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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > What is/was Apple's finest OS X?

What is/was Apple's finest OS X?
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Apr 11, 2012, 04:45 PM
 
For me it has to be Tiger and Leopard. I don't like these animations on Lion, an old OS feels faster

Although not really slippery fast (that was 10.4.11) 10.5.8 was rock solid and has cool features being pre-iOS.

Thanks for reading and for your opinions.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 04:48 PM
 
10.5.8 for all my G4s, and Snow Leopard for the Intel machines.

I'm running Lion on my Intel machines, but it seems they changed a whole bunch of stuff to iOSify it for no real good justifiable reason. Hopefully, Mountain Lion will be an improvement over Lion.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 04:49 PM
 
Tiger and Snow Leopard.

Leopard always felt bloated to me and sluggish on everything I had it on.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 04:52 PM
 
Ever since upgrading my G4 to 10.2 I've found all iterations of X to be extremely stable.

But I suppose if pressed I'd have to pick 10.4.11. Very stable, lots of nifty features (new spotlight, time machine, etc...), and ran like a champ on older hardware.

Of course no complaints with Snow Leopard on my iMac so far, though for the kind of computing I do it might as well be 10.4
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 04:54 PM
 
Thank you
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:07 PM
 
10.4.11 is decent, but 10.5.8 is more feature rich.

I found 10.2 usable, and I was using it full time on my laptop, but wasn't recommending Macs to friends at that time yet because I felt it was still too immature - felt like a beta to me. The later stages of 10.3 were better though and that's when I really started recommending Macs to some people.

P.S. With Lion, I've stopped recommending Macs as much to people. Now I'm more indifferent, esp. since Windows 7 is halfway decent.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:12 PM
 
Aside from a few annoying bugs, Lion has been rock solid and fast for me with a 2011 13-inch MBA. Prior to that I had a PowerBook G4 for about 7-8 years. The last operating system I ran on that machine was Leopard. Snow Leopard is the only version of OS X that I've never used ... because the PB G4 couldn't run it, and the MBA came with Lion pre-installed. The performance difference between these two machines is night and day ... so it's hard to tell what's hardware and what's software. I just know I love my new MBA. I also like most of the changes in OS X. But if I weren't running Lion ... I must say that I liked Leopard better than all the other versions of OS X that I've used.

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Apr 11, 2012, 05:14 PM
 
^^ Snow Leopard has the stability and quickness on Intel hardware that Lion has, but without the strange iOS-like modifications and annoying features like pre-selected automatic re-opening of windows after reboot EVERY TIME. I hope these oddities will get corrected in Mountain Lion. If they do I will likely think Mountain Lion is the best OS X ever.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:15 PM
 
I guess I don't get what 'feature rich' means in this context.

To the average user (which would be me) what functionality does 10.5 give me that 10.4 did not?

In fact, and this has been true for a while now, my only incentive to upgrade has been due to newer programs making old OSes obsolete. I think a lot of you power users, and people who make a living using computers care a hell of a lot more about things most regular users would consider trivial.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
But I suppose if pressed I'd have to pick 10.4.11. Very stable, lots of nifty features (new spotlight, time machine, etc...), and ran like a champ on older hardware.
Time Machine was added in 10.5.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:19 PM
 
Greatest single milestone upgrade: Panther
Finest overall version: Leopard, with Tiger a close second and Snow Leopard behind that

I asked my brother this question and he definitively said Tiger. . .

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Apr 11, 2012, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Time Machine was added in 10.5.
Well that answers my previous question as well. Did not realize that.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:29 PM
 
Probably 10.5. I have my desktop on 10.6 and I'm not sure I notice an advantage.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:31 PM
 
10.5 things that I think are potentially useful for many:
- More reliable and quicker network browsing.
- Better web browsing <-- Safari 5 doesn't work in 10.4.11
- Time Machine <-- My G4 machines back themselves automatically over the network.
- iCal improvements
- Mail improvements (although I'm using Thunderbird in Lion)

Also, to a lesser extent (for some people):
- Stacks
- Quick look
- Preview improvements

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Greatest single milestone upgrade: Panther
Definitely, Panther is what made me start recommending Macs.

