Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tech Pulse 20071026: Special Edition: Mac OS X Leopard Launch

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Tech Pulse Special Edition Leopard LogoJosh covers the launch of Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard, talking to several people in the line (including Victor Cajiao of the Typical Mac User podcast), giving his first hands-on impressions of Leopard, and doing exclusive coverage of the wedding-day Apple Store crashers!

Notes and links related to this episode:

Leopard Launch
  • Josh attended the Leopard Launch at the Apple Store, Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, California
  • Standing in the line:
    • Josh met Victor Cajiao of the Typical Mac User podcast, who commented that Steve Webb from the Lifespring! podcast was also standing in line
    • Victor gave his initial impressions of Leopard (which he installed that morning) and usage tips
    • Josh spoke with several other people standing in line
  • Inside the store:
    • It was very loud (hence the distorted audio on the podcast, which I cleaned up the best I could, and hence the extensive notes here for those who can't figure out what I was saying)
    • Leopard (Mac OS X v10.5 Build 9A581) was installed on all the Macs in the store
    • Josh tried out Leopard on a new 24-inch iMac
    • On the iMac, the Dock was on the left side of the screen, and Josh noted that the Dock's backdrop wasn't shiny like when placed at the bottom of the screen; it looks more like the Tiger Dock, but with a black tint rather than a white one. This was changed in a near-final build of Leopard after users suggested that it just didn't look right, partly because it looked like the icons should slide right off the 3D Dock
    • Safari 3.0.4 is included with Leopard. Josh noted that this version apparently still doesn't have the Status Bar turned on by default. The much bigger disappointment, however, is that Apple apparently never finished developing the anti-phishing features that were included in developer builds as little as a year ago, thus making Safari the ONLY major Web browser that doesn't have phishing protection built in. So much for Apple providing the safest online user experience! (Users can always add their own anti-phishing, e.g. through OpenDNS, but the users who are most likely to fall for phishing scams are most likely to use the default configuration of the default browser)
    • In Leopard, Safari includes a Web Clip button, which makes it super easy to take any part of any Web page and make it into a Dashboard widget
      • Just click the button, select the part of the Web page you want on your Dashboard, and it will open your new widget in the Dashboard instantly
    • When you double-click on Macintosh HD, you'll have a list of shared computers in the sidebar, under which several of the Macs and PCs on your LAN appear. All the Macs in this particular Apple Retail Store were named ars094.01 and up. Of course there were no PCs on the LAN so I was unable to confirm whether they show up with a Blue Screen of Death icon as had been the case in pre-release builds of Leopard, nor were there any old Macs on the LAN to see, for example, whether a Blue & White G3 or a Mirrored Drive Door G4 would appear with its own unique icon.
    • As an aside, Josh noted that the wired model of new Apple keyboards has 19 function keys at the top (whereas the MacBook Pro, the new Apple wireless keyboard, and many others only have F1-F12, this new USB keyboard includes F13 all the way up through F19). The extra keys isn't quite as good as it sounds because several of the keys do NOT act as a function key by default, but instead perform operations such as invoking Dashboard or controlling the volume; you have to hold the "fn" key in order to use many of the F-keys as actual F-keys.
    • Spotlight searches now include results from the contents of Web pages you've visited recently in Safari. For example, I had pulled up techpulsepodcast.com and closed it, and a few minutes later when I did a search for Leopard the site came up in the Spotlight menu! Dictionary definitions also show up in the Spotlight menu if the search keyword is a word in the dictionary.
    • The buttons in the top-left corner of each window (red, yellow, and green) look a little different in Leopard, perhaps a bit brighter
    • Cover Flow in the Finder is pretty cool, especially for those accustomed to it in iTunes or on the iPhone or iPod touch. A couple caveats: even on the fast, brand new iMac demo unit, the Finder had to quickly cache the icons of files inside the Documents folder... twice. The first time it happened, it really didn't surprise me, but when it happened again after returning to the same folder just a few minutes later, I was a bit perplexed to find that the icon previews hadn't been saved in the cache for even that very brief amount of time. Until the icons are cached (or re-cached), a generic icon shows up in their place, which seems a bit tacky
