Things I Really Like about OS X Jaguar

2003 – I’ll be rebooting my 400 MHz PowerBook G4 into OS 9 sometime today so it can be backed up over the network by Retrospect, but the more I work in OS X 10.2 Jaguar, the more I like it. I may have to invest in that ten user Retrospect client upgrade real soon now.


Today we’re going to look at things I really like about Mac OS X.

Independent Windows

The biggest difference between Mac OS X and the classic Mac OS is the way they handle windows. In the classic Mac OS, all of the windows related to a program are bundled or layered together. If you bring a single AppleWorks file to the foreground, all of the AppleWorks windows move ahead of the windows for any other program.

Under OS X, only the window you’ve selected comes forward. This can seem confusing at first, but it’s a great productivity booster. Instead of one window blocking the information you want to copy from another application, you can have the windows in any layering sequence you like.

If you want all the windows related to AppleWorks in the foreground – the way the classic Mac OS did things – just click the AppleWorks icon in the Dock.

The Dock

I love the Dock. I hate the Dock. I have mixed feelings about the Dock.

It’s more convenient than using a program launcher and a program switcher, which is what I do in OS 9. And it’s nice that programs that I drag into the Dock stay in the same sequence.

resize this

It’s still frustrating that the Dock isn’t transparent and that you can’t click through it to get to the resize corner of a window, as in the image to the right. The resize box is somewhere behind the BBEdit Lite icon, but you can’t get to it with the Dock visible. I still think Apple should add a handle to the Dock – just like the classic Mac OS Control Strip has – to make it quick and easy to hide and unhide the Dock. Barring that, they should make the Dock transparent so you can reach through it.

Screen Capture

I was going to complain about the way Jaguar saves screen captures as PDF files. I’m so used to doing a screen capture, popping it open in Photoshop, working with it, and then exporting it for Web use. That doesn’t work with Photoshop 5.5 in Classic Mode – or maybe I just don’t have the patience to wait an hour or so for it to convert the PDF into a 300 dpi Photoshop file.

For once, Google wasn’t particularly helpful. I finally surfed over to OSXFAQ and found the solution to my problem. It’s so easy – but at the same time so unexpected. Almost every program I’ve ever worked with lets you choose your graphic format through the Save As… command. Preview doesn’t. You have to select the Export command – and it works like a charm.

It would be nicer if the OS gave you the choice of what format to use by default for screen captures, but with Jaguar you’ve got PDF. Period. There are some third party utilities to address the issue, but for now at least I know how to do the conversion.

Find Loads Faster

Apple got smart and stopped using Sherlock as the search engine for your hard drives and network servers. The new Find utility pops up in almost no time.

IE 5.2.3 Rocks

I don’t know why, but Internet Explorer on Jaguar is much faster that I’ve been used to on the classic Mac OS side of things. I haven’t done any timed tests, but pages pop up a lot faster. It’s still not as stable as I’d like, but it is better than IE 5.1.x on the classic Mac OS. Of course, Safari might just make this a moot point.

Safari 1.0 Beta

I got home from work Tuesday night to learn of all the amazing things Apple hath wrought: larger PowerBooks and smaller PowerBooks, even more powerful iApps, a faster version of AirPort, and FireWire 800. But from a practical standpoint, I’m most impressed by Safari, Apple’s new browser.

Like many others on the Mac Web, I downloaded Safari immediately, launched it, and discovered that it’s fast, compatible, and robust. It works very nicely with Yahoo Games, and it hasn’t crashed yet. This could make a real dent in the IE market – and also do significant damage to Chimera, Mozilla, OmniWeb, iCab, and Opera market share.

If you have Jaguar, download the Safari beta. Try it. You’ll like it.

Keywords: #macosx #osxjaguar #safaribrowser

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