to hear how it works for you if you can remember to come back and let me know.

  4. 3 On January 24th, 2008,AsceticMonk Says:

    Thanks for the reply Kitten! I will definitely come back and let you know how everything went.

  5. 4 On January 29th, 2008,AsceticMonk Says:

    Hi Kitten! Last weekend, I bought Leopard and installed it on my PowerBook. I am actually typing this comment with my PowerBook equipped with Leopard. Everything works wonderfully, so far I enjoy the OS very much. I just come back to let you know how everything went. Thanks again for your post and your reply!

  6. 5 On January 29th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Excellent! I’m glad it went well for you!

  7. 6 On August 20th, 2008,jim phil Says:

    Wow, no downside/problems/regrets/criticisms with Leopard? This is my first week and I upgraded two of three computers and won’t doing the third anytime soon. It seems you are worried too since you didn’t do your desktop.

    Leopard is good–not great. Too many problems that take lots of time to fix. At best some problems seem just to be lack of documentation and lack of written support. At worst their are many bugs to be corrected. Which leads to a BIG problem: updates introduce problems into the system.

    For example, the last Leopard update shut down my wireless network. Yes, after two days for researching the problem I got it working, but will this happen often? Will I need a full IT department to keep things working? Tiger was stable and I never felt that the next update would cause a work shutdown.

    I like your review of the good, but come clean–what problems have you had that others can beware of? (my apologies if you have further reviews-this is all I saw.)

  8. 7 On August 21st, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Hi Jim phil

    Actually I have not had any major problems, and I did go ahead and upgrade my desktop a few weeks after my laptop. There are a few minor quirks, to be sure, and a few annoyances (like the way the firewall is handled in Leopard), but overall I can honestly say that I am happy with it, and really love a few of the new features (such as Time Machine and Quick Look).

    I haven’t yet upgraded to the very latest version (10.5.4) but only because I am spending the summer on the road (with only my laptop) and don’t want to chance a problem that will render me unable to work. I hadn’t heard about any specific problems with wireless connections and 10.5.4, but I do know that with every version there is always someone (actually a group of someones) who do have problems. To be fair, as many if not more have troubles with Windows upgrades as well, so I think it’s just universal karma – some have trouble, most don’t and it’s a roll of the dice.

    I appreciate that you’ve pointed out my lack of follow up review – I had intended to and just got busy, but I’ll write one soon.

    If you have a blog of your own it would be great for others if you’d write about your experience with the last update shutting down your wireless network and exactly how you fixed it – there may be someone else still struggling. If you don’t have a blog please email me the details and I’ll write it up (crediting you) and post it.

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