East of the Sun, West of the Moon


OS X 10.4

Filed under: OS X,Software — Erwin @ 1:48 pm

Yesterday I received the 10.4 DVD that I’d finally gotten around to ordering (I seem to be at the trailing edge of technology when it comes to OS X, considering that the online crowd is already discussing what will or will not be in 10.5 a.k.a Leopard) from Apple.

First impressions:

  • Smooth upgrade from 10.3.9 to 10.4.6. After inserting the DVD, rebooting the computer, indicating what kind of install I wanted (an upgrade, not a clean install), I had left it running while I ate dinner. When I came back I was just in time to see it do a post-install reboot.
  • Spotlight then dragged down the machine quite a bit while it was busy indexing, which is relatively slow on this first generation Mac Mini (with a 40GB 4200 rpm harddisk). It says this was going to take about 3 hours and I’ll just assume that’s how long it took, because after making sure all the basic applications worked, I wandered off to watch Farscape. 😉
  • My SizzlingKeys short-cut command-option-space (to play/pause iTunes) had been hijacked by Spotlight, which was easily changed in the System Preferences.
  • The uControl utility wasn’t doing me any good anymore, as it turns out that swapping the command and option keys (which makes sense if like me you’re using a PC keyboard) is built into the OS now.
  • The cursor-utility PinPoint actually really works at-login, which it didn’t in 10.3.9.
  • The Dashboard is cool but I’m going to have to control myself and not stuff it full of pointless widgets. It looks like I can replace some dock/menubar gadgets though, cleaning up some desktop real estate that way.
  • I noticed this morning that somewhere during the upgrade the software must’ve decided that I didn’t really want to have the ssh-daemon running, so the overnight rsync-based backup failed. This has now been corrected of course.

All in all that was a good start. It is certainly my intention to give this machine a fresh install at some point, if only to erase all the crud I’ve put on it in the first couple of months of its existence when I was still getting to know OS X and finding my limits on this hardware.

Looking forward to trying some of those 10.4-only features in existing software and entirely 10.4-only applications, the next few days/weeks/months. 🙂


  1. I’ve gone through a number of cycles with Dashboard. Currently I’ve got Weather and US Weather + (Weather Channel maps), Calendar, a clock, a calculator, and a couple of look-stuff-up doodads. I’ve spent more time than I should be willing to admit trying to trim the little Widget bin to one screen-ful, for no good reason (other than, possibly, scrollophobia). Mostly I use the calculator and glance at the weather, and the rest just hang around looking pretty.

    Mind you, I’ve also got WeatherPop running, albeit with a different data source than Weather uses; apparently I’m not trying that hard to recover lost screen space.

    Comment by Josh — 2006/6/22 @ 2:43 pm

  2. Yeah, I eyeballed a few of the weather-related widgets linked from Apple’s own site, picked the Weatherbug one because it uses a weather-station that’s more local than the standard weather widget. Aside from that two clocks (gotta have my Amsterdam time, man), a calculator and a calendar. 🙂

    I have subscribed to the Dashboard RSS feed, of course, and will likely be keeping an eye out for new and old widgets on VersionTracker.

    Comment by Erwin — 2006/6/22 @ 4:04 pm

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