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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

Mac OS X 'Panther': User at the Center 550

MatthewRothenberg writes "Over at eWEEK, we believe we've got the drop on the much-discussed interface enhancements to Mac OS X 10.3, a k a Panther: The theme of this September release will be 'User at the Center,' an umbrella term for a variety of new features aimed at leapfrogging Microsoft when it comes to pervasive, user-focused computing. Niceties include user-configurable 'piles,' a fast-user-switching-type feature, and easy transferral of home directories among devices and the Web. Oh, and it's mo' definitely 64-bit-complete, too."
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Mac OS X 'Panther': User at the Center

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  • by cmoney ( 216557 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:03PM (#5782178)
    It's the Bronze G3 that's giving you a problem with font smoothing. I know because I have that same computer. I also have a PBG4 and it's so much better, it's unbelievable. Font smoothing on the Bronze G3 is so horrid it makes OS X unusable for me.
  • Re:Piles? (Score:5, Informative)

    by michaelggreer ( 612022 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:07PM (#5782206)
    With piles, you don't have to go "inside" the folder, just pick out the doc you want frm the pile. Take a look here:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:15PM (#5782275)
    The journaling technology extends OS X's HFS+ file system and can be applied to current Mac OS volumes without reformatting. Users of Mac OS X Server can activate journaling by clicking on a "Make journaled" button within the Disk Utility application; they can also access it via the command line or remotely via a Secure Shell (SSH) connection.
  • Re:Piles system (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daniel_Staal ( 609844 ) <> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:18PM (#5782306)

    Of course if you want to use this OS you will have to shell out $100 to upgrade .1 of a version number. Sheesh!

    I actually think Apple's switched to a new version numbering sceme: 10.x.x. The 10 is constant (a marketing number basically), and the x.x is the 'real' version number.

    So basically the current version is 2.5, and Panther is version 3.0.

  • Re:Piles (Score:5, Informative)

    by Squidgee ( 565373 ) <> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:25PM (#5782356)
    For those of you who are unclear on piles, read this []:

    "Apple holds a patent on this one. Developed by Gitta Salomon and her team close to a decade ago, a pile is a loose grouping of documents. Its visual representation is an overlay of all the documents within the pile, one on top of the other, rotated to varying degrees. In other words, a pile on the desktop looked just like a pile on your real desktop.

    To view the documents within the pile, you clicked on the top of the pile and drew the mouse up the screen. As you did so, one document after another would appear as a thumbnail next to the pile. When you found the one you were looking for, you would release the mouse and the current document would open.

    Piles, unlike today's folders, gave you a lot of hints as to their contents. You could judge the number of documents in the pile by its height. You could judge its composition very rapidly by pulling through it."

  • by porkchop_d_clown ( 39923 ) <mwheinz AT me DOT com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:28PM (#5782382) Homepage
    It's also already available on regular OS X, you just have to use the command line.
  • Re:Piles (Score:5, Informative)

    by Squidgee ( 565373 ) <> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:29PM (#5782401)
    And, for those of you who want a visual interpretation of how this could work, I got this [] off of google. It's an interactive flash animation which shows one possible design of how it could work; and, if it works close to this, it's gonna be really cool.
  • by porkchop_d_clown ( 39923 ) <mwheinz AT me DOT com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:31PM (#5782421) Homepage

    replace folders - they are strictly an organizational metaphor, nothing to do with how files are actaully stashed away.

  • mirror (Score:3, Informative)

    by MisterSquid ( 231834 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:44PM (#5782538)

    Oh, dear. Looks like I'll have to mirror the original [].


  • Re:hm? (Score:5, Informative)

    by anthonyclark ( 17109 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:55PM (#5782665)

    Actually, the reason /. is reporting Apple news a lot is that all the /. crew bought powerbooks and have become born-again Mac users ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:01PM (#5782716)
    They already have a subscription program: Cu stom.woa/70706/wo/gq575DlYKg5c3ssmgl41Pl1kpVK/1.7. 0.5.1
  • by alfredo ( 18243 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:15PM (#5782816)
    Look at the Apple laptops and then compare them to Dell laptops. You will see they compare favorable.

    Here is the scoop on Apple Laptops []
  • Orthogonal, baby! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gorimek ( 61128 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:18PM (#5782844) Homepage
    But they're independent of folders. All files will still belong to a folder, but they can also be in one (or more?) piles, organized after whatever scheme makes sense to the user.

    Also, you can browse through your pile effectively, and you can tell by looking at the pile roughly how much stuff is in it, and possibly (it's been talked about) how old it is or how long since it's been touched by how much dust and spider web it's collected.

    A lot of people are excited by this and have talked about it for a long time, so I hope it will be good. Only actual use will tell though.
  • by Fred IV ( 587429 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:18PM (#5782845)
    The bizarre removal of the capacity for me to have a heirarchal list of more rarely used applications (the Applications Apple menu in prior versions/a Windows Start menu/A KDE/Gnome start panel menu) is not user-centered.

    Drag your "Applications" folder into the dock.

