I have been playing around with MacOS X 10.3 (“Panther”) for a few days now. I can’t think of any negatives, but here is what I like about it so far:

  • Exposé is way more rad that I imagined. I bound my mouse’s thumb button to “Show Me All This Application’s Windows” and it is amazingly handy (especially when dealing with multiple browser windows and the like). My only real complaint is that my pager, Codetek Virtual Desktop doesn’t integrate as tightly with Exposé as I’d like. The real problem is that when you use one of the Exposé functions, like “Show Me All Windows”, it will only show you windows displayed on the current active desktop. Fortunately, it appears that a beta (of CVD) fixing this gripe is on it’s way.
  • The new modifications to the Finder are quite nice, especially the new “favorites pane” or whatever they call it that now resides to the left of every window. One of my major problems with the column view of Jaguar has also been fixed. Now it is possible to start typing the first few letters of a filename and have it jump to the proper file. This worked in the other views in Jaguar, but always seemed to be borked in the column view. I still can’t stand the brushed metal view, and it violates Apple’s own UI guidelines, but I guess I am just going to have to grin and bear it. I can ignore appearance for functionality any day.
  • Fast User Switching works really well, although it is pretty useless to me until someone needs to share my computer. I set up a user for which is declutterified for her. I had set this up before with the early Panther beta I played with, and it worked well. (I ultimately had to revert to Jaguar because Samba didn’t work properly in the Panther beta)
  • XCode, the new development environment seems very sexy, if only for it’s Zerolink stuff… I need to play with this more, so more on this subject later
  • Finally combined Disk Copy and Disk Utility, so I don’t have to randomly guess as to which is the proper app for what I need to do.
  • An overall speed increase in many of the applications… Things moved pretty fast in Jaguar, but there is a subtle improvement that is nice.. And journalling the FS by default is a nice addition as well.

I am definitely happy with Panther, but I am not entirely certain it is worth $130. I think Apple needs to revisit it’s release and price schedules and adjust them to be more inline with reality.

3 thoughts on “Panther

  1. I’m waiting before I have to shell out $130 for Panther. I recently started using PathFinder in place of the normal finder (which was my largest gripe). I like the spring loaded files, the ability to hit enter on a file to open instead of entering a renaming mode. My main reason for updating is the ‘speed increase’ Anything that makes my powerbook quicker is fine by me.

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