So having started writing a final paper for one of my classes, i thought this would be the perfect opportunity to take advantage of Spaces, one of the new features introduced with Leopard. Having to work with various safari windows open (3+, not including tabs), multiple word documents open (3+), powerpoint, bunch of PDF's and Preview as well, managing all those windows would of been a hell hole on a 15inch screen (Macbook Pro). But with Spaces it actually made it feasible to work efficiently. For the non-mac users, Spaces lets you create up to 16 desktops, each with its own independent desktop space. Im only using 4 "Spaces" and while it is a great feature that increases productivity, it does have some downfalls, more specifically bugs that Apple should have ironed out by now.
As i opened up more and more application, spaces became harder to manage by arranging what program i wanted in a specific space, once arranged it was a breeze to go to a specific space either by Expose (i use bottom left corner), or by command + arrow keys. Some of the bugs im referring to includes Preview disappearing on me completely, it seemed as though it was hiding behind an invisible app in another "Space", with only one specific corner not covering Preview. To fix this i had to move preview to another space and move it back. When trying to move a specific window to a different space, often times this program wouldn't budge. When trying to move one individual Word document away from my cluster f*** of other word documents into another space, the one word document would move along with the all the rest of its buddies. It worked out okay when moving the rebels back to where they belong, keeping the one word document where i needed it in the first place. Sometimes move a program to another Space it would disappear in some unknown parallel universe, having to reopen it completely. Also when changing between windows within a space using command + `, it would sometimes switch me to a complete different space.
As far as computer performance goes, with 3 safari windows open with a total of 15 tabs, 1 powerpoint, 4 word documents, 1 preview window, itunes, and mail open, the computer is still very usually. I dont feel a difference at all from when i only have safari and mail open. With only 2 gigs of ram, istat is reporting as 1.15gb active, 326mb as inactive, and 356mb as free, and 184mb as wired, and with 90% cpu being idle. This is under the "better battery life" option in power preference. The only time it felt semi-sluggish is when scrolling through large PDFs, but overall very fast and smooth.
Overall, i know Spaces is a darn good idea. And as long as your not juggling a huge amount of windows/programs, it is very efficient and very manageable. Once the number of programs climb, so does your frustration level in managing it, but once that is settled with, it is a very rewarding experience.
/end damage impression
Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.