Waiting for Tiger

A few weeks ago I ordered the new Mac OS X, codename Tiger, from Amazon. Tiger was released on Friday, and I’ve been checking my order status several times a day since then to see when it will arrive. Amazon makes it really easy to track your order, and I love being able to track packages on their way to my door. Delivery was promised by today, and I’ve been checking the order status obsessively from time to time since Friday, but the site has only reported a frustrating “This item will be shipped soon.” Yesterday I figured they’d send the package out for next-day delivery and (finally) show a tracking number, but that wasn’t the case. Not even right before I went to bed, dammit.

But this morning Amazon shows it was shipped out on the 29th after all, and that headed out from Chelmsford, MA at 4 this morning. Woohoo! Looks like their delivery estimate was right after all, and there was no need to panic worry.

To the Mac faithful, an update to the system software is a major event. As satisfying as buying a new computer, these updates not only add spiffy new features, but generally make computer life more pleasant **and** they usually make your computer run faster (contrast with Windows updates which require ever-more horsepower and memory). Tiger’s brings us Spotlight, which effectively adds a database to the file system and makes it possible to do things like instantly find photos of Julie’s graduation in June 2003 (turning them into a slide show if you wish). Did I mention instant? It’s like a wicked fast Google for your hard drive, results show up **as you’re typing**. I’m really looking forward to playing around with Spotlight.

Dashboard offers a lot of cool new “widgets,” little single-purpose programs. There’s a little calendar widget, a calculator widget, one that tracks flights, and one that shows you weather forecasts. Supposedly it’s easy to create new widgets with a little knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, so there’s something to play around with.

Automator puts a user interface on scripting, making it far easier to automate repetitive tasks like sizing a group of web images to a width of 155 pixels and saving them out to a given folder. This has the potential to bring out the geek in a lot of Mac users who (like me) find AppleScript too hard to deal with.

Oh look, my package just arrived at UPS in Williston! Woohoo!