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Mac OS X Tiger Released and Analyzed 563

bonch writes "Ars Technica has gone under the hood of the Tiger release and offers up detailed impressions on the new OS X update. The review covers everything from interface changes, new kernel updates and programming interfaces, the unification of UNIX system startup services into one service called 'launchd', the return of metadata, to the fact Apple has announced that from 10.4 forward there will be no more API changes. A fascinating read about the technical details behind Tiger and the specific changes that have occurred since Panther's release 18 months ago." Today is the update's official launch day, though some lucky people have had it for a few days already.
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Mac OS X Tiger Released and Analyzed

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  • Another good review (Score:5, Informative)

    by archdetector ( 876357 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:38AM (#12382668)
    Another in-depth review, focusing more on features and less on the OS's underbelly is over at MacInTouch... []
  • Fantastic! (Score:5, Funny)

    by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:39AM (#12382677)
    Now that I've seen Tiger, I can't wait until Longhorn is released. Just think of all those juicy features that Microsoft will see and innovate into their latest product!

    • Re:Fantastic! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ceeam ( 39911 )
      No they won't. They won't incorporate it into Longhorn. In case you did not notice Microsoft is being buried by their abomination of OS failing to accept any more supporting sticks and duct tape and crash-falling onto them. DotNet does not work as advertised (EG: have you seen any commercial apps in it?), Longhorn is bound to be a new WindowsME by all the signals. They may have posted a record quarterly profit, but all in all MSFT does not look like a good long-term investment; they may had been saved 10 ye
      • Re:Fantastic! (Score:5, Informative)

        by IAmTheDave ( 746256 ) <basenamedave-sd@ ... minus poet> on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:19AM (#12383083) Homepage Journal
        DotNet does not work as advertised (EG: have you seen any commercial apps in it?)

        - Dell's Website []
        - MIT's iLab and ShuttleTrak services []
        - T-Mobile's customer portal []
        - Infragistics website and software solutions []
        - Any one of the items listed in Microsoft's .NET connected directory []

        Or perhaps you would like to look at the massive amount of work that has gone into emulating the .NET framework with the Mono project? No, .NET is completely unsuccessful (BTW, I wrote and run an ecommerce application for my company of employ on .NET that does over $20k/day in business. Sounds like production quality to me.)
        • Re:Fantastic! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:32AM (#12383260)
          Do you see the difference between an application (where you compile it and send multiple copies out for users to (ab)use) and a "service point" like a web-site or in-house app. In other words: PHP domain (which I believe still kicks dotnet's ass for the web, despite its naivety, or maybe because of it) and Delphi/VC++ domains. OTOH - I've seen tons of Java applications, but have yet to see a reasonably "commercial grade" dotnet app. You know why? Because standalone apps are hard to make right and for web apps basically anything goes.
        • Re:Fantastic! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nordicfrost ( 118437 )
          Heh. That's a funny coincidence. Not more than two days ago, a Dell-fanatical friend of mine (Yeah, they do exist. Yes, they are a pain in the ass just like us Mac lovers) commented on how incredibly crappy Dells website had become over the last year.
        • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Friday April 29, 2005 @11:12AM (#12383705)
          Any old in-house app can be developed in .Net, where you can throw as many servers as you like at it and who cares how often you have to coddle it?

          He was talking about user applications - I've seen some simple examples myself but nothing really beyond shareware.
          • Any old in-house app can be developed in .Net, where you can throw as many servers as you like at it and who cares how often you have to coddle it?

            He was talking about user applications - I've seen some simple examples myself but nothing really beyond shareware.

            Sounds similar to Java. I think .Net's primary market these days is for in-house server-side development anyway.

            And .Net is rather useful and powerful for this kind of development.
            Think of it like like J2EE. Do you know any commercial desktop
      • Re:Fantastic! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by skaeight ( 653904 )
        I like that, "Longhorn is bound to be a new WindowsME by all the signals." I hadn't thought about it like that before, but you're probably correct.

        I'm pretty sure this is an upgrade I won't be making. I'm perfectly happy with XP and see no reason to upgrade (many said this about 2k). I really dont' like the fact that their preliminary stated minimum requirements are 1GHz 512MB RAM. Yes my computer exceeds that, but that will pretty much mean I'll be on the lower end of the spectrum requirements-wise.
    • Re:Fantastic! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TFGeditor ( 737839 )
      OS "features" I'd like to see:

      - Simple interface (command line is okay, but simple GUI prefered)
      - Cross-platform app support
      - Straightforward firewall
      - Cross-platform networking
      - Meaningful user's manual
      - Minimal system resource demands (reserved for apps)

      Maybe I am asking too much.

