5/29/08
10:40 am

MacMost Now 87: Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.3

Gary Rosenzweig takes a brief look at this new update to Mac OS X Leopard and tries to figure out what is new.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Today is Thursday May 29th and we got a new version of OS 10 that was released yesterday, OS 10.5.3. Let's talk about it on this episode of MacMost Now.
So, here we have leopard 10.5.3, this is the third update to leopard and the first update in three and half months of any sort of magnitude. Now, unfortunately there is not too much to talk about. Unlike 10.5.2, there are not that many new features, just allot of bug fixes. It's a pretty hefty update as well, over four hundred megabytes was my download, and your download will vary depending on your system, and when was the last time that you updated. I've updated two machines so far, and each update took more than an hour. About thirty minutes of download and these are at high DSL and T1 speeds. And then more than thirty minutes to perform the update, and the reboot. And on my Mac Book Pro it actually took an additional fifteen minutes for the machine to kind of calm down, the drive was spinning obviously indexing things. Maybe it hadn't indexed before; maybe updating some files in the background. And finally, I had 10.5.3 installed.
You can go to the Apple site to this address to actually see all of the different changes that were made. The list is quite long when you scroll through it. And mostly it includes things like, bug fixes. For instance, go ahead and read the list you'll see that it continuously contains terms like resolves an issue, resolves an issue, resolves an issue, fixes an issue, fixes an issue, addresses reliability issues. Just about every single change had some sort of term like that in front of it.
So, having looked through all of that and read other reports on what OS 10.5.0 contains, I did find a few things that are worthy of reporting. One is that it looks like drivers have been updated for all of the major video cards that the Mac uses, so in other words, in video HI cards that come with most Macs. So, you may see some improvements in graphics rendering. Also, it seems allot of it seems allot of fixes were addressed towards time machine, both in getting time machine working a little bit better over Wi-Fi networks, and getting it to work better with time capsule. So, if you've been having some issues, and seeing some bugs, maybe they would fix now. We've also seen some changes here for fixing bugs with video and audio stuttering, maybe when playing back with USB devices, in other words, plugging a USB stick in and trying to play a video file off of it. So, perhaps if you have trouble there you got some changes, and improvements.
There is also an Ichat now, in the past you only got last two hundred and fifty messages saved in your archives, so if you had a long ongoing chat with someone, or a group of people, you didn't get the entire thing archived. Now, the entire chat, the unlimited number of lines is saved.
Allot of dashboard wizards were updated as well, so if you're having trouble with those, or maybe they haven't as fast as they should be, you've got new versions of them, although, visibly they look exactly the same. Another change that allot of people are talking about is the change to the address book, there is now a sync option for syncing to Google contacts. Google contacts is your address book that is inside of Gmail, now there's also been some reports that this only works for people with IPhones for some reason, so only if you have an Iphone that syncs with your Mac, does this option appear in address book. I don't see any reason why this should be the case, but that's what is being reported.
Another very tiny change is an ical in the week view, when you go back and forth, you can actually choose in the preferences to go back and forth one day at a time, instead of a week at a time. Really minor change, but it's very useful, its shows you the magnitude of the changes in this revision aren't that big.
And speaking of the Iphone, another reason for this update is the fact the new beta of the Iphone software development kit, beta 6 is now out and only works with 10.5.3. This was released simultaneously with this release of the OS. So, there is defiantly some hooks in here that 10.5.3 needed to be released before the beta of the Iphone SDK number 6 came out, and of course, with the world wide developer conference coming up just a week from Monday, it was probably very important that everything be synchronized and these two releases come out at the same time.
Now, a question I get asked allot when a major release like this comes out is, should I update, or should I wait? Well, a couple of things to consider, first 10.5.3 isn't just totally brand new; it's actually been released to developers for some time. There have been several different bills released over the last couple of months. So, there has been many bugs in it, there has been thousands, even tens of thousands of Mac users that have had it and reported these bugs. Just the same, if you're just a casual Mac user, you want to consider waiting a couple of days, especially if you're considering how long it takes to go ahead and download, and install this. You don't want to do this in the middle of the workday. I recommend an install of this magnitude actually be done at night or overnight if the machine is at work, maybe you even want to consider doing it over the weekend because it just takes a long time; I mean it put me out of commission for a whole hour last night. So, the bottom line is don't be afraid to update, but don't update until you have the time.
That's it for today! Until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.