Finest overall version: Leopard, with Tiger a close second and Snow Leopard behind that
I agree on Leopard for G4s. However, it's interesting you say Leopard > Tiger > Snow Leopard given your comments about AAPL in the other thread.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
^^ Snow Leopard has the stability and quickness on Intel hardware that Lion has, but without the strange iOS-like modifications and annoying features like pre-selected automatic re-opening of windows after reboot EVERY TIME. I hope these oddities will get corrected in Mountain Lion. If they do I will likely think Mountain Lion is the best OS X ever.
I wouldn't hold my breath on that Eug. From what's been revealed thus far it appears that Mountain Lion will be even more like iOS. Now personally I like the behavior you describe. And when I don't I can easily just uncheck the checkbox here:



But I can understand how some people would rather not have to remember to do that whenever they reboot their machine. Why this checkbox doesn't respect the "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps" option in System Preferences is beyond me! A reboot certainly involves quitting and re-opening apps. In the meantime you might want to try this Terminal hack if you are feeling adventurous:

Disable “Reopen Windows When Logging Back In” in Mac OS X Lion Completely

OAW
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:40 PM
 
I like a lot of the iOS-like features that have been added to Mountain Lion, especially Notification Center.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:52 PM
 
I don't really mind some of the iOS-like changes in Lion, as some of them can be turned off. The one that bugged me the most was the new default scrolling direction behaviour, but at least you can revert to the world's norm in the prefs.

I am annoyed however, by the new Expose. Not the end of the world, but not as intuitive IMO.

I just hope Mountain Lion maintains a certain level of logical sensibility about the iOS feature adoption, as opposed the completely illogical behaviour of the new feature below. Even iOS doesn't do that.

Originally Posted by OAW View Post


But I can understand how some people would rather not have to remember to do that whenever they reboot their machine. Why this checkbox doesn't respect the "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps" option in System Preferences is beyond me! A reboot certainly involves quitting and re-opening apps. In the meantime you might want to try this Terminal hack if you are feeling adventurous:

Disable “Reopen Windows When Logging Back In” in Mac OS X Lion Completely
Thanks, but I already tried that. It doesn't actually work as advertised. It sort of works, in that when you reboot, the apps are not reloaded. However, for example when you relaunch Safari it reloads all the previous windows, so the hack is effectively pointless.

And of course, it's a hack.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 06:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I don't really mind some of the iOS-like changes in Lion, as some of them can be turned off. The one that bugged me the most was the new default scrolling direction behaviour, but at least you can revert to the world's norm in the prefs.
Now that's another one that I like. Well actually I should qualify that. I prefer the "Natural scrolling" when I'm using the trackpad on my MBA. However, I prefer the scrolling in the other direction when using a mouse. So my annoyance with this is that there is a checkbox in BOTH the Mouse and the Trackpad System Preference panes. I should be able to set them to what I want independently. Unfortunately, changing it in one pane makes the same change in the other.

Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I just hope Mountain Lion maintains a certain level of logical sensibility about the iOS feature adoption, as opposed the completely illogical behaviour of the new feature below. Even iOS doesn't do that.
Agreed.

Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Thanks, but I already tried that. It doesn't actually work as advertised. It sort of works, in that when you reboot, the apps are not reloaded. However, for example when you relaunch Safari it reloads all the previous windows, so the hack is effectively pointless.

And of course, it's a hack.
Well that sucks. Sounds like in order to get the benefits you'd have to uncheck that option in System Preferences as well. Which might be OK if you NEVER wanted to use the "Restore Windows" feature. But it sounds like you only want to skip that when rebooting. Apple could certainly do a better job with making sure to have preferences available when introducing new features that significantly change system behavior.