  • by dduardo ( 592868 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:40AM (#12382682)
    to tiger direct today to pick up a copy.
  • This is a real release now, not an accidental shipment? I know Apple is ahead of everyone, including themselves, so we best check.
  • RSS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BobVila ( 592015 )
    I think the Safari RSS support is neato. Does have an RSS feed. If so, maybe Slashdot can just automatically aggregate it into the front page from now on. It might save a lot of time.
  • Hey... whatever happened to TigerDirect's requested stay order on the release? Did Apple stuff then with enough money? ;)
    • The Tiger Direct vs. Apple Computer lawsuit is an almost completely baseless suit designed for one purpose: advertising. Tiger Direct is attempting to catch a ride on the back of Apple's Tiger marketing campaign. They don't have any intention to stop Apple from using the Tiger name.

      If Apple were renaming all of their Apple Stores to Tiger Stores, they might have some grounds. As it is, Tiger Direct [] is a computer hardware reseller, and Mac OSX 10.4 Tiger [] is an operating system. It's only slightly mor
  • Yay ars! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:44AM (#12382732)
    I wish more hardware/software sites were as rigorous in their reviews and articles as Ars Technica. It's so much better than the average OS release or Linux distro review from many other sites.

    To me, "The installer is cool, look at these spiffy screenshots" and nothing else is not a review. 21 pages of detailed technical and UI examination and discussion - now that's a review.
    • Part of this is because the writers at Ars Technica are so smart. Ph.D.-smart people who do their researchy stuff in the areas they write about. And they know how to write technical papers at the right level for the common gearhead.

      If you love their articles, get a paid subscription.
    • Re:Yay ars! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Matthias Wiesmann ( 221411 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:58AM (#12383553) Homepage Journal
      I agree, if more articles linked by slashdot were of this quality, I would sure be happy. Then again I'm really disappointed by the discussion here on slashdot, we get a really technical article (stuff for that matters), and people keep bitching about the price of the upgrade, making silly wishes for g5 laptops or OS for intel.

      A few months ago, Jordan Hubbard came to CERN to talk about some of the Unix elements of Tiger, and talked about launchd. I think that this is one of the features of Tiger that should be cloned ported to Linux (John Siracusa seems to agree). Having an unified launching mechanism for processes is really something that is needed on Unix, especially for laptops.

      You really want to be able to launch processes depending on different triggers and circumstances, like saying at that time, if the machine has been idle for some time and I'm not running on battery power, then launch that process. Yes, you can do hack similar functionality with scripts, but no, this is not convenient or stable.
      • Re:Yay ars! (Score:4, Informative)

        by adam mcmaster ( 697132 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @11:51AM (#12384189) Homepage

        No need to clone it, from TFA:

        Apple has developed launchd as an open source project that it hopes will be adopted by the wider Unix community. To the average Unix hacker, launchd probably looks like a reinvention of the wheel. I think it addresses a problem the Unix community doesn't even know that it has. In this way it's much like Mac OS X itself. There was "Unix on the desktop," and then there was Mac OS X. You'd think that alone would have been a big enough wake-up call.
      • Re:Yay ars! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by As Seen On TV ( 857673 ) <> on Friday April 29, 2005 @12:57PM (#12385040)
        I think that this is one of the features of Tiger that should be cloned ported to Linux

        Please don't. We're releasing it as part of Darwin for a reason. Please don't waste all that time re-implementing what we created in a similar but not entirely compatible fashion. Just use our code, then invest your time doing something new and wonderful.
      • The effect of proprietary software is to trade away freedoms in exchange for convenience--a genuinely self-centered framing of the argument. Other concerns (such as respecting software freedom, understanding why things are the way they are) fall aside and are generally ridiculed (such as why free software OSes don't come with MP3 players and encoders). How can it be "silly" for someone running different hardware to look at the proprietary MacOS and ask for it for their hardware? I'm not asking this becau
  • by jjv411 ( 267377 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:45AM (#12382734)
    Does anyone know the list of file types that Spotlight will be able to index out-of-the-box? OpenOffice maybe?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:01AM (#12382895)
      Tiger ships with these importers

      In System/Library/Spotlight/

      Bookma rks.mdimporter
      iPhoto.mdimport er
      vCar d.mdimporter

      In /Library/Spotlight/

      Micro soft Office.mdimporter
      Pages.mdimporter importer

      If you install XCode 2.0 (free with OSX 10.4) it contains template project code to create your own metadata importers. The OpenOffice people would need to create an importer and stick it in /Library/Spotlight. It's a fairly trivial task.

