Mac OS X 10.4 has arrived, with a Hi-Rez secret

As everyone on this side of the galaxy must know by now, Tiger, version 10.4 of Mac OS X (will they ever hit Mac OS XI?), has finally arrived. If you're a Mac head like me you've been eagerly awaiting it at least since the previews last summer, if not from day 2 of 10.3's release.

You will certainly be inundated with reviews, praise, and 'news flashes' about Tiger so I won't contribute to the fray. I'll just say that it looks really good and I look forward to buying the Family Pack. (I wish more companies would make Family Pack versions of software).

My best advice is to go read the Ars Technica review of Tiger. It's incredibly in-depth and has discussion of under-the-hood changes that you won't get elsewhere. Definitely worth reading through. The extensible meta-data and kernel hooks for file updates are very exciting. Oh, yeah, like all versions of OSX it's faster than Panther on the same hardware. I wish all software was like that.

Of particular note, however, is on page 20 (yes, the review is more than 20 pages long, but it's worth it, I swear!) About a third of the way down you will see a mention of a Scalable User Interface! It's turned off by default and only configurable with their debug application, but it works.

You can use a slider to increase user interface resolution of each window separately. Vector graphics and text scales smoothly but bitmaps don't look as nice (as would be expected). An interesting hack, but mainly important because it indicates that Apple is thinking along these lines and they are laying the groundwork for completely scalable user interfaces.

Anyway, just an interesting tidbit to think about this cheery Friday morning.

- josh

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Posted April 29th, 2005