OAW
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 06:08 PM
 
Tiger was very very good. The only feature I'd really miss if I went back to it is Time Machine. Snow Leopard is probably the second best.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 06:24 PM
 
I loved Snow Leopard, but from the previews, it looks like Mountain Lion will replace it at the top.

(Not that I'd want to go back to 10.6, now)
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 07:14 PM
 
10.6.latest
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 07:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
I like a lot of the iOS-like features that have been added to Mountain Lion, especially Notification Center.
There is one feature I hope they ad to go with notification center is shortcuts and i do mean shortcuts to anything. Was playing with a Android phone and you did the swipe down for the Android notification center, but you swiped left while in that to get to short cuts. Very well done and accessible. I hate how I have to do so much to turn wifi on and off.

As for Lion, I would like the same kind of shortcut option in Lion with the notification center for many of the system level options. But of course I guess we have to wait for that to arrive in iOS first before a shortcuts option lands in Lion.

-----------------------------
As for my fav OS X I would have to say Leopard though Snow Leopard increased speed it was less stable. Snow Leopard was mostly optimizations for Leopard.
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Apr 11, 2012, 08:34 PM
 
I'm very happy with the performance and feature set in 10.6.8. I've worked a bit with Lion on my wife's MacBook and on her office iMac and I'm not impressed enough to want to inflict it on my iMac.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 09:45 PM
 
10.6.8

But use 10.7
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Apr 11, 2012, 11:01 PM
 


You selection here is remembered in Mountain Lion, so an improvement.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 11:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post


You selection here is remembered in Mountain Lion, so an improvement.
Awesome. They should fix this in Lion too pronto. It can't be that complex of a fix, and whichever OS project manager for Lion who let this go during beta should be slapped upside the head.

Originally Posted by glideslope View Post
10.6.8

But use 10.7
Yeah, same here.
     
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Apr 12, 2012, 05:32 AM
 
     
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Apr 12, 2012, 08:42 AM
 
Definitely Tiger and Snow Leopard. I'm a little surprised Leopard fares so well with the crowd: while it was a good release, it was nowhere near as good as Snow Leopard.
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Apr 12, 2012, 09:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Definitely Tiger and Snow Leopard. I'm a little surprised Leopard fares so well with the crowd: while it was a good release, it was nowhere near as good as Snow Leopard.
The rose-coloured glasses might be in effect here. 10.5.0 was not a good release, but it did get cleaned up with the patches, and 10.5.8 was good. Leopard also has the honor of shaking out a few old rare bugs and general reliability issues with 10.4 and below, and while that shaking out left some dust that didn't settle until 10.6, it was more...predictable, maybe?
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Apr 12, 2012, 10:00 AM
 
I think 10.6 was almost perfect in terms of UI. Most of the UI changes since then have been a step in the wrong direction. For instance, I'd still use the old style expose instead of Mission Control if I had the option.

Under the hood, 10.6 also introduced some big new changes: full LLVM compiler chain (that was ready for prime-time), GCD, and Objective-C blocks. However, 10.7 did give us ARC, which I really really love. It is much better than Garbage Collection.

So, my vote: 10.6 Snow Leopard
     
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Apr 12, 2012, 11:33 AM
 
@11011001
I agree with you, Lion really feels hurriedly stitched together. In many instances, they have the »right idea«, but the execution sucks. Mission Control, for me, is the most prominent examples, but I also notice a lot more UI glitches (things are not properly redrawn, the active app windows do not become the front-most windows, etc.), so I hope Apple will switch to a tick-tock-style release cadence, and that Mountain Lion is to Lion what Snow Leopard was to Leopard.
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Apr 12, 2012, 12:45 PM
 
For me 10.4 was when OSX finally stopped feeling like an OS under development and became a fully featured OS. It was leaps ahead of 10.3 and is still usable today should you be trapped in an older/slower Mac). 10.5 built on 10.4 and contains most of the features/workflows I use on a daily basis and 10.6 was the release that 10.5 really could have been. The only reason not for running 10.6 is having a G series Mac.

