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Mossberg: Apple's Leopard evolutionary, not revolutionary

post #1 of 86
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"I've been testing Leopard, and while it is an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, release, I believe it builds on Apple's quality advantage over Windows," writes the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg in a review to be published in Thursday's edition of the financial paper.

The renowned technology columnist claims that Leopard is better and faster than Vista, with a set of new features that make Macs even easier to use.

"I did notice a few drawbacks, but they were minor," he says. "The menu bar is now translucent, which can make it hard to see the items it contains if your desktop picture has dark areas at the top. The new folder icons are dull and flat and less attractive than Vista's or their predecessors on the Mac. While Time Machine can perform backups over a network, the backup destination can only be a hard disk connected to a Mac running Leopard. And, on the Web, I ran into one site where the fonts on part of the page were illegible, a problem Apple says is known and rare and that I expect it will fix."

Apple claims the new system includes more than 300 new features, but Mossberg observes that there "is nothing on the list that could be considered startling or a major breakthrough." While some of Leopard's features are unique, many others have been available on both Windows and the Mac via third-party programs or hard-to-find geeky methods buried in the operating systems, he explains.

In his tests, Mossberg said Leopard felt about as fast as Tiger and that it started up much faster than Vista. "I compared a MacBook Pro laptop with Leopard preinstalled to a Sony Vaio laptop with Vista preinstalled," he says. "Even though I had cleared out all of the useless trial software Sony had placed on the Vaio, it still started up painfully slowly compared with the Leopard laptop."

According to his tests, it took Vista nearly two minutes to perform a cold start and be ready to run. "The Leopard laptop was up, running and connected to the network in 38 seconds," he adds. "In a test of restarting the two laptops after they had been running an email program, a Web browser and a word processor, the Sony with Vista took three minutes and 29 seconds, while the Apple running Leopard took one minute and five seconds."

Mossberg's review was available online to the general public at press time. However, the Journal sometimes restrict access to such features within a few hours. Readers who are unable to access the content online may want to pick a copy of tomorrow's print edition.

Meanwhile, the New York Times' David Pogue and USA Today's Edward Baig have also published early reviews of Leopard. AppleInsider will of course provide its own in-depth Leopard review following the software's release on Friday.

In the meantime, you can check out our ongoing Road to Leopard Series: System Preferences, Parental Controls and Directory Services, What's new in Mac OS X Leopard Server, Dashboard, Spotlight and the Desktop, Safari 3.0, iCal 3.0, iChat 4.0, Mail 3.0, Time Machine; Spaces, Dock 1.6, Finder 10.5, Dictionary 2.0, and Preview 4.0.
post #2 of 86
Tiger wasn't revolutionary either. Revolutions don't come along all that often in computerdom. What I like to see is constant evolution of product and features that work. I"m not into throwing my accumlated knowledge out because there's some whizzbang new feature. Sometimes the things you need are just basic but for whatever reason getting them in software has been tough (iCal write access for instance).

I'm pleased with what Apple's done. They're going to deliver Leopard with a 4 month delay which isn't bad. Leopard is chalk full of goodies that will appeal to most of the crowd most of the time.

If there's a revolution it will be in how I use some of the enhanced tools to make my computing life easier. Hello flat files..hello Spotlight. No more will I create nested folder after nested folder.
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post #3 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Tiger wasn't revolutionary either. Revolutions don't come along all that often in computerdom. What I like to see is constant evolution of product and features that work. I"m not into throwing my accumlated knowledge out because there's some whizzbang new feature. Sometimes the things you need are just basic but for whatever reason getting them in software has been tough (iCal write access for instance).

I'm pleased with what Apple's done. They're going to deliver Leopard with a 4 month delay which isn't bad. Leopard is chalk full of goodies that will appeal to most of the crowd most of the time.

If there's a revolution it will be in how I use some of the enhanced tools to make my computing life easier. Hello flat files..hello Spotlight. No more will I create nested folder after nested folder.

I completely agree, however I really did believe that there were 'secret features' that Jobs was talking about that just fizzled out and never ended up being included. I'm seriously considering whether this is worth my $70 (edu discount).
post #4 of 86
He's upset because you can't use Time Machine for backups from a computer that doesn't run leopard? Is he serious?
post #5 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I'm pleased with what Apple's done. They're going to deliver Leopard with a 4 month delay which isn't bad. Leopard is chalk full of goodies that will appeal to most of the crowd most of the time.

I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.
post #6 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd051572 View Post

He's upset because you can't use Time Machine for backups from a computer that doesn't run leopard? Is he serious?