      Perhaps they'd like to port OpenOffice first though.
    • There is a growing library of Spotlight plugins, []
  • Lawsuit? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So when is this website gonna be sued?
  • Tiger Has Arrived! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ramsesit ( 754749 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:51AM (#12382800) Homepage
    G'day all,

    My copy arrived from TNT 24hours ago. Along with a friend who's copy arrived at the same time, we upgraded his iBook and my PowerBook overnight.

    I have two words for you:
    1. Spotlight
    2. Dashboard

    If you don't know what I'm talking about (presuming you all do!)... --> [] and read all about them! Say no more!

    Well, I can happily report that my experience has been a happy one! After backing up /Users, /Documents and /Applications/apps (where I put any applications *I* install) - yes, I'm a paranoid bugger - I did a boot->nuke->install of Tiger last night onto my PowerBook G4

    All I can say is that Tiger be pretty, Tiger be fast! It was a complete surprise to find that at long last my problems syncing my Sony Ericsson P900 seem to be over, as are my faxing problems. I haven't tried either *fully* yet, first impressions are good, and happiness should prevail.

    A couple of interesting things noted last night:

    * The install *really* doesn't like it if you don't enter in valid .Mac details (you gotta play!)
    * The almost-missed "sending registration details to Apple" message was kind of surprising. My fault for giving my PB a working network connection, but it would have been nice to be asked first before sending off data! Having said that, it's nice not to need loads of installation
    keys, etc. And hey - it's probably in the EULA which of course I read in detail before installing (*NOT*)

    So, for anyone out there holding out to see what the feedback is like - don't! You'll just kick yourself harder the longer you hold off upgrading!
    • Have you tried Konfabulator [] also? It's a non-free alternative to Dashboard, but you might be interested in some of its features over Dashboard.
    • by sg3000 ( 87992 ) * <> on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:19AM (#12383082)
      > I have two words for you:
      > 1. Spotlight
      > 2. Dashboard

      I got my copy of Tiger yesterday, so I installed it last night. Dashboard is cool, where I spent way too long adding and removing widgets just so I could watch the ripple effect (I've got a 1.5 GHz PowerBook G4 17" with 1 GB RAM). It's kind of like when everyone spent about 30 minutes doing the Genie effect when they got Mac OS X 10.0 Beta. Random cool things:

      1. When it's sunny outside, the sun from the Weather widget spills out above it, gently illuminating the other things on the desktop. That's cool

      2. The Address Book widget is fast and makes AddressBook far more usable. Just type in a name, and boom! you have their info.

      3. The Calendar widget is next to useless. I thought it would show me my iCal events for the day or something, but no such luck. It just sits there, red and unaware.

      4. I find this hard to believe but QuickTime 7 looks much better than QuickTime 6. I watched the large Star Wars Episode III trailer in it, and it appears to look far more detailed! You can actually see Anakin's complexion turning gray when he's talking to Palpatine!

      5. Spotlight is really cool. It took about 30 minutes to index, but once it was done. I searched on a few terms. It found emails I wrote six years ago that I forgot I received. It's very fast. Type in someone's name, and in one second, you can see all sorts of stuff about them on your hard drive. Basically, your Mac turns into a giant contact manager (if you've ever gotten one of those PIMs to work where it tracked files, emails, and whatever for contacts). I'm getting used to the idea of using SpotLight to look for a file or application before I even go to the Finder, and it works well. SpotLight has earned its place in a hallowed corner place on the screen.

      6. iChat can now display what song you're listening to in iTunes. That's cool, too!

      7. The mouse preferences has a place to adjust the sensitivity of the scroll wheel and which to make the primary mouse button (left or right).

      8. When Safari can't open a page (like this Ars-Technica page right now), it displays an error page, rather than a slide down dialog box. It's less obtrusive this way.
    • Yup, it's a nice upgrade...especially at the $69 educational price. Got mine Yesterday at 10:30am (shipped on the 27th) and have been playing with it all night at work.

