Saturday, 2003-10-25; 02:45:00

I'm just about settled in...

So instead of boring you all with how busy my day was (since I already told you most about it), I figured I'd let you know how my installation of Panther went. :) I received the new kitty today in the mail.

I only got a chance to install it around 8:15 PM or so, because I decided to do an erase-install of Mac OS X. So I was backing up all my stuff. The only problem was that Panther refused to install. First, it booted up into the CD, and then it sat at the place where it says "Reading Packages...". The CD even spun down while it continued to "read" the packages. So I had to force shut down my computer. Then next time it booted it got past that part, but when the "Continue" button got enabled, I wasn't able to click it! I could use menus with the mouse and I could move the cursor around, but the "Continue" button refused to be clicked! Consternation! Uproar!

That happened twice. So I rebooted into Jaguar (which took an inordinate amount of time), complained to a friend about it, and then totally shut down my computer for a few minutes. After I did that, Panther cooperated and installed. Or maybe it was my threats. ;) Anyway, the install went without a hitch -- it's on THREE CDs now. That's kind of annoying, but oh well. I suppose that's the price of progress.

I must say: Panther is nice. Everything seems much zippier, although that may be because I just did an erase-install of the system. The default filesystem is Journaled HFS+, which means that the file system logs every action that's performed on the disk (with a very negligible performance hit). The benefit is that when you have a crash, the file system knows immediately what was happening and so can just check the integrity of those files. If you've ever had a crash in Jaguar, you know it stalls for like 5-10 minutes at the spinny progress indicator. That's because it's doing a file system integrity check. With a journaled file system, that 5-10 minutes will change to like 5-10 seconds. :)

Exposé rocks, I must say. Although it's still going to take a while to get used to it, I think it will be able to completely replace both WindowShade X, and virtual desktops (which I never did use because there was no good implementation). This is what exposé does when it has a lot of windows to deal with. :D Go Panther!

Fast-user switching seems to be well-implemented, as well as all the other little nitty gritty things around in the system. Xcode seems nice, Preview is *FAST*, the new Finder is a nice upgrade, Mail is screamingly fast, and just about everything else is upgraded. Very, very nice. It was about time for a major Mac OS X update. :) Oh, yeah -- you know the feature that made my jaw drop? Help Viewer is actually FAST! Whodathunkit?!

The only problems I've had so far is with the installation, a few duplicate mailboxes in Mail after moving my Mail folder into the appropriate location, and a weird glitch with shadows of filenames on the desktop. But that's minor compared to the benefits.

Anyway, if you have $129/$69 (depending on whether you're a student or not), I'd highly suggest the Panther upgrade, if only for Exposé and Fast User Switching. Those alone are going to be very handy in the future, but I'm sure there are plenty of little things to surprise everyone here and there. :)

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