Author Topic: Using Mac OS 10.3 For Music (sos article - Aug 2004)  (Read 3881 times)

Offline chrisNova777

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Using Mac OS 10.3 For Music (sos article - Aug 2004)
« on: August 18, 2014, 12:25:45 AM »

I have been using Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) on my main music-making Macs for several months now, and wasn't really aware of just how much I was using its features until I sat down to write a song with a friend on their Mac, which was still running some flavour of OS 10.2. Within 10 minutes, I had asked them to take over computer operation for the rest of the session, because I was missing the bells and whistles of OS 10.3 so much. Even though Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) was about to be previewed as this article went to press, it will be a while before we're all using it, so let's take a closer look at the handy features introduced with Panther.
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The Wipe-clean Desktop

The most obvious thing I could identify that was slowing me down in Jaguar was the lack of Exposé. I mentioned Exposé in passing in my feature on using Mac laptops for music in April's SOS, but for those of you who are not familiar with it, it is the one feature of OS 10.3 whose use is immediate and obvious the first time you encounter it. It's also the one feature which has its own System Preferences Control Panel, where you can set Exposé up so that Function keys and/or the act of moving the mouse to screen corners will activate it. The idea is pure genius. As we all end up working with so many windows layered on top of each other these days, Apple's system programmers have come up with a way to either instantly see miniature versions of all open windows, or to clear the screen completely so you can see the Finder and Desktop clear of clutterance (a third option allows you just to reveal all of the application windows on their own). So, whenever I hit F9 or move the mouse to the top right-hand corner of the screen, all my open windows suddenly shrink and arrange themselves so they are all visible with no overlaps. Moving the mouse over each in turn displays the name of each and clicking on the desired one brings things back to normal with that window on top. Similarly, if I hit F11 or move the mouse to bottom left, all open windows are shoved off to the sides to make the Desktop completely visible in a manner reminiscent of sweeping papers off a real desktop (the difference being that pressing F11 again instantly puts them all back!).