    Click-and-hold for a second

    Blammo, instant "Start Menu"...and you can do it for any folder you want.
  • by Capt. DrunkenBum ( 123453 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:39PM (#5783046) Homepage
    How to make OSX more useable on low end hardware.

    1. Add RAM.
    2. Newer, faster HDD.
    3. Add RAM.
    4. The dock settings:
    Shrink the dock down as small as you can, and still use it.
    Magnification off
    Possition whatever you like.
    Minimize using Scale Effect.
    Uncheck Animate opening applications.
    Uncheck Automaticly hide and show the dock.

    5. Did I mention add RAM.

    This is what I did to my 266Mhz Wallstreet, 192Meg RAM, 20 Gig HDD, and it is quite useable. A little slow opening apps, but quite useable otherwise.

    With all the Dock eye candy turned on, it was unusable.
  • by mlilback ( 134172 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:44PM (#5783077) Homepage
    either the price needs to drop on the payware upgrades, or the incompatible major version upgrades need to be spread to two years or more, so that developers can reach their audience.

    Jaguar did a lot to help with this problem. Apple added conditional macros to allow compiling for specific versions, and they added weak linking so you use new features on new versions of the OS but still run on older versions.

    The solutions are nowhere near as easy to use as they were in CFM (starting with the first PowerPCs), but at least they've added the capability to MachO.

  • Re:Piles? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:47PM (#5783108)
    It's more graphically intense because, for one thing, most icons in OS X are vector images, not raster images.

    No, they're raster images. But here's the thing. Icons under Quartz Extreme are implemented as geometry. That is, they're OpenGL squares with the icon image projected on them as textures. Under Jaguar, icons are implemented as billboards; they scale, but they don't rotate. In Panther, they may-- MAY-- be implemented as full-fledged OpenGL geometry objects, spinning and flipping around and whatnot.
  • by Bendy Chief ( 633679 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:56PM (#5783162) Homepage Journal
    Fast User Switching is teh suck for XP. Watch little Billy complain when Quake 3 won't run at 200 fps because Janey fast-switched when she still had Windows Media Player and 30 browser windows open.

    Not to mention the security issues with Windows Terminal Services, which is a prerequisite for the FUS service. Now I'm aware that XP's security is not OS X's problem, but the fundamental things I dislike about the whole Fast Switching concept will remain.

  • by tbmaddux ( 145207 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:58PM (#5783182) Homepage Journal
    It's also already available on regular OS X, you just have to use the command line.
    Tease. Here it is. "sudo" will prompt you for your password (you must be an Administrator user for it to accept your password to do this):
    sudo diskutil enableJournal /

    Replace "/" with other volumes (/Volumes/foo/ and /Volumes/bar/ for example) if you have them on your system.

  • Easy (Score:3, Informative)

    by waldoj ( 8229 ) <waldo.jaquith@org> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @03:03PM (#5783212) Homepage Journal
    hell, even over broadband it'd be annoying to have to sync my home directory with the .mac server... I've got at least 1GB of things in my Documents folder, almost 10GB in music, and god knows how much in the movies dir.

    One word: rsync [].

    -Waldo Jaquith
  • by Ponty ( 15710 ) <> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @03:23PM (#5783391) Homepage
    It looks good, as ClearType goes, but can you really say that you'd rather look at those blurry letters all day long? I have a PowerBook, and every time I turn on font smoothing, I get angry about five minutes later. It just hurts my eyes. I'd rather have crisply contrasting letterforms than blurry. That's really all it comes down to. A few pixels are more than okay if I don't have to squint at my words.
  • OS X Icons (Score:4, Informative)

    by pneuma_66 ( 1830 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @03:36PM (#5783509)
    OS X icons are not vector images, they are a collection of 128x128, 64x64, and 32x32 bitmaps. The smooth scaling is just regular old bitmap scaling.
  • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TrackDaddy ( 630566 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @03:42PM (#5783558)
    Let's deal with "roaming home directories" for a moment. As another reader pointed out, this feature has been around since NT4 (maybe even sooner). But you left out a few of the niggling details that make it a "less than ideal solution".

    To have a roaming profile, what MS calls roaming home directory, you must authenticate into a domain and have a domain controller available. This is fine in a corporate environment, but most Windows users (other than my esteemed colleagues here on Slashdot) wouldn't know what those terms mean, let alone how to implement them. Then there is the matter of how roaming profiles are actually implemented. When you log onto a system, your home directory, preferences, registry settings, and everything else that makes up your profile is copied from a Windows share to your local host. And when you log off, it is copied back to that share. Notice, I didn't say changes were copied. That's right Sparky, the WHOLE thing gets copied back to the server. And the next time you log on, it does it all over again. Now considering how things like Outlook OST files tend to get large, or as we in the industry like to say, "F*$&@%G HUGE", that means that you get to slog this data back and forth across your network each time a user logs on/off their system. Now, do that for a 5000 user company. Have fun.

    So, apple has the opportunity here to do it MUCH better. After all, when you only have to aim as high as "I think I'll just copy everything on my computer every time I log on/off", its pretty easy. So yeah, maybe they will "leapfrog".

