Digital World: Why I didn't upgrade to Leopard

Which is better - the tiger or the leopard? This is a question humanity has pondered for centuries.

leopard mac 88 (photo credit: )
leopard mac 88
(photo credit: )
Which is better - the tiger or the leopard? This is a question humanity has pondered for centuries. Tigers are bigger and can weigh hundreds of kilos, while leopards weigh in at under 100, generally. Leopards have pretty spots, but tigers feature cool lines. And there are probably a lot more sports teams out there named Tigers (including in Major League Baseball) than there are Leopards - not surprising, given that a poll by the Animal Planet TV channel named the tiger as the "world's favorite animal" - beating out even the dog! (all information culled from articles on tigers and leopards at Both of them eat humans when the opportunity arises, by the way - so hopefully none of us will have any close encounters with either animal (outside the zoo or nature park, of course). In nature, it seems as if the tiger has the edge, if the video at is to be believed. But what about in the computer world? Which is better - the Tiger or the Leopard? Leopard, of course, refers to the new Mac operating system (OS X 10.5), superseding Tiger, the now former system (OS X 10.4x). Considering that Leopard is an upgrade to Tiger, one would imagine that the folks in the Apple marketing department consider the spotted cat more powerful - and more efficient - than the striped one. I know that Leopard has a lot of new features not found in Tiger - 300 of them, to be exact. But then there's that video mentioned above, where the leopard gets pummeled by a tiger - and eventually eaten up by a big snake. There's also my own experience with one of the chief components of Leopard - iLife '08. I haven't upgraded my Macbook to Leopard and probably won't for awhile - because I don't see some main components of iLife as an improvement over the components in the Tiger version of iLife ('06). Quite the opposite. That is not to take away anything from the OS itself, however - list of Leopard advantages over Tiger appears at - and some of the changes are very innovative and formidable indeed. It all comes down to what you expect from a computer; do you really care more about the operating system's features than getting your work done? If the OS enhances your work and makes it easier for you to get things done, fine; but if not, who needs it? What does an operating system do? It makes the computer "go," of course. You need an OS to run the machine in tandem with software written for your computer's interface. Some operating systems lack the features necessary to support hardware or software, some really do provide major work-enhancing improvements over previous versions, while others provide some nice extras that you could probably live without if you had to. Despite the hype by their makers, OS preferences are really subjective; the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," is a watchword for many users. I know of a number of people who are still perfectly happy with Windows 98, and have avoided buying the latest and greatest hardware in order to avoid having to upgrade to subsequent Microsoft offerings. They're using the software they feel comfortable with and have all the bells and whistles they need and will only move into the new world of Vista if they find a need to begin using software their old machines won't be able to handle. Personally, I've got a couple of Windows machines around here that still employ Windows 2000 as their OS. While I will admit that as an OS, XP has something over Win2K in terms of features, the changes have not been enough to persuade me to buy licenses for those computers to bring them up to the "modern era." Of course, I don't use these computers as production machines, which would probably change my viewpoint on upgrading, but for what they do, Win2K is just fine - and I don't have XP or Vista envy at all. Any operating system change usually means there are initially a whole slew of programs that need upgrading, often to fit in with new OS routines (and remove obsolete ones they have been utilizing). Usually, these are third party applications written for the previous OS that are widely used, but haven't yet been updated because developers did not have time to finish sometimes major work on the revamping. After several months, the upgrades are ready and are distributed to users (often angry and/or frustrated), resolving the major or minor issues they had with the new OS. After about a year or so, on average, the incompatibility ceases to be a major problem, but until then users are often wary about upgrading. A list of applications that worked in Tiger but are problematic in Leopard appears at Personally, I only use two of the applications on the list, but there's no guarantee that all the problems have been ferreted out yet (Leopard has been on the market for just about a month). As with so many other things, it often pays to wait for version 1.1 of a major new OS (or other software and hardware) release. Two things I'm hoping will get "fixed" are not applications made by a third party - they're made by Apple itself. Among the changes that took many users for a loop was the complete revamping of iMovie, in the version that comes with iLife '08, part of the Leopard OS installation. > The well-documented ( controversy about the changes to iMovie prompted Apple to offer users who upgraded the opportunity to actually roll back the clock and re-install iMovie '06, the version they had come to depend upon to make relatively sophisticated home movies with the free, built in software. Personally, I didn't wait for Apple to "fix" things. Before installing iLife '08 (which was available in advance of the Leopard release) I had made sure to retain my old copy of iLife, "just in case" something went wrong. After it did, I did some Internet searching and Library file editing and managed to get the old version installed again. I use iMovie on a regular basis, and didn't feel like paying hundreds of dollars to buy a program that would do the same thing iMovie did (or even worse - use PC shareware!) But iWeb was the final straw that prompted me to dump the whole iLife '08 thing - and Leopard, in its wake (who knows if iLife '06 will remain compatible with Leopard?). While iWeb has been geared towards users with a "dot Mac" account (Apple's on-line Web hosting service), it has been possible to use iWeb to produce sites that you could upload to your own servers. Since dot Mac is far more expensive a hosting service than the one I use now, there is no way I would use it, and I was able to find software to tweak the Tiger version of iWeb to enable my server and domain names to be used with it. But they changed iWeb for its "upgraded" release and that broke all the third party tweaks I was using with the original iWeb (without being too specific, the problem lies with the need to enclose a domain name within a server name, like dot Mac - essentially making it very inconvenient for users to type into their browsers). I spent days trying to get the new iWeb to work, but to no avail - and I finally gave up the ship, so to say, and returned to the safety of Tiger's warm embrace. While I wouldn't mind having something like Time Machine, Leopard's new backup system (although I might take askance at having to buy an additional hard drive to take advantage of it), I believe that the OS is there to serve users - not the other way around, no matter how much the company issuing said OS insists that your computer just won't be all it can be without the new and improved. What, I wonder, was wrong with the "old and unimproved?" Nothing, as far as I can tell!