Upgrade to Panther

This was the weekend of moves and upgrades. In addition to moving my weblog to its new server, I also got Panther, the newest version of Apple's OS X, in the mail on Friday. I waited a little while to see what the forums were saying about the upgrade process and then went ahead and installed it on my TiBook. Here's what I did:

  • Backed up /Users, /Library, and /Applications, just in case. All of your user data, including address book entries, mail (if you use the Apple Mail client, at least), etc. are in your /Users/$user_name/Library folder. I backed up /Library and /Applications to preserve properties and so on in case of a disaster.
  • Ran the installation, choosing the upgrade option. I was originally planning on doing an archive and install, but decided an upgrade would work as well. I usually like to do clean installs, but that seemed too much bother, especially in light of the fact that I'm traveling this week and didn't want to keep finding things I needed when I was away from home. If the upgrade doesn't work well, I'll do a clean install later.

I backed up to a SMB mounted disk over my home network by just making compressed tarballs of the directories. Even with compressions, I had about 17Gb of data to back up, so it took a while. The installation proceeded smoothly and about 45 minutes starting the installation I had an upgraded machine.

Here's my first impressions and bug reports:

  • Expose ROCKS! If you haven't heard of Expose, its the new addition to the GUI that let's you see all of your windows at once. If you work with lots of open windows, as I do, you'll love how it lets you see where everything is and then let's you select which you want on top. The effect reminds me of the computer GUI in "Minority Report" a little bit. This is one of the coolest GUI innovations I've seen in a long time. I'd upgrade just for Expose.
  • Mail, iCal, and the Address book seem snappier and I don't see the "wait" cursor nearly as much as I used to. I tried the new message threading feature in Mail and turned it back off. It may take some getting used to.
  • Startup items are now listed under the user accounts preferences to give each user their own custom environment.
  • A few things didn't work in 10.3. The two I've found so far are uControl, a utility for swapping the CAPSLOCK and Control keys, and CopyPaste-X, a utility which makes the clipboard into a stack---very handy in blogging. uControl simply doesn't work (yet) with 10.3. CopyPaste-X made my lowercase "c" key not work for some reason.

That's it for now. A painless and simple upgrade that pretty much left the rest of the machine alone. I'll write additional reports as I gain more experience.