By November 28, 2007

OS X Leopard: 30 Days, And Counting

Hard to believe that a month has gone by since the release of OS X Leopard on October 26th. But it has, and I thought I’d do a quick summary of where we are, and where we need to be.

Apple has already fixed a number of issues with an early point release, which included the Finder’s “Moving Data” bug that harkens all of the way back to Jaguar, updates to the firewall, and some key patches to Time Machine.

But still missing in action are solutions to quite a few other problems, like Time Machine and AirPort Extreme connectivity, Time Machine and Aperture data corruption, and the vanishing windows in Spaces.

(Being an admitted Space-oholic, the later is one of my pet peeves.)

Let’s count ’em down, shall we?


Installation issues have largely been identified, though if I were Apple I’d add a few more checks to the Leopard DVD. I personally am 50/50 on installations, with two going just fine but with two others requiring complete wipes and basically starting over from scratch.

Both botched installations were “partition issues” on machines where the hard drive had been upgraded.

On one I was able to mirror a Time Machine backup of my main iMac to a MacBook Pro.

A little time consuming, but it worked just fine.

On the other, using Migration Assistant to recover data from a cloned disk backup (using SuperDuper!) resulted in taking down Leopard.

I ultimately had to do four full Leopard installations on the same box and on the last one I resigned myself to reinstalling all of my third-party applications and migrating all of my existing data and preferences by hand.

That was a pain.

Third-party software…

If we’re going to talk about third-party software, then we have to talk about Adobe.

The biggest problems have to be with Photoshop, with no solution as yet to the odd cursor and toolbar text-entry issues that have continued to plague some users of the product. Adobe, who’s already released on set of Leopard-specific patches, has said that an another update is coming, but still no word on a specific timeframe.

Issues with Lightroom, Flash, Acrobat, and with Adobe’s ColdFusion product have also been reported, and a few temporary work-arounds posted.

Some third-party utilities, like Unsanity’s WindowShade and FruitMenu, have also yet to receive updates for Leopard compatibility. In fact, Unsanity’s core A.P.E. system extension has been determined to be the root cause for some installation issues of its own.

That said, some users have forgone third party solutions in favor of the new functionality built into Leopard, like ditching QuickSilver for the application launching abilities in Spotlight.

New features…

Apple made much ado about many of the new interface changes in Leopard, most notably to the menu bar, and with the addition of Stacks to the Dock.

However, many users at best saw the changes as nothing more than eye-candy, and at worst felt that Apple had removed tried and true system functionality. In any case, developers and hackers immediately started work on returning things to the pre-Leopard look and feel.

(See several of the entries under Quick Tips.)

Other new features like Spaces have been fairly well received, but as mentioned earlier still have a few quirks to be ironed out.

Several application level issues have popped up in Mail and in iCal, but we’ll leave those for another discussion.

And then there’s Time Machine.

Apple definitely needs to fix Time Machine’s flux capacitor, and do so ASAP. After all, having a backup solution that can’t backup certain types of files, or that can backup to some drives but not to others doesn’t reflect very well on your system’s reputation.

As I pointed out under installations, I was able to use it to restore a system, so it works… I hope… but I’m not sure it’s trustworthy quite yet. After all, other “large file” integrity issues may be waiting in the wings.

Wrap up…

By and large, that’s about it. Things have gone fairly well for a major operating system release that’s been two years in development.

And especially for one that shows definite signs of having been rushed to market. Adobe in particular maintains that many of their woes came from not receiving a final copy of Leopard for testing prior to its public release.

Apple’s dropping 10.5.1 helped, but it’s rather apparent that the problems fixed were ones known prior to Leopard’s release date, but didn’t get resolved in time to make the Golden Master.

I know the developer’s want to have the “it shipped” party and take a break… but they’re not done yet.

Any other significant issues with Leopard out there? Leave a comment and let us know.



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  1. Morgan S. says:

    What makes you say that Leopard was rushed?

  2. John Jacobs says:

    It seems that the 10.5.1 update takes out Cisco’s VPN client.

  3. Gareth Jones says:

    Mostly fine. Like the new operating system. Got a little fix for stacks using the most recent application/Document.
    My main problem is spotlight. Despite three or four erase and installs, my spotlight doesnt always appear in the top right, sometimes appears in the middle, in the left or below the screen…..
    anyone else know this?