10.7 really seems to offer no real day to day benefits over 10.6 other than iCloud and Apples decision to lock 10.6 users out is an underhand attempt to push people into an OS that is basically inferior. 10.8 has the potential to fix most of the problems 10.7 has however the continued iOsification should ensure it doesn't reach the pinnacle that was 10.6.

Just got my old A3 wacom tablet, well not that old, back out and navigating in Lion using the pen is way more trouble than it should be. The OS really isn't set up for it at all.
( Last edited by Doc HM; Apr 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM. Reason: additional)
     
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Apr 12, 2012, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The rose-coloured glasses might be in effect here. 10.5.0 was not a good release, but it did get cleaned up with the patches, and 10.5.8 was good. Leopard also has the honor of shaking out a few old rare bugs and general reliability issues with 10.4 and below, and while that shaking out left some dust that didn't settle until 10.6, it was more...predictable, maybe?
The biggest for me were the network browsing improvements in 10.5 over 10.4. I dunno what they did, but it just got a lot more reliable.

10.4 occasionally felt a bit faster than 10.5, but 10.5 was actually faster specifically for web browsing, or at worst, at least as fast.
     
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Apr 12, 2012, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The biggest for me were the network browsing improvements in 10.5 over 10.4. I dunno what they did, but it just got a lot more reliable.
I know that they removed lookupd - the daemon that handled DNS lookups and many other things. That daemon caused a lot of freezes for me from 10.4.6 or something like that, and the issue was eventually fixed in Leopard by removing that ancient NeXT holdover.

There is also Core Animation, which I think Safari uses quite a bit.
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Apr 12, 2012, 03:47 PM
 
Panther, hands down.
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Apr 12, 2012, 04:14 PM
 
I will say this: every version of OS X felt better than the previous, until Lion.

I've come to prefer Mission Control (since I could never get into Spaces before and now I actually use it), and I like some little things like the three-tap Dictionary, and window resizing for all sides is wonderful, but so many other little things in Lion drive me nuts.

Safari is now a buggy mess, though I like the new downloads popup and zooming. QuickLook is buggy, sometimes it will play, sometimes not, sometimes drop out of full screen for no apparent reason. Document locking is annoying. No more live icon resizing with the pinch is extremely annoying, I used to use that all the time.

But the strangest thing about Lion were the useless new features. All My Files, does anyone actually use that? Does anyone use LaunchPad when Stacks works so much better? I tried "natural scrolling," but it just confused the hell out of me when I used a mouse at work. None of this affects me, since I just don't use them, but for the life of me I can't see what Apple was trying to accomplish.
     
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Apr 12, 2012, 09:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Awesome. They should fix this in Lion too pronto. It can't be that complex of a fix, and whichever OS project manager for Lion who let this go during beta should be slapped upside the head.
Im pretty sure it was deliberate to force people into accepting this new behavior so not on their bug list to fix for lion.

They need to give us some reason to upgrade to ML
     
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Apr 13, 2012, 03:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
the active app windows do not become the front-most windows, etc.),
I've had this issue for YEARS.

It's no worse in 10.7 than it was in 10.6, especially since it really ****ed up Spaces in 10.6 (one reason I'm much happier with Mission Control in 10.7).
     
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Apr 13, 2012, 03:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I agree on Leopard for G4s. However, it's interesting you say Leopard > Tiger > Snow Leopard given your comments about AAPL in the other thread.
I think Snow Leopard is excellent, but I put Tiger slightly above it in finest release order because we all know SL wasn't that substantially different from Leopard, whereas Tiger was groundbreaking in many respects. Snow Leopard is superior to everyone that came before it, no question, but that's not the question in this thread.

