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TUAW rounds up Leopard reviews around the net

The Unofficial Apple Weblog gathered some of the noteworthy reviews of Leopard found roaming the interweb; reviews from PC Mag, Laptop Magazine, CNet, and Macworld.

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Fun with iChat: Star Wars Hologram effect part deux

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a different way in achieving the Star Wars Hologram effect I mentioned in an earlier blog post. This method uses Quartz Composer to pull off the effect.

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Apple luminary gives his ten tips in upgrading to Leopard

Guy Kawasaki, Mac evangelist extraordinaire, has ten tips for those thinking of upgrading to Leopard. First on the list, of course, is back up, back up, back up. If you don’t have an external drive to back up your previous files to, you should go out and buy one. Backing up is not an obscure process that requires prayers and rituals. Backing up should always be foremost in the minds of any computer user no matter what the platform. Please learn to back up. It will be worth your time and effort. Losing files is not fun at all.

Other tips include upgrading your third-party apps, not installing the additional fonts included in the new OS, learn to appreciate and use Spotlight, and make your Mac more friendly to your friends. More tips from Guy Kawasaki in the link provided.

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Apple sells two million copies of Leopard

Apple has announced that the latest version of the Mac operating system, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard has sold more than 2 million copies during the weekend of its release.

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Time to bury some of your third-party apps with Leopard [UPDATE]

I mentioned in one of my posts that some reviews have the Spotlight so improved that it no longer does file or folder searches, it doubles as an application launcher and calculator. I was curious about the application launcher bit because I am using Quicksilver as my app launcher. An application launcher, by the way, is a program that lets you launch apps by evoking the app with a key combo and type out the name of the app and pressing enter to launch it. As far as I know, most Windows users are even unaware that you can do such a thing. Spotlight in Tiger already had this capability but, darn it, Spotlight was really slow and the application launcher bit was one key press too many.

With Leopard, I’ve Spotlight has vastly improved. So improved, that Dan Frakes of Macworld says Spotlight 2.0 has the potential to replace application launchers like Quicksilver and Launchbar. Though these application launchers do more than launching software, like run scripts and control iTunes, Spotlight may just replace these third-party software in launching applications. I guess it’s bye-bye Quicksilver for me.

Dan Frakes cites some more examples of third-party applications that Leopard may partially or fully replace.

Update:
Part two of the Leopard’s Gem replacements is up.

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Fastest Windows Vista notebook

What’s PC World’s fastest Windows Vista notebook?

Dude, it’s the Macbook Pro.

Ah, I love the smell of sweet irony early in the morning.

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Microsoft’s having a swell time in Europe

Last week, Microsoft decided they will no longer appeal the 497 million Euros fine levied against them by the European Commission back in 2004. The EC has found Microsoft guilty of anti-competitive practices and ordered the company to open up access to its server protocols and sell the Windows operating system without Windows Media Player.

However, there seems to be no end in sight for Microsoft’s woes. Macworld reported that a UK government watchdog have urged schools to stop making licensing deals with Microsoft because of anti-competitive practices.

Across the pond, a Texas SMU-Cox School of Business have done away with Windows PCs and instead installed Macs in some of their classrooms and labs. “By installing Intel Macs, we’re enhancing and diversifying our computer platforms by keeping Windows XP while adding OS X,” said Allen Gwinn, senior director of technology for the Cox School.

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Mail and iCal: AppleInsider and Macworld reviews

I’ve been a Mac user for about 4 years now but I must say that i’ve probably used less than 50% of the features in Tiger. Some apps I’ve used sparingly. Two of these apps are Mail and iCal. I’ve used Mail before as my email client. I have several Google account and using POP mail I configured Mail to get my email from my different accounts. You can’t do that with Yahoo Mail of course. But it took longer for me to get my email using Mail as compared to just going to GMail directly. So I abandoned Mail altogether.

Regarding iCal, I don’t think I have the need to schedule anything though at the back of my mind I know I must. I guess it’s an acquired habit. But I have tried using iCal before and I found it… unsettling. There seems to be something in iCal that’s unMac-like. Everytime I use iCal I always say to myself, “Hey, this isn’t right. This application doesn’t belong here.” I struggle every time I use iCal. Maybe it’s just my brain refusing to be structured.