I think he is upset because you can't back up to a drive that isn't on a leopard machine. Example, my network HDD cannot store a back up of my Leopard machine because the network drive is not hosted on a Leopard machine itself.
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post #7 of 86
While I think I'll wait for a .1 or .2 release before upgrading, I'm looking forward to Leopard. Evolutionary progress is good if the underlying product is good and I think OSX is very good already.
post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.


Yes--- the real revolution was from command line prompts to the GUI. The mouse less so but still very important. Does anyone recall the DOS users of the day rubbishing the Mac because of the GUI and mouse? Real computer users didn't use those childish Apple things--- haha

There may not be an OS revolution anytime soon since the components that are likely to be introduced we can all imagine: voice activated and interactive systems with multitouch, because those components already exist.

Now when you wear a special headset that reads your thoughts and creates and sends mail to the right person, shows movies in your mind in 3D--- now that will be revolutionary.
post #9 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post

I completely agree, however I really did believe that there were 'secret features' that Jobs was talking about that just fizzled out and never ended up being included. I'm seriously considering whether this is worth my $70 (edu discount).

"Way beyond the rumor sites" I lost my taste for Steve Jobs hyperbole from that momen on. Frankly in my eyes the last revolution was the Internet. I can't imagine a life where I don't have internet access. It has become such an ingrained tool. I'd gladly give up my cable TV connection and keep my internet if times got tough.

The next revolution to me is not necessarily multi touch but voice control of computer functions and text. I really don't want to touch my computer more than I have to. It's far easier to me to use what I've spent a lifetime perfecting...language.

I think the next mini revolution will center around media. Computers will get faster, screens will get larger and resolutions will improve. The concept of the TV Monitor may go by the wayside in 10-15yrs. Replaced by computes masquerading as TVs yet all we have today as for as social networking and collaboration will be present. Convergence is such an overused word but that's what's going to happen.
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post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwill246 View Post

There may not be an OS revolution anytime soon since the components that are likely to be introduced we can all imagine: voice activated and interactive systems with multitouch, because those components already exist.

Still, we're a long way away from a Minority Report style UI-- and also a long way away from determining whether that's even preferable. It seems like the way we navigate a computer user interface is *so* well entrenched at this point that anything revolutionary in terms of UI design will be on devices like the iPhone (with its multitouch interface and because the uniqueness of the device itself allows (requires) UI designers to break with established ways of doing things)
post #11 of 86
The first version of OSX was revolutionary, all the rest of the cats have been evolutionary.. There's nothing wrong with that.
post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I think the next mini revolution will center around media. Computers will get faster, screens will get larger and resolutions will improve. The concept of the TV Monitor may go by the wayside in 10-15yrs. Replaced by computes masquerading as TVs yet all we have today as for as social networking and collaboration will be present. Convergence is such an overused word but that's what's going to happen.


I agree. I think Apple is prepping us by making the iMac look more and more like a HDTV set.

I think it'll happen sooner than you predict though.
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I did notice a few drawbacks, but they were minor," he says. "The menu bar is now translucent, which can make it hard to see the items it contains if your desktop picture has dark areas at the top.

Tiger has semi-translucent menus as well, and I've found them irritating (e.g., in the menu bar). I have been disappointed ever since I heard Apple has decided to make the menus even more translucent in Leopard.

With the thousands of hours of testing Leopard has undergone, you would think this complaint would have been addressed before. Now, in the days prior to its release, two major reviewers (David Pogue of the NY Times being the other) bring this up as a drawback in what are otherwise glowing reports.

I can't think of a good reason to have translucent menus. It isn't as if there is typically lots of action going on behind my menu that causes me to feel like I've missed something when I return.

Does anybody else agree with me?
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.

1) I don't see how multi-touch on a desktop makes any sense to Apple's customer base.
2) The "spit and polish" UI is the least appealing and remarkable aspects to Leopard. If you need some examples just ask; there are plenty here who will inform you of these features.
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post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd051572 View Post

He's upset because you can't use Time Machine for backups from a computer that doesn't run leopard? Is he serious?

I don't understand you post! I was planning on buying Leopard for my home Mac and running iLife on all the office PC's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Still, we're a long way away from a Minority Report style UI-- and also a long way away from determining whether that's even preferable. It seems like the way we navigate a computer user interface is *so* well entrenched at this point that anything revolutionary in terms of UI design will be on devices like the iPhone (with its multitouch interface and because the uniqueness of the device itself allows (requires) UI designers to break with established ways of doing things)

Excellent post! The New input must not first be inhibited by current standards. Such devices as the iPod Touch and iPhone will get the next Gen ready for touch. But even before that, speech is more important. I hope Apple's secret sauce is the ability to run apps and within apps better with speech. I mean, i talk to my computer now, why not have it the ability to talk back?

