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Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: a cake with a thousand candles…

Too many cooks spoil the broth. Too many chiefs, not enough indians. Sayings we all know, a practice we try to avoid. So for a company like Apple that makes the turn of phrase: “less is more” their mantra, why is it that they seem intent on giving us too much?

An image of the logo for the new operating system from Apple called OS X 10.5 Leopard. The logo is a metalic letter X on a background which is the fur of a LeopardSome people upgraded just for the Dashboard. That was one of the reasons I resolutely avoided the upgrade. For me, the Dashboard is a solution – albeit a weak one – looking for a problem.

Why wasn’t this stuff just rolled into Safari? After all, you still need to launch an application to access Dashboard.

This was a sign to me that Apple were trying just a little too hard.

Then news breaks of OS X 10.5 known provisionally (then) as Leopard. And guess what? More whizz-bang features get rolled in.

However, and much to my relief, the principle ‘killer app’ to emerge from OS X Leopard, Time Machine looks to have been thought through pretty well and makes excellent use of the pseudo-3D environment that adds real value where more often than not just detracts.

And as for Spaces, while this is something that should have hit the floor running alongside Exposé, it certainly looks to be worth the wait.

I’m not sure about the new iChat and the remote control features. That to me looks like a kludge. Shouldn’t that have been a separate application called Apple Remote Desktop with the existing larger, professional version being called Apple Remote Desktop Pro?

After all, that’s sort of the direction Apple has been moving towards with the naming conventions for their applications recently.

What concerns me isn’t so much the features as such, or even the applications themselves. I’m suitably confident that Apple knows what they’re doing.

It’s the sheer number of new things that Apple is shoe-horning into OS X that concerns me.

No matter how simple all of this stuff is, you’ve still got to learn everything!

So the more I look at what Apple is doing, I just keep seeing this really nice-looking birthday cake with a thousand candles…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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