Ah! I'm so happy with Leopard, which I've just installed in my MacBook, and I can boil my reason for happiness down to one word: Buttons!
Since January 2004, when I started blogging, I have had to keep Mozilla/Firefox open on my computer along with my preferred browser, Apple's Safari, because, in Blogger, Safari wouldn't display a "compose window" with a set of button-icons for adding links, putting text in italics, blocking and indenting quotes, and that sort of thing. Getting buttons in Blogger was something that meant far more to me than any cool innovations like "Time Machine" or "Cover Flow."
All these years I have been keeping 2 browsers open when I used my computer. To use only Safari, I'd have had to type in HTML code whenever I wrote a post. You might think I'd have just used Firefox alone, since it had such an important advantage, but there has always been something different about the way web pages look in Safari that made the other browser insufferable. I can't pinpoint what it was — it was subtle —but I couldn't force myself to switch.
And the Safari that came with Leopard is even cleaner and crisper looking — a big aesthetic improvement over the old Safari I loved.
I also get pleasure from removing a program that isn't Apple. I enjoy the ideological purity, I have to admit. I deeply believe that everything will work out better if I stay within the tender confines of what Apple has decided is good for me (though I do make exceptions, for example, to get those buttons).
Now that I'm purging the invader Foxfire from my MacBook, I'm also going to oust my oldest invader species, Microsoft Word. I'm going to switch to Apple's word processor Pages. This will end a relationship that began in 1985, when I got my first computer, a Mac 512. (I never had the first Mac, the 128, and I distinctly remember the exact tinge of my jealousy when a colleague acquired a Mac Plus. I replaced the 512 with a Mac Classic, which I still have, and which I enjoy firing up now and then, just to reminisce about what life was like with that tiny black and white screen. It's still the best place to play Tetris.)
With that first Mac, I had the Apple program MacWrite, which seemed wonderful compared to a typewriter, but it lacked one thing that I absolutely needed as a legal scholar: footnotes. Microsoft Word for Mac came out in 1985, so I was there for version 1. That was back before people started hating Microsoft. I loved it, because it did those footnotes for me. There was no option to stay with an Apple product back then, and I got so accustomed to Word that I never wanted to look at anything else. Actually, I never much liked the bulky improvements that were added, but it was like being married to it. Word got old and ugly, but I had committed.
But now that I'm getting Firefox out of here, I'm kicking out Microsoft too. For months, maybe years, Word has been suddenly shutting down without warning, which is a really irritating flaw when you write a lot and often have deadlines, as I do.
So, I'm reveling in purification this morning.
That said, I did just order a Kindle, which — just look at it — is so not Apple.
UPDATE: Safari crashes constantly!