Jaguar: Installation and First Impressions

By Graham K. Rogers

If I had believed all that I had read in the Apple forums in the week after its introduction in the United States, I might have expected a disaster. But then, if all that had been written about10.1.5 had been true, I would not have had a totally stable system on my i-Mac for the last few months. I decided to ignore the harbingers of doom, but still prepare for the installation carefully.

I am fairly careful when it comes to housework on the disk and go through housekeeping routines daily, weekly and monthly. I could leave the computer to run these by itself, and there is software for those who shut down every day, but this is my preferred mode of operation.

I looked at software that might cause conflicts and decided to remove OpenOSX Office, a version of open Office, ported to the Macintosh. As this was an early version and has its own version of Darwin, it was a good candidate for removal.

I backed up data.

Just before I started the installation, I started the computer up in sinle user mode (hold down the Apple key and the letter "S") and ran the command fsck -y to ensure there were no problems. Once it reported that the disk appeared to be OK, I ran it again, completed the startup, inserted the first installation disk and read the .pdf file on installation. When I was satisfied with the information -- I had enough disk space and memory and there was no need to update firmware -- I clicked on the Install icon.

I was expecting some minor problems. Certain programs I knew would not run and Apple warns that printer drivers will need to be reinstalled (many are with the installation anyway). Despite months of warnings, at least one printer manufacturer was caught on the hop.

The i-Mac restarted and a new grey Apple icon appeared on the screen with a ticking clock icon below. When the installer appeared, I clicked all the "accept" butttons and went for the standard English language setup.

There are a number of methods to install Jaguar: a total reinstall following a dosk format; archive and install; and the simple upgrade. I am not a brave man. I selected the latter and went for a shower.

I came back in time to notice files for Brazilian Portuguese being prepped. I could have selected the languages to be included but I decided to have them all and if necessary, to delete the folders later; but who knows when the next Slovenian, for example, will come to visit.

I poked my head into the room a while later and saw that there were still 2 hours to go. Two hours; and it was still only "preparing". The last time I installed a tricky System 8 it took me around 30 minutes; but then when I first started you could run MSDoS from one 5.25 floppy diskete. By the time we got to DoS 6 it was half a dozen 1.44KB floppies and here I was with a pair of CDROMs and a ticking clock.

Years of failed installations and downloads have made me an inveterate computer watcher: not that I can do anything if the modem drops or the installer dies. I may walk away for a couple of minutes but I can never stand any longer.

That two hours was a bit pessimistic because by the time the computer indicated 1 hour 16 minutes, at 18:09, it was only 25 minutes since I went into the shower.

When we arrived at 1 hour 7 minutes things ground to a halt as several printer drviers were installed. Then the installer reported that we were "processing" Mac OSX and time went backwards to 1 hour 9 minutes. At 18.28 things began to speed up again and an hour of computer time was left.

The two-hour installation was finished in slightly over an hour at 18.45 but then there was "Optimization" which has been known to take longer than download and installation; and I still had Disk 2 waiting. At 18.55 the Optimization was complete and I pressed the Restart button.

A rapid restart and then a lenghty pause at the blue screen had me close to panic, but the new spinning icon (to replace the beachball of death) looking more like a spinning cup-cake let me know that something was churning under the surface. I was asked for the second disk and at 19.10 it started optimizing again. Then it was all over. Three minutes later, I was at the login screen.

Although the login icons had been replaced, the desktop image was the same and all settings had been retained.

A quick tour around the system showed that several new applications had been installed and a few, like the Mail program, updated. The Dock has a new black divider. Also in the Dock were new icons for i-Chat, the Address book and, finally, an updated calculator, which even has all those special functions that my students need for their Engineering courses. You can also get the calculator to speak to you. A "paper tape" function stores all the calculations which you can also print out.

In the Utilities flder were several new applications, including Asia text extras, Audio MIDI setup and Bluetooth File Exchange. To discover what this is, I tried Help and found that this had been changed too.

Along with some of my usefull menulets (icons in the menu bar with simple functions), a couple of non-Mac items in System Preferences had ceased to work. This was in line with what I had read and was not unexpected. One was made redundant anyway by improvements in the System.

While in the System Preferences I looked at the keyboards. There were many more now, including Hebrew, Arabic, Gujurati and Thai (two versions). I selected this along with some European keyboards and was able to write Thai letters; but only in some applications: those written in Cocoa -- OSX native applications. In those that were Carbonised (System 9 and made to work in OSX) theThai keyboard is not accessible.

Mail has some changes and starts up far quicker. There is a new function that sorts junk mail although this sometimes puts good mail in the wrong pile, and Spam with the good stuff. A click on a button corrects this.

Internet Connect now has a ticker-tape style information display in the menubar to complement the phone icon. It is now clear what is happening in the background without having to access the large dialogue box with its full information display.

As I expected there was no printer shown but accessing the Print center found me a driver already on disk and that was quickly installed, printing properly first time.

Sherlock has morphed into an information access centre and only works when the computer is online. It is going to need much work to make this useful for anyone outside North America. To compensate, the Finder is back (along with spring-loaded folders) and works as well as one ought to expect.

The i-Mac that i have does not take advantage of the latest graphics capabilities of the OSX . To get full video capabilities the card must support Quartz Extreme. Flat panel displays and the e-mac have this.

Most of those lost menulets have been tracked down and reinstalled; the computer runs faster than before; and there has not been any application crash. The system itself is solid.

After a week of running OSX 10.2 I have nothing to report.

Note:Now, after a month there is still nothing to report.

See also Jaguar (1)

For further information, e-mail to Graham K. Rogers.

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