Yes Lisa dear, i'm coming to bed.....
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post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I don't see how multi-touch on a desktop makes any sense to Apple's customer base.

It doesn't. But it'd sell a shit-load of computers.
post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolHandPete View Post

Tiger has semi-translucent menus as well, and I've found them irritating (e.g., in the menu bar). I have been disappointed ever since I heard Apple has decided to make the menus even more translucent in Leopard.

With the thousands of hours of testing Leopard has undergone, you would think this complaint would have been addressed before. Now, in the days prior to its release, two major reviewers (David Pogue of the NY Times being the other) bring this up as a drawback in what are otherwise glowing reports.

I can't think of a good reason to have translucent menus. It isn't as if there is typically lots of action going on behind my menu that causes me to feel like I've missed something when I return.

Does anybody else agree with me?

Apple has listened. The most recent Leopard build (9A559) to developers has removed that feature.
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post #18 of 86
From the Apple website regarding Time Machine:

Set it, then forget it.

To start using Time Machine, all you have to do is connect an external drive (sold separately) to your Mac. You’re asked if you want it to be your backup drive, and if you say yes, Time Machine takes care of everything else. Automatically. In the background. You’ll never have to worry about backing up again.

Clearly, Mossberg's issue is with network backups. Doesn't apply in my little office, so his observation means nothing to me.
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I think he is upset because you can't back up to a drive that isn't on a leopard machine. Example, my network HDD cannot store a back up of my Leopard machine because the network drive is not hosted on a Leopard machine itself.

Imagine that! Your drive doesn't have an HFS+ formatted drive specific to Leopard. What a shock that it won't be available for backup!
post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.

I totally agree. It is an evolution not revolution. I also agree with hmurchison's post (2nd post), I've been using leopard (as a dev. member) for a few months now... and as a programmer all I can say is wow! they did a great job and made a many of simple yet convoluted tasks work, as they should. Screen sharing (back to my mac) as it may not be new to PCs or macs, works without a hitch (even through complex routing situations), which is a feat in itself! Leopard is FULL of these little niceties, along with being a more refined and (finally full-on UNIX) faster OS. Most of the complaints I've seen thus far are UI related. I had some of the same issues when first using the OS but after a few months you become familiar and actually come to realize the usefulness of most of the UI reformats. IE: I hated the mirrored dock at first, but as I've been using the system it's helped a lot with productivity. At a glance I can see what windows are layered behind the current and I don't have to waste time or processor resources to switch apps. Another smart method put out by apple that people are slow or unwilling to grasp.

We'll see an OS revolution (mostly an evolution of iPod touch/iPhone) when we see the macbook touch.

I just hope, with all their latest success they don't go all BORG and forget about all of these little things that make apple what it is and not just a company pushing products to meet quotas.
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I don't see how multi-touch on a desktop makes any sense to Apple's customer base.
2) The "spit and polish" UI is the least appealing and remarkable aspects to Leopard. If you need some examples just ask; there are plenty here who will inform you of these features.

I would love if my Mac had better printing options like Windoz and great viewing from within Finder; something i think we are going to see.

Voice to pull up mail, search the internet, maneuver through apps, and such abilities as cut, copy, paste, move, enlarge, open with, find whatever, new message, and the like. Just to freak the guys out at work!!

Quote:
"Lisa, please run Daily and Monthly Reports."

"Yes Mr. Getz. Reports ran and now printing..."

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Lisa, will you Find October Mid Month Ad?"

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Two ads found, one in QuickTime, the other in MP3"

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Lisa, please Copy the QuickTime ad and Open Dreamweaver.

Edit CurrentAd.php.

Paste Media into Layer ID 3"
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post #22 of 86
I think the revolutionary things are below the level that Mossberg and general users tend to look. This InfoWorld article touches on the deep goodness under the hood of Leopard.

I believe Apple did the right thing with 10.5 in creating great APIs and an environment for developers. Core Animation will lead to some awesome eye candy AND functionality.

It is nice to see Bonjour promoted as a top-level core technology. I've done some development work with it, and it is slick. It doesn't solve world hunger, but what it does it does easily and well. I hope Apple can get Bonjour in everything with a network connection.

