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August 12, 2005

Oblique Justifications

I've been holding off on purchasing Tiger for my iMacs, since (a) the feature additions seem uninteresting and (b) early releases have seemed very unstable to judge by the forum chatter at various Mac troubleshooting websites. But now I've seen something that I must have! The Oblique Strategies widget, which only runs on Tiger. What is it? It's a little quick access desktop tool that replicates Brian Eno and Peter Norton's card deck of the same name.

Readers of this site know that I'm a long time fan of Brian Eno, especially his 'pop rock period'. These cards come from around that same timeframe, and remind me of gentler days. Will I really run out and buy Tiger so I can run this widget? Nah. But the next time I'm weighing the usefulness of Tiger, this will put a thumb on the scale.

Posted by dpwakefield at August 12, 2005 06:35 PM


Thanks so much for pointing me to these things! I hadn't heard of Oblique Strategies but it is so up my street it's not even funny.

I've already installed the widget.

Seriously, Tiger is ready now. It was never all that buggy to begin with (I follow all the same web sites I'm sure you do, and it's the folks with a zillion hacks and mods that are always complaining about bugs and instability. Sheeyah!), and whether you care about Spotlight and Dashboard and all, it's great for a more responsive finder, a better Safari, and more of 'teh snappy' in general. It looks nice too.

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at August 12, 2005 09:24 PM

"it is so up my street it's not even funny"

Though that statement makes me smile ;^)~

As for Tiger, thanks for the insight, Pascale. I'll need to buy the family pack, since I usually do the revision across all my computers. That means saving for a few paychecks, since I work under an allowance system, and have other expenses!

I'll surely post here when I get around to grabbing it.

I'm still a little concerned about the various performance issues (like Spotlight indexing). My wife inherited my original all-in-one iMac (slot loading CRT), and she complains constantly about how slow it is. I'd hate to make it even slower for her!

Posted by: Donald Wakefield at August 12, 2005 09:49 PM

Spotlight indexing happens all at once, when you first install it. There after, a file is reindexed when it modified. There is, in effect, NO performance hit.

I think in fact you'll find that all your machines feel faster.

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at August 13, 2005 06:17 PM

I know that is what is *supposed* to happen, but once again, Macfixit and Macintouch users report the disk getting hammered long after a complete update. And Dashboard is supposed to be both a memory hog and a cpu hog. Clearly this doesn't happen to you, but as I said, my wife's machine is *already* slow, so I'm reluctant to take the chance.

I'm glad it works for you, and I suspect it would work fine on my iLamp, but that old slot loader (I can't believe I just called it old!) seems cursed. I suppose I could just update the iLamp and my laptop, but when you pay for a five-seat license, you really want to use it.

So thanks Pascale. I appreciate getting real world feedback from someone I know (via weblogs) rather than just all those folk on the Mac forums, and you do make me more confident about upgrading. Probably before the end of the year...

Posted by: Donald Wakefield at August 13, 2005 09:54 PM

One last thought: the biggest single improvement for any Mac OS version I've ever installed was a generous dollop of RAM.

My pokey ol' G3 500 MHz iBook does Tiger just fine, in part I'm sure because I've maxed out (650 MB) its RAM.

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at August 16, 2005 09:21 PM

Thanks for the tip, Pascale. Jean's computer has 1 GB in it, so I doubt it's the problem. I may look into it before upgrading though.

Posted by: Donald Wakefield at August 16, 2005 10:04 PM