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Apple OSX Tiger


© April 2005 bruceg


Author: bruceg
Date: Tue Apr 26 02:05:21 2005
Subject: Apple OSX Tiger --BruceGarlock

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Tue Apr 26 10:01:59 2005: 379   TonyLawrence

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I've done IPU's on each previous upgrade, but I was thinking that it might be time to clean up the junk and start fresh with this one.. I have a lot of unneeded stuff on this machine; a fresh install is an easy way to get rid of it.

And yes, I have already pre-ordered.






Tue Apr 26 12:29:37 2005: 382   drag


I worked as a lab assistant for a while at a community college. Specificly the electronic imaging and graphics.

All but a handfull of the machines were Macs... They varied quite a bit with different ages, but we had a few 500mhz models that never had a clean install since the original OS 9 and were running 10.2.4. They ran fine.



Occasionally a machine would flip out and start acting strange and generally what you do is boot up with the install cdrom, do a disk repair (why do the check when you know your going to do the repair and they both take the same amount of time usually?). Then after that, boot up, and go to your applications folder and utilities folder and find the disk utility. Then you do a permissions repair.

That and the fact that the local Mac Guru kept up with online discussions and didn't upgrade to the newest versions of OS X until she knew all the bugs to look out for.

Then again we only realy had 'professional' apps like photoshop and quarkexpress (that thing freakin' sucked. The only application that needed classic mode, the worst was trying to tell people how to manage fonts in OS 9 while they were using OS X). Not any shareware or tweak utilities or anything like that.

So I figure you might as well just do the upgrade, and if doesn't work out try to muck around with it until you get tired of it and do a fresh install.

Also as you have 'Aqua Extreme' more and more of the GUI is being unloaded on your video card with each newer version. So even with the increase in eye candy it probably will be a bit faster since it would require less CPU cycles to run, but if you have a wimpy video card then it could be a problem. Also with this new version I think they changed how they did the 3d drivers, moved them deeper into the kernel mess they have, or something like that. Suppose to be quite nicer...

The dissapointing performance of Doom 3 under the dual G5 system didn't look good for Apples, as I recall. Even under Linux with the crappy ATI drivers that we have it was quite a bit faster on x86. Using Nvidia drivers there was no comparision and the Windows version of Doom 3 was much optimized then the OS X version.

Not that I care a whole lot about that stuff, but if they did good improvements in driver performance then there is a good chance that 10.4 is more responsive then 10.3 on the desktop (which in turn was faster then 10.2). Just guessing realy, though.

Plus you have the optimizations and improvements that IBM/Apple/GNU/etc have been poring into GCC to create 4.x series, which Apple used to build 10.4 will probably help too.



Tue Apr 26 13:36:57 2005: 383   bruceg2004


Thanks for the comments, they are all very useful. I think I will do an IPU, and then if things get bad, do a fresh install.

I wonder how permissions get messed up on any *nix. I occasionally have to repair permissions on user directories on our main Linux server, for the /home dir, and I never have found out why or how they get changed. It has only happened twice on my Linux machine, but on our SCO machine, we actually have a script run from cron to repair permissions for our application.

Again, thanks for the comments. I am looking forward to Tiger. I just started using iSync, which syncs my cell phone, palm pilot, ipod, and addressbook all to the same info! You would have thought an app. like this would be a no brainer, since we all have little gadgets that have their own contact lists, but they were always out of sync. I am told that iSync will be more integrated into Tiger, which is great, since my new cell phone has some trouble syncing the contact lists sometimes. I saw in a newsgroup that it was a firmware issue on my phone, and that iSync in Tiger would have the issue fixed. It is so nice to have all my contact data, the same on all my devices. Once change on one, and it propagates to the other devices when I do a sync. Now to search for a Thunderbird plugin for this.....

- Bruce



Wed Apr 27 01:50:37 2005: 388   drag


I don't know exactly why they change..

I always assumed that it was due to installers. Apple has these guidelines and requirements and I know that many developers break these best practice style recommendations all the time.

One of the major things that I know happenned with the older versions of Mac OS, the OS 9 and earlier is that they have the 'PRAM' that is used to store settings and things like the date. Application installers were not suppose to use this space, but they did and it would cause instability problems when applications would do conflicting things in their. So it lead to a little ritual called 'zapping the p-ram', and it still applies a bit to Mac OS X in a lesser extent.

To zap the pram you turn on the computer while holding down:
command + option + p + r

Most people have trouble doing this.. luckly I had big enough hands to hold down all the buttons with one hand while hitting the power button with the other (only realy a issue with older OS 9 macs usually).

What the pram does for OS X: (link)
What it did for OS 9:
(link)

Quark Express was notorious for doing this.. It's one of those apps that wanted the dongle for the mouse cord for anti-piracy stuff.

So I figure that it still happens today, apps changing permissions during install for convienience, performance, or whatever reasons.

I could definately be wrong. Not sure...

Also its better to run the permission repair from the application, utilities folder rather then the install cdrom because as you install patches and updates the default permissions for OS X may change over time.



Thu Apr 28 12:13:32 2005: 404   TonyLawrence

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I just got email from Apple saying that my order has been shipped.. Unfortunately, I'm heading off for a long holiday weekend..wait, did I just say "unfortunately"? I guess I do need some time off!

