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More on Panther and Other News

September 27th, 2003

A few more notes on using Panther. I experienced a few crashes while trying to play video files in QuickTime and iMovie, for example, and there was one problem recovering from a Virtual PC crash; no kernel panic, but app crashes and a system slowdown made me have to reboot in both cases. Also trouble playing a 640×335 QT movie file in full-screen mode–the playback was not at all smooth. Also, when I tried to use fast user switching in a different location from my first Panther experience, the rotating-block animation failed to materialize, except when I specifically called for the Login Window; if I tried a direct switch, a fade transition appeared instead. It might have been an environmental factor due to the different location.

On the interface, I find that with all the new ways to switch to new windows using Expose, and with the basic OS X addition of a hotkey for hiding other apps, the one single-step function that’s missing is the ability to clear all apps and have the Desktop only. You can temporarily clear the Desktop in Expose, but just temporarily; the app you were using when you typed F11 is still active, so to go to the Desktop, you have to click on it, then do a hide others, and still you have to type F11 again to finish the Expose move. Or, you can switch to the desktop using the Dock or Command-Tab, and then do a hide-others. But there’s no fast way to simply clear everything off the Desktop and have it active. That ability has been in Windows for some time; it might be time to get it for the Mac as well. (If it’s there and I’m missing it, someone please tell me–but if it’s there, it’s probably not too intuitively placed). Maybe Expose could include buttons or artificial windows to express options like this.

MacOSrumors is reporting that the response to the latest Panther build, 7B79, is highly positive and that the OS may be stable and ready to go Golden Master soon. AppleInsider, however, is reporting on builds 7B80 and 7B81 as having many new animations and optimization that increases install and interaction speed. Such new changes suggest that Golden Master may not be quite so near.

Meanwhile, on the hardware front, Think Secret is reporting that Apple’s share of the U.S. laptop market has jumped from 5.1% to 7.0%, and there’s good news in other areas as well: Apple’s U.S. desktop share jumped back up to 3.8% after dropping to 2.9% last quarter, and smaller gains were made in overseas market share, up .6% to 4.1% for laptops and up .3% to 2.3% for desktops. With the introduction of the G5, desktop shares should enjoy a jump similar to laptops in the next quarter.

There’s also an update on Tokyo University buying 1,150 iMacs–a better translation of the Asahi article on the intended purchase. Frankly, the translation software that Sherlock accesses is not all that good at translating Japanese to English–but it is much better at translating the other way around. Go figure.

By the way, the 640×335 QT movie I was trying to watch is the new theatrical trailer for Matrix: Revolutions. Very cool trailer. For some reason, new Matrix trailers are not being listed on Apple’s Movie Trailer page, despite the fact that QuickTIme is still the only video format being used. Kinda weird.

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  1. Leonel
    September 28th, 2003 at 21:04 | #1

    That trailler is slow on both my macs (iBook 800 and Cube 450), never happened with another trailler, i supose it a problem with the .mov


  2. William Kent
    November 4th, 2003 at 08:49 | #2

    I also have the problem with fast user switching, exact symptoms. If I go to the login window, the cube appears and all is well. If I flip flop between my profile and my wifes profile, it fades out and in. This is certainly not a huge deal….that said, I want my cube. Any advice. I’m running a dual 1.1 ghz system wth 1gb of ram.


    Bill Kent

  3. Luis
    November 4th, 2003 at 08:54 | #3


    I have had this problem, too–but only intermittently. Right now it works fine with the cube. But on other ocassions, I get the fade-through. Don’t know what the determining factors are, either.

    I never thought enough of it (I don’t switch users much at all) to go check, but you might want to go to apple.com’s discussion forums and do a search.

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