OS X 10.5 Leopard Frustrations

While I’m very happy with OS X 10.5 Leopard overall and don’t regret the upgrade there are some things that annoy me or a outright bugs.

Let’s get the translucent menu bar and menus out of the way. The translucent menu bar doesn’t bother me because I use a dark background. Still, the translucent menus are a problem when they drop down over other programs. Having the text on the screen bleed through the menus makes them hard to read, looks terrible, and makes no sense. I’ve seen hacks for the translucent menu bar, but nothing on the menus yet.

Also on my list of annoying and counter-productive UI changes are the dynamic stack icons in the dock. I doubt I’m alone in scanning icons in the doc for visual recognition of the icon and not want figure out its physical position. Having the download, documents and other stack icons dynamically change based on the first file in the directory is downright annoying. Luckily there’s a very clever solution that Apple should implement.

On to the area of bugs. On both my iMac and MacBook I’m experiencing shutdown problems. The Mac begins the shutdown process, clears the screen and stays that way forever (which is about 20 minutes in my reality) and I have to power off. The problem only occurs when an external drive is connected and was used during the session. The problem seems to have been fixed with the OS X 10.5.1 update. But it was a sporadic problem so my fingers are still crossed.
While Spaces is still my favorite feature it’s far from perfect. It would be nice to be able to open an app in multiple spaces, with each space having its own instance. Or if an app can have multiple windows (like Finder or Safari) then having a different window in each space should be possible. This would make for easier organization of Spaces by task. The best I can do now is set a program to follow me from space to space which isn’t very efficient.

My MacBook has another issue with the external drive I use with it. Every so often it throws up the error to the left. The SimpleTech 320GB USB drive I’m using for Time Machine is unmounting and re-mounting itself. This could be a hardware problem since I only used the drive a few days before installing Leopard. It happens with both USB drives I’ve tried but not when the drive is connected via Firewire. So it’s either the MacBook hardware or Leopard.

Of course, my iMac has a different problem with the external USB drive. If the external drive is in power save mode when the iMac starts up it sometimes fails to mount the drive when I power up the iMac. I doesn’t happen all the time, maybe about half the time.

With the original Leopard release my Mac Mini (which has an in-place upgrade done) couldn’t connect to my wireless network when starting up or coming out of sleep mode. The OS X 10.5.1 update seems to have resolved this problem.

So all-in-all, not much to really complain about. If there wasn’t something it wouldn’t be a real OS upgrade.