So these two applications, Mail and iCal, are the black sheep of my Mac apps.

I am a little lukewarm to these two apps. I mean, why bother with Mail when I have GMail. Sure, Mail has some new features such as new Smart mailboxes, an RSS reader, and Reminders as Prince McLean mentioned but what use do I have of Smart mailboxes when I can barely tolerate using Mail app itself. RSS Reader? Bah. I have Google Reader for that. Reminders? Well, perhaps To Dos and Notes are interesting but these are two features that are not blowing me away. Stationary and Photo Browser do not excite me at all. Mail is a no go for me at this point.

One of the things that makes the Leopard iCal different from Tiger iCal as Dan Miller of Macworld has pointed out is that the new iCal is complaint with the CalDAV standard.

Hrm.

Nothing mind blowing for me. This is a feature I really don’t give a damn about.

What else is new? Oh, it has a new look and a few design tweaks. Also, according to McLean, iCal is now faster and quite usable. Okay.

So I don’t care if Apple uses this version of iCal as their corporate calendar, I still don’t see myself using this because the new features do not mean much to me. Maybe my brain also needs an upgrade so I can appreciate using this.

Mail and iCal: two apps that has underwhelmed me and still continue to undewhelm me. Maybe once I get Leopard running I’ll change my mind. Maybe not. We’ll see.

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Another comprehensive Leopard review

What I like most about ARS Technica is that when they do reviews, they do reviews. John Siracusa really took a lot of time and effort to give us one of the most comprehensive, if not THE most comprehensive, review of Leopard ever. I really cannot give a summary of each of the points he makes. Some parts had my eyes glazing over. I’ll just get a snippet of his conclusion:

“Leopard is absolutely packed with improvements. It seems that not a corner of the OS has gone untouched. Perhaps that’s not as clear to the casual user who just sees the surface changes and the major new features in Leopard. But even in that case, there’s more than enough to recommend it. if you’re wondering whether you should upgrade to Leopard, the answer, as it’s been for every major revision of Mac OS X, is yes.

I’m most excited about Leopard’s internals. They’re the star of this release, even if they don’t get top billing. There’s a good reason we’ve already seen so many prominent Leopard-only software announcements. This is where developers want to be.

I’m hard pressed to think of a single Mac user I know who wouldn’t benefit from Time Machine’s hassle-free backup magic. If you’re looking for one reason to upgrade, this is it. Yeah, backups are boring, which is why you’re probably not doing them regularly right now. No more excuses.

In many ways, Leopard feels like a new beginning. Leopard charges bravely forward, choosing one particular new look and mandating it everywhere, redesigning all of the most prominent visual elements of the interface, and shedding old technologies like cat fur.

What’s emerged is quite a strange beast: beautiful on the inside and, well, a bit unlovely on the outside.

It’s the Mac development community’s opportunity to shine. Whether it reigns for two and a half years, like Tiger, or even longer, I’m looking forward to my time aboard starship Leopard.”

Siracusa’s review of Leopard is a must read.

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Unsanity cries foul in being blamed for BSODs

In one of my posts I said that Apple has already acknowledged that some users were encountering problems with their upgrade and it’s been attributed application enhancers. Though Apple didn’t specify a single software, most agree that the software would most probably be APE or Application Enhancer from Unsanity. However, according to a Macworld UK article, Unsanity has denied that their application-enhancement framework were the ones behind the blue screens of death. Unsanity calls the fix by a user named of Chris Mcculloh as “bunk.” Unsanity is seething to say the least. Rosyna Keller of Unsanity said:

“No one, not even the original poster from the Apple thread, bothered to check if the commands did anything. So I’m not really sure how anyone originally attached this problem to APE other than the standard ‘blame APE for everything’ mantra.”

Aside from the blue screen of death issue, some other less severe issues were encountered by some users. These include problems with Wi-Fi connection and user logins, and password changes in FileVault.

It’s not only the software or applications that are having issues. There are reports of iMacs freezing or the screen shutting down. These video problems seem to have been traced to the ATI Radeon graphics chips found in newer iMacs. Apple has acknowledged this problem.

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