Well, tomorrow it will be one week since I upgraded to Leopard. So far, its been an overall good experience – definitely much better than any Windows upgrade I have experienced. That doesn’t mean it has been perfect. There have been a few hiccups, but I guess that is what I get for being one of the first wave of people to upgrade. Here are a few experiences I have encountered to help make your upgrade decision a bit more informed.
1. Lesson Plans Deleted – Yes, that sounds really bad, but fortunately I had a back up and didn’t lose too much data. I have been using a phenomenal lesson planning program for about a year, Planbook. If you haven’t picked up this software I would highly recommend doing so. Its now avaialble for both Mac and PC (beta version). Unfortunately, there was one little glitch between Leopard and Planbook that caused files to be zeroed out. It sounds like there is a bug in Leopard that causes certain file types to be lost when you open the file, edit, save, and then save again without editing. For the programmer types, here is a little more info. What I love about Planbook though, is that the developer, Jeff Hellman, a teacher in Oregon, immediately heard of some people’s losses through the Planbook Yahoo Group and started working on a fix.Hopefully, all will be repaired this afternoon.
2. Office is Slower – Perhaps it is just my computer, but Office for Mac seems to be running even slower than it did on Tiger (10.4), which was already annoying. Unfortunately, sometimes I still have to use Word and PowerPoint. I have grown to love Pages and Keynote, but until Keynote allows me to send outlines to Pages (to create notes for some of my slower moving students) I will still need to use Microsoft Office. On top of that I am stuck with Entourage for work email. Hopefully, the new version of Office for Mac will be faster, but dear God please let Microsoft have enough wisdom to make it nothing like Office 2007. For those of you who haven’t used this program yet, it sucks. Every Thursday night I am tortured by having to use this program for one of my grad school classes. The new Word loves changing fonts and formatting on its own for no apparent reason. The traditional menus are now “ribbons” of confusion and all of the file extensions have changed just to make file sharing a little more challenging. On top of that the PowerPoint to Word outline feature noted above is now gone.
3. Forgotten Printers – After upgrading to Leopard your computer will have printer amnesia. You won’t be able to find any of your previously used printers. Fortunately, due to Apple’s brilliant Bonjour printing feature (available for PC folks to download) you can quickly add them back when you need them, but its still a bit annoying that they’re missing in the first place.
4. Time Machine – Time Machine is quite nifty. I have been backing up on a weekly basis using SuperDuper to a firewire drive at home. I still plan on doing this to make bootable back ups in case of a major malfunction, but I also started using Time Machine while I am at school. Last year my science department purchased 200GB Maxtor USB drives for everyone. Now I am using it as my Time Machine. One little hiccup, though – while my computer could see the drive, Time Machine couldn’t until I reformatted it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). I didn’t see this anywhere in the Time Machine documentation (I admit I could have just missed it) and only tried it because you have to do that for Super Duper too. Perhaps Apple is just trying to convince me I need on of the overpriced drives from the Apple Store.
5. Stacks – The new stacks feature is very handy and helps to keep me organized. I created an Applications stack on my dock, so no longer do I have to find my hard drive on my messy desktop and do a bunch of clicking to get to my Applications folder. To a certain degree it is like the Start button on a Windows machine, but its prettier with pictures for each application.
Photo by For Inspiration Only