      Did the Archive and Install option that moved all of my original settings/data/files over to the new OS without a hitch, quick too, took under 35 minutes on a very modest 667MHz TiBook w/ 1GB RAM. Somehow missed the Custom install setting that lets you de-select the languages you won't use and the un-needed printer drivers, but it was tri

  • by earthbound kid ( 859282 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:51AM (#12382802) Homepage
    I spent a couple hours earlier today reading it, and I gotta say, the article is right on about the Finder and metadata. How cool would it be if Finder had a "Keywords" utility palette that let you "tag" files in a Gmail-esque manner? Instead we get to deal with the continued inconsistent behavior of Finder. Their video of the "Smart Folder" constantly jumping around after being opened and closed is hilarious, but sadly accurate. Here's hoping the 10.5 will be the release where Apple digs up the Finder and rebuilds it from scratch in Cocoa. It seems like lately Apple's been really lax in the HIG department. (Mail 2.0 buttons, anyone?) Someone in that department needs to find religion and start cracking the whip on their projects.

    Still, Tiger is really, really impressive compared to their competition. While Longhorn continues to look more and more like a cross between Copland and the White Whale, Apple delivered its project on-time and with all the features they promised. It looks like the computing mainstream is finally starting to give Apple some credit for their accomplishments, too. Even the New York Times put out an editorial [] about how cool it is to upgrade to Tiger! It's just interesting to think about how much more it could be.

    A truly spacial Finder with real metadata? Incomparable!
  • by scrod ( 136965 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @09:58AM (#12382870) Homepage
    if you tell it to "Use secure virtual memory."
    As evidenced by profiling [] in Shark [], page faults can trigger decryption. I was initially worried--as files in /var/vm/ appeared to contain a uniform 128-bit pattern, I had thought at first that Apple was simply preventing user-space processes from reading them, but this is fortunately not the limit of 10.4's virtual memory protection.
  • by allgood2 ( 226994 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:04AM (#12382923)
    My brain nearly imploded when reading this review. I realized after so many years of being treated to 1-3 page reviews that skimmed over everything except the authors ego, I had almost forgotten what an in-depth review could be (I'm ignoring Amit Singh's [] since they're more like white papers).

    It was great to read about a lot of backend stuff like metadata handling or core video rather than just here about Spotlight again and again. No mistake, I'm looking forward to spotlight, but I like knowing how things work and or the problems that had to be overcome to get them to work.
  • Box review (Score:5, Funny)

    by KrunZ ( 247479 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:07AM (#12382955)
    You know it is Apple related software when the review uses an entire page to comment on the look of the cardboard box.
    • by ianscot ( 591483 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:21AM (#12383117)
      There are definitely times when I wish Cupertino was as interested in loosening (or just plain changing) doctrinaire API choices as it is in the packaging...

      But you know, every last thing I buy from them does feel like blinkin' Christmas morning to open. Anyone who has an iPod, and obviously they're out there, did a little "that's cool" reexamination of the box once they'd gotten the thing out. God knows why it makes a difference, but it does.

      Maybe Apple just regards it as a way to stake out their market position as (Steve J's analogy) the BMW of the desktop set. Same thing happens in optics: I'm a birder, and if you buy Swarovski or Leica or Zeiss, you get a very cool box around your thousand-dollar binoculars.

  • I got my hot little hands on my copy yesterday, and installed last night. Simple, straightforward, no problems with the install. Took about 30 minutes; most of that time was likely indexing, as the actual data transferred from the DVD to my machine was only about 2GB.

    Spotlight is astounding. It is amazingly fast, beautiful to watch, easy to use, and wonderfully complete, searching applications, documents (word, pdf, txt, rtf, html, etc, etc), images, music (though I haven't checked *lyrics* yet), mail
    • As an engineer, I appreciate the technological achievement, and as a user, I am - to say it again - simply amazed.

      ...and as as hyperbole artist, you've fulfilled your role as a sycophant marvelously.

      "Change your user experience -- completely." Either that's a complete overstatement, or you can't keep track of anything. I'm a slob, but I can find pretty much anything I want in 500GB of disk spread over 3 systems in a few seconds, without using find. It's called "o-r-g-an-i-z-a-t-i-o-n".
    • If you like Spotlight (and a lot of people do), I would strongly advise you to check out QuickSilver []. It performs a different but similar task, and is extremely useful.

