Upgrading to Leo?
I have the last days gotten a lot of questions about what I think about MacOS X 10.5. I sadly cannot tell you yet, but I will be getting a copy of Leopard from the central computer department at work on Monday or Thuesday. I hope to be able to install it on a test machine the very same day.
I am eager to try many of the new features, but there are also features that we will not be getting full benefit from, as for instance Time Machine. If I have understood it correctly, you will not be able to sync with Time Machine to Samba shares. We also don’t have any MacOS X 10.5 server at work, so any new features on the client OS that is titly integrated with the server OS will not work for us. I personally don’t have an .Mac account any more either, so these features are excluded as well.
There are, as far as I can see, three other real “show stopers” that I will run in to with MacOS X 10.5, two at work and one at home. The Mac guys at the central computer department have, as so many others, not been able to bind the MacOS X 10.5 clients to Active Directory. So what does that mean? We have no working centralized login (network authentification), and that also leads me to the second problem, as we are using Windows servers (kerberos) for printing, we also don’t have any working print service for MacOS X 10.5. Having said this, I should end with saying a few things about the many reviews I have been reading lately: Many of them pisses me off. Why? They compare Vista with Leo. One of the biggest things with Vista is the enhanced use of Active Directory and Group Policies, in other words getting it easier to administrate big networks with Windows machines from one place. Apple also have these tools for clean MacOS networks. But when the magazines write that MacOS X 10.5 is so much better then Vista, and that it should be considered as an option, then please also consider the costs of mantaining a few Macs in an Windows environment! Administrators will find themselves setting most of the configurations manually on each machine. For home users MacOS X might be a great option, especially if you have some friends around that can help you the few times you get stuck on something. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Macs (MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Cube, Apple TV and iPod Touch).
The third problem I will mostly meet at home, and that is to get Leopard to see Windows file shares on your home network. I have a Vista machine with a bigger hard drive than on the Mac, so I guess that Vista will be used as “server” once in a while.
These are the negative parts, hopefully some of them will be fixed in the nearby future. I have never been the biggest fan of Exposé, so I am really excited about Apple finally integrating virtual desktops in to the OS. Some third party solutions have been around, but not met my needs. I loved BeOS and it’s Workspaces, and by the little I have seen of MacOS X 10.5, I can say that Spaces is the closest I have seen to Workspaces. I will now be a happy “BeOS-user” on my Mac! I am looking forward to try the small integrated applications, like iCal, Mail and iChat. With iCal, what are the new features and can I get them on my iPod Touch? We don’t use Mail at work, but Thunderbird, but I would love to try out the html-templates that comes with Mail, even though I prefer getting mails as simple text! And iChat, wow, finally an easy way to take over the screen and help my scientific staff and now the possibility to work on presentations, spreadsheets and documents together online. Taking over somebody’s screen has also been possible before, but then through Apple Remote Desktop or Timbuktu.
Finally, will all the shareware, freeware and other software that I am using be working? The next following days are gonna be fun.