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Tech Take-Apart
KP Lets Mac OS X Tiger Out Of Its Cage
by kp

Apple's best operating system has only gotten better with Mac OS X Tiger Edition. Packed with over 200 new features, OS X Tiger is more efficient, automated and secure than ever. Some of the new highlights are Dashboard, Spotlight, and Automator. Plus, many of Mac OS X core programs like Safari and iChat have received several upgrades.

A screen full of widgets
A screen full of widgets

My favorite new program has to be Dashboard. Even though widgets are not new to the Mac OS, Dashboard has made creating and using these mini-apps easier than ever. It works very similar to Sherlock channels but is integrated with Exposé for easy access. Dashboard comes with over a dozen widgets such as stocks, weather, and a language translator. Apple has dozens of additional widgets (most of them free) downloadable from their site, so you can go widget crazy.

Another new feature in Tiger is Spotlight. This new program is the ultimate search engine for your computer. Spotlight gathers info from all of your directories, applications, etc. for key words and organizes them into a priority list. It even looks at images with related subjects to your keyword search. A bonus to Spotlight is that you can save your custom searches into folders for future reference.

One more addition to Tiger is the Automator. This little work-bot has been designed to help make repetitive tasks a thing of the past. Automator is stocked with pre-set functions for applications and can be used to create your own custom scripts. Plus, you can combine your own AppleScripts into the mix to make tasks even more specialized. Automator operates with other programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite to make your publishing jobs effortless. You'll never have to waste time again with print menus, editing photos, or checking your mail—it's all done for you.

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

Apple also has made some notable improvements to some of their existing programs. For example, Safari now has a RSS feature that simplifies web browsing, and a private browsing preference for stealth internet surfing. Apple Mail has a freshly designed interface with more powerful incoming mail filters and parental controls. Plus, security on the Mac has never been tighter with the addition of the Firewall Stealth Mode in the System Preferences menu.

The new Mac OS X Tiger is definitely worth the upgrade—if anything, just to try the Dashboard. Tiger, with its automated tasks and "smart" search engine, has streamlined workflow and systematized information. So don't procrastinate, grab a copy and let your Mac do your work for you.

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