Mac Lab Report

Jaguar Faster, Smoother, More Responsive

- 2002.11.14

In my previous installment, I bemoaned the fact that my iBook partition was too small to install OS X 10.2 on top of an existing OS X 10.1.5 installation. Further, since I ordered an upgrade disk instead of a regular copy of Jaguar, I could not install the update on an empty partition. This forced me to abandon my efforts to upgrade the OS on the laptop and instead install it on my teacher desktop computer, a 500 MHz DVD iMac. I already had 10.1.5 running on that machine.

The install went well, and once it was started I could walk away and do other things without being pestered to register for this or that along the way. This upgrade is a two CD task. The OS is on the first CD, and certain applications and printer drivers are on the second.

This computer did not have the cautionary separate partition I used when experimenting with 10.0 and 10.1 versions of OS X. From what I can tell, a week later without freezing or restarting (despite some Classic issues) it is no longer necessary to partition your drive this way unless it is just part of your routine to work with partitions the way some folks work with folders.

I found Jaguar to be faster, smoother with the eye-candy effects, and generally more responsive than any of the other previous incarnations of OS X. Wait times for the spinning lolly cursor are shorter.

Most important for me, the school's last gasp from its digital high school grant funded a major network rewiring at the school which is greatly improved over the previous setup. All network functions load faster, including SASIxp, browsers, servers, and . . . drum roll please . . . iDisks!

At long last I can access my iDisk from work. How long it will last is not known, but I intend to use it while I can. I even have AppleTalk, if you can believe that! Suddenly my servers are working again, FoolProof security can access the network security protocol files, students can use the drop box on my class server, and life is sweet.

So many things are working now I'm actually doing less computer work with the kids trying to get everything reset to the way it was two years ago!

For the record: iDisks mount faster and don't expire using OS X. The new separation between Sherlock and Find File is great - funny how going back to the old ways can seem like adding a new feature. Find is faster and more responsive now.

Everything runs fine except, of course, SASI. It's usable, but only if you're motivated to stay in OS X. The primary problem is that windows don't pop to the front as they used to, so you have to type passwords when you can't see the fields you are addressing. Surely it can't be that hard to fix . . . come on, NCS, just do it.

I like Jaguar so much, I would advise you to back up your hard drive, wipe the drive, and install from scratch if you can possibly find the time - that is, if you're having the same problem I did.

Now, if I only had someone to iChat with at work....

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is a longtime Mac user. He was using digital sensors on Apple II computers in the 1980's and has networked computers in his classroom since before the internet existed. In 2006 he was selected at the California Computer Using Educator's teacher of the year. His students have used NASA space probes and regularly participate in piloting new materials for NASA. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and scientific papers. He currently teaches astronomy and physics in California, where he lives with his twin sons, Jony and Ben.< And there's still a Mac G3 in his classroom which finds occasional use.

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