iMac and Leopard: great friends

After a weekend of trying to make my old eMac keep up with the new Leopard OS, I took the plunge and bought an iMac. Not just any old iMac, but one of the new, beaut 24″ shiny screen jobbies with lots of speed and power … just like all the cats that Mac uses to describe their OS. It’s also slender, elegant and positively purrs along on my desk. 10/10 for form and aesthetics. I don’t mind the screen at all. Yes, it’s shiny, but its clarity is brilliant and my eyes say thank you.

And then there’s the new OSX 10.5 Leopard under the hood. It really did need the iMac to make it run, and run it does. I’ve been playing around with the goodies, and whilst I appreciate the slickness and fun, I could really do without the Cover Flow view in Finder. However, I happen to love the great Star Wars effect when Time Machine (the insanely simple and wonderful back up function) kicks in. The desktop appears to drop away and there you are in deep space looking out into a galaxy far, far away … there are even moving stars flying past a stack of your older documents. Wooo! I like playing Princess Leia and hitting the Time Machine button just for fun. I can almost hear some of the more puritanical PC lot grinding their teeth in frustration at another example of Mac triviality! Lots, really lots has been written about what’s good and what’s not about this new iteration of the Mac OSX, and I’m not going to repeat it all here. Perhaps the most fulsome has been written by John Siracusa on Ars Technica

After 4 days of use, for me it’s the longed-for quickness of Spotlight the search function, and the new slickness of Mail which is finally now an intelligent mail/contact/organising system; you can almost instantly transfer dates and names embedded in a message into Address Book and iCal, and at last there are To Dos and Notes within Mail. As I’ve said, Time Machine does it for me, and Quick Look is terrific … one button click to look inside a mail attachment. Then there’s Screens … you can break the large screen up into smaller work spaces and dedicate specific applications to each space. One keystroke and you switch between spaces. It’s as if you’re in a studio, surrounded by lots of desks with every project laid out on individual desktops; you can then multitask quickly and effortlessly between desks … app to app. Actually, I understand there are hundreds of new functions in Leopard, and I am sure in time that I’m going to find many more that make an impression, or that just give me what I need to work more efficiently and with pleasure. Overall, it’s the speed and new application efficiency as well as the slick graphics which are most striking.

As far as getting up to speed with the new machine and OS, I have to say that it did take me ages to do all the grunt stuff. I had no idea I had so many applications. Migrating these to bring my newly intelligent little helper up to speed was a snap … firewire/firewire connection between machines and hit a button. However, entering all my user names, passwords and keys for third-party software was the pain! Fortunately I’d been smart enough to file all the original documents with this information in a special mail box. The rest came back via email from helpful proprietors. I’ve also made a hard copy backup in a notebook. There are a couple of apps still to reinstall, and one key app which is MIA: Quicksilver my search, find, and launch pal. The website has not been available for a few days; I hope their elves are working into the night upgrading it for Leopard. Come back Quicksilver. I miss you.


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One response to “iMac and Leopard: great friends”

  1. Sue Waters Avatar

    Now you have made me totally jealous. Wondering what my hubby will say if early next year I go and buy an iMac to go with my MacBook? Divorce? Men!

    Sounds so cool can you take some photos/videos of it?

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