Jaguar: Lots of Features, But Worth the Upgrade?


It's not even on your desktop yet, but MacWorld have posted an extensive review of OS X 10.2 (Jaguar).

The magazine notes Jaguar's many detail changes to menus, preferences and anti-aliasing. There are apparently marked improvements to text legibility on LCD screens.

Apple has apparently borrowed a couple of ideas from Connectix's SpeedDoubler and SpeedCopy utilities, with Finder copying now giving users the option to copy over or leave alone files that were backed up previously.

Spring-loaded folders are back, as touted by Jobs at MWNY. And now the spinning beachball has morphed into a lollypop. We want to be the first on record to say it sucks.

But is it faster?

Quartz Extreme is X.2's big news, but to some extent it simply means your more powerful graphics card (if you own a current Mac or unpgraded your video card) is doing more of the work, and your G3/G4 less. The review says this translates into real-world gains, with less CPU-time hogged by applications demanding graphics compositing time. It means better, snappier response.

Classic response is also improved in terms of launch time (70% faster on MacWorld's system). Multiple preference folders are now also choosable for your Classic environment.

The magazine's conclusion? "Worth the move", particularly if you haven't made the jump to X yet.

Analysis: Magazines, unfortunately, tend to test on the latest/greatest hardware, not a range of typically representative machines found in work places and homes. We sure where you encounter Mac labs - or certainly your home if you have a few Macs (and I know you have) - they're certainly not all going to be the most powerful G4 hardware. MacWorld recommends a G4 and all the RAM you can get, but what about every single past and present iBook ever built? That's a typical Mac if there ever was one, and how Jaguar shapes up on G3s with no AltiVec, no dual processors may be a significant factor in determining the sales success of the software over coming months.