Let me be the first to say that Tiger isn’t as great as everyone is saying it is. In fact, the only reason to upgrade that I can see is Spotlight and the new Mail.app. Supposedly it’s supposed to be faster, but I haven’t noticed any increase in speed on my 1GHz/768MB PowerBook. This could be due to me merely upgrading instead of doing a clean install. So what have I noticed that doesn’t have me roaring over Tiger? (C’mon, an entire review without using a tiger cliche?)

  1. If you have lots of email in Mail.app currently, watch out. The import into the new version of Mail.app barfed on one of my folders, which I had to delete in order for it to finish importing my email (about 25,000 emails). After that was over the fun had just begun. Every time I clicked on a message Mail crashed. After a reboot and some tinkering I finally got it working, but this left a really bad taste in my mouth.
  2. If you’ve been mucking around the UNIX settings then you need to watch out. The upgrade process appears to have modified, updated or simply deleted many of my changes from files such as /etc/profile and some of my VIM syntax files. Quite annoying.
  3. Spotlight is slow. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with me not doing a clean install or not, but it’s not the “lightning fast” that Apple purports it to be. Also, unless I’m a retard (which is likely) it matches “any” of the search terms and doesn’t allow you to specify that documents must match “all” of the search terms. Quite annoying. Also, while at the BASH prompt I can’t cd into a Smart Folder. This, simply, sucks. If I created a Smart Folder for “Word Documents” it should act like a regular folder, which would allow me to create intelligent backups and use rsync to back them up. This definitely sucks for people like me who use scp to move files from computer to computer.

So are there any things that I do like? Yeah, there are a few. I don’t think Apple touted the new Mail application enough. It’s, quite simply, a great upgrade. How did I live without Smart Folders before? I’ve added Smart Folders for “Today”, “Yesterday”, “Flagged” and “Pictures”,
which let me quickly find emails matching those criteria.

Also, Dashboard is a welcome addition for me. A lot of people, including me, ranted about it being a rip-off of Konfabulator. The thing I like about Dashboard is that a quick keystroke lets me see time, AirPort status, a dictionary, Wikipedia, etc. I’m totally addicted to browsing Wikipedia articles in this fashion. Could someone please offer a PHP/MySQL lookup module?

I think Apple would have gotten a LOT more fanfare if they had waited a few months and released the new version of iLife with Tiger. As it stands, the two major upgrades (Spotlight and Dashboard) are great additions, but probably shouldn’t have stood on their own as the main reason to upgrade.

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