More toys!

As if getting a new (and amazingly gadgety) cellphone weren’t enough, I just upgraded to OS X 10.3. So far so good: despite doing a wipe-and-install, with manual restoration of preferences, things have gone pretty smoothly (the one unaccountable and annoying problem is the complete loss of my NetNewsWire Lite subscription list).

This is a big upgrade: Apple was modest in adding .1 to the version number (as they were with 10.2). My mac is much more responsive now, the interface, for the most part, has been subtly improved, and there are a lot of obvious new “bullet-point” features that really are useful. It’s encouraging to see that Apple has not been resting on its laurels after the success of the 10.2 release–that was a pretty good OS, and they could have gotten away with tweaks for this one, but it’s clear that either they had a lot of stuff in the pipeline already that couldn’t be vetted in time for 10.2, or they still see OS X as an unfinished work (which is true of all software). It’s also interesting to see how much headroom is apparently left for system optimizations, and I wonder what we’re in for when they eventually release XI.

I have some beefs–I’m not sold on the metallic Finder, or the sidebar (which is resizable, but the resizing apparently doesn’t take, and which can’t be manipulated from the keyboard like other columns, as far as I can tell). And so on. But it’s good.

3 thoughts on “More toys!”

  1. Re: numbering conventions on software. If Apple is anything like my employer, software numbering is both set in stone and someowhat capricious.

    In the group where I work, we have many different products, some at version 6, others at version 3. The rule of thumb has been that only releases with MAJOR feature enhancements go up a full point. Thus, we recently released version 6 of our groupware software, because it had major changes in both the user interface and the back-end code. This went along until version 6.0.03, at which point we also released a version 6.5. The difference? Primarily that 6.5 has IM awareness capabilities built in. Sounds like a major feature. But we’re not ready to call it 7 yet, so it’s 6.5.

    Interestingly, our other product lines will all be brought under the 6.x numbering scheme early next year. So products will move from being 3.1 versions to 6.5.1 versions *overnight.* The whole idea is to make it less confusing for the customer. However, invariably when I talk to customers about this, they are *more* confused.

    There are people who get paid good money to sit around and think this stuff up. I wish I were one of them.

  2. Yeah, there was some speculation that when Apple made the jump from 7.6 to 8.0, they were doing so not because the technology warranted an integer bump but to screw over Power Computing, the clone maker, whose license only permitted them to distribute System 7. This was shortly after The Return of Steve, who decreed that all clones must die. The leap from 8.1 to 8.5 was, I imagine, about marketing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple is being parsimonious with the upgrade numbers these days because they’ve built a brand around X, and want to milk it for a while. I don’t blame them, and at least they’re being clear and consistent now (if only they’d do the same with their hardware). Apple is smart, though, to play up their code names, which are sexier. Curious that they use the code names openly to market the OS, but hardware code names, which once had common currency, are now hardly ever heard.

  3. funny – i just panthered too… yes, much more responsive.

    christ, if i could track down the people who spam my blog i’d be really well off. hmm…

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