Apple Mac OS X Tiger 10.4
Tiger is a giant leap over its predecessor, Panther. In my tests, the operating system seemed stable and relatively bug-free, and performance was excellent on both my new test system and even my ageing Powerbook.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Is this latest release of Mac OS X worth $199 bucks? The answer is yes and the improvements aren't just cosmetic.
Rather, new features such as Tiger's desktop search tool are powerful enough to change the way you use your Mac.
Spotlight on Spotlight
The breakthrough feature in OS X version 10.4 - the reason to get Tiger at all - is Spotlight. This whip-smart desktop search tool rummages through your files, folders, e-mail, and certain applications, and then displays results neatly by category.
Spotlight's search window dresses the top-right corner of any Finder window. Alternatively, pressing Command-Space summons a search field that drops down from the upper-right menu bar. The first time you use Spotlight, your Mac needs 15 to 30 minutes to index its contents. After that, the OS constantly indexes files in the background. As you would in the iTunes search window, keep typing to constantly refine your search results on-the-fly.
Spotlight is fast, and its searches can run deep, making it superior to previous Finder-based searches and Windows searches. Spotlight can search by the usual criteria (file name, kind, keywords) but also by a dizzying variety of deeper parameters such as audio bit-rate, codecs, colour label, photo aperture, and type of encryption. It searches through files and folders, all Apple applications, and major third-party applications like Microsoft Word and Excel. Spotlight doesn't search through Microsoft Entourage, however, which is a bummer, since not everyone uses Apple Mail.
Widgets, video chat and RSS
I liked Apple's new Dashboard Widgets - fun and functional utilities of many kinds which appear/disappear instantly on a separate desktop layer, managed from a Dock-like Widget Bar. A basic set is supplied by Apple (including clock, calculator, calendar, address book, weather forecast, unit converter and more). Dozens more third-party Widgets can be downloaded.
iChat now supports the Jabber chat protocol and lets you conduct 10-way audio chats and slick-looking four-way video chats, although there are hardware limits (see "System requirements").
Fans of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) will also enjoy Apple's update to the Safari Web browser, which now supports the reading of blogs and news feeds. Apple includes links to about 25 news sources, but it's easy to add your own and to create a page that aggregates your favourite news sources.
Parental Controls and automation
Tiger's Parental Controls for Finder, Mail, iChat, Safari, and the new dictionary/thesaurus (a separate app that lets you look up words without an Internet connection) are strict, but there are some holes. For Mail and iChat, for example, you can add individuals with whom your child can communicate, but once people are "white-listed", the messages can include every profanity known to man and still make the cut. The controls also work only with Safari, and parents have to add every Web site a child is allowed to visit as a bookmark.
Tiger does make it easier to deal with repetitive actions like batch-importing photos with its new Automator application. Apple includes 175 prebuilt actions, and more are available on its Downloads page as well as through third-party Web sites.
Apple has added slideshow support to the Finder, Spotlight, and Mail - letting you, for instance, view a series of e-mail image attachments as a slide show (and, at a click, adding selected pics to iPhoto).
Finally, cross-platform folks will like the improved support for faster, more seamless networking between Macs and PCs.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Mozilla Firefox update fixes several vulnerabilities
- Windows Phone can now work on smartphones with Intel x86 chips
- iOS 9.2.1 and OS X 10.11.3 are now available
- New field test lets you install Android apps directly from Google search
- Survey says: Almost a third of US consumers on Windows 10
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCOracle CC&B Technical AnalystVIC
- CCCisco Network EngineerNSW
- CCJava DeveloperVIC
- CCProgrammer/Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Moblie) 160115/AP/P/vhaAsia
- FTSenior Front End Developer Required Working World Leading Digital TeamVIC
- FTTechnical Support EngineerNSW
- FTAxway API DeveloperNSW
- CCPython Web Developer - DevOPS EnvironmentVIC
- FTNetwork Systems LeadVIC
- CCData Stage DeveloperNSW
- CCService EngineerVIC
- CCJava Development EngineerNSW
- CCLync/Skype EngineerNSW
- CCTest AnalystACT
- CCRisk AnalystVIC
- FTTechnical Lead (Java)NSW
- FTBusiness Analyst / Scrum MasterNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (Java/Visual VB.net) 160115/AP/vhsAsia
- FTBusiness Analyst (SCADA / CSI)VIC
- FTFront End Developer Required Working World Leading Digital TeamNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect - Network & InfrastructureNSW
- FTInfrastructure Project Manager - NV1 clearance mandatoryNSW
- FTSoftware Developer - Ruby on RailsNSW
- FTSenior Systems/SAN EngineerNSW
- CCICT Infrastructure Specialist - (Network Engineer)ACT