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Review #3
updated March 17, 2002

Mac OS - version 10.1
$199.00
or less in Canada 

OS - X

 PROS

Improved performance for G4
N ew keyboard shortcuts
Movable Dock
Good support for digital cameras
Excellent DVD and CD burning
Built- in Windows file server
client and support for Windows
network drives

 CONS

So new that there are a few native applications
Dock is cluttered

OS - X Introduction
When Apple released the Mac OS X there were lots of possibilities for
this new Mac platform. However it was released a wee bit to soon and was pleaged with bugs. A friend who had purchased the newly released version, said that no software at present supported it. Some months down the road Apple released a much needed bug fixer and so born was Mac OS X10.1, which is the most recent version. This version speeds up application launching and fixes OS X's first awkward, unresponsive desktop, and even adds new tricks such as DVD support and digital camera integration, compatibility with Windows networks, and new Finder tools. Apple is still including OS 9, for running older applications. Adobe, Macromedia and even Microsoft Office all now have OS - X, software to ship with more from other companies now on the band wagon.

OverView

Mac OS X, which is why it is a completely redesigned and created from scratch. The average download for the most recent upgrade or point one of this version is a whopping 622MB Apple is selling the disc on - line for $129. 99 and $19.95 for shipping. It's such a comprehensive upgrade, in fact,
that most major applications, including IBM ViaVoice for Mac, use the 10.1 code base
and require the upgrade. All the more reason to get this upgrade ASAP.

Once the 10.1 installation is running, you'll will notice that the interface has been upgraded for the better. In version 10.1 the looks is cleaner and more intuitive than either OS X 10 or OS 9.

For example the long filenames below icons will now wrap to a second line. In a window's
column view, you can drag to resize the columns to give you a better view of long
filenames - just by holding down the option key while dragging. A favorite features, is
the customizable window toolbar, which now offers even more options, and includes a Burn
button for DVDs and or CD-R/RWs.There is an Eject button, and a Connect button. The new Finder runs much faster. Respond time is almost immediately for windows and menus when resizing or select them.

In OS X.1 many good features were brought back. Many of these handy OS 9
features are back, including Smart Scrolling, which at the lower right of windows places the two scroll arrows together instead of having an up arrow at the top of the window and a down arrow at the bottom. This was seen in versions OS 8.6 and earlier. Version 10.1 fixes
annoying OS X bugs. Such, when you double - click a text, PDF, or StuffIt file, OS
X launches the appropriate OS X native application - and not the Classic version of an app
as it previously did.

You can now turn on keyboard shortcuts settings that can allow you to access everything from menus to palette settings. One example, is by pressing the Ctrl-D to
access the Dock (a strip of icons along the bottom of your screen that holds applications), then use the up and down arrows keys to navigate through open applications and or use the
left arrow to expand themenus that control those applications from the Dock.

The Dock itself still suffers from bugs of a confusing mix of opened and
unopened applications and files, but is surprising better than in the orginal release. Now you
can now move the Dock to the right and left side of the screen. This helps so that it doesn't get in the way of any open windows. New pop-up features menus that you control
certain applications, like iTunes now you can play songs or skip between them without
opening the entire application. The Dock itself can be moved, resized, or minimized.
Open for other software companies to create Dock utility menus for their own applications.

The better, 10.1 System Menus, give you some similar control and
readout functionality as of the OS 9 Control Strip. However it is now in a more convenient location next to the clock. In the System Menu you can launch your
dial- up or DSL Internet connection without opening the Internet Connect utilities.

For a OS 9 application switcher menu is missing, since this is the only way to move between applications is to use the Dock. But for now, a free utility called ASM will help with this problem.

The most important missing features were around the DVD playback, and
DVD and CD burning. In version 10.1 which includes both, even though they are better than Mac OS 9's versions. While in OS - X.1 insert a blank DVD disc, and it mounts it on the desktop, where drag files can be placed onto it. Drag the disc to the Trash, and rather than ejecting the DVD, a dialog
pops up asking if you want to burn it. It's as easy as copying files to a once used floppy
or the new SuperDrive, a combination
CD- rewritable/DVD- recordable drive). The DVD movie or music CDs do not skip or hesitate when they are access. The player is brought to the front, or open other applications.

You can easily play back a DVD with maximum quality and total smoothness and, at the
same time, launch your favorite browser to find out some facts on the accessed DVD. Almost a multi - processing capability with one processor. A redesigned DVD player uses a rectangular design and is smaller, taking less screen room than in OS 9'. DVD- R and CD-R/RW burning is now much easier than in any other operating system, thanks to the burn button and the ability to burn directly from your desktop. Somethig that you could do with Toaster 5.0.

Digital cameras have a long term future with this operating system. Just plug in a camera, and a friendly dialog box will ask you to download pictures to the Mac. Click OK, and the pictures move to your Pictures folder, where they can easily be found. You can set one on the desktop or make a screensaver out of several rotating pictures. Most digital cameras are now supports to where there are no drivers to install, or no transfer utility to run.

Networking, in 10.1 is a powerful tool. Mac OS X is now a Windows file- sharing client. A
Windows file server can now be logged onto without any special software on your Mac or on the Windows
server itself. This is good if you plan to run both platforms on your computer, or if you work
in an office environment with lots of PCs. Now you can also log in to Windows NT serversand run services for Macintosh. Apple has restored AppleShare over
AppleTalk. (Version 10 removed AppleTalk.) So in addition to OS X's original Unix
networking featuresthere is support for NFS (a Unix standard) and integrated FTP
and Web servers. You will have a maximum networking power and a lot of compatibility.

OS X 10.1 is compatible with USB printers, and offers complete support of network laser printers who are compatable with the OS 9 system. More than 200 PostScript printer page description (PPD) files. This simplify the printers setup and take advantage of special printer that feature multi - office capabilities, such as faxing.

Performance is the main boast with the OS - X.1. OS 9 ran more slower in tests, that Classic applications ran.
Only Classic applications that were designed for OS 9 and earlier performed
better. Adobe Photoshop tasks, and graphics- intensive like the Gaussian Blur
(which is a filter that make an image to look out of focus), ran faster in Classic
mode. However native OS X applications showed a remarkable improve
under 10.1. Apples iMovie 2.0, ran almost twice as fast as before. Also
when RAM is added an improves in 10.1's performance is noticed.

Summary

The OS - X.1 application performance gains were not huge, and we'd still like to see
Classic apps run a bit faster, since so few native apps are currently available. But OS X
10.1's working environment is a lot better than before. Menus open instantly, and
windows drag around without delay. Applications launch quicker than before. OS X
caches applications so that they will reopen in just a few seconds. You can speed up minimizing windows into the Dock by turning off the
Genie effect. This is an animate that makes windows appear to shrink as you minimize
them or by switching to a new Scale effect, which than simply snaps windows into the
Dock.

However native applications are still slow in coming to the Mac. In time companies will design their software based on the 10.1 code base. MicroSofts Office X for Mac is eavalable, as is Adobe, Macromedia and serveral Apples programs like AppleWorks.
Like with any new operating system new applications will enter into the market for the consumer to use.The OS - X.1 is Apple best operating system to this date and if you are using a G4 or multi - processor computer than upgrading is a must.

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