Now that I have been running OS 10.6 (aka. Snow Leopard) on my 2006 MacBook Pro for a week. I can offer my opinions of the latest OS X. Twitter followers had heard me complain that my MacBook Pro was very slow with certain apps, including those that others had raved about for being improved and much speedier.

If you read my post, Snow Leopard Now Installed, you will know that I spent some time examining all the Extensions, Input Managers and Plug-ins, to ensure compatibility with OS 10.6 before I upgrading my MBP. So I don't believe the application slowness was due to the incompatibilities of Extensions, Input Managers or Plug-ins.

One thing that may cause my poor