Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard Update

Apple released Mac OS X 10.5.2 weighing in at a hefty 343MB. Generally speaking, Mac OS X 10.5.3 is where the OS is really firing on all pistons. Before that, it’s similar to Windows before SP1. Still some rough spots. This release fixes a fair number of bugs, and adds some polish.

So far so good, it installed fine, rebooted and I’m up and running. Overall not to much changed for me, since my mini doesn’t support menu transparency (which you can now disable). The list view for stacks is a very welcome addition. I’m glad they decided to include that. For larger stacks it’s so much easier to browse.

I don’t have Time Machine running on my mini, so I’m really not sure why Apple decided to make the new menu item for it on by default. In my opinion it should be off unless you setup Time Machine. So I turned that off, and reclaimed a few pixels of valuable menu space.

Still not fixed is the Apple Mail issue I noted before where you can’t view nested mailboxes in IMAP. Maybe next time.

MacWorld SF 2008

Another year, another great day of news coverage. I’m obsessed with watching it evolve and monitor several sites throughout the keynote. As expected this was a pretty big one. I suspect this year will contain the most product announcements of any year for Apple. They have a lot of products due for a refresh and announcements expected. Even Steve himself said:

All of this in the first two weeks, and we’ve got fifty more weeks to go.

In all the keynotes I’ve followed, this was the most aggressive agenda. 2008 is going to rock for Apple products.

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ZFS On Mac OS X

Anyone with an interest in file systems, data management, large scale storage, and security has been keeping an eye on Sun’s ZFS for a while now. Apple looks like it will ship the first consumer-targeted OS to feature workable ZFS support. It’s in Leopard, but read only. Apple has now released binaries and source. It’s still not ready for prime time (not even bootable, and has some serious bugs), but it’s progressing.

While not in Apple’s implementation yet (it is however planned), ZFS supports things like compression and encryption. ZFS is also a 128bit filesystem, so for the foreseeable future, it’s enough storage for anyone. Dynamic striping and Snapshots are also extremely interesting. I’m curious to know how snapshots in ZFS will integrate into Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard with Time Machine. I wonder if complete ZFS support will make a 10.5 revision or if it will be read-only until 10.6.

I am however curious if they have given any thought to solid state storage. It’s pretty clear that’s where the future is headed. While ZFS targets size rather than performance (meaning the two won’t collide for some time as solid state storage won’t be practical for large storage arrays for a few more years), I wonder if ZFS would be able to do things like wear-leveling. So far I haven’t seen any documentation to hint that the feature exists (I’d presume it doesn’t). No idea if it would be something that could be added or if it’s nearly impossible.