Software Review Of The Moment

Mac OS X Tiger

20th Of October, 2019

We used Macintosh Classics in high school, and they seemed as slow as a tortoise with rigour-mortis. LOL! System 6, I think, 8 MHz CPUs, sod all RAM, black & white screensÖ ah, those were the days! USB?! What the fudge is THAT?!
Iíve been a Microsoft Windows user since 1995, when my family got a computer with Windows 3.11 For Work Groups when I was in high school. So why did I get a Mac? Mostly because I wanted to get away from how cr*p Windows was to me. You have to understand that in 2007, when I got my MacBook, Iíd only been using Windows XP for probably 8 or 9 months. Prior to that, Iíd been using Windows M.E., which really p!$$Äd me off with its instability, as did Windows í98, which was even worse. I think I first saw a screen shot of Mac OS X, when I was looking up stuff about The GIMP. I was instantly impressed by how amazing the interface looked. I was using Linux in 2006 as well, and wanted to get Mac themes to try out in it, although that wasnít really do-able with Knoppix. Although there was one that was kind of Mac-ish for Puppy Linux.
Anyway, Iíd wanted a laptop computer for a while too, so I could take my stuff with me. Especially on holiday. I thought, if I get one, I want to get a MacBook! Iíd started reading about Macs and even getting software early, just in case. So when I got one, Mac OS X Tiger was the OS it came with. The first to support the Intel CPUs. My first impressions were very positive; so much that I still like this revision of Mac OS X, 12 years after I 1st used it.

(Click on various pictures below to see them bigger. Some small images may not display any bigger than they are.)

Finder + the Dock. The pretty interface just begs to be interacted with. As you can see, you can add programs to the tool bar as well. Since I donít use Spotlight on this computer, I have a link to Easy Find.
Programs like Corel DRAW 11 can also save a preview image. Mac OS X doesnít recognise Corel DRAW files out of the box, so the program can optionally give you this preview when you save.

