Leopard features

· technology ·

What with all the kerfuffle of moving and so on, I missed most of the buzz around Apple's announcement of some of the features to be introduced in Leopard: the next version of MacOS X. I've had a little time to read the information now, and some of the features look pretty spiffy. Time Machine in particular looks interesting. The idea is that the system keeps an automatic, incremental backup of your entire system. If you want to retrieve something from an earlier system state (perhaps because you've mistakenly deleted a file), you can use the Time Machine interface to 'go back in time' and retrieve your deleted file.

It's fair to say that Apple has received a bit of gentle (and not so gentle) ribbing about the interface. The perspective display of windows receding into the distance is very cool, but they chose to show an image of a star field behind the windows. I quite like it, but it is a tad literal. Still, it could be worse. They could have gone 80's Sci-Fi-tastic and had some kind of swirly vortex together with calendar pages fluttering away into the void.

I'm also pleased to see that Apple has finally adopted virtual desktops (available in just about every Linux implementation) in the form of Spaces. I've used a number of virtual desktop applications on MacOS X, but currently use Codetek's VirtualDesktop Pro. I must say that Apple's implementation looks very slick, but if you can't have more than four desktops (it's not clear from the information available), I'll probably stick with my 8 desktops on VirtualDesktop Pro. I've got so used to the layout of my desktops that it's practically muscle memory now.

Some of the other features don't excite me quite as much, but I think it will still be a pretty good OS upgrade, particularly the tantalising 'secret features' that Apple is keeping under wraps until later.