Backing up my iMac to my Lacie firewire drive took about an hour but, you know, better safe than sorry. I had spent five minutes previously using the Grab utility to take screenshots of all my network and email settings, then half an hour for the installation. Just the upgrade, but without the printer drivers that I won’t use. My little iMac then booted up into Max OS 10.4 Tiger.
I was a little worried that it seemed to be taking a while to startup. It seemed to spend ages before the progress bar started to fill. Anyway everything started fine and my wallpaper and dock soon appeared. I started iCal and it converted all my calendars to, what must be, the new version. I didn’t realise that iCal had been updated? Then I tried Mail. I had read on the MacUser forum that someone had had trouble importing emails, but seeing as I don’t have any settings that are out of the ordinary, I didn’t have any worries. All my emails and settings seemed fine. Next, well after Spotlight had finished indexing my hard drive, the Dashboard. Everything is a gorgeous as the Apple video would suggest… except, I didn’t see the ripple effect when dragging a widget from the bar onto the screen. But I do get to see the widget being sucked into the close button, like a piece of cloth, when you remove it. After a quick search on the internet I found that apparently you only get the ripple effect if you have an up-to-date graphics card. I’m not that disappointed to be honest. I changed the weather widget to Macclesfield and found, to my surprise, that it was sunny and cloudy. A quick glance to my right certainly confirmed this. I had a look at the clock widget and changed it to London from it’s default of Cardiff. Why Cardiff? Anyway all the widgets work fine.
I had to install the latest program/driver for my Wacom grahics tablet. But that was about it! Except… I had changed a setting in Apache a few months ago so that any shtml files could use Server Side Includes, for this website incidentally. I had found out how to do it from a web page but, unfortunately, hadn’t kept the bookmark. So, about 15 minutes of Terminal activity and web browsing later, I managed to find the changes that I needed. I knew it was in some personal .conf file and/or possibly the httpd.conf file itself but I couldn’t remember which. I soon found the article and bookmarked it in Safari for later.
Then I had a bit of a tinker, a technical computing term, with Spotlight. I had read that after installing Tiger that the Mac would spend a while indexing it’s contents. Spotlight works brilliantly. An example - when I saved the bookmark, which described the Server Side Include issue above, I used Spotlight to find it again. Then, I thought, “What if the website moves the web page, I’ll be stuffed!” So, I opened the bookmark in Safari and saved it’s contents as a PDF file. I deleted the bookmark and did another Spotlight search, and it found the article immediately. Even I was impressed.
I had a quick look at Automator, but haven’t used it yet. There is also an application called Grapher which seems to plot 2D and 3D graphs from formulae, which is something that I haven’t seen before. The other application, which will undoubtedly be always open, is Dictionary. This just does exactly what its name would suggest. I’ve just had a quick look and even though it’s an Oxford American Dictionary it does contain those all important swear words that I know and love and use frequently.
The one thing that I always thought was lacking was a quick way of sending a URL to an email recipent. Luckily Apple were thinking the same thing and created the ‘Mail Link to This Page’ option, which is now available in Safari. So I’m happy.
So far so good. It all looks great and runs at the same speed, if not faster, on the same hardware as “Panther” did.
I’ve seen a photograph of the Mac OS X “Tiger” development team and there are only about ten of them. If this is what just ten men can do to improve on perfection then Bill Gates must be shitting himself.