After coping with the impact of hackers attacking our servers and data bases over the weekend, I decided to upgrade my Apple PowerBook G4 to Tiger OS 10.4.2. Tender from having lost everything we've built on the wikis and sites, I spent two days just backing every thing up on an external hard drive. This process took hours. Just to make double-sure, I saved everything to my iPod as well. This process went so quickly because transferring data through Firewire 800 is speedy. This sold me on the value of buying a new LaCie 250 GB hard drive with Firewire.
Tiger OS 10.4 did not seem so different at first. DASHBOARD is a playful and visual interface, where WIDGETS rule! They are tools, interfaces to music or feed-cams, news, games, and also a widget with access to more widgets. All I have to do is roll my mouse into a corner and - voila! - the screen darkens and comes alive with all the widgets. I spent hours playing with possibilities and having fun. How many of these that I will actually use...well, time will tell. SPOTLIGHT - also instantaneous with a quick slide of the mouse to one corner - brings all open windows into reduced versions on a darkened screen. Very sexy and handy.
iTunes has now identified Podcasting as a resource. So with one click, I entered a world of search-and-find any podcast relevant to my interests. I highly recommend IT Conversations, which you can now also access through iTunes. Doug Kaye took IT Conversations to another level when he captured and distributed the talks given by Malcom Gladwell and others during PopTech last fall. One of my favorite Podcasts of all time is Frans Waal on Primates & Human Political Behavior.
Over the past two days I've slowly begun to discover little applications like Automator, which at first glance do not seem like much, but ultimately offer a way to manage and link tasks and processes together. Hitting the PRINT button is more like opening a management tool for packaging and distribution. Choices include a drop down menu for saving into .pdf format in multiple ways, including compression possibilities. If I don't want to print, I can FAX.
Tiger is definitely more playful. I don't even think I've yet realized all the wonders of what it will do for me.
If anyone has discovered hidden gems, please share!