So, anyone on the fence about upgrading to Mac OS X Leopard, just… don’t. I mean, it’s not as much a step backward as going from XP to Vista, but I’ve found very little in it that has improved my life. In fact, I’ve spent a whole lot of time figuring out how to hack away most of its changes:
- Removing the horrible translucent menu bar. Here’s how I did it.
- Getting rid of the ridiculous 3D dock. Here’s how I did it.
- Changing the folder icons to ones that are, well, distinguishable. Here’s a good set.
- Getting rid of the abysmal Stacks. Oops, can’t be done. But putting Aliases instead of folders in the dock can help. You don’t get the “show-as-menu-mouse-button-hold” thing, but at least you can avoid the stupid Fan and Grid views, and use a recognizable icon.
I also have never gotten my Aiport Disk drives to work quite right in Leopard, and Time Machine, the one compelling reason to upgrade, required a hack to work with my wireless drives.And just as a final note, the OS has literally lost its sheen. Sure, early versions of brushed metal were a bit tacky, but I really miss the faint pinstripes, metal textures and other subtle effects. The totally flat gray widows of Leopard are just… blah.I guess there’s some good back-end stuff going on in the Leopard kernel and whatnot but nothing that’s really changed MY life. And, of course, you can’t sell a $129 OS upgrade to regular folks without throwing in some new whizbang features. But I get the feeling that (aside from the brilliant Time Machine) Apple just focused on the back end for Leopard, and threw in some entirely rushed and thoughtless UI changes just to give folks the impression that they were buying an improved experience. I wouldn’t say that Emperor Leopard has no clothes, but they’re wearing out as quickly as a $20 acrylic sweater.