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21 gripes with Apple Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Leopard's good, here's how to make it great

Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system upgrade is full of good stuff, but there's room for improvement. Lots and lots of it. We asked Harry McCracken - editor of PC Advisor's US sister title PC World, and an avowed Mac fan - to list his gripes, requests and puzzlements.

11. Now I'm noticing that applications, like folders, need to be shoved forcibly into the Dock. In Tiger, I could gracefully nudge them into place. Presumably, Apple changed this behaviour for a reason; I'm curious what it would be, since the old way was more elegant.

12. Stacks max out if you've got folders crammed with tons of stuff. On my MacBook, at least, only the first 62 items in a folder get displayed; if you've got more items than that, you need to click again, which opens up the folder on the desktop and eliminates the benefit of Stacks. My Applications folder has 125 items in it, so half of them require that extra click. I don't see why an open Stack can't fill the entire screen if necessary, and let you scroll through all your items without opening the folder.

13. If you've got folders within a folder you've turned into a Stack, clicking on them opens them up on the Desktop. I wish that clicking on them would open them up within the Stack pop-up, at least optionally. (That's how the vaguely similar functionality within Windows works.)

14. As long as I'm griping about Stacks, the fact that the pop-up is transparent makes it harder to see the items it contains. Here again, some level of control over Leopard's transparency effects would be helpful.

15. I like Spaces, the virtual desktop-like feature that lets you bop between collections of windows. I could see it becoming as essential to my productivity as OS X's existing Exposé window-management features. But Spaces mixes poorly with two other OS X features I'm addicted to, using Command-Tab to jump between apps and dragging two fingers across my MacBook's touchpad to scroll through documents and web pages.

With Spaces turned on, when I Command-Tab to a new application, I sometimes need to click that app before I can drag-scroll. Other times, I don't have to click, but do need to drag-scroll for several seconds before the application notices I'm doing it. And other times, drag-scrolling just works, with no clicking or waiting required... which is, of course, what you want it to do all the time.

16. Leopard's DVD Player application is a complete makeover of the one in Tiger, with scads of new features. One of them is a nifty navigational option that shows you thumbnail images from each chapter; click on a thumbnail, and you go directly to the chapter it represents.

But as far as I can tell, you can't tell DVD Player to generate these thumbnails automatically - it's a menu item that you need to launch yourself. I'd much rather wait a few seconds and have DVD Player create the thumbnails the first time I put a new DVD into my Mac.

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