Let's Get Ready for Leopard

It's about that time again; the time where we get organized, back up our files, and prepare for an update to Apple's premiere operating system; Mac OS X, better known this time around as Leopard. You've undoubtedly seen the major changes to the operating system, including nice new features such as Spaces and Time Machine. While these are nice and (hopefully) useful, many have their own small list of changes they hope to see. Most of the changes I hope for reside within the Finder.

Network Storage is becoming more common these days, even for the average person. The problem is that the Finder does not have great support for two common protocols: FTP and SMB. FTP in Finder has always been read-only. This forces you to find (and possibly purchase) a third-party client or learn how to use the client built into Terminal. What I'd like to see is FTP support where read and write are both enabled. Unlike FTP, Samba does have read and write support within the Finder, yet it's unbearably slow. Perhaps it's fine for a 100 Mbps network, but the sub-100 Mbps performance on a Gigabit network is unsatisfactory.

Another feature lacked in the Finder is with "Column View". This is undoubtedly my most-used view when navigating folders, which is why this next "fix" makes sense. the column view needs to have an option to expand to the size of the longest file name in the folder automatically. It's a pain in the butt to frequently look for files with similar but different names and have to expand every column manually.

Safari, which had (emphasize "had") been my browser of choice for the previous few years. It's a great browser, but the "bloat" is setting in as it matures. As of now I'm using Camino, which is super light and fast. If the next version of Safari can manage to feel less like Firefox and more like Camino, as well as provide a little bit of plug-in support, I may move back again. I'd love a lean-mean browser with Del.icio.us support.

Lastly is iTunes, which like Safari is starting to feel a lot more resource intensive than it's previous releases. I'm sorry to say that I don't particularly like iTunes, but since I need it to sync with my iPod touch, it's a necessary evil. Apple needs to put this guy on the treadmill or I may build my own media player for just listening to music. I'd love to reserve more resources for other, more important applications.

Mac OS X has matured a lot over the years, there's no doubt about it, but there is still a long way to go before it becomes the Holy Grail of all operating systems. I'd love to hear what undocumented changes our readers hope for in Leopard. Please post your opinions and have a good day!

Frank Sandoval (Geekanoids Newbie)