    • Cover Flow even shows previews of Microsoft Office 2007 files (e.g. xlsx, docx, etc.). Microsoft hasn't released yet released Office 2008 for Mac with support for these formats, but Apple already supports those formats in iWork and apparently in Cover Flow and Quick Look (although it was unclear whether the latter is true only when iWork '08 is installed)
    • The first time that you run an application that was downloaded from the Internet (or at least with Safari), it says, for example "[Invisibility Toggler] is an application which was downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it? Safari downloaded this file [today at 6:42 PM]." Safari 2 would warn you when you attempted to download a file that could contain an application, while in Leopard the Finder warns you when you first try to run an application that was downloaded using Safari 3. The new Leopard way of doing things is similar to the way Windows warns users about running applications for the first time
    • When you run an application from an disk image, it gives the aforementioned "was downloaded from the Internet warning" and then says, for example "[EasyFind] is on the disk image [EasyFind.dmg]. Safari downloaded this disk image [today...]" and then there's a checkbox "Don't warn me when opening applications on this disk image".
    • Josh's freeware utility Invisibility Toggler works with Leopard, as expected
    • The new purple Aurora desktop is located at "Macintosh HD/Library/Desktop Pictures/Nature/Aurora.jpg"
    • Another new Safari feature: When you go to the Safari menu and select Reset Safari, the new dialog box says "Are you sure you want to reset Safari? Select the items you want to reset, then click Reset. You cannot undo this operation." It then gives a full list of each item that can be reset, and each item can be toggled off or on by a checkbox. The items (which are all checked by default, but can be unchecked) as desired are as follows: Clear history, Empty the cache, Clear the Downloads window, Remove all cookies, Remove all website icons, Remove saved names and passwords, Remove other AutoFill form text, Clear Google searches, and Close all Safari windows
    • Safari for Leopard doesn't include the option to switch from Google to Yahoo! for the search bar, even though this feature is available in Safari for Windows. However, the second link in the Bookmarks Bar is to Yahoo!
    • Quick Look lets you click on a document in the Finder and press the space bar to preview it instantly in a large window, which you can make full-screen (opening high-res photos this way looks awesome on the 24-inch iMac display!)
    • If you open Time Machine without having configured it yet, you'll get a dialog box that says "The storage location for Time Machine backups can't be found" and gives the options Cancel or Set up Time Machine (the latter requires authentication)
    • Time Machine apparently does NOT work with network attached storage according to this MacRumors forum thread
    • (Now the part you've all been waiting for!) A little after 7:00, a couple who had just gotten married came running through the middle of the Apple Store wearing their full wedding attire (and also a pair of black caps with white Apple logos) followed by a crew of professional photographers! The couple apparently didn't want to miss the Leopard launch even on their Big Day, so they came to grab a copy of Leopard and a pair of t-shirts and have pictures taken in front of the Genius Bar
      • If I heard correctly, the groom told one of the Apple Store employees that he met his bride while working at the Apple Store, Manhattan Village in Manhattan Beach, California. The Rancho Cucamonga store employee said he knew someone who worked at the Manhattan Beach store around the same time they worked there
      • UPDATE: The bride has posted details of how they met in the comments section of this post!
      • UPDATE: The groom has also posted in the comments section with details about how the event was planned.
      • Josh snapped some photos of the couple with his Treo—hence the paparazzi/Bigfoot style photographs. (Boy, the darn Treo couldn't get the audio OR the photos right! Darn you, Palm!!! [Or, said in the voice of Captain Kirk (skip to 3:04): "PAAALM!!!"]) The groom gave Josh permission to post these photographs on Tech Pulse:
    • Within an hour and a half, the store had given away almost all of their 500 free Leopard t-shirts—meaning that by the time the end of the night, well over 500 people had come to that particular Apple Store for the Leopard launch!
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Double M said...

