Even More Leopard Minor Features

Monday, 2007-11-05; 00:03:00


  • I noticed that Dashboard doesn't take a minute to open up as it did in Tiger. (This usually only occurs when you have lots of widgets on your Dashboard: I have 22.) Well, the reason for this seems to be because Leopard is consolidating multiple widgets into several "DashboardClient" processes. Before, you'd have a separate process for each widget, and each would usually take up at least 10 MiB of memory or so. So for 22 widgets, that's already 220 MiB of memory used up. With Leopard, I only have 7 DashboardClient proceses, and all but two of them take up more than 10 MiB of memory. So on Leopard, Dashboard only takes up 100 MiB on my system. That's a huge improvement.

    I wonder how the consolidated DashboardClient processes work, though. Is the reduced memory usage because somehow they each consolidate the Dashboard interfaces into one very irregularly-shaped window (which would cut down on memory), or is it because each widget used to load the resources necessary to display itself in Tiger, and now only each DashboardClient process needs to do that? And why not consolidate all widgets into a single DashboardClient process?

  • In iChat, you can now go invisible. But I have a number of contacts for whom iChat says are online but invisible. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of going invisible, or is there some way of defining which contacts can tell that you're invisible and not offline?

    There's the Security tab in the Accounts pane of iChat, but that seems to control blocking, not who can see that you're invisible. That is, this blocks people from seeing you're online and from sending you messages at all.

  • I've noticed a new, little 3-bar AirPort icon appear next to some contacts in iChat. Looks like this means they're logged in from their cell phone, because Tiger iChat doesn't show the icon but says "Mobile: " and then the away message.

    Little AirPort Icon in iChat 4
  • The Finder's sidebar sometimes shows the wrong icon for certain devices. I've seen this happen on my iPod as well as with disk images. Oh, also, IT DOESN'T FRIGGIN' RESPECT YOUR APPEARANCE PREFPANE SETTINGS. Arg. Seriously, Apple. If you don't want users to be able to choose the selection color, remove it entirely!
  • As Chris Biagini noted, when dragging something onto an icon in the Dock, the label swooshes in from the side instead of just appearing. Nice, subtle effect. Movie available here (9 sec, 160 KiB, H.264, QuickTime 7 required).
  • You know what that spiffy new Alex text-to-speech voice is costing you? 669.2 MiB of disk space. Vicki, the next-best-voice, takes up only 28 MiB on disk. See /System/Library/Speech/Voices/.
  • Useful new improvement for .mac synching: there's now a "details" button that reveals exactly what information is going to be changed.

    Dot Mac Sync Details Window
  • Safari's memory usage is still rampant and often gets to 400 MiB, easily. Just noticed that now iChatAgent is using up almost 200 MiB of memory. Hopefully this isn't going to be a habit of iChatAgent: it seems it was just a one-time glitch.
  • The LaunchServices framework has moved from /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/ to /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/ . This is important if you're trying to use the lsregister command which can help fix errant applications in the "Open With..." menu, and can fix spurious icon problems.
  • Resetting the LaunchServices database made the default small folder icon appear again in Safari and Mail, but the Classic icon in the Automator starting points window remained. And then the Tubular Worlds folder icon re-hijacked Safari and Mail. Curse you, Mac OS 9!
  • One of these is not like the other. One of these just doesn't belong!

    Xcode icons in Dock
  • When finished installing software, you get a huuuuuge green checkmark to mark your success. Woo huge, green checkmarks!

    Huge Green Checkmark in Installer App
  • Disk Utility now exposes a plethora of options when creating a new disk image. In particular, a couple of extremely backward-compatible formats ("Disk Copy 4.2", "(ADC) compresso" -- from Mac OS X 10.0), and then there's the interesting "Immagine iPod" -- literally "iPod image". Not sure what that's for yet.

    Leopard Disk Utility Formats
  • Apps can now get print previewing functionality in the print panel for free. This image shows the print panel for Safari, but Seashore, a third-party app that I haven't upgraded since Tiger, also gains the functionality as well.

    Leopard Print Preview
  • Leopard has some cool new screensavers. Here are some shots of them. (There's also an option to choose a random screensaver, as well.)

    Arabesque Screensaver

    Nature Patterns Screensaver
    Nature Patterns

    Shell Screensaver

    Word of the Day Screensaver
    Word of the Day

  • There's also a new screensaver option for when you select your pictures folder: you can have Mac OS X scan your pictures and then create mosaics out of them based on other pictures in your folder. This is an awesome demonstration, and it comes by default with Mac OS X. Woo! Here's a movie (8.3 MiB, H.264, QuickTime 7 required). Funny that it latched on to the Hyper Frame solutions that I have in my Pictures folder. (Well, technically, I think these are shots of 3D Logic, but that was a ripoff of Hyper Frame.)
  • Also cool: you can now display a clock atop any screensaver. Here's what it looks like atop the iTunes cover art mosaic screensaver.

    Screensaver Clock
  • Preview now natively includes the ability to resize images. Wooooo! Yes! Very nice improvement, and it has nice presets for oft-used screen resolutions.

    Preview Resize Panel

New observations are slowing down, so we may return to our regularly scheduled Technological Supernova content, now.

Technological Supernova   Rants   Older   Newer   Post a Comment