After Tiger

Now that I’ve had some time to take the new Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ through it’s paces, I’ve found a few observations worth noting:

  1. Using the XHTML label tag doesn’t seem to broaden the clickable area of a form element. This was probably true before, but with Tiger’s accompanying Safari Version 2.0 upgrade, I’m using this browser more againhence the issue is noted. I’ve had Firefox as the default for at least the past six months with hardly a look at Safari, but many of the upgrades to this browser are interesting and I like to look at text-shadow now and then. Most browsers see the label area and make it’s box a clickable surface for whatever label element it is for. Not Safari, which is too bad. It’s a nice accessibility enhancement. Given all the other accessibility upgrades such as VoiceOver, this seems like an oversight.
  2. I love being able to use Command+Control+D in Cocoa apps to bring up an Oxford Dictionary definition of the selected word. Very convenient.
  3. The standalone Zhuyin Fuhao input method seems to no longer be present in the Traditional Chinese input method selections. Hanin has it though. Yingwen had a moment trying to figure out what happened, and once I showed her Hanin then there was another confusion the Candidate Window, which always just appeared automatically, and still appears automatically with Pinyin input, only appears in Hanin’s Zhuyin mode if you press the space bar. I thought there would be a preference to keep it active, but no. This doesn’t seem right to me, and Yingwen would certainly prefer if the Candidate Window was visible automatically, without the extra keystroke.
  4. From a user experience, Dashboard is way cool. It’s addicting to have all that info just an F12 away. When my parents-in-law were flying in from Taiwan last weekend, I was using it to check their flight arrival status. F12 there it is. I currently use the weather, calendar, clock, sticky note, translate, php reference, calculator, address book, and iTunes widgets. But with all that coolness and convenience comes this: The freakin’ applets install automatically from Safari. It is a big giant gaping security corn-hole. Apple is going to have fun trying to figure out how to plug that. While Apple has had an extraordinary track record when it comes to security, features like thisplus the gaining popularity of the platformwill make it a more attractive target for hackers and virus authors in the future.
  5. After the upgrade, my AirPort reception on my PowerBook 1 GHz 12″ seems to be about 60% of what it used to be. I’ve got adequate coverage in the house for WiFi, but it doesn’t seem to be as strong as with 10.3.9, and I get dropped from the network more often than before. Yingwen’s iBook is the same as before thoughshe’s having no problems whatsoeverso maybe it’s just me.
  6. Yingwen’s iBook (1.07 GHz G4, 12″) is remarkably more responsive under Tiger.
  7. The printer driver for my old Epson 740 now prints the pages in reverse order, which saves me the trouble of having to re-order multi-page documents since the printer prints face-up. Nice touch.

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