From the source... us:)

The iBride and iGroom, (yes, geeky, but would you expect anything less?)met at the Manhattan Village Apple Store in Manhattan Beach California 2 years ago.

We both had been hired at other stores, the Groom at a store in Orange County and myself at a store that in West Los Angeles, at which I was a part of the opening.

We both got transfered to the MV store for reasons of distance to work from home and school and all that and both worked side by side with other to open this new store.

The groom is actually a switcher, still builds PCs, and is now working as a Graphic Retouch Artist at a southland pre-press. He types like 90 WPM and is very musically inclined.

The Bride, (me), is a long time Apple geek and have been working in I.T. in the public, entertainment, and private sector. She cooks a mean jerked chicken and is a fluent Spanish speaker.

We bumped heads during the pre-opening which is a story onto itself;)

I fell in love with his style of running the various workshops they assigned him to conduct. He says he fell in love with my smile:)

I brought my iBook to our first date and we discovered our mutual love of Cars.

Incidentally, we looked forward to the release of said film by PIXAR (yes, like I said geeky;) which we love to point out to people the connect-the-dots of PIXAR-Steve Jobs-Apple connection;) And got occasion to do as much at the Wedding when people asked about our unconventional cake topper:

Sally and Lightning.

We did consider having an iWedding. But it was too impractical. So we just had touches here and there.

The ultimate surprise was hearing that Leopard was to be released on the day of our nuptials. We couldn't be more tickled! Especially when we had set our date over a year ago.

Thank you again for being kind in your blog. I hope to hear the podcast soon. We had a great time on a honeymoon, doing what one should;) (Though upgrading was quite tempting, as I had my MacBook with us;)

Oh yeah, we did send a last minute invite to the iDo Launch to Steve but we have yet to hear back:)

Josh Long said...

Thanks, thinkmilly! What an honor to have the iBride herself post a comment on our site. =)

On behalf of the Tech Pulse team, thank you for sharing your story with us, and we wish you a long and happy marriage!

Best regards,

Double M said...

Aww! Thanks and no prob. That was the smallest nutshell I could give in comments. There's more of course, and I hope to write it up at some point and incorporate all the Apple related things we did. To mention one, we didn't do a regular guest book, we added Apple's Photo Booth to the mix.

Again, thanks so much! We just thrilled to be married, and then to have Leopard come out the same day.... well that was just perfect!!

Bradley said...

iGroom checking in...

I got the idea to visit the Apple Store on our wedding night before the Leopard Launch was announced. I had intended for us just to come and play with the computers, or perhaps buy some software for doing finances.

When I found out that Leopard was being released on the same night as our wedding, the opportunity to cause a scene was too good to pass up.

I called the Apple Store two weeks in advance, and asked the store manager for permission to have photographers in the store. She would have to check with Apple's Media Relations about the permissions for private photographers in the store, but she liked our idea so much that she wanted to have videographers present and make a bit of a publicity stunt. With such little notice, however, I doubted she could have alerted the local media, so I wasn't expecting much of a fanfare.

On the big night, we had a chauffered driver let us out right in front of the store. Our two photographers tagged along with us, got out of the car, and started shooting as we approached the store front. There was a substantial line of people waiting to go inside, and then we noticed the four employees outside holding cameras, rapidly firing off shots in our direction. Then the store manager let up a whoop and started clapping. We entered the store and were greeted by a store full of customers lining the side walls, leaving an expansive aisle in front of us. We ran straight down toward the registers, the thunderous applause and vibrant cheers reverberating in our ears.

When we finally reached the front of the store, photographers tagging behind, we started looking around. There were videocameras everywhere, behind the velvet rope and along the sides. I hardly noticed who was there or what was going on, except when our photographers told us to look at them and smile or kiss.

It was excitement. We felt like celebrities. My wife's dress was dragging on the ground so I had to hold it in my hands.

We purchased a copy of Leopard--we debated whether to buy a single license or a Family Pack. This was a very difficult issue, one that I spent about 30 seconds debating in the store. The silly joke about the wedding is that "we're going to need a family pack *eventually* (wink wink) so we might as well buy one." Truth be told, Mac OS X has never required serialization, so you can technically install it on as many computers as you like. Yet between us there are four Apple computers: an iBook G4 1GHz, a PowerBook Titanium G4 1GHz, a MacBook White Rev.A, and an Intel iMac 20" Rev.A. Additionally, we were under pressure to conform to the expectations of a marriage: yours and mine is ours. So we only needed one box, not two. In the public light, though, you have to be completely honest and follow the law to its fullest letter.

Besides, everybody knows that computer geeks never have just ONE computer in the house. ;-) The same goes for Macintosh users.

So, the Family Pack was in order. With Apple Gift Card discounts, the total came to $114.42 after taxes.

By the way, we also sent a wedding invitation to Steve Jobs. Don't know whether he's had a chance to respond yet.

We had a blast, and we're still waiting for the official images to come back from our wedding photographers. Once we get those they will most certainly go up on the web.