I have to admit, after the last I’d read about them, I’m incredibly surprised to see that they exist in a physical location at all. I get the distinct feeling that their presence is more temporary than those fireworks stands that pop up along the roadside in rural Wisconsin in mid-June.
I know there were already dozens of blog entries the day after Leopard “dropped” with instructions on how to remove the shiny Dock, but I’ve actually been living with it peacefully and almost liking it.
But now at my new job, I’m not sure if it’s the saturated color on my iMac display, the particular desktop image I’m using, or some strange combination of those and other factors, but the Dock’s reflection was painfully (yes, painfully) shiny and distracting, so I just had to look up how to get rid of it.
Apparently there’s a whole cottage industry now around customizing the Leopard Dock’s appearance, but all I really wanted was the simple look you get when you have the Dock on the left or right side, but when the Dock is resting nicely on the bottom where it belongs. It was surprisingly difficult (in that I had to do three whole searches and then hunt through a few links on the first page of results of each) before I found (again) the simple command line instructions to accomplish this task. And in the interest of saving myself the trouble next time (if there is a next time), I’m posting them here:
defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
Granted, my gripes with it are petty and purely visual: the translucent menu bar; the glossy, glassy Dock; the stupid Stacks icons. I love its functionality and performance, and haven’t run into any actual problems using it (other than the fact that iPhoto is flaking out on me, but I’m running an old version and I have over 7000 photos in my library, neither of which is Leopard’s fault; and I had to upgrade Photoshop for compatibility, but with CS3 I’m glad I did that anyway).
But still… perfect? Come on. And it gets even more nauseating as the article goes on.
So yes, if you have a Mac, by all means buy Leopard; it’s $129 far better spent than on Vista. (Not that you can get a usable version of Vista for that price… but if you could, you could run it on your Mac too.) If you don’t have a Mac, now’s a great time to give one serious consideration. But if you’re still on the fence, don’t read this article first; with friends like Tom Yager (and of course the ever-insufferable Guy Kawasaki), Apple needs no enemies: this kind of sycophantic Apple-can-do-no-wrong drivel only proves the point for people who think Apple products are just for the fanboys.
For an antidote to this sickening lovefest, check out this anti-Leopard rant a former coworker just emailed to me.
Much has now been written, a smidgen of it by me, regarding the various design faux pas committed by Apple with Leopard, but here’s another new inexplicable one I just noticed:
What’s wrong you ask? Well, if you think about it, this just plain makes no sense. I’m not complaining about the weird blur effect on translucent elements in this new version (although that bugs me too). It’s this bizarre drop shadow on the little slide-down alert dialog box. Why is there a drop shadow here? Presumably it’s to make us realize this dialog is attached to the window (as they’ve been ever since Mac OS X debuted, albeit without a gratuitous shadow). But the effect is to make it look like the title bar is casting the shadow. Yet, the title bar does not cast a shadow on the rest of the window itself. So it therefore appears that the dialog is recessed below the window itself. And yet, the dialog casts a shadow on the window as well. It’s M.C. Escher’s worst nightmare. As others have already said about other UI elements in Leopard: Why, Apple? Why?
On the other hand… I have to admit, I’m actually starting to like the translucent menu bar. The horror!!!