Mac OSex

Even though the interface looks so appealing, there has to be other positive aspects to an operating system than just that. In this section, Iíll talk about what makes it so great!
Computer use revolves a lot around files of course, so you need a capable program to deal with them. Macs have pretty much always had Finder, presumably named so you could find stuff. Coming personally from Windows XP use, Finder is a welcome relief from Microsoftís Explorer, which is just a messy, inconsistent horror. Finder has 6 file sorting options, and it consistently shows every window the way you want. With its hidden .DS_Store files, you can rely on sorting options to be kept for each directory. Windows on the other hand tries to be too clever for its own good, and just f**ks up your directories with seemingly random guessing, based on what files it finds in them, and somehow thinks this is a help to you. Certain types of files display different information from others and directory sorting options often get forgotten. Finder doesnít suffer from any of these issues. All files are treated equally and sorting options obey your default choice when you make a new directory.
Another plus, is file association. In Windows, a file with a certain extension always opens with the program itís assigned to. At best, anyway. I had a big problem in Windows XP early on, where certain files, like AVI, would ALWAYS ask what I wanted to open them with, even though they were associated with Media Player 2. I actually had to make a copy of the program, call it MPLAYER3.EXE, and associate the files with that, before it would work. What a kludge! With Finder, once you set a type of file to open with a certain program, it sticks with it. But not only that, you can actually choose certain files of the same type, to open with something else! Although this can be a minor pain at times. Usually, I just have the Preview program open pictures, because itís quite snappy to view stuff with. But if you edit a picture with Corel Photo-Paint, it then associates that particular file with itself. Not all the files of that type, mind you. Just that one. Usually the icon will change to show this, which is one way of telling what opens with what as well.
Another thing vs Windows, is deleting stuff. Windows XP can be a real pain when it thinks certain files are still in use, and wonít let you move them to the Recycle Bin. Even when itís Explorer, the file manager, thatís supposedly somehow using them. I noticed in Mac OS X that you can actually chuck files in the Trash while theyíre still being worked on. Although I did a test with an open image, and when I saved it, it just made a new copy in the original location. At least stuff you want to get rid of is in the right place, where as in Windows, you often forget what stuff you wanted to delete when you have to come back to it later. Iíve often had to make lists like 10 lines long, of directories and files that have to go after the next restart. So, on 1 hand it can be dangerous to delete files that are being used, and on the other hand itís a nuisance when theyíre not really in use and canít easily be destroyed. I remember in Mac OS X Leopard, I had a video being processed in my AV-Friendly program, and I chucked the file in the trash. It ended up completing the processing, but I wondered where the file went, because I thought Iíd deleted a different one.
Not that I play a lot of CDs on my Macs, but Finder makes doing so, really easy and smart. The tracks on the CD are presented as AIFF files! Brilliant! You can play a CD with any audio software that can open these, which is just about everything. Plus, ďrippingĒ the contents is as simple as copying which tracks you want, and putting them on a writable drive. Since Windows í95, Explorer presents them as .CDA files, which arenít as usable. Except with maybe Winamp. Copying the tracks also requires a program like Nero, which can make .WAV files from them. Another area where Mac OS X is superior in this area, is enhanced CDs. These have audio tracks and a data area as well. Windows only shows the data area, which means that the .CDA files donít exist, so if you were using Winamp to play CDs, you canít with these. On the Mac, you get 2 icons which appear. One for the files, and one for the audio tracks. This is kind of like flash memory units and SD cards as well. Windows doesnít like to show more than one partition on them, where as in Mac OS X, itís no problem. Although when you go to eject one partition, it asks if you want all the others on the same drive to go at the same time.
If you have an iSight camera, you can even use it to make an account picture of your face, or whatever you hold up to it. Pretty neat!