From the little I've played with Vista, it looks like MS went the other way. They made the OS the do-all be-all for the computer, which just makes it bloated and clunky.

- Jasen.
post #23 of 86
OH JEEZE!!! all the time machine bashing! whatever. It works (albeit slow for initial setup) awesome!
My backup, for my laptop, is on a network drive via my airport extreme. after the initial setup, it works great!


PS: not sure if this works or how well with other networked drives?
any of you try this, post your results...
post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple has listened. The most recent Leopard build (9A559) to developers has removed that feature.

This is why I love AppleInsider. I'll take your word on this one.
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I don't see how multi-touch on a desktop makes any sense to Apple's customer base.

Apple is exploring ways right now to incorporate multi-touch beyond the iPhone.

I don't think it's necessarily limited to those types of devices either. Right now laptops just aren't designed for that type of input. The screens smudge with fingerprints and shake upon touching it. But I think with a few hardware adjustments it can make better sense to navigate with your fingers on large laptop screens rather than/ in addition to a cramped trackpad. It may not replace the trackpad but it can certainly supplement it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

2) The "spit and polish" UI is the least appealing and remarkable aspects to Leopard. If you need some examples just ask; there are plenty here who will inform you of these features.

I was referring to the continually improving and evolving nature of the entire release rather than to specific eye-candy additions. I did say "it's all spit and polish." But that bit of unclarity aside, I'll uh "ask around" about those features.
post #26 of 86
See my post here. I have not read the full reviews and it is not fair to comment I am afraid but I think the problem of those guys is they look ctitically (and this is good) at the feature list while poking around the system and make a comparison in a checkbox style (and this is bad) - search feature in Leopard: Yes/ search feature in Vista: Yes -> no advantages. I was less enthusiastic about Leopard before playing with it. Quick Look IS revolutionary. This feature alone is worth $100. It is not an eye-candy! It is a huge productivity booster! I did not test the Time Machine but the approach to the backup/restore process IS revolutionary, although the underlying technology is step behind (no filesystem snapshots hence a requirement for an external drive). Look at it as a versioning system, not only as a backup one. I am one of those few who are making regular backups and know the pain of searching for a deleted file in the backups! Search->restore->open->see this is not the right one->delete->search again and so on. Not so with Time Machine and Quick Look - yes, Quick Look and Spotlight work in Time Machine backups and that is fantastic! Time Machine also provides means for searching on application level: open iPhoto and search from within your Library view and it looks within THAT PARTICULAR VIEW, no need to dig the file out of the thousands of files burried in a complex directory tree! And again, you can look the contents of the file BEFORE MAKING A RESTORE! When you get used to it you will not want to live without!
post #27 of 86
To all those interested in the claim that Time Machine only works with leopard-shared network drives, there is a good discussion here:
http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/...m/589003897831

It seems that, at least with the latest beta, an HFS+ formatted drive shared via tiger WILL work. There are even claims that it can backup to an HFS image hosted from ANY source. Can anyone confirm this for the GM that we might let Mosse know? Also, hoping my Tiger-based backup machine (that can't run leopard) isn't obsolete....


.wch
post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"I did notice a few drawbacks, but they were minor," he says. "The menu bar is now translucent, which can make it hard to see the items it contains if your desktop picture has dark areas at the top.

I hope somebody figures out the terminal command to fix this. And what was the point of doing this in the first place?
post #29 of 86
In my opinion, Mossberg is being a bit too aloof. (Leopard like? ;-) I see no reason to bring up evolutionary vs. revolutionary. That's kind of a "straw man" approach to reviewing, which makes his words seem more profound than they actually are. Did Apple make any claims of Leopard being revolutionary? I don't think so. iPhone yes, Leopard no. With respect to Leopard, Apple touts innovation. Contrary to Mossberg, I believe Time Machine is very innovative. I would challenge Mossberg to show us how to match Time Machine's capabilities with on any platform with any other products. While there may be a strong element of Apple chauvinism behind Time Machine's requirement for remote volumes to be mounted on Leopard systems, Time Machine might just as easily have communications protocol requirements for features, speed, and reliability that demand a Leopard server.
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post

I completely agree, however I really did believe that there were 'secret features' that Jobs was talking about that just fizzled out and never ended up being included. I'm seriously considering whether this is worth my $70 (edu discount).

Wait, $70 with education discount? Where are you seeing this? Everywhere on Apple's site says $116. Could you direct me there?
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post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I think the next mini revolution will center around media. Computers will get faster, screens will get larger and resolutions will improve. The concept of the TV Monitor may go by the wayside in 10-15yrs. Replaced by computes masquerading as TVs yet all we have today as for as social networking and collaboration will be present. Convergence is such an overused word but that's what's going to happen.

