Thursday, September 12, 2002

Initial thoughts on OS X.2 I've spent many hours trying to get OS X.2 Good 'n' Easy. It's finally looking pretty good.

The text-expander, Type-it-4-Me is almost ready for OS X and so far works pretty well. It even remembers your old settings, which is nice. HotApp is a good task switcher, and my F-keys are bouncing me between the Quintet again (text editor, emailer, calender, browser, and file manager).

BBEdit is wonderful, as always, and Now-Up-To-Date also has a fine OS X version. I didn't like iCal, to be honest, because it didn't assign tasks to particular days nor show times next to events. Useless. Mail.app, on the other hand, is a good replacement for the fondly remembered but now defunct Claris emailer.

I am OK with the Finder so long as I'm not trying to save something within a program. Navigating the menu tree to save something in columns mode is painful. And I am fine with Dock (unlike many) although I think it improves with HotApp and LaunchBar. I'm finding that the Quintet are not enough in this world of IM, Sherlock/Watson, terminal, RSS etc, but the Dock+HotApp+LaunchBar and the F-key linked Quintet give me instant keyboard access to everything important.

On the ugly subject of browsers, I find myself dissatisfied with both I.E. and OmniWeb. IE is sluggish, and OmniWeb has terrible keyboard navigation. Again, I like Opera best of all, except it fails to render buttons in Yahoo! Mail. This is quite a serious problem, as I use Yahoo! Mail fairly often. Opera for OS X is still in beta, and I expect great things when it moves to 1.0.

Enough trying to recapture the past, onto the future -- why is OS X better than OS 9? Firstly, I am stunned by the abuse I can throw at it without it crashing, or even slowing down much. iTunes, 20 browser windows, terminal, calender, email, iPhoto, Word, Excel etc. etc. can all be running at the same time and the system seems fine (and iTunes keeps playing nicely through my shiny silver JBL Creatures). iPhoto is fantastic with my Digital Elph camera, and I am looking forward to stringing together the movies (!) I took on it into something burnable using iMovie.

Also, networking is a breeze. Plug it in, and it goes. Very nice as my Locations Manager and Dialer become ever more complicated in OS 9.

Oh, did I mention it never crashes. Nor even slows down much?

Finally, given the Unix core, I look forward to moving my newsletter off SPAM! and onto something handled with a perl script and some flat files, triggered by Cron. *Nice*.

I think overall OS X is a fantastic system. I look forward to it continuing to develop and delivering more power to end users when other OSes are just taking it away.

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