If you’re running the newest big cat, Leopard, you might want to run Software Update. Apple released OS X 10.5.4 today. You can find a moderately detailed list of changes in this Apple Support article.
Among the notable changes:
- Additional RAM image support
- Addresses Airport reliability issues with 5GHz networks
- Improves iCal reliability for meeting requests, cancellation notices, delegation, and syncing with iPhone
- Addresses an issue in which To Do’s cannot be marked private
- Addresses a potential performance issue when loading secure web pages in Safari
- Expose and Spaces improvements
The OS X 10.5.4 update is recommended for all previous versions of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. It includes general operating system improvements that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. The 10.5.4 standalone installer weighs in at 88MB. On my MBP, the 10.5.4 combo update (yeah, I never installed 10.5.3) is a whopping 560MB. If you come across any issues installing the update, drop them in the comments.
If you’re sporting the newest OS X cat, Apple has a major treat for you. Fire up Software Update because 10.5.2 has landed. For me the update weighs in at 180MB, but your milage may vary. Apple has updated a slew of things in 10.5.2. Here are some of the highlights:
- Improved Airport connection reliability and stability
- Adds support for more third party routers with Back to my Mac
- List view, folder view, and an updated background with grid view in the Dock
- Ability to turn off menu bar transparency
- Addresses stability issues related to .Mac syncing of iCal calendars
- Improved accuracy of the Data Detectors feature
- Improved printing performance when using some Microsoft Office applications
- Adds support for certain printers connected to the USB port of an Airport Extreme or Airport Express base station
- Adds RAW image support for several cameras
- Improved accuracy of the grammar checker
- Adds a menu bar option for accessing Time Machine features
- Improved external drive recognition in Time Machine
It was just over a month ago when I named Quicksilver one of the applications I couldn’t live without in 2007. What a difference a month can make. I’m currently flying Quicksilver free and haven’t noticed a difference. So what’s different? Spotlight.
With the upgrade to Leopard a few weeks ago, I’ve found myself using Spotlight as my application launcher. A quick command + space and I’m tying in Spotlight as it’s narrowing my results. The vast majority of the time the first result is the applications and a quick stroke of the enter key has the application popping open.
In Leopard I have the added benefit of one less application taking up system resources and not having to wait until Quicksilver finishes loading before I can use my Macbook Pro after logging in. If you’re a Quicksilver user running Leopard and only used it for application launching, you should give Spotlight a try to see if it can replace Quicksilver. While I loved Quicksilver in 2007, I’m loving without it in 2008.
Mac and PC are at it again in one of those clever banner/sidebar combo ads. This one features PC climbing a ladder to put a “Not” sign at the end of a quote from the Wall Street Journal that says “Leopard is better and faster than Vista”. PC says he’s correcting a “typo” in the quote while Mac tells PC that he thinks the quote is true. I’m really liking these web ads that feature this combination of ad types to form a semi interactive ad. The ads are quite enjoyable! The ad is shown using Flash Player. You can see the ad in action by heading over to the Tech section on CNN. Click the thumbnail to the left to view a larger snapshot of the ad.
I posted a question on Mac-Forums last week about the speed of Leopard vs. Tiger. I had heard from others that previous OS X versions actually increased the speed of machines. I was very intrigued by this concept since my pervious dealings with Windows were quite the opposite.
Of those that responded to the forum question, 75% said they experienced faster performance on their Mac after installing Leopard. A few people said they experienced slower performance with the remaining few saying they saw the same performance or couldn’t tell the difference. This is pretty amazing since Vista makes all but the fastest machines crawl.
It’s worth nothing that nearly the exact same percentage of those who saw speed increases in Leopard were running on an Intel processor. One user upgraded 4 Macs (2 PPC and 2 Intel) and saw speed increases with Leopard, but the increase was not as noticeable on PowerPC processors. Obviously your milage will vary based on system configuration. However, the majority agree that Leopard is faster. Go forth and upgrade!
I decided to stop by the Apple Store on my way home from work Friday to try to get one of those free t-shirts I wrote about the other day. I was going to make it to the store about 6:15PM so I thought I would miss any line if there was one. I was completely wrong! I forgot my camera, but Lenox Mall looked like the mall in this TUAW photo gallery from Knoxville.
I estimated there was about 150 people waiting outside the Apple Store with a number of people already in the store. The scene looked a lot like the iPhone launch but with about half as many people. I couldn’t tell from where I was standing, but I think the Apple Store was only letting in a number of people at one time and as people left, they would let more in. The Apple Store had a cop posted outside the store with Apple fans lined up and down the mall hallways (like this). I decided not to stick around since I needed to be home by 7:00PM.
I was able to make it to the store today and there was no line outside, unlike the day after the iPhone launch. Other than a little sign at the front door (far left in this picture), you couldn’t tell anything was going on until you got inside the store. I jumped on a Macbook near the front door and played around on Leopard for about 15 minutes. I liked what I saw, but I’ll probably ask for it as a Christmas or Birthday present instead of buying it. I just got a new MBP around mid September so I don’t really want to go through the hassle again of setting everything up again. I’ll be ready by December though!
If you’re curious what the Leopard t-shirt looks like, you can see it here.
The newest cat to the OS X pack will lauch this Friday at 6:00PM. If you’re one of the first 500 guests to your local Apple Store, Apple will give you a “speical edition” Leopard T-shirt. Though the Apple Retail page is sparse with details, I’m hoping the systems they have setup will all run Leopard as well. I’d really like to test drive Leopard before buying it. I’m leaning towards waiting until 10.5.1 hits, but I’ve been sucked in by the Apple marketing machine before so there’s a chance I’ll walk away with Leopard.