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Macworld Expo New York 2002

Is Jaguar Worth $129

Dan Knight

It wasn't the first time I watched a keynote via QuickTime. I doubt it will be the last.

When it works, it works well. When it works poorly, it's aggravating. And when it stops working, as it did about 90 minutes into the keynote, it's very, very frustrating.

Keep in mind that the Macworld keynotes are probably the biggest thing handled by QuickTime - Apple certainly knows how to put their product to the test. Problems with dropped audio, dropped video, serious artifacting, and eventually losing the ability to connect to Apple's stream at all made watching the Expo challenging.


We'll get to see Jaguar, Apple's code name for OS X v10.2, on August 24. I think everyone who uses OS X is looking forward to it, and I believe that a lot of people who stuck with classic "for now" are planning on trying 10.2.

Based on features alone, the upgrade looks like a winner, especially with the threaded Finder improving responsiveness. But is it worth $129?

Sherlock 3

The latest incarnation of Sherlock goes so far beyond the first two versions it should almost have another name. A lot of things you do today with a Web browser will be done with Sherlock under Jaguar.


Not demonstrated, so we have no idea how in the world OS X will use it. Value cannot be determined.


Rendezvous, which lets Macs automatically discover devices on any IP-based network with no configuration, looks wonderful. This is the kind of networking we were used to with AppleTalk, where devices announced their presence on the network - but it works over IP, including cabled and wireless protocols.


With improved support for multiple email accounts, Mail will merit a second look. The spam handling looks spectacular. If you can't avoid receiving spam, at least Mail will make dealing with it easier.

Address Book

The Address Book looks wonderful. I use two email clients, each with its own address list. I use a shareware program called Address Book that handles mailing addresses and phone numbers. MYOB Account Edge keeps its own cards for contacts. It sure would be nice to have them all linked together. That's the promise of Apple's new Address Book.

After seeing Jobs demo Address Book, Bluetooth, and a cell phone, I'll want to add Bluetooth and a new cell phone that works with it. I can't afford it, so that's actually a reason to consider postponing the update to 10.2.


I've been using AIM since the OS 8 era, so iChat is a real yawner. So what if I can use my mac.com email address - that's going to cost money now. It's nice to have a standard chat client integrated into the OS, but unless is includes spell checking, I'll stick with AIM or look at Fire.


My wife fell in love with iCal, Apple's calendaring program. We should all be able to download this in September - or will it require Jaguar?

My wife's business has several employees, most of whom use iBooks with at least 192 MB RAM. They work in various areas, and not all are based locally, so being able to share calendars online could really help with scheduling. Between that and the Address Book, she may be able to justify OS X on all of these computers.

Quart Extreme

My 400 MHz TiBook and my wife's 14" 600 MHz iBook won't be able to take full advantage of Quartz Extreme, although we may see some improvements. This doesn't seem to be a compelling argument to upgrade.


Although none of us use Palms (yet), being able to sync the Address Book and the numbers in a cell phone could be a real plus. One more reason to look at a new cell phone. (The third reason - neither mine nor my wife's work with USB. A cell phone with Bluetooth and/or USB and iSync would be a real winner.)

Jaguar Value

In the final analysis, is Jaguar worth $129?

For those who haven't yet adopted OS X, the improvements probably make this the version you've been waiting for. If you have the hardware (a moderately fast hard drive with 2-3 GB free, 192 MB or more RAM, and a 300 MHz or faster G3 or G4), plan on giving this one a try. With all the current benefits of OS X and the new ones added in 10.2, it's a lot of OS for the money.

For those who have already invested $129 in OS X, it's harder to say. The Address Book has some real value to almost anyone, a mail client that intelligently finds spam could save you a lot of time, and Sherlock 3 may help you streamline the way you work.

Still, I'm not convinced that it's worth $129 for an upgrade. I'd definitely pay $20 to cover shipping and handling, as Apple offered with 10.1. I'd have no trouble justifying $50 shipped for as significant an OS upgrade as this is. I'd probably set $75 as the most Jaguar would be worth as an upgrade. And I can't see justifying Apple's $129 price.

The value is there, but for those of us already using X, it's an incremental value. I wish Apple had announced an upgrade path, such as Microsoft offers with new versions of Windows, instead of simply announcing Jaguar as a new OS with a $129 price.

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