On the attractions of the imperfect…

A couple of weeks of Tiger and the one thing that I keep noticing is the diminished keyboard buffer. Or at least that’s what I think is going on. In Panther, one of the things I could – and did – do regularly was press Apple-N in Mail and then without pausing I could launch into my latest missive. Now if I do it, I get a couple of annoying alert noises and the first few characters are thrown away. The same thing happens with spotlight, which in a way is worse because I got so used to using the same key combinations to trigger Launchbar.

Tiger’s been an interesting release for me. There’s something weirdly unsurprising about all the new stuff, and something unfinished about the big architectural changes. But the weirdest thing is how interesting the lapses are. It’s the bits where the new stuff doesn’t feel like it has bedded in – the times when you think you know how something should work but it doesn’t really work like it should – those are the bits that are genuinely exciting. I know it sounds like rationalisation, but some of my frustrations with the release have been balanced by a sense that the current OS is maleable, fixable. It feels like this is a release that will get people much more technical than myself very very excited because they won’t be playing with something slippery and shiny, but with something rough, tactile and improvable. Something imperfect that might be finishable. The point releases for Tiger should be really interesting.

6 replies on “On the attractions of the imperfect…”

Well it might be interesting for technical users, but for non-technical users? £90 for an imperfect, unfinished release seems like a bad deal. I’m writing as a long-term Mac user who’s become a bit disillusioned with Apple. I dislike this £90 subscription model to keep my Mac up to date; Apple should be improving OS X to sell Macs, not improving it to sell it to us again.

Well I think that’s only partly fair – obviously operating systems have to improve and develop over time and that means there are always going to be upgrades. And moreover, the ones that take a release from mostly stable to fully stable are the point releases that polish off the edges over a few months (which realistically is easier to do when the release is out in public anyway). But yeah, getting slightly unfinished products is a bit annoying.

Aaah, I thought it was a bug in the new version of QuickSilver – (sort of) glad to hear that it’s not.

Is it just me – or has the app switching gone mad too – if you hide an app, it’s no longer the “next on the left” – it shoots far off to the right. This is driving me mad – as I like to keep many apps hidden and expose them briefly.

I’d noticed problems like this as well, didn’t know exactly what it was but the keyboard buffer issue sounds like what I’ve been experiencing. There’s often a noticeable pause between me typing something (even more so with copy/paste) and it appearing on the screen.

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