Panther, Panther Burning Bright

October 25th, 2003

I’m sitting outside the Apple store, drinking my pumpkin smoothie, and waiting for the people I came with to drag themselves away from all the glowing LCDs. They stare, they coo, they giggle. I’ve grown bored after a mere 90 minutes playing with Panther, plus another 15 minutes falling madly in love with the new 40G iPods, and another 10 minutes of fending off the 4 years old who kept trying to excerpt my bean bag chair so they could play the Finding Nemo game. The doors opened nearly 2 hours ago, but the line of people waiting to get in still stretches around the block, probably another 200 people who have been waiting on a brisk Seattle night for a look at the new MacOS, and maybe a chance to get 10% off. Thankfully Apple is generously supplying the entire neighborhood with fast, clean wireless signal.

Enough About Me

I can hear you, growing resltess, enough about you, and your damn pumpkin smoothie (it was excellent by the way, love this time of the year), tell me about Panther!

It seduced me. I went in expecting to be underwhelmed, as I always do, years of conditioning both by computers, and by society at large has trained me to be jaded and cynical about corporations and their products, and Apple keeps surprising me. Few things live up to my expectations, and Apple keeps exceeding them. The new finder, I was underwhelmed by the idea and the screen shoots, but it feels natural and smooth. The integrated search threatens to put my newly beloved LaunchBar out of business, and the strong emphasis on the remote disks accurately reflects, not the current state of network use, but where we’re all going (as Apple is so good at).

Expose is brilliant, seeing demos doesn’t do it justice, it works wonderfully well, I might not need to use virtual workspaces after all. What I never understood is you can zoom out to fit all open windows, or just windows from a single app. Very very nice. And it seemed as snappy on the new G4 iBooks as it did on the dual GHz G5 screamers. (unless of course you held down shift which flids it over into pure eye candy mode)

Not crazy about the new app switcher, I think Windows still has the edge in this one last feature, I don’t understand why Apple has been chronically unable to get this right, but they are getting closer.

Here comes Otts, got to run, see Mark’s review for more info.

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) is out. I took a few screenshots and wrote up a few thoughts. OK, I took 100 screenshots and wrote 11 pages.

Oh, they didn’t have Xcode installed btw, so no report on that.

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