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May 04, 2005

Some Tiger notes

G5 logo
Photo by Frank Steele.
This is not a no-brainer, “everybody upgrade” release like Panther. With Panther, I upgraded Christy within a few days; Tiger will probably take a couple of months, despite some great new functionality.

I got a Micro Center flyer today, reiterating a good deal they have going through June 5: Get a $50 rebate on Tiger or a Tiger family pack, which reduces your overall price to $79.99, the lowest I've seen.

I did a ground-up install on the PowerBook, since it didn't like my volume bitmap, and I had to erase the drive.

On the G5, I did an upgrade in place, but came up with no printers installed. Samsung doesn't write Mac drivers anymore, and the SPL 2.5 driver I found on their website didn't work. Eventually, I tried an older driver (I think 2.0), and my printer magically reappeared. The HP inkjet (available across the network) added without a problem.

The iMac G4 at work installed while I was at lunch with, so far as I can tell, zero issues of any sort.

Some sticky bits:

If you're running Tiger, get the new Quicksilver, which features a new plug-in mechanism, and will be the basis of QS development going forward.

TiVo Desktop is not compatible with Tiger, adding insult to the injury that Macs aren't supported for TiVoToGo.

Imagine my shock when the Accuweather widget (one of the Tiger defaults) reported that it was 35 degrees in Atlanta. Mark at work noticed that a fix for this is to add "GA" to the search field on the back of the widget. Since I can't make it recur, it's possible this was fixed at the server.

Spotlight is awesome. If you don't keep everything neatly organized, Spotlight is for you. That's me to a 'T'. One small disappointment: It doesn't index your content on .Mac. That may be different if you keep a local copy of your .Mac contents.

Some of the propellerheads have been ragging on people who compare it to Quicksilver or Launchbar, but 80 percent of people could use Spotlight as an application launcher.

I do find it a little odd that you can't open the enclosing folder from Spotlight's menu (can you?); often I want to find a file (maybe a photo I've scanned) so I can see related materials. For that, you can use Spotlight's panel view, which is activated by option-command-space instead of command-space.

Spotlight will lead me to tag my iPhoto pictures.

Pivoting works, sort of. I think it's maybe just enabled for ATI video cards, since my G5 (with an ATI 9600 card) works, but my PowerBook (with an nVidia GeForce 420 Go) doesn't. I haven't tried the the Mac mini, but I hear it also works (with an ATI 9200).

I'm less impressed with Dashboard. The strangest thing to me is that it doesn't seem to update in the background, explaining the long delay when the dashboard is activated for the first time. I have a “This Day in History” widget loaded, but generally it's showing yesterday's events, since it doesn't flip over on its own. Merlin has asked the LazyWeb for a NextBus widget for San Francisco's MUNI, which I can't help with, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a MARTA widget in the next couple of months.

The new iSync included a piece of code (about 450k worth) that installs on my phone (a Nokia 3650). More applications can be sync'ed, including the controversial new version of Mail and your Keychains. Note that syncing Mail accounts may not be a good idea; in my case, which server I use for outbound mail changes on my PowerBook, but not on my home or work machine, so I don't want to propagate my PowerBook settings to the desktops.

Haven't tried Automator yet, despite having used AppleScript extensively.

May 4, 2005 in Apple, Apple - Software | Permalink


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You are correct about the screen rotation. It only works with ATI cards. It is probably doing something with ATI's VersaVision capability. However, even though the Mac mini has an ATI Radeon and you can rotate the display, on our 23" Cinema Display, screen drawing when in rotated mode is abysmal. We believe it is related to the 32MB of VRAM because rotation works fine on my PowerBook with 64MB of VRAM. Here's to hoping for a rev of the Mac mini with more VRAM.

Posted by: Chris Woods at May 5, 2005 9:41:58 AM

Which Samsung printer do you have? I'm using the ML-1210 in Tiger smooth as silk. The GDI drivers work.

Posted by: Chris Burke at May 18, 2005 1:31:35 AM