      I find that Spotlight is fantastic when I want to get an overview of things - for example, if I want to type in the name of my latest project and get all the correspondance, documents, and (commented) address book entries about it. I can hit Ctrl-Space, type in "Project Gopher" for example and hit 'All Results' and bring up a window where I
  • Great big whiners (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Elwood P Dowd ( 16933 ) <> on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:13AM (#12383017) Journal
    It's an excellent article, and gets at a number of good points. Very worth reading. I'm just through the first quarter.

    John Siracusa is a great big whiner. Thankfully, in this article, his Spatial Finder crown of thorns is only employed in one sentence. He also predictably complains about the unified title bar look for aqua Windows. And the new look for

    I've been a Mac user from the age of four on. I could move at light speed in System 8's finder, and I'm delighted to be rid of the spatial Finder. I like the unified title bar look, and I like the redesign. Does my anecdote cancel his out? The guy at Ranchero Software seems to like the unified title bar look too... now can Siracusa bite it?
    • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @11:07AM (#12383665)
      No, because Siracusa is basing his analysis on basic human interface ideals that Apple itself pioneered (and still have in the HIG), while you're basing it on your personal reaction. Scientifically, your personal reaction counts for zilch, because it's been shown that users rarely know what's efficient for them until somebody gets in a lab and measures things.
  • by xRelisH ( 647464 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:16AM (#12383048)
    For those who've already picked up Tiger, how well is application compatibility preserved?

    I'm worried that some apps that I have might be broken and may take a while for fixes to arrive. The one I'm worried about the most is Office for Mac being broken ( yeah yeah I know iWork is better but I got this for free from a friend )
    • by Twid ( 67847 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:36AM (#12383302) Homepage
      Everything I had loaded ran fine, including some APE stuff with a few haxies. Even GeekTool continued to run, which really surprised me. Office for Mac (2004) ran fine for me after the upgrade, although Word crashed the first time I opened it. (Maybe a coincidence.)

      The biggest annoyance for me right now is that fink and darwinports are partially broken. Ethereal continued to run (which was not expected), but glib appears to be broken so irssi won't run for me right now. That's OK, I needed an IRC break anyway. :)

  • by PenguinBoyDave ( 806137 ) <david@da v i d m e y e r . o rg> on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:17AM (#12383062)
    One of the things I really like about MAC OSX is that it offers Windows users an alternative to Windows if they are not interested or if they are afraid for Linux. Readily available software on the shelves and the stability of the BSD kernel. I think it is the best of both worlds. At OSCON in Portland last year I was amazed to see how many people were using Mac's at the show...personal machines. I expected to see many more Linux machines, but I just didn't see that. Maybe someone who is more familiar with it could explain this to me, because while I think it is cool, I just don't know as much about the inner workings of it to be able to say "yes...for an Open Source person the Mac is a good alternative."
  • by frankie ( 91710 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:20AM (#12383101) Journal
    ...and my PowerBook feels snappier already!
  • Upgrade technique? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Matey-O ( 518004 ) <> on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:49AM (#12383456) Homepage Journal
    There's a coupon for CD media, but you've got to surrender your DVD media to get it. I _like_ my DVD media...but I've also got an (pre firewire) iMac that can't read DVD's....can I make a dmg on an external usb/firewire drive and install it that way?
    • by dourk ( 60585 )
      I created a .dmg from the DVD, wiped my iPod, restored the Tiger image to the iPod (with Disk Utility), set the iBook to boot from the iPod, and restarted. Worked great.

      Hell, I didn't even back anything up.

      The longest part was restoring all the music onto the iPod.
      • by As Seen On TV ( 857673 ) <> on Friday April 29, 2005 @01:14PM (#12385258)
        You should probably be aware that that's a really good way to destroy your iPod.

        The hard drive in the iPod isn't designed for sustained use. Booting off of it and installing Tiger should probably take about a half hour. That might be okay. But it's an oft-repeated and I think true story that one of the engineers somewhere here on campus installed Mac OS X Server onto his iPod for testing and booted it up in a lab.

        The iPod froze up after eighteen hours. The hard drive completely failed.

        Just FYI. Caveat emptor and all that.
  • by rogerbo ( 74443 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @10:59AM (#12383575)
    a word of advice, install the dev tools that come with it and take a look at Quartz Composer. It's an entire modular programming interface to all the Core Image / Video / Audio / OpenGL stuff. Similiar to MAX/MSP but complete integrated.

