After a couple days of indecisiveness, I went ahead and loaded Mac OSX 10.4, aka Tiger, onto my Powerbook today. I got the software on Friday, the day of release, but I was in the middle of putting together Comic Shop News #935, and I didn't want to risk a system failure if things went awry. (This was all too normal in the early days of OSX; both the 10.1 and the 10.2 upgrades led to total disaster on the two different computers I was using at the time I upgraded, and that meant that I had to wipe the hard drives and start over in both cases.)
Not only did nothing go awry, but the upgrade worked like a charm. About thirty-five minutes after I began, I had Tiger up and running, and it took me no time at all to adjust to the elegant improvements that make this the most useful Mac operating system thus far. I'm very impressed with the addition of Dashboard and its many widgets; not only am I using a few of the basic widgets that were included, but I've also downloaded a few extra widgets that I think will be most useful. The image that accompanies this entry was posted using the Transmit widget, which allows me to drag and drop an image and have it automatically filed in the appropriate folder.
Spotlight, the sophisticated search application, is incredible... but of course, we do Comic Shop News in Quark 6, which doesn't work with Spotlight (heck, Quark doesn't play well with any other programs, with only two or three exceptions--I've never known a piece of software designed to be as user-unfriendly and as poorly supported as Quark, and I wish that Quebecor would switch over to InDesign so that we could abandon Quark entirely).
I also decided to give iWork, the word processing and presentation software, a test run; Apple provides a disc with a thirty-day trial version of both Pages and Keynotes, and I'm playing with Pages already. I'll keep you updated regarding its functionality, but so far it works great.
The one thing that's missing? Well, it was rumored that OSX 10.4 would include in its disc utilities a function that would allow you to recombine existing partitions without having to reformat the partition. It ain't there, folks... wish it was, since I no longer have to have partitions the way I did in the early days of OSX. Once Apple modified the software to allow it to boot from an external drive, I didn't have to keep a backup partition with duplicate software on it Just In Case; now I'd like to recombine those partitions, but I don't want to have to wipe them out and spend hours reinstalling software.