Monday, 31 August 2009

Snow Leopard - A highly uncritical review




The good news/features

Faster + More Space + 64 bit computing

Yup. Snow leopard is more faster and occupies less space. Plus it uses 64 bit computing. Enough said.

Little Things

Plus, I love the little things, like ability to resize icons, and to play movies and video files right form the icon. It's pretty handy, and makes Quicklook look a bit useless for media files (although it is a totally useful feature when it comes to documents).

I especially like how the circle around the play icon for music and video files indicates the information of how much music has already been played. It's great to be able to listen to music without even waiting for QuickTime to open.

I also like how QuickTime has a screen recording features. Read more about Quicktime in the "cons" section...

Plus, other changes like naming screenshots with the time and date (for example: "Screen shot 2009-08-31 at 12.51.52 AM.png") are also useful, instead of simply having a generic name like "Picture 1".

Apart from the other little changes, mentioned in various websites on the interwebs, the only other really noticeable change is most likely the wallpaper.

The bad news

Although the new release is great, there are a few bugs I discovered right off the bat. Perhaps they should have let me beta test it.

Notice anything wrong in the screenshot above? No, it's not that my desktop is empty (I did a clean install). Yes, the menubar looks a bit different. What are all my menubar icons doing in the middle of the screen? Shouldn't they be near the end of the screen?

How on earth did this happen you ask? Well, I guess I must qualify this "bug" (which didn't exist in the previous versions since Tiger by the way), by saying that I use 2 monitors. One 19 inch monitor in portrait mode (i.e 1280 x 1024 instead of 1024 x 1280) and the second is the MBP screen.

Turns out that if I unplug my DVI cable from the MBP, Snow Leopard will automatically recognize the change and move my main monitor (the one with the menubar and the dock) from the now disconnected 19" to the MBP screen, however the position of the menubar icons will still reflect the position they were in when they were on the portrait monitor.

Is this a big problem? Not really, but it certainly is a problem that didn't exist before. Perhaps I'm the only one experiencing it, but I don't think that a special case still justifies the bug.

Similarly, Quicktime has lost all it's previously touted features. Although it is easier, the ability to customize settings for the power user have been removed. However, it's not such a big deal since people can still download the older versions, and choose Quicktime 7 during the installation. Nevertheless, I still feel that there should have been a preferences menu at least, since I found it to be highly useful while using my laptop to give presentations.

Another thing that I've found to be interesting is the feature called "Put Back". It was available in previous versions of OS X, but disappeared for a while, and now it's back again. Essentially, it allows a user to right click a file in Trash and "put it back" to the location from which it was placed into the trash. A feature I'm sure Windows users are all to familiar with. However, the problem with this is that if you drag a file from a stack (say the download stack, which is conveniently located right beside trash) and drop it into trash... you won't be able to use the 'put back' feature! It only works when you drag something from Finder!

Apart from these three "bugs" Snow Leopard is great. I'd recommend it to anyone who is running Leopard.




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