My Review of Leopard

I have been using Leopard, Apple's last überfeline, for more than a week now. It is without any doubt, the best operating system I have ever used.

Leopard is the natural successor to Tiger, which basically improves its older brother and adds some other very interesting features.

I recently bought an iMac, so I got it almost free (~EUR 9). The only bad thing is that it is only an update DVD (i.e. you need Tiger to install it), and that it comes without the fancy retail box. Apart from that, it's the real thing. If you have bought an Apple computer after October 1st, you are entitled to your almost free copy of Leopard. Check the Up-to-Date site.

Most of the Apple-made applications seem to run faster (particularly Safari, iTunes and iPhoto).

Time Machine is astonishing. As easy as 1-2-3.

Once you connect a Firewire or USB disk to the Mac, a menu automatically pops up asking you whether you want to use the disk as the Time Machine Backup Disk. If you answer affirmatively, an initial copy starts, which in my case, took less than an hour.

The great thing is that Time Machine doesn't require the disk to be dedicated to it. You still can use it to store other files. Time Machine just creates a folder called Backups.backupdb, where you can browse through the snapshots, stored in folders identified by date and time of backup.

By default, Time Machine backups the incremental changes on your disk in one hour intervals.

When you click the Time Machine icon on the Dock, whether you have a Finder window open, iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, or any other supported application, the already well known space animation starts and lets you restore previously deleted files.

Spaces is VirtueDesktop replacement, only it works better and is perfectly integrated.

Terminal has tabs now, and several other aesthetic changes. I was using iTerm on Tiger, and trashed it almost instantly after seeing Terminal.

QuickLook allows you to preview almost any type of file without opening the actual application.

Mail lets you write Notes and To-Do's. Unfortunately, it doesn't currently sync with the iPhone.

iChat allows desktop sharing, document sharing, video sharing. And you can be in the Tour Eiffel for free. Really cool.

Finder has now CoverFlow. I personally don't use it, as I think it's easier to browse through files shown as icons, but may be useful for somebody who wants to see previews of the files of a folder at a glance.

Some other extra details:
- iCal's icon on the Dock now displays the current date, and not a static icon as it did on Tiger. Nice detail.
- Dictionary now also searches on the Wikipedia.
- Spotlight returns dictionary entries as well.
- Preview now allows you to resize images.

The only issue I've had so far is that MySQL ceases working, a recognised MySQL bug. Apparently, the update to Leopard messes up the mysql directory permissions. It can be fixed by manually chown(ing) the mysql directory:
chown -R mysql /usr/local/mysql-5.0.45-osx10.4-i686/

But the PreferencePane is definitely broken. You will have to start MySQL running /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld_safe & from the Terminal.



Trackback URL for this entry:

No trackback comments for this entry.


Post a comment


About is a blog about technology, opinion and random thoughts written by Daniel Alvarez, a computer engineer currently living in Zurich, Switzerland.


User Functions



Lost your password?

Latest posts

Stories last 24 hours

No new stories

Comments last 2 days

No new comments

Trackbacks last 2 days

No new trackback comments

Links last 2 weeks

No recent new links