A lot of programs in Mac OS X are completely optional. Windows hates you trying to remove programs that are apparently ďrequiredĒ by the OS, like Internet Explorer, Movie Maker, Outlook Express and fig knows what else. Mac OS X is really cool about geting rid of stuff you donít like, or donít use. You donít want Safari? Thatís no worry! Just trash it. Certain other programs like QuickTime, the Activity Monitor and Disk Utility I would hang on to though. Theyíre kind of important.
Drive copying is where Macs rule. Youíve just bought a bigger hard drive, and you want to copy everything from your old one onto the new one, and boot up from the new one too. No worries. Disk Utility lets you restore from one drive to another, or from a disk ďimageĒ file. Even from the Mac OS X installer DVD, if I remember correctly. (By this, I mean, you can load the installer disc, and then use Disk Utility to copy a disk image to a new drive, without installing anything from the installer.) Once itís done, the drive is bootable, and off you go! Windows doesnít offer anything like this without 3rd party software. And I hate re-installing Windows from scratch. On a fresh install of Tiger, you can back up the entire thing with all your favourite settings to a flash memory unit, or a single layer DVD. Of course once you start installing your other software, you may need more room, but the base OS will fit. Now, say you backed up your hard drive to another portable drive ó in an emergency, you can boot another Mac from your backup! Assuming of course that itís compatible with the Mac youíre trying to fix.
One thing I donít even know how to do with Windows, is log-in from another computer. If you even can. Itís not very obvious anyway. With 2 Macs connected together on a network, you can log-in to a remote one if you know the user name and password. I do this a lot between my MacBook and Power Mac G5. Normally you can only access the shared directory on the Power Mac, but if I click on Connect AsÖ, I can enter my user name and password for Mac OS X Tiger (on the Power Mac) and get access to all the drives and stuff the thing has, from my MacBook.
Tiger also introduces the Dashboard, a really cool feature with widgets that can even integrate with other programs. For instance, the calendar. It can show upcoming appointments in iCal. Thereís also a weather widget, which you can adjust to your part of the world, and best of all, it still works in 2019. Thereís a world clock, which you can set to the time zone of your choice, and many 3rd party ones which do other useful stuff. And yes, you can delete the ones you donít need! Plus you can have multiple copies of widgets running at the same time, such as if you want to see 3 time zones around the world. Adding new ones makes a cool rippling effect on the screen as well.
In Windows, when you go to open a file, you can paste in a line of text representing the directory path you wish to access. Mac OS X doesnít have this, but if you have a Finder window open of the location, you can drag the little icon from the top of it to the location menu of the open dialogue window. (See the picture below for this.) It will then change to this spot instead. A lot of my own programs use a straight drag & drop method of opening files, because itís quicker to pick up a file from a location you already have open in Finder, and just drop the thing on the correct area of the program.
Letís talk about the Dock next, and what it is. If youíve never used a Mac, this will explain it. What you have here is a bit like Windows í98ís Quick Launch area of the Task Bar. You click on an icon, and it opens the program. If a program is started which doesnít normally reside in the Dock, it will appear on the right side. Any open program will have a little arrow underneath it, showing that itís running. You can right click / control click on a program, and have it stay in the Dock from then on. As well as other settings, like force quitting a non-responsive program. If you wish to remove a program from the Dock, you just drag it off, and it goes: ďPOP!Ē in a little puff of smoke. There is no undo feature for this though, so be careful! So, itís like a program launcher and indicator of what stuff is running. You can also add directories and Internet locations on the right side, by the Trash. As usual with Macs, dragging a disc / diskette to the Trash will eject it. The icon will change to an eject symbol to signify this. The Dock can be placed at the bottom, left or right of the screen. You can also choose if it automatically hides, has the zoom effect on icons, and how big they are.
In a lot of cases, files can be dragged onto the icons of programs in the Dock, and theyíll then be opened. In terms of the DVD player & QuickTime, minimised forms of each can continue showing videos that are playing from their iconic version in the Dock. Thatís pretty nifty. Some other programs, like those which deal with e-mail, can show numbers with the icon, representing an amount of new messages. iCal will also update its Dock icon to show the current date, when itís run.

