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Mere Leopard

Yesterday, Steve Jobs previewed Apple’s newest mere cat, Leopard, an OS update due out in Spring, 2007. Even though I didn’t actually watch the keynote, but only followed it via Engadget’s phenomenal coverage (how do they do that?), it seemed like an exciting presentation. “Seemed” only because it looks like Leopard isn’t going to change my life except maybe for Spaces. I don’t know why it’s taken this long to offer virtual desktops. Am I wrong, but doesn’t every flavor of *nix have this feature already? If Apple could build Fast User Switching, I wonder why virtual desktops have been missing in action for so long.

Spotlight, the search utility I love to hate, will be enhanced, but I didn’t see any sign that I’ll be any happier with it. I just want something that can find files, like every other version of Find since the beginning of time, and Spotlight can’t do this reliably. To that end, I compared some utilities recently that actually do find files by name. Two I tried are EasyFind (which is free), and FileBuddy ($39.95). Both have to perform a directory scan for every search so they are slow, but FileBuddy was almost twice as fast. FileBuddy also offers a ton of file-management features. Utilities that use a database are much faster, naturally. HoudahSpot wraps a GUI around the Spotlight API and uses Spotlight’s index to find by filename, so it can work only as well as Spotlight itself. Since in my experience, Spotlight can’t be trusted, neither can HoudahSpot. For now, I’ll be using the command-line utility locate. It is also lightning fast and, more importantly, reliable, although I had to update its database manually.

Comments

I'll upgrade to Leopard, mostly because I'm still running Panther on my almost three year old PowerBook.

Plus, I wonder if there will be a release parties at the Apple Stores!

I even have Panther dogtags that a friend got for me when Panther was released.

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