Anyway, I probably won't see this till next week.



Sat Apr 30 13:31:09 2005: 416   bruceg2004


I got my copy on Friday, and it was installed within an hour! I did the upgrade, and so far everything has been fine. About the only things I had to reconfigure, was the iSync app, which now provides flawless support for my cell phone, which is great - and I had to purchase Quicktime 7 pro. I guess the previous QT Pro, needs a new license. Not too bad for another $29.95.

As far as speed, I really have not noticed a difference either way, so this is good. I am still exploring some other things, but other than the new options, like Spotlight, Dashbord, and Automator everything seems the same. I have not fully explored the new apps, but so far, they are very useful. After the install, my load was high, with a lot of disk activity, to which I attributed to Spotlight building it's database.

Spotlight will certainly be one of the most useful features in this release. MS is going to promote Longhorn with having this feature, but of course us MAC users will be able to say "I have already had that feature for months!".

I'll report back later when I discover other things. One thing I did notice is the printer setup has been improved. This was welcome, since the last method of installing a printer was a little bit lacking, and there where not too many drivers unless you added the GIMP printer support add-on.

Everything seems to be behaving well, and the Upgrade was very easy.

- Bruce






Sat Apr 30 13:53:08 2005: 417   TonyLawrence

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Great to hear. My daughter picks up our mail and checks the house while we are gone and she sent me email saying the upgrade is there, so I'll install it Monday or Tuesday - still don't know if I want to do an upgrade - just because there's so much junk around that I have accumulated but don't need and a fresh install is a quick way to get rid of it all.



Sun May 1 19:34:50 2005: 418   bruceg2004


Things are still going well. No issues, except one time when I was minimizing some windows, it minimized very slowly. I simply closed the apps, and restarted them, and all was fine. The search capability is great - I hope something like that is done for the Linux desktop. It is very fast. Anyone who has ever had to use a combination of find, and grep on *nix, knows that it can be a very slow process. 'locate' helps this by building a database, which allows much faster searching, but it is not dynamic enough. slocatedb usually runns every night from cron, since it does tend to use some system resources when the db is built, and it is not really reasonable to run it throughout the day, as things on the system changes.

I have not done enough digging about spotlight to see exactlty how it works, but I did notice a lot of system resources being used after I started the system up after the upgrade, so spotlight must have been gathering data - I did not dig all that deep to find out exactly what was taking up the CPU, and Disk, but I attributed it to spotlight, and any post install cleanup.

I mentioned already how much I love iSync. Now my phone, palm pilot, and addressbook are all the same! Finally! The previous version of iSync had some ussues with my new phone, (Motorolla V710), but it now works flawlessly.

The dashboard widgets are neat. I think I will find them more and more usefull, as I use them. The Phonebook widget is very usefull for trying to find someone, and I like the Flight Tracker. The Flight Tracker was in Sherlock, which was a neat way to track flights, if you or someone else is flying, and you need to check the status of the flight.

In my opinion, OSX is light years ahead of Windows, in both ease of use, and complexity (if you want it). By complexity, I mean, you can always drop to a shell prompt, and you have a fully functioning Unix system to play (or work) with. This makes OSX a great developent platform. Although I primarily use Linux to development my web based applications with, I am going to try and recreate the same environment on my laptop. There is a real neat file syncing utility for Linux servers, by Novell, called iFolder, and it has a MAC client. The only thing I do not like about iFolder, is that it seems to require Suse Linux. It may be possible to run it on Redhat, but I have not dug enough yet. The iFolder, I think, works similar to .MAC, except that there are no costs, if you can get iFolder server running on your own system. The concept is great, and really simplifies keeping the same files on numerous systems the same.

One other thing I noticed, is that my wireless on my Powebook is a bit stronger. In some areas of the house where my Powerbook would only have "one click", it now has two. I imagine the drive must have been tweaked for longer range. I just hope it is not hurting my body in any way. :-) If you think about it, we are all test subjects for all this wireless stuff; phones, laptops, etc. There is not enough history and statistics to back up the "everything is perfectly safe" claims from the manufacturers. It is kind of like when a new drug hits the market, like the COX-2 inhibitors, like Celebrex, Vioxx, and Bextra. Everyone thought they were the answer for people with arthritis pain (myself included, due to a major auto accident when I was 19) and my heart would "race" when I tried all of them. My friends thought I was having panic attacks, but when my heart was racing, I was perfectly calm. It would also happen in the middle of the night. It was a good year after I trialed them, when the news hit about the heart problems. I had only trialed them, and stopped taking them because of my heart racing issues, but some people were not so fortunate. I kind of feel the same way with laptops, cellualar phones, and all the other wireless devices we use. Do we really know how they will affect us in the longterm? Will science shake their heads in disbelief at our current methods 50 years down the road, and say, "Why did we ever do it this way?"

Well, I need to get this thing off my lap now. I am starting to scare myself :-) Point being, is that the wireless indicator does indeed, seem like I am getting better reception from my WAP, and I think that is good news. Maybe battery life will be better, too?

I will report as I find other things with Tiger, but so far, so good! I hope other folks have good luck too. With Apple only having to worry about a small set of hardware, I am sure it makes QA much easier on them, wheras Microsoft has to tender to a much larger set of hardware configurations.

- Bruce Garlock

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