    - Peace

  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:01PM (#5783702)
    If you want that "Microsoft" effect (which, it should be noted, was pioneered by Apple many years ago), set your font-smoothing prefs to Medium. That's the only one which does that wierd color-halo-effect from Windows that people inexplicably seem to love so much.
  • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:08PM (#5783765)
    > However, I hope that this means that we can easily
    > switch our home folder to a different partition or disk.

    That's already easy... simplistic even. It's the first thing I did when I switched to OS X, actually. Two commands in the terminal, and you're all set:

    mv /Users /Volumes/Whereever/Users

    ln -s /Volumes/Whereever/Users /Users

    I don't remember if you have to log out and back in for this to take. I did it as root from the console just to be sure. But in any event, you're all set. If you want to be extra careful, you could ditto the directories over and double check that they made it before rm'ing the originals and making the symlink, I suppose.

    I have my own Macintosh set up with a 7200rpm 20GB hard drive for the OS, swap space, applications, and the like; plus a slower (cheaper) 5200rpm 100GB drive on which all my files, including home directories, live. Works quite nicely.

    And it does have the advantage that, if I seriously fsck up the system (I haven't met an OS yet (well, except for OS/390... but I never really got to mess with it very much.) that I haven't hosed at SOME point), I can just blast that drive clean and start over without having to worry about recovering my files and data!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:23PM (#5783910)
    Apple's bumped the iBooks up to 900MHz and dropped the price a little, as per the usual incremental upgrades. Also, the lowest-end iBook now has 32MB VRAM, so it supports Quartz Extreme. Nothing major, but it might be worth taking a look if you've been on the fence.

    (Not Whoring)
  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:2, Informative)

    by Golias ( 176380 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:49PM (#5784126)
    (Apple "Pro" speakers my ass, give me a pair of Klipsches any day!)

    Not that there's anything wrong with Klipsches, but it should be pointed out that the sound systems on most current Apple models were designed by the good folks of Harmon Kardon.

    The first two (much larger) ones [CPU, Motherboard] are an unavoidable effect of having a non-standard hardware platform.

    Apples use PowerPC CPU's, which are also used by Motorola in a lot of embedded applications, and by IBM in their servers. If a chip design is being heavilly used by more than three major NASDAQ players, is it really still "proprietary" just because you can't use it in your home-brew budget Windows box?

    Also, the motherboards, while not designed to cram into ATX cases, are made up almost entirely of very standard components and design concepts. The only major difference is Apple's boot ROM's. The ATA connections for the drives, the memory bus, the PCI and AGP connections, the USB and Firewire ports... all very similar to the parts you would see on your better Pentium and Athlon motherboards. I find it hard to believe that the motherboards that Apple makes are that much more expensive than the ones that go into Dells.

    The real cost of Apples is the markup to finance their R&D, QA, etc. Plus, their higher profit margin per machine allows them to thrive and survive as a niche player.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:04PM (#5784285)
    Ha! Good luck with that! I got those coupons too, and I can assure you... they aren't worht the paper they're printed on. Seriously, this isn't some sort of troll or anything. I bought a machine with 10.1.2, it came with software update coupons. Jaguar rolls around, "Sorry! Can't use 'em!" I think basically they're for the minor updates (10.2.x) where you could either: (a) download for free, (b) pay $19.95 for Apple to send you a CD, or (c) use a software update coupon.

    Sorry to burst your bubble! I got the same kind of thing with my iBook (shipped with 10.2) and I expect they won't be valid for 10.3. Hell, I don't think I even saved them.
  • by Phrogz ( 43803 ) <!> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:30PM (#5785068) Homepage
    You can turn it off. Set it to 'Standard - Best for CRT'. That uses standard, not sub-pixel, anti-aliasing.
  • by presearch ( 214913 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:22PM (#5785976)
    Apple has just put out 10.2.5 for free. In my OpenGL app, the upgrade gave me a
    10% speed improvement. It's also 10% faster than the almost identical code running
    on Windows and Mac OS9. Again, this was free for the download. Plus, nothing
    (at least for me) broke after the upgrade unlike countless Windows updates I've
    done through the years. It's also packaged cleanly; a couple clicks, wait a little bit,
    and everything works better. Paying $120 a year for Apple's diligence is a bargain.

    It also appears that Apple has developers working on improving things beyond just
    fixing bugs and adding features to leverage market share. From my point of view,
    if a developer at Apple owns a piece of code, he continually works to make it as good
    as it can be, as a commitment to excellence. With all of the Windows I've bought and
    installed over the years, that seems to be the last thing on the list, by corporate edict.
    With Linux, it seems like the effort is mainly just to put out something and
    they are still playing catchup to Sun and SGI, with a small touch of Windows envy.

    At $100 a year, even if Apple saves you 10 hours of trouble and distraction over that
    year, isn't your time worth at least $10 an hour?

    OS X is not only a bargain, it's downright cheap!
  • by snicker ( 7648 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:27PM (#5786293) Homepage Journal
    Try using a better ColorSync profile [] -- it helped me a lot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2003 @03:18AM (#5787555)
    i never knew what program was open

    Clue: It's ALWAYS the first (leftmost) word in the menu bar.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak