My Leopard Impressions

As many of you know Leopard came out on Friday and well, I have it (if you didn’t figure that out from my last post, I’ll have to make it clearer next time a situation like this arises). I do like Leopard a lot, many of the features are great but some of them aren’t that great.

I’ll start off by mentioning the 5 things that I said were my most anticipated features (read this post if you need to catch up), then I’m going to list the things that surprised me about Leopard.

First off is Web Clip, which is really nice to have, but I haven’t actually used it yet other than to just try something out to see how it worked, which was nice. The practical application for Web Clips doesn’t really seem to be there, not just because to look at widgets you have to go into Dashboard land (and if you are anything like me I enjoy spending my time staring at a Firefox window) but also because I can’t think of any reason I really would use it, with the use of RSS readers and widgets that are already available I guess I just can’t find the value in building a widget from a section of a web page.

Next we have Stacks which I believe are one of the number one reasons to buy OS X Leopard, you wouldn’t believe how much I love this feature. It is so handy to have my downloads just sitting in my dock waiting for me to deal with them. I currently have 3 stacks sitting in my dock, the downloads stack which I mentioned above, a stack of the Documents folder, and last I have a stack that is filled with aliases to applications that I use often but not often enough to have their own spot on the dock itself (super handy).

Let’s move on to Frontrow. I really love the new look of Frontrow and I’m amazed at how much faster it is than Frontrow from Tiger, which might have been the slowest application in the world. The only thing that I don’t like about the new version of Frontrow is the movie trailers section, in the first version of Frontrow you could see the movie poster of all of the movie trailers tiled on your screen, which made it very easy to figure out what movie is what, with the new version of Frontrow it is just a list with a single picture on the left side, which is a picture of the movie you are currently highlighting, this doesn’t make finding a specific trailer easy when you can’t really place the name of the movie with what it actually is and vice versa.

We’re almost done with the first five, Quick Look. I don’t use quick look and I’ll tell you why, I actually name my documents well enough so that I can actually find what I’m looking for, I do know some people who aren’t as good at naming documents as I am and I think that Quick Look would work very well for them but for me it isn’t really useful. I guess if I often looked through folders of pictures Quick Look would actually be useful, but I have a little application called iPhoto that works just fine for me.

Ok, this is the last of the five, than I’ll get into some of the stuff that surprised me, Spaces. I really want to use Spaces, mostly because it works really well, but I don’t really see the value in it because there isn’t a single time where I have more than 4 or so application running at the same time, and when that happens using F9 for expose works just fine for me. I guess I just don’t do a whole lot of things at once on my computer because Spaces is really cool and I want to use it but I just can’t find the reasoning behind it.

Here are the things that surprised me about Leopard.

I hate the default dock that sits at the bottom. I have always had my dock at the bottom of the screen but the default dock for the bottom of the screen (I will now call the “shelf”) is just terrible. The shelf takes up so much room compared to the icons that the shelf just overpowers the icons visually. I much prefer the side-style dock instead but I wanted to have it on the bottom. A solution has been found for this by the way, if you don’t like the look of the new dock on the bottom and want the side-style dock to appear on the bottom type this into Terminal:

“defaults write no-glass -boolean YES”
than type “killall Dock”
You will no longer have the glass dock on the bottom (by the way if you want to change it back just do the same thing but instead of YES type NO).

The next thing that surprised me is how much I hate the new look of the toolbar at the top of the screen. It looks fine when you are staring at the desktop but when you have a Firefox window taking up the entire screen it just looks a little silly. I understand what they were trying to do but I just don’t like the look of it.

The last thing that I’m going to mention is how fast Leopard is compared to Tiger. I think I know why it is so much faster, I believe that Tiger was written a little sloppily for the Intel platform and Leopard was written much better for the Intel platform, so much so that Intel macs run Leopard much better than they could run Tiger, Leopard truly seems to be the first real x86 OS X (I know it’s not but everything is so much faster that it boggles the mind).

By the way, if anyone was curious, I’m running Leopard on a first generation 1.83GHz Core Duo MacBook with 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive.

Oh, and if you want to buy Leopard you can get it on for $99, click here.


  1. I was anticipating this post! I’m hoping to get a new computer within the next year and I’m going to give Apple some consideration for the first time ever.

    Other than the blue screens of death, Leopard has gotten some pretty decent reviews. Its always good to see people step back and voice negatives in addition to the positives. Some fanboys refuse to accept that Apple might be lacking in a few areas 😀

  2. Thanks Kyle I try pretty hard to not be too much of an Apple fan boy. I like to think that even though I think Apple does a lot of things right I will be one of the first to post about when they do something wrong.

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