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8/29/02 Thursday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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PowerBook G3/500 owner report on Jaguar
Performance/Features

Last Updated: 8/29/2002


"I've had only a few hours so far to play around with Jaguar on my Pismo. In the few hours I've used it, I've barely had time to explore its depth. I had pretty high expectations from having read probably over a hundred articles on Jaguar builds over the last six months or more.

While new functionality and features might be just as important as speed increases in an OS upgrade, so many reports about huge speed increases had me anticipating the possibility of and inexpensive performance boost on my 2 year old Pismo.

All the reports about how Jaguar was faster on all kinds of hardware, whether moderately old or relatively new, had me wondering.

Perceived speed is a personal thing.

I was most interested to see how Jaguar performed on my 500 MHz G3 Pismo (without Quartz of Ice Cream) , rather than on my 800 MHz G4 Digital Audio tower (which does fall under Quartz requirements), as I use the Pismo 5 or 6 times as much.

I expect it to be fast on the Digital Audio; the Pismo was the question mark in my mind. Was I wrong to hang onto it and forgo a TiBook, especially the latest ones, which support Quartz Extreme?

Here are my initial impressions:

Many things are *much* faster than in 10.1.5, and the refinement of the interface and the functionality of using and navigating the System is really well implemented and greatly improved.

IE is faster. Finder windows snap open faster. Find, in the Finder does searches much more quickly than Sherlock did. And, by narrowing the scope of the search to Home or the frontmost Finder window, you can really speed up a search.

Grabbing an IE window and moving it around produces a response that's nearly real-time. Almost no discernible lag.

Same with dragging a picture around in Photoshop 4.0 *within Classic*!!

The above two examples are really impressive to me. If I didn't know that the Pismo didn't have Altivec hardware (no G4) and doesn't have the video hardware to support Quartz Extreme, someone could have covered everything but the screen (so I couldn't tell it was a Pismo), and persuaded me that the speed increase was due to those two things.

I'm not saying it always feels super-fast in everything you do, but there are big improvements in speed almost everywhere.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how tickled I am by the implementation of the zooming feature in Universal access and how useful it will be to me.

Since that March day about a year and a half ago, when I installed the Public Beta on the first day it was available, I have sorely missed Close View, which OS 9 had, but OS X did not.

I like to enlarge the photos in web articles so I can see more details. If it was an especially interesting photo, I would switch resolution to 640 x 480 to have a better look. Thankfully that is all over now.

I just hit option-command-asterix to enable zooming and then the same modifier keys plus or minus sign. And it's so smooth and elegant the way Jaguar eases you back when you hit option-command-asterix to disable zooming.

Another huge improvement is that switching resolutions is no longer jarring, and the windows, whether Finder windows, app windows, or the system prefs window now reposition themselves far more successfully than they used to.

Here's a weird bug: in typing this up in TextEdit, I often failed to capitalize the word "finder". So I repeatedly tried to insert the flashing insertion thingy to the right of the small "f", it always ended up to the right of the "i" next to it. I tried to use the left arrow key to move one letter to the left so i could hit "delete" once and replace the small "f" with a capital "F".

But the flashing insertion thingy treated the small "f" and the "i" next to it as if they were one letter. This is with Palatino 22.

BTW, QuicKeys plays back macros faster than it did in 10.1.5. Especially those involving Classic apps.

Having TextEdit read me this document demonstrates that text-to speech sounds much better, at least through the tiny speaker on the front of my G4 tower.
-Steve"

A reader replied to Steve's comments on TextEdit:

" I'm sure you know this already, but this isn't a bug! TextEdit automatically supports ligatures in serif fonts, so when typing a lowercase "f" followed by an "i", TextEdit automatically replaces it with the single-character "fi" ligature. This is typographically desirable! Any desktop publishing app will behave the same way. Anyway, if you switch from a serif font with ligatures to a sans serif font like Helvetica, TextEdit automatically reverts back to an individual "f" and "i". Attention to a small but important typographical detail like this shows how tremendously sophisticated TextEdit really is.
- Darcy (aka "Thad") "


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