What's New in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther
Disclaimer: although I am an Apple Certified Trainer by day, this guide is not endorsed by or affiliated with Apple in any way, nor is it indicative of future Apple Training courses. It is based entirely on my own personal experience and research. Any inaccuracies are my fault. Comments and corrections welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to thank Colin Grady, Maciej Ceglowski, and Joey deVilla for mirroring these screenshots during the first-day crush, and Joshua Schachter for teaching me more about Apache performance tuning than I ever wanted to know.
The Installer menu has a new "Choose Startup Disk" option which offers the same functionality as the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences. Also, if you quit the installer manually, you are given the option to explicitly set the startup disk before rebooting.
Also under the Installer menu, Disk Utility is greatly expanded. More on this later.
"Customize" has more options. You can unselect individual additional applications (such as Internet Explorer, iTunes, iMovie) to save space. Safari 1.1 is the default browser for Mac OS X 10.3, so Internet Explorer is no longer needed. You can also install additional speech voices and the X11 subsystem, although neither is installed by default.
There appear to be significantly more printer drivers included in the default install, and even more available in the custom install, including the open source GIMPPrint drivers that were previously available separately. You can save a nontrivial amount of space by deselecting the printer drivers you will never use; all told, they take about 1 GB.
Finder and first impressions
Application switching (command-tab) no longer uses the Dock, but instead pops up a pseudo-window displaying the currently running applications (like Windows). You can navigate through the applications by repeatedly pressing Tab, or by moving the cursor over a particular application. An application is chosen when you release the command key or click the mouse.
The icon toolbar, which used to be along the top of the window, is now along the left. By default, the icon bar includes all mounted disks and partitions, removable discs, and mounted file servers. This is configurable in the new expanded Finder preferences window, on the Sidebar tab.
The Advanced tab of the Finder preferences window contains a grab bag of other options: showing hidden file extensions, warning before emptying the trash, and selecting languages for full-text searches.