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Apr 14, 2012, 09:50 AM
 
Definitely 10.4.xx "Tiger". When i bought it in 2005, my Tibook felt like an entirely new machine. Spotlight and Exposé (not sure if the last is a 10.3 thingy) enabled a totally new workflow for me. The only points on my wishlist for a "perfect Tiger" are QuickLook and TimeMachine.


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Apr 14, 2012, 12:55 PM
 
Indeed, Exposé was introduced in 10.3.

BTW, about the Tiger ad I posted before, didn't anyone notice a mistake on the ad designer's part.?
     
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Apr 14, 2012, 11:40 PM
 
I've been using OSX since the public beta on a Dual 500mhz G4. Lion is my favorite to date. It screams on my 13" MBA. I also like the refined graphics. Anytime I go to my old Mac Mini the graphics seem lollipop and childish (almost like the initial OS X releases)

I used to hate that applications would reopen windows after I quit them so I unchecked this:



After a few days, I got annoyed that I had to re-open windows and checked it back
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Apr 15, 2012, 05:14 AM
 
Mountain Lion is most certainly the best thus far (yes I know it is still pre-release.) The integration between all of my devices is simply awesome, keeps my desk free of cords. Now if I could just check my voicemail/answer calls from my iPhone on my Mac when I'm using it.

Side note: I've been lurking a bit on the boards as of late and all this 'Snow Leopard is better than (Mountain) Lion' talk reminds me a whole ton of back in the MacOS 8/9 days the 'System 7 was the greatest OS' talk. Onwards and upwards!
     
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Apr 15, 2012, 05:56 AM
 
But...but System 7 WAS the greatest OS - except, it was so much slower than earlier versions.

A IIci, monochrome portrait monitor, running 6.0.7, is probably still one of the most awesome computer systems ever built.
     
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Apr 15, 2012, 06:42 AM
 
I remember 6.0.7 as one of the buggier releases - they only hacked in TrueType support from System 7. No, if we're going back to pre-OS X, I'll vote for 7.1 with System Update 3.0 - on a 68k machine. The next OS to get close was 8.6.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Apr 15, 2012, 07:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I remember 6.0.7 as one of the buggier releases - they only hacked in TrueType support from System 7. No, if we're going back to pre-OS X, I'll vote for 7.1 with System Update 3.0 - on a 68k machine. The next OS to get close was 8.6.
Huh. You may be right. 6.0.5, then.
     
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Apr 15, 2012, 02:02 PM
 
BTW, about the Tiger ad I posted before, didn't anyone notice a mistake on the ad designer's part.?
Take a look at the right margin of the Spotlight window where you clic to group, sort, or limit search results.

It reads:

Group by:
Kind
Date
People
Flat List
--------------------
Sort Within Group by:
Name
Date
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People
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When:
Any Date
Today
Since Yesterday
This Week
This Month
This Year
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When:
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Panther
Tiger

     
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May 10, 2012, 05:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
@11011001
the active app windows do not become the front-most windows
I use an application called ASM exactly for this feature. ASM has something called Single Application Mode that will bring all windows to the front when clicked. This is one of the things I missed most about OS 9. That, and the Apple Menu, but that is what FruitMenu is for!
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May 10, 2012, 05:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Bluebomber21XX View Post
I use an application called ASM exactly for this feature. ASM has something called Single Application Mode that will bring all windows to the front when clicked. This is one of the things I missed most about OS 9.
He wasn't talking about reverting to the inflexible mode of Classic systems (when I want that, that's what Cmd-Tab or clicking on the Dock icon is for).

He was talking about a bug in Lion where individual windows that are clicked in become active, but don't actually come to the front.

Also: wow. People *still* use FruitMenu?
     
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May 10, 2012, 06:42 PM
 
Yep, I do. In fact, it's the main reason I am still using Snow Leopard.

I'd be using WindowShadeX too but they want me to pony up another 15 bucks (already paid for it TWICE! So much for lifetime free upgrades like they promised...), and I said screw that since it won't even work for Lion when I do eventually upgrade.

FruitMenu is indispensable IMO.
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