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G5 and Panther

12 Nov 2003

My transition to a G5 and then finally Panther has gone easier than I expected. Everytime I upgrade I always cross my fingers and hope that everything will still work. More often than not a few applications can longer work under their environment.

First I discovered that my Apple pro speakers will not work with G5’s as they have a unique connector. You have to shell out £30 for a Griffin iFire adaptor, almost as much as the speakers cost in the first place. It ain’t cheap, but its still cheaper than buying new USB speakers, and the internal speaker in the G5 is tinny to say the least. Other than that, no problems.

Last weekend my upgrade to Panther finally arrived, and it absolutely flies. I’m not sure if its optimised for G5’s, but there is a definite speed increase from Jaguar. For the first time since OS 9, everything feels snappy and responsive. It finally feels faster than my PC. The toned-down pinstripe is much easier on the eye. Although I’m a fan of brushed metal apps like Safari, I find it quite odd in the finder, but I’m getting used to it.

Extensis Suitcase 10 was the only application that wouldn’t work. As I do print design, I wouldn’t consider using FontBook yet. Suitcase will not only auto-activate fonts when opening documents in InDesign, and Illustrator, but it provides a ‘bridge extension’ making the fonts simultaneously active to all classic apps too (in my case Quark 5 is the my only reason for using classic – but its a big one). To get Suitcase to work, I discovered that had all I had to do was dump my previous font database, and re-import all my fonts.

Expose is genius. If you use Clutter to play your iTunes library, you can place all the CD coves on top of each other, and then reveal them all with expose. The only niggle is that it doesn’t show any windows that you’ve hidden. My other favourite addition is fast user switching. Its more than just a flying Borg cube effect – you can set up different accounts for a variety of situations – web development, print design etc. and flick between them quickly.

In short, Panther is the the best upgrade I’ve seen in a long time.

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