Apple MacOS X Leopard

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If you have young kids and your hair is now standing on end at all the glorious possibilities of these new and very easy to use ways to reach out and be touched by someone, Apple, in its lawsuit avoidance wisdom, has significantly beefed up parental controls with Leopard.

You can allow or deny the little darlings their rights to use printers, burn CD’s and DVDs, as well as hide verbose wardrobe malfunctions in Dictionary, limit access to certain websites, restrict Mail use or who can be iChatted with, set day and time limits, as well as prevent “Bedtime” access when they should be sleeping instead of chatting with “Uncle Henry.” Logs also show what websites the tykes have visited, what applications they used, and so forth. 

Now you can know why the RIAA Gestapo just raided your home and slapped you with a zillion dollar copyright infringement lawsuit. At least little Bobby can video iChat with you while you’re in jail, maybe even play a downloaded jingle.

Another Leopard feature worth mentioning is the integrated file backup utility. It’s called Time Machine, and once you have selected a partition, or internal or external drive for backups, it does continuous automatic backups on the hour. If you mess up a file, just scroll back in time to when it was OK and restore it. 

However, an Apple employee who should have his Jeddi Knight DVD Platinum Collector Edition immediately taken away from him designed the graphics. When you hit the Time Machine icon your current desktop drops away, and up appears, so help me Yoda, what looks like the opening title sequence of Star Wars.

But instead of a galaxy far, far away, you see receding into the starry night distance time stamped versions of your files all stacked up in superimposed Finders.

Time Machine also may secretly harbor the Dark Force as it caused the only major problem I had during Leopard installation.  Apple suggests selecting the Archive and Install feature rather than Upgrade as the best way to ensure smooth post-Leopard install behavior. So I did.  It went perfect.  Until I hit the Time Machine function. 

Up popped a warning saying I had to first deactivate and then reactivate FileVault, a MacOS X utility that secures your home folder by encrypting and decrypting your files on the fly. I accordingly deactivated it, and up popped another window saying there wasn’t enough disc space to deactivate, which made no sense, as there were ample gigabytes available.

So I started emptying trash, thinking this might be the cause of the problem, when up pops another window saying that some critical Leopard updates needed to be installed ASAP and the system restarted.  So, what else, I cancelled emptying the trash, installed the updates and rebooted. 

Up popped the ultimate Darth Vader message at system startup. Leopard said it could not fix the File Vault files (even though this feature was switched off prior to restart).  Long sad story short, had to completely erase the drive and reinstall Leopard.

Trust in the Force only gets you so far, which is why I, as well as should you, always do full backups before upgrading any OS.

This situation was perhaps unique to me—or maybe not.  Whatever, Leopard has worked flawlessly ever since.

I haven’t covered everything new that Leopard offers, just some high points. And now when I switch back and forth between my Leopard Mac and my Vista PC it’s oh, painfully clear to me how Microsoft kludged its new OS.  The difference in look and feel plus stability is night and day. Leopard is very 21st century, and Vista is so living in the dark ages.

I guess this makes me an Apple FLACk. Oh, well.


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