Mac OS X Tiger out, Leopard back in
Upgrade follows downgrade follows upgrade
I couldn’t resist. I went back to Leopard. I’ve been running Apple’s latest operating system for well over a month now, originally 10.5.1 and now 10.5.2, with no untoward effects.
This wasn’t always the case. In a past post, I explained why mysterious Spotlight crashes had forced me to downgrade to Tiger. But I found myself missing Leopard’s slicker user interface. And with so many software developers now releasing Leopard-specific versions of their apps, it was clear I was at a turning point: to stay with ‘old’ Mac OS X and an ever-dwindling array of compatible third-party apps, or to try and make Leopard work for me.
The iTunes-like Finder I like
With 10.5.2 on the horizon, I chose the latter.
Thinking about the issues I’d had the first time round, I made the assumption that my problems were probably more a result of incompatible third-party apps than Apple’s own code. So I decided to ditch all those without Leopard-compatible versions. So, out went Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop CS and InDesign CS and a couple of utilities.
As before, I backed up my data, wiped my MacBook Pro’s hard drive, installed Leopard afresh, allowed it to update to 10.5.1 by download, and then put all my data back. Finally, I reinstalled all the apps and utilities I’d been using before — BareBones’ TextWrangler, Elgato’s Turbo264 and EyeTV, Adium, Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack, MPEG Streamclip and others — this time ensuring I had the very latest versions.
I had a copy of Apple’s iWork kicking around, so I installed that too to provide Office-compatibilty. Its Keynote, Pages and Numbers apps are more than capable of reading, respectively, PowerPoint, Word and Excel files and writing them too. If you’re a heavy duty Office user, you may not find them acceptible substitutes, but they allow me to send and receive budget spreadsheets and to read the various
.ppt files I get sent by companies’ PR agents.
All my writing’s done in a text editor, TextWrangler, so I haven’t used Word in earnest for ages.
re: Oops, Scribus is currently PPC only
The X11 version isn't, and I think they're concentrating on that at the moment. The Aqua version seems to have the same stumbling blocks as OpenOffice and other apps that *should* be able to be ported natively, although that's probably generally available development time.
Alternatives? You want more?
Here's a few:
Naked light.[Beta] Non-destructive image editing. Node-based compositing. Live filters. High-end tools. And infinite resolution. It's image editing, re-invented.
Other than Version Tracker you might try MacUpdate which has sales from time to time:
You want more? Here's a couple of my favs:
http://mac.majorgeeks.com/ (Has Windows listings too)
Find open source software alternatives to well-known commercial software: (all platforms)
I find it interesting that while the Mac vs. PC ads typically lambaste Microsoft for requiring more hardware and updates to run the latest software, no one seems to bat an eye when core apps like Photoshop or Office don't work on the Apple platform. Microsoft would be out of business if one of their platform updates invalidated so much older software and hardware.
Apple, for the most part (until very recently) really only had to contend with hardware from one vendor--itself. You would think that with such a limited vendor pool that they could make everything work flawlessly. Windows XP has been certified on over 47,000 individual pieces of hardware from hundreds of vendors, and Vista has been certified on about 7,500 pieces of hardware.
"Have you tried OpenOffice.org?"
If you prefer nonAlpha software try NeoOffice.
I have been using it since I tossed my Toshiba Laptop for a shiny new macbook.
The article is nice and all, but so little research went into the application part of it. Spend a little time on VersionTracker or any of the boards, and a wealth of alternatives pop up. GraphicConverter is pretty powerful for most Photoshop needs. NeoOffice, as mentioned above, obviates the need for X11. Compatibility issues for many were and remain due to haxies and not Tiger issues. Yes, Adobe sucks (Photoshop 7 no longer works), but that just leaves begging solutions for some developer that isn't Adobe -- we do hope. Do your homework (and don't rely on your readership to do it all for you -- makes for a better read.
There was a package called Canvas for the Mac that was on par with the CS collective. But Deneba let it get stale, sold it to a pathetic little company that does scrapbooking, and it hasn't been bought up by a smart firm. Bit of a pity, in that it has some powerful tools, too. Apple should take note.
As for the evolution of the OS X Kernal, it has done some significant growing up. Wasn't really locked down until 10.3, and with the intel changes after 10.4.6, it has done some more changes. Running 10.5.2 on a PB G4 867, it isn't any slower than Tiger. Give it some working room on the hard drive with 5 Gb free and allow it to run its maintenance routines in the wee hours, and it does just fine.