    You can use patches from it your apps with a single function call, make screen savers with it or run the compositions stand alone in Quicktime.

    Hours for fun for graphics geeks.
  • launchd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @11:09AM (#12383677)

    The article and summary both mention the consolidation of many launching methods into an new 'launchd' daemon that is responsible for a wide-range of tasks including starting and stopping applications and other daemons on behalf of users and the system. After more than 100 comments, I have not seen even one mention of it. Is this because it is uninteresting, no one has RTFA, or because nobody really knows what it does yet? The Arstechnica reviewer advocates that the other UNIX type systems immediately steal this idea and code and incorporate it. Nobody here has an opinion on that?

    • Re:launchd (Score:5, Informative)

      by Matthias Wiesmann ( 221411 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @12:06PM (#12384360) Homepage Journal
      The idea behind launchd is to have one single daemon to replace all daemon that launch other processes, this means initd, crond, inted, etc...

      The advantages of this approach are the following:

      • All those daemon have shared functionality but different code, this means more code to maintain and more security risks (all those daemon have to run at some point as root). Each of the 'old' daemon also has a different file format, which does not make life easier either.
      • Process launch criteria can be a mix of those offered by the 'old' daemons, crond is based on time, inetd on network connections, initd on boot sequence. Launchd 'understands" all those notions.
      The example I was given was of starting a backup task on a laptop. The criteria to launch the task would be something like if last execution was more than X days ago and the computer is not running on battery power and there is a network connection and CPU load has been low for some time then launch... Launchd is supposed to have 'adapters' to understand the old file formats.

      Personally I think this is a good idea, factoring out common functionality and using more reasonable file formats, but of course the old guard will complain that the current set of daemon just works (not on a laptop) and that this was proposed by people who do not understand Unix - who is this Jordan Hubbard anyway? :-)

    • Re:launchd (Score:3, Insightful)

      by javaxman ( 705658 )
      The Arstechnica reviewer advocates that the other UNIX type systems immediately steal this idea and code and incorporate it. Nobody here has an opinion on that?

      launchd is super-cool. Anyone who writes software or admins systems should be really excited about it. They are also likely doing real work right now, just like I should be.

      To be fair, I have seen some comments posted about launchd and it's coolness, some of regarding "if it weren't for that damn Apple license, we could just use their code in Linux

  • metadata (Score:4, Interesting)

    by welshmnt ( 787086 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @11:14AM (#12383727)
    Until there is a way of pulling (good, relevant) metadata out of most (all) file types Spotlight etc will be at best half features.

    I have difficulty getting users (intelegent users, mind) to file things in a single directory consistantly (yes I know this is ment to avoid directories but a location is only one example of metadata) . Fill in meta data as well? I may as well ask them to fly!

    Ok text docs, spreadsheets etc will be fine (ish) as some occasionally appropriate info will be extractable, but what about drawings, scans, films. I know companies and the analy retentive will fill this in but an awful lot of people will not.

    On the plus side I see this as the near end of application (un)installation hell....

    rm *.mozilla !

    ls *.apache !

    or whatever syntax you choose, as the metadata will gladly be added by distro builders/app programmers. I've never heard this mentiond.

    Ah well I'm off for two weeks holiday. Promise to think of you all while walking the dog :)

  • 12 hours with Tiger (Score:3, Informative)

    by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 29, 2005 @11:29AM (#12383875) Homepage Journal
    I received my copy of Tiger from Apple yesterday, and loaded it right away. A few first-blush impressions:

    * A very smooth install. Point, click, walk away for 45 minutes. Added a drive before I started, and booted to a new RAID array. Entirely painless.

    * I wasn't particularly excited about Spotlight until I tried it. We're all used to Find functions searching on demand. Having everything pre-indexed makes all the difference. It is REALLY easy to find things this way. I quit using the mouse to launch applications when I discovered Quicksilver. Now I'll stop using it to find things on the drive. You non-Mac guys are gonna love this feature as Beagle matures and Microsoft gets with the program. Makes mousing around a diectory tree feel like clubbing things with a stick.

    * Not sure if I like Dashboard yet. It's impressive eye candy for visitors, but I don't know how really useful widgets are unless you have them open on the desktop all the time. Even on my big-ass flatscreen, that means burning valuable real estate. I'd rather call the apps more-or-less instantly from Quicksilver when they're needed. Guess we'll see what sort of widgets people come up with.

