I try to stay with the current update of Mac OS X, but the latest, “Tiger”
AKA 10.4, is pretty lame.
The two big new things in Tiger were
anything on your computer, right now) and
F12 and there’s a universe of helpful little widgets). Except for, both are
too broken to use much.
Where I really need search is in my email universe; tens of thousands of messages
occupying gigabytes of storage stretching back decades, constituting
my augmented electronic mind. The search interface in Spotlight is
egregiously stupid; it starts searching as you start typing, retaining all the
settings from your last search which (in my case at least) are almost
certainly wrong, forcing you to stab frantically at the control buttons (which
don’t appear until you’ve started) to
point it in the right direction. But the worst thing is, it just can’t find
emails that I know are there when I search for words that I know are in them.
(There is a solution: Open a Terminal, drill down to the directory where the
messages live, then use
And as for Dashboard... there’s not actually much there that’s interesting.
The two widgets I’ve tried to use are local weather and the airline flight
tracker. Only problem is, they give ridiculously, idiotically wrong
answers. And while they’re sitting there in the background waiting to give
the wrong answer, they grow steadily, burning memory and making your Mac run
slower. (There is a solution: Open Dashboard, and one by one remove all the
widgets; your Mac will run faster and be no less useful.)
Fortunately, the OS X value proposition—a decent Unix with a decent UI—remains
I’m assuming that the next big cat will actually include something interesting.