Hmm...so you got me wondering as I sit here contemplating (plotting) my first HD TV purchase. I'm really not enough of a TV buff to think 1080p is really necessary, 720p is perfectly fine for watching video. But then I think...if I'm going to hook up my Mac mini to it (more versatile than AppleTV) the extra resolution would be nice.

Then to your post...why should computers masquerade as TVs? Apple has put a lot of effort into making screen sharing easy in Leopard (via both iChat and the Finder). Apple TV runs OS X. It already shares media from my computer, why not the screen, too? Surely sharing a screen is less intensive (bandwidth and process) than streaming an HD video. I'm not going to do any video editing via a shared screen, but for 99% of uses, it would work fine. Add an iChat client and a web cam (either embedded in the AppleTV case or separate) and you've just dramatically increased the value of AppleTV with minimal effort.

So why is everyone trying to bring the computer into the living room TV? All we need is the computer screen! Steve Jobs said a long time ago that people don't want a computer in the living room. I think the main reason the relatively anemic features of AppleTV have not been updated is because of the delay in the release of Leopard. Once 10.5 is unleashed and the bugs worked out, I think AppleTV is next. And it wouldn't be unprecedented. Apple created FrontRow, which was an interesting little curiosity, and it turned into AppleTV. Now screen sharing, which will be nothing but another curiosity to 99% of Mac buyers...AppleTV 2.0 anyone?

That would be revolutionary...not in computer technology (thin client), but in how we use it (available to the masses)!
post #32 of 86
The very darkest the menu bar can ever get is gray--in other words, how Windows menus are to begin with
post #33 of 86
Mossberg neglected to mention that all versions of Leopard support 32-bit and 64-bit apps equally well. Unlike Windows.
post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post

I completely agree, however I really did believe that there were 'secret features' that Jobs was talking about that just fizzled out and never ended up being included...

I'm surprised the media haven't questioned Apple about this. I wonder what the back-story is for the demise of this "top-secret" feature Jobs harped about.

I'm curious...
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post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfRat View Post

Wait, $70 with education discount? Where are you seeing this? Everywhere on Apple's site says $116. Could you direct me there?

Yes, hence why he says (edu) after the price.

I like the review. It gets past Jobs and Apples marketing teams making things seem like the best thing since sliced bread. I do think his statement of "it boots so much faster than Vista" is worthless since he doesn't mention the specs of either machine though.
post #36 of 86
revolutionary? wouldn't that be a word for the OS XI ?
post #37 of 86
Mossberg doesn't write for Apple fanatics, he writes for average Joes who have lives and jobs and kids. He writes for the WSJ. Discussing Core Animation and AutoFS and 64/32bit compatibility is simply out of place.

He's basically getting flack for being pragmatic and a realist, and not chugging the kool aid. He doesn't rip into Windows enough, he doesn't go on at length about obscure features that mean nothing to the WSJ-reading public. Doesn't he realize how great Dock reflections are?

The worst part about Macs are Mac users.
post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple claims the new system includes more than 300 new features, but Mossberg observes that there "is nothing on the list that could be considered startling or a major breakthrough."

He tells us nothing with Leopard could be considered a major breakthrough, and at the same he tells us that the transparrent menu and the flat icons are annoying. It's such a strange approach... I think most of what's great with Leopard is probably not graphically visible at all, but is a real breakthrough for developers. The dev tools seems really like they've went through a breakthrough revamp. And much of what's going on under the hood. And what about graphics drivers, open gl, audio drivers etc? These are all very important pieces to cover. He can't just ignore a list of 300 improvements (the list is probably really 3000) and then go on and tell us about the transparent menu.. that just makes him look unserious.
post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post

I completely agree, however I really did believe that there were 'secret features' that Jobs was talking about that just fizzled out and never ended up being included. I'm seriously considering whether this is worth my $70 (edu discount).

The actual Edu price has INCREASED instead of giving it to us teachers / students for $69.00 it is now $116.00.
Only $14 off the $129.00.

They make MORE MONEY and become MORE GREEDY.....
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post #40 of 86
If icons look good or not is a matter of personal taste.
I don't like the old aqua icons at all and think the new ones are much better. Anyway, the look of folder icons is one thing that can be changed by the user (Panic's/Iconfactory's CandyBar) and I'm quite sure the transparency of the menu-bar will be modifiable too in some way.
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