    * Like previous releases, Tiger feels more nimble than its predecessor. I know a lot of this is just tweaked user interface, but I like it.

    * The RSS screensaver is as cool as it is useless. ;-)

    * Mail is improved. But it's now ugly as sin.

    * The cosmetic presentation of Tiger is cleaner and less "lickable" than 10.0-10.3.

    * Nothing has broken yet. I have a LOT of apps to check, though. Am concerned older ones -- such as Office v.X -- won't run well.

    * Safari totally smokes now. Fastest thing I've ever used, including Opera. We got a preview of this when Safari 1.3 was released with the last point update.

    * Looks like Automator will be worth learning.

    Pretty subjective stuff, but I'm quite pleased with Tiger so far. Looking forward to pushing it some over the weekend.

  • by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <(ten.pbp) (ta) (maps)> on Friday April 29, 2005 @12:24PM (#12384583)
    I posted this on LiveJournal too..

    Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) comes out this Friday, April 29th. It only ships on *DVD-ROM MEDIA* - if you want it on CD-ROM, you'll have to order the $9.99 CD-ROM set from Apple, and jump through a few other hoops (I don't remember what they are offhand)

    If you don't want to wait, here's how to install it using Target Disk Mode. This will require *two* Macs, both equipped with Firewire.

    * Take the Mac with the DVD-ROM drive (Mac #1) and insert the 10.4 DVD.
    * Power the non-DVD Mac off.
    * Plug the Firewire cable into Mac #2.
    * Plug the other end of the cable into Mac #1.
    * Boot Mac #2 with the letter "T" held down. Hold it down until you see the Firewire logo appear on the screen.
    * Wait a few seconds. Mac #2 will appear as a Firewire volume on the desktop of Mac #1.

    The 10.4 DVD contains the 10.4 Installer - double click it, and it'll ask you to reboot. Go ahead and let it reboot. The installation procedure will be just like you were installing it on your local machine, but when it asks you which volume to install it onto, select the Firewire volume (Mac #2) and go from there. It's safe to have it reformat & install (unless you want to just do an "upgrade" which is rarely recommended.)

    Once the installation is complete, it'll want you to reboot again. Go ahead and reboot. As soon as the machine powered off for the reboot, yank the Firewire cable out of both machines. Mac #2 will still have the Firewire logo, but that's ok. Just force reset it with the reset button.
    Mac #2 will boot up & walk you through the Mac OS X 10.4 setup assistant.

    At this point, you're done. Software Update will run once you get to the desktop. Have fun!

    (Hopefully this will stave off the "Wah, I don't have a DVD-ROM.. how can I pirate teh Tiger??" crowd. :P )
  • by he-sk ( 103163 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @02:43PM (#12386282)
    Yes, it definitaly got beaten with an ugly stick.

    Also, am I the only one who actually liked the mailbox drawer in Panther?
    • by Yosho ( 135835 )
      I agree with you. Overall I'm loving Tiger, except for It needs some serious help, particularly with the huge amount of empty space in the upper left area of the window; fortunately, you can rearrange to toolbar to make it look better, but I can't believe that came from the hands of any professional graphic designer. If it weren't for Spotlight, I'd go find the old version of and see if it would still run on Tiger...

      I also liked the drawer, but we seem to be in the minority. Of cours
  • by Gudlyf ( 544445 ) <> on Friday April 29, 2005 @04:48PM (#12387650) Homepage Journal
    Sort-of offtopic but still ontopic...

    Where does one go to get help with some of the more advanced, Unix-related issues of Tiger? Message boards, etc. Any good ones? I'm having a bugger of a time with NIS issues, ones that didn't plague Panther.
  • Highly recommended (Score:3, Informative)

    by 5n3ak3rp1mp ( 305814 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @05:26PM (#12387986) Homepage
    I am stunned at how good this article is. If he accepted PayPal, I'd put in 5 bucks for John, it was well worth it. I wasted (?) most of a workday afternoon digesting it in its entirety. SOO many tidbits of info! They include

    1) How to enable ACL's on a non-Server OS X installation
    2) The fact that Quartz 2D "Extreme" (wow! nice breakdown of the tech!) is there, but not turned on... and probably won't be until 10.4.1 or later... but you CAN turn it on temporarily... and it explains how.
    3) How to play with the emerging metadata features
    4) A description of how Spotlight (which is file-focused) indexes objects such as Address Book entries which are (normally) not stored as separate files

    Etc., etc. Excellent.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington