Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Mac OS Briefly

Briefly, very briefly, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard is a significant functional upgrade for all Macs. Sure, some of the revised OS counts only for eye candy, but under the hood Leopard exhibits real workhorse improvements. Gone are several of the annoyances in Tiger that caused the dreaded spinning multicolored beachball of doom. Faster, faster, and more elegant handling of file copying, access to network volumes, and Spotlight gets a needed boost as well.

I will be waiting a week or so to see what reports come in from the early adopters. The initial look indicates Apple put more polish on the initial Leopard version than was true with the first version of Tiger. We'll see.

Leopard updates Apple Mail (among other programs), yet some users will benefit most from the new applications Time Machine and Spaces. Time Machine performs automated incremental data backup, whereas Spaces offers a handy way to present different sets of working files. If you still do not have data backup--and many don't--I recommend a prompt OS upgrade.

Most likely, I'll upgrade my own Macs to Leopard next weekend. Check software compatibility before upgrading. As with all new operating systems, some older software may not work. Installer Beware: Always backup your data before migrating to a major OS upgrade, and check with the software vendors to assure compatibility.

I recommended Leopard for the last G4's (1 GHZ or faster), and all G5 and Intel Macs.

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