So I went out and bought Leopard last Friday when it was released. I even got a free T-Shirt for being one of the first 500 customers at my Apple store. This was the first time I can think of that I ever went out and bought an OS on its release day (or any piece of software for that matter, perhaps aside from a computer game or two). I was worried there might be a long line, but my Apple store was pretty deserted (this was at 8PM). Maybe I just had the right instinct to go to the much smaller store at Stanford Shopping Center rather than the one on University Ave.

Regardless, I installed Leopard the same day, opting for a fresh install instead of an update. The install was very smooth, and about an hour later I had a nice upgraded Leopard system.

There are plenty of in-depth Leopard reviews out there, so I’ll refrain from boring you with another full review (aside from the fact that I haven’t played with Leopard enough to warrant a full review). Instead, here are a few bullet items:

  • New Finder: I love it! The new aesthetics are quite pleasing, but it also packs some nice new features. Quick view (triggered by pressing 'Space' when a file is selected) is very convenient. Cover flow mode should be useful as well, although I probably don't manage enough documents on my system to really benefit from this (since most of my work is online these days). It has a neat Easter Egg, by the way. :) The new sidebar is well organized and deals well with network shares. I haven't used the new search shortcuts yet, but they seem convenient. Finder now includes a Search box at the top. This itself is useful, but the fact that the search results are global by default (as opposed to limited to the open folder) is confusing to me. I'll have to figure out a way to change this.
  • New Dock: I'm still making up my mind about this, but so far my sentiments are more on the negative side. The visual mirror effect is nice and the dock locks pretty polished, but this probably gets old very quick. Running applications are now indicated with a small blue dot underneath, which is hard to spot. It also takes up more vertical space, which is quite valuable on a widescreen display. I might end up moving my dock to the side. It does not use the new 3D look in that mode and actually looks quite nice.
  • Stacks: Definitely a nice feature and some cute eye candy. Makes for a pretty application menu if you drag your Applications folder to the dock. I only wish there was a way to recurse into subfolders in that mode, perhaps by hovering over them with the mouse for half a second.
  • Safari 3.0: Probably warrants its own blog post at some point, but I haven't really used it enough at this point (still loving Camino). But this is a significant upgrade and I'll have to take it for a serious spin one of these days. The new tab functionality works great, including dragging tabs, a feature that I miss in Camino (and that Firefox has had for ages). Safari finally has an incremental find functionality, which is very well implemented. It also seems a lot snappier than the previous version.
  • Dashboard: You can now very easily turn part of any website into a Dashboard, simply by selecting it in Safari. This feature works as advertised and should prove to be very useful.
  • Spaces: Nothing ground breaking (after all virtual desktops have been standard in Linux for over a decade...), but still a very elegant and nicely integrated implementation of a virtual desktop.

I was originally going to talk about the developer tools and particularly the improved Ruby support, but this post is already getting much longer than I intended, plus I haven’t had a chance to test drive the new RubyCocoa support. So expect a follow-up post on this topic soon.