Apple and consumer electronics “superstore” Best Buy have a long, on-again, off-again sales relationship. Today you can buy an iPod (all varieties) from a Best Buy store, if you’re lucky enough to find one in stock. Multi-colored G3 iMacs once graced Best Buy shelves, but only a few test markets have seen the current crop of iMacs.
Looks like the computer side of the relationship is back “on”, as Best Buy is now stocking (and selling online) both models of the Mac mini. This means that your new Mac mini is now as close as the Maine Mall. As of this writing, the Portland store reports they’re in stock.
Also as of this writing, the release date for Mac OS 10.4 “Tiger” has not been officially announced. Several internet sources are reporting that a recent build (version) of the much anticipated upgrade has been designated “Gold Master”. In “developer-ese”, this means the feature set is “frozen” and the operating system is ready to be released to manufacturing for duplication and packaging. Perhaps the Tiger will still pounce in late April.
As promised, I am going to begin previewing some of the new features in Tiger. This week: Spotlight. Spotlight is a desktop search technology that can find anything on your computer with breakneck speed. Here’s how it works. From the moment you install and start running Tiger, Spotlight is at work “in the background”, transparently indexing all your files, at the core level of the operating system. It not only looks at the filename, but also the “metadata” inside file formats like photos, MS Office documents, PDF files, and email. If you make changes to a file, or add a new file, the index is immediately and automatically updated.
How can Spotlight improve your computing experience? In the upper right corner of the Finder menubar, click the Spotlight icon. A drop-down window appears, and you start typing in, say, the word “beach”. Boom. A larger Spotlight window opens, with the search results, sorted by any criteria you wish. Photos from within iPhoto with a filename, comment, or keyword (anything in the photo’s metadata) containing the word beach. An email wherein a friend asked you if you wanted to go to the beach. A PDF file with the word “Beach” inside. Click the link to go right there. Very cool.
More on Tiger (hopefully an official release date) next time!
© 2005 Peter F. Zimowski