Adding a new widget to your line up makes a nifty ripple effect to catch your attention.
In column view, you can also see previews of files without having to press + I. This is the best way to move files back a level as well.
Classic has a clever Dock icon which fills the 9 up with colour as it loads.
Classic of course retains that Mac OS 9 look. It simply changes the Menu Bar to suit. You pretty much are running Mac OS 9 in a virtual machine, because older Macs can actually boot from this installation of the OS.

Mac OSux

You canít win every aspect of certain things, and in this section, Iíll be looking at the weaker points of the operating system.
While removing programs in Mac OS X is simply a matter of putting them in the trash, certain settings files still exist in other locations on your drive in a lot of occasions. These can often take up space, and most of the time, it doesnít cross your mind to go looking for them. This is where Windows is better. Usually if you use an installer program for something, there is an uninstaller too, which removes all the excesss stuff the main program relies on. Of course, sometimes this fouls up, but it is better when it works. Mac programs barely ever have an uninstaller, and itís usually only with commercial products. This is why my programs always have their settings files in the same location, so once you delete the folder they reside in, everything is gone.
What is also strange, is there are no video card settings. In Windows, when you install your video card from the manufacturer, you get drivers and utility software so that you can adjust its performance. This doesnít exist with Macs. Because Apple are the hardware assembler, the drivers come with the OS, but there is no way to adjust things like FSAA, anisotropic filtering, colour levels, pre rendered frames and all that stuff. Unless the program youíre using gives you such options. This is a turn off for gamers who have to have control of those things.
A very minor thing that irks me a bit, is the green + ďbuttonĒ on the windows. You would kind of expect it to work like the maximise & restore one in Windows í95 & up. But it works more like a toggle between window sizes. Sometimes stretching the window to some rather odd shape. One other thing that was hard to get used to, is the red ◊ dealie as well. This usually only closes the window, not the entire program. Because a menu bar exists for each window in Windows, you just assume youíre closing the window in the same fashion. Although some Mac programs do quit when the last window is closed. I wouldnít really say that sucks. Itís just a different way of doing things to how Iím used to.
Cutting files, as you can do in Windows, doesnít exist. The Edit menu has a cut option thatís permanently grey. This is a pain in normal icon view when it comes to moving files up a level or more in the directory structure. You have to switch to the tree like view, to move a file up a level. Or open another Finder window to the level above, which is more time consuming.
Some of the included programs like Preview have a few bugs, and report various images with the wrong bit depth. Often 24 bit colour images only get shown up as 8 bit, so it can be wise to check them in Photo-Paint (if you have it), to make certain.
Quick Time 7 will only let you go to full screen if you pay for the Pro version, which is a bit of a git as well. (In Mac OS X Leopard, this has now been allowed for free.)
One thing that ticks me right off, is that daft ClearType, as Microsoft call it. This is supposed to be a kludgey way of making text look sharper, but it doesnít really work. In Windows XP, itís not such a big problem, but in Windows 7, it is. You specify that you donít want to use it, and parts of programs and the OS go on using it anyway. That makes my blood BOIL when options are not obeyed. Mac OS X Tiger is slightly broken in this manner too. The setting without it, is aimed at CRT monitors, which is odd, because LCDs are usually sharper anyhow. Mac OS X does comply with your setting mostly, except every time a password box appears, and in some area of the system information. (Like when you go to ďAbout This Mac.Ē) But for some odd reason, only on systems which either have a built in monitor, or possibly an Apple monitor! What the deal is there, I have no idea. With my HP monitor on my Power Mac, the issue does not occur. It works flawlessly, like it should. I can only assume itís a glitch related to Appleís monitor profiles that it insists on using.
Iíve always dabbled in programming, and writing stuff for my MacBook was something I wanted to do as well. Iím only really familiar with the BASIC kinda languages; I donít do programming for anything else other than an on & off hobby, if that. Finding something suitable was a bit awkward, and one of the languages I tried, required a resource editor that only worked in Classic, or pre-Mac OS X operating systems on PowerPC CPUs. This was a bit of a bummer, because you canít run any of that stuff on a Mac with an Intel CPU. This is a huge area where Windows has the edge, because old software is still usable a lot of the time. 32 bit versions of Windows 10 can still run programs from the original Windows line, going back to Windows 1 in some situations. (Remember that Windows 10 is actually Windows NT, and Windows 1 had nothing to do with the later NT line.) This is why I started going to older PowerPC Macs. With Classic, you suddenly have access to a whole host of software going back to 1984. Mac OS X Tiger is the last revision of the operating system to support Classic, but luckily every G5 system can run it. It is also the end point of Mac OS X for G3 CPU based Macs. Mac OS X Leopard must have a G4 CPU or later, to run.
What also turned me off from ever getting any newer Macs was the compatibility issues. Enter Mac OS X Lion. You canít run Mac OS X programs on Mac OS X. It doesnít make sense. By that I mean, PowerPC programs written for an older revision, donít work on a later one any more. I wasnít about to dump Corel DRAW 11, after having spent $345 on it in 2008. Iím not a figging business with a huge spending budget. Plus as soon as a new revision of Mac OS X came out, like Leopard, everybody seemed to jump ship, and suddenly programs no longer ran on Tiger. This was like the same year I got the computer! So on one hand, I canít run pre-Mac OS X programs, and I canít run new stuff either. Of course when the hard drive died, AF drives had come into play, and something about the hardware caused Mac OS X Tiger to think the drive was bigger than it really is. (Because of the different sector sizes, or whatever.) Apple were very generous though in GIVING me a copy of Leopard for free to resolve this issue. So in that way, they were good to me. I also felt that Apple had been dragging the one OS out for too long, plus the GUI just went down the toilet, like with Windows 8, so that marked the end of my continuation with new Apple products.

If you donít like blue, thereís also the graphite colour scheme. It wouldíve been nice if thereíd been about 20 odd themes, but you could change them somehow with 3rd party software.
You can change the directory you want to open or save stuff to by dragging the destination from the top of a Finder window with its little icon.
This character palette lets you drag & drop various symbols into other programs, like TextEdit, making stuff easier to find from installed fonts.
Some included programs can have oddities and inconsistencies between them. With this exact same image, QuickTime @ the bottom picks up the bit depth correctly as millions of colours, where as Preview (@ the top) somehow detects it as only 256 colours. Iím not sure where QuickTime pulled that frame & data rate from on a static image.

Final Notes

Starting from Mac OS X Tiger, is Spotlight. On the far right side of the Menu Bar, is a little magnifying glass. If you click on it, you can quickly find not only files, but files which contain what you search for. This is usually a brilliant and quick way to find stuff. It does have its drawbacks though. Firstly, it doesnít tend to search through packages and certain ďsystemĒ areas of the OS. Secondly, itís not happy with Mac OS Leopard. If you have both Tiger & Leopard installed in different partitions on the same drive, like I do, Spotlight will chunk up the system for about 5 minutes after switching from one OS to the other. This is not good! So I had to disable it in both operating systems. I now use Easy Find 4.5, which is more powerful anyhow. But Spotlight does make attractive spotlight effects in the System Preferences when youíre looking for certain settings.
Most programs for Mac OS X have an extension of .app, meaning ďapplicationĒ. Unlike Windows, with its .exe files, these are actually special executable directories. You can open them up and find other stuff inside. (A package is probably the correct term.) From what I know, Carbonised programs, like the ones I do, have a resource fork instead, which has the icon and stuff, and it just appears as one file that you can run. (Carbonised means programs which are designed for Mac OS X, but will also run in Mac OS 8.6 and up with the Carbon library installed.) It seems you need to be careful not to leave the Open in the Classic environment tick box checked when switching over to Leopard, because Leopard canít run Classic programs, and thereís no way to turn it off.
On Intel CPUs, Mac OS X Tiger will run programs written for PowerPC CPUs using the invisible Rosetta. Itís like a PowerPC emulator built in to the OS. The reverse is not applicable though. You canít run programs compiled for Intel CPUs at all on a Mac with a PowerPC CPU. Apple want you to buy their new hardware, donít they? But you can run Virtual PC 7, and run Windows. This wonít work on an Intel CPU based Mac. You can run VirtualBox instead, which is faster anyhow.
Tiger is the last time youíll see the rounded corners of the Menu Bar without 3rd party software. I have a program called Displaperture which apparently fixes this for Mac OS X Leo. Itís also the end of the metallic windows. Leopard just draws them up in plain grey now. Boring!
If you install Mac OS X Tiger yourself, you can choose various install options, such as printers. There are a HUGE amount of printer drivers which take up close to 2 GB of space. The printer we have now isnít even in the list, so itís not worth installing any of these. Plus, it comes with its own software anyhow.
All in all, I would recommend Mac OS X Tiger for older Macs. It has some cool features, and can run older software. I think a lot of people who have grown up with Macs prefer a Power Mac G4 which can also natively run Mac OS 9. I find Classic pretty good, and I donít use it all that much.
If you want to run the OS under emulation, your best bet is to probably try PearPC. But you will most likely need other files for the firmware or stuff like that. My experience with emulating earlier Mac OSs has shown me that you often require some other tricky-to-get file. Also, there are no upgrade type copies for Intel CPUs, because this is where it started. You can only buy an upgrade to Tiger for PowerPC CPUs. All other Intel CPU copies are probably specific to the hardware they came with.
But anyway, Macs that can run Tiger are PowerPC systems with G3 CPUs through to G5s and the very 1st generation Intel CPU based Macs. But seriously, I would go for Leopard or Snow Leopard on them, because you canít run Classic, so you might as well run more newer stuff.

Other Reviews In This Monthly Dealie:
ē Corel CHART! 3
ē Windows 10
ē JES De-Interlacer + Microsoft Works 3
ē Power DVD 6
ē Corel DRAW 8
ē XMPlay + Cog + MacAmp Lite X
ē iMovie 6 + iDVD 7
ē Open Office 3.3
ē Winamp 2.8
ē My Titler Programs
ē Art Of Illusion 2.5