Changes in OS X Jaguar Compared to 10.1.5

2003 – I made it over 72 hours before I had to reboot Jaguar – details on that below. Today I’m going to look at the things that are different about Jaguar.

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Good-Bye, Happy Mac

Happy MacThe smiling happy Mac graphic we have known and loved since 1984 is gone, replaced with a gray Apple logo on a gray field at startup. It looks nice, especially on my titanium 400 MHz PowerBook G4. Still, it’s not as friendly as the happy Mac, but I don’t see any reason to hack the Mac OS to bring old smiley back, either.

There’s also a new graphic that Apple sometimes displays when files are loading. You’ll see the spinning brick – a very nice effect – beneath the Apple logo on the startup screen until the traditional Mac OS screen appears. You’ll also see it in some dialog boxes.

Lollipop, Lollipop

Whether the spinning OS X cursor is supposed to be a beach ball or lollipop or just some abstract spinning colored disk, it has a much nicer 3D feel in Jaguar. Since the spinning cursor is still something you see a lot in OS X, it’s probably the third thing you will notice when you restart your Mac after installation.

Crash Goes IE

Internet Explorer 5.2.3 and iCab 2.8.2 seem even more stable under Jaguar than they were under 10.1.5. iCab hasn’t hung up yet, and IE probably hangs only half as often. These crashes are mostly in Yahoo games.

What I really notice and really like the first time IE hung under Jaguar was that the three fingered salute (Cmd-Opt-Esc) doesn’t just bring up a list of active applications and ask which to terminate. It also highlights the hung application in red, making it easier to find. A small improvement, but also a very helpful one.

Unfortunately, an IE hang followed by Cmd-Opt-Esc resulted in the Force Quit box opening – and then refusing to function or close. To get rid of it, I had to reboot the computer. I then took the opportunity to boot into OS 9 and use Norton Speed Disk to optimize my hard drive before booting back into OS X. Note that this was an application problem – Mac OS X never crashed, I just couldn’t get the program’s window out of the center of the screen.

I find iCab works every bit as well for Yahoo games as IE, so I have a good alternative. (Chimera, Mozilla, and OmniWeb all have issues with Yahoo games.)

Classic Mode

The first time you launch the classic environment, you’ll see something new: You don’t have to display the Mac OS 9 startup screen. I still like seeing what’s going on, but the option of hiding it is nice.

Crisper Text

There’s a new option in the General system preferences that’s optimized for flat panel displays. It looks great on my TiBook’s screen, closer to what SmoothType does on the classic Mac OS.

Still Troublesome

Charles W. Moore has been discussing “ragged Finder response to keyboard and mouse input” in OS X, and I have to agree. The keyboard isn’t often an issue for me, but way too often I click the mouse button and nothing happens. Then I click the link or icon again – and it works just fine. For a WIMP interface (Windows, Icons, Mouse, and Pointer), this just shouldn’t be. The classic Mac OS never had this problem; I hope Apple can fix it soon.

The New Sherlock

So far I’ve only tried the eBay module in the new Sherlock. It’s very nice. No busy home page – just open Sherlock, click the eBay icon, and type in what you’re looking for. Once you find it, double-click the link to view it in your browser of choice (I’m trying Chimera right now).

Except for needing to restart OS X after a misbehaved application refused to get out of the way and the same sluggishness with certain aspects of Claris Home Page (a classic application running in Classic Mode), I’m very happy with Jaguar so far.

Tomorrow we’ll look at more things I like about OS X.

Keywords: #macosx #osxjaguar

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