OS X 10.5

I’m on 10.4.11, which is mostly fine as far as I can tell.

What am I missing with 10.5?

Lots of little things.
It’s wierd - when I first started using Leopard my reaction was “So aside from time machine, what’s changed” and then gradually it dawned on me that I could imagine less and less going back to Tiger.

Yes … lots of things. It just seems smoother; in particular spotlight is very very much better. My internal system disk runs 10.5.5 and I have an external boot disk that runs 10.4.11 so that I can still use InDesign CS1 when I need to. But every time I boot into that, it feels so clunky in comparison with 10.5.

I’m happy I made the move up.


  • Spaces - I don’t use it but I know lots of people that do
  • Groups in iCal - I do use this, makes it easy to hide a group of calendars related to work (or personal life)
  • Mail.app - Whenever someone sends you an email with a date and time, you can click on it and select ‘add event to ical’
  • Terminal.app - Has more options, I still use iTerm but hear happy people about Terminal

Overal Leopard looks smoother and works faster on my machine. I can’t pin-point exactly why, but I like Leopard a lot, despite not using some of the news features. Leopard feels like things fell more into place, where Tiger still felt a bit buggy or having to work around things.


I had (and still have) 10.4.11 on my eMac, but when I bought this MBP in late February, 10.5 was on it. It has grown on me to the point that I find it less appealing to have to work on the eMac at all. In fact, it will become the teaching tool for my wife. But Leopard really does seem much better. I do use spaces frequently, causing me much joy - at least for my style of work.

Aspects of 10.5 others haven’t mentioned:

  • the user-interface appearance: simply nicer to the eye

  • the automatic propagation of certain types of data (e.g. tasks) amongst relevant applications (especially iCal) without overt synching; occasionally surprising, mostly useful

  • more generally, the ability of certain applications, or certain functionality of some applications, to work only with 10.5 (presumably there’ll be more of those in future)

I wouldn’t go back.


In what way do you use spaces?

I think I just may not have the brain for multiple desktops. Mostly, I just switch apps with apple-tab and I don’t see the difference in doing that or switching desktops. You’ll get a new app in front of you both ways…
No intention of attacking you, just curious. I really want to understand spaces and desktops and such, but so far no-one has explained it to me in a way that clicks. I might give up on this entirely some day soon.



I use Spaces to minimize distractions. I’ll put the app(s) I’m actively working with in one Space, and the things I leave open but am not actively using in another.

For me, the feature is occasionally useful, but not a reason to upgrade by itself.


I tend to separate applications by type. If I have a browser open in one, I then will open iTunes in another and word processor in a 3rd. That way each window is clear. But CMD + TAB still works the same way, it only moves to that specific space in which the application is active.

And F8 will show all the spaces and you can drag applications from one space to another.

Let me adjust the asbestos under garments…

I don’t like change (from systems perspective) as a rule. Maybe it is a hazard of the occupation (I mention on other posts what I do, but to summarize I manage an decent sized IT department). The general rule I suggest is this: Unless there is a specific reason to break a perfectly functional systems, leave it alone!

I avoided the leopard upgrade until forced by one specific app. Since I require this new app, and that app requires leopard, I went out and purchased 10.5.4 last night at 5:13 PM (the time stamp on my receipt). By 11PM I had the upgrade completed and all the critical apps functional. Much of the time was wasted with useless support docs that did not provide the full solution for upgrading specific apps post OS upgrade.

My initial impressions:
• Spaces is nice. Coming from X11 world I am comfortable with the env and I am glad to have it back.(tanni, I use it like 77 suggests with grouping by task/project, ex. everything related to RCA XXXX in space 1).
• My mac “feels” new. The interface is prettier as long as you keep the dock at the bottom. I find things are faster on my MBP 2.16. Not that it was sluggish before, but NORMALLY OS upgrades make things slower. Pleasant surprise.
• Mem util is much better. With 4 spaces, 2 VM running I have nearly 1GB listed as free compared to the normal 600K.

Those are the big things I have seen with 4 hours. In general these 3 things make the upgrade worth while, but I still hold to my basic rule. Unless you have a requirement that demands the upgrade, leave well enough alone.

I have an ibook with a 12" screen and run most apps in ‘full screen’ (as in, the size of the window covers everything) so for that, spaces wouldn’t change much for me.

However, at work I’m getting a new (well, last years model) intel iMac with BIG screen (not sure how big exactly, but 20" at the most) where it may come in handy. I’ll try it out, as soon as I get back to work :wink:


One of this differences in spaces for OSX and the idea of virtual desktops in X11 (this is what spaces really is) is the ability to limit cmd-tab to only know about the windows in the current desktop. This is really handy even in full screen mode as it makes it difficult to get into the wrong editor.

One of the things I am finding irritating about the spaces implementation is the fact that it snaps to any alert from which ever space I am in. Anyone know how to disable this?

I adore the virtual desktop concept; I really don’t like Apple’s Spaces! It assumes way too much (the alert snap-back is one of those assumptions that gets really annoying really fast (and no I do not know how to turn that off)), and it doesn’t handle having applications spread out over several spaces at once, either. At first that might seem as though I am asking too much of it, but remember Finder is a program too. Where it gets really annoying is when an application decides a certain space is going to be its home, and whenever you make a new window or Cmd-tab to that app from another space, it flies over to be in what it decides its home should be. In all of the implementations I have ever used, the windowing system never jerks you around like that, let alone individual applications. Part of the problem is due to developer philosophy. Applications that rely on magically appearing and disappearing palettes (of which there are a bounty of) tend to suffer. This sort of application pseudo-minimalisation is not necessary in a full virtual desktop system, but it does make things nicer on the eyes when you are stuck in one screen. The two conflict a great deal though, and trying mixing these philosophies makes for a mess. The notion that an application can only run once is another area of conflict. In Linux a program can be running ten times in five different windows. There is thus no need for an application to declare any single desktop as its “home”.

I liked Spaces at first. It was nice to have a low-key virtual desktop manager for the Mac. The other ones I had tried were all a bit heavy. All I need is a pager and some hot keys. Spaces is minimal, but really gets on the nerves after a while, at least for me.

The other Leopard stuff has been good to me. Time Machine has saved me a few times.

Spaces seemed like a good idea at first. Then I discovered that sometimes I wanted to use app A with app B, and sometimes I wanted to use app A with app C; either I had to put B and C – never used together – in the same Space, or put all of them in all Spaces.

And that’s the minimal scenario.

When I get to app D, which I use with B but not with C, or app E, which I use with D or A but not C… well, you get the point. Either I have stuff scattered to the winds and no clear idea where anything is, or I have everything listed to show up in every Space, which is roughly the equivalent of having no Spaces at all.

So I turned the damn thing off.

Other than that, I really like 10.5.


FWIW, I don’t set up permanent Spaces for particular apps. I just use Expose to drag windows that belong together into a separate Space. In practice, usually this means keeping Scrivener and DevonThink in one Space, and distractors like Mail and Firefox in another. But I can set up whatever structure I want almost instantly, and get rid of it completely when I’m done.


grumpy old curmudgeon! :open_mouth:

Without curmudgeonry, you affable and tranquil types would still be sitting around fires at cave entrances, wondering if you’d be permitted to scoot around upwind of the smoke without bothering anyone.


I turned Spaces off too … nothing ever seemed to be in the space I needed. And then I tend not to have too many apps running at once, so generally just hiding them and revealing them from the (hidden) dock does it for me. If I need to copy and paste between two apps, I have just those two’s windows visible and overlapping so neither is fully masking the other. Does it for me.


Here is a Spaces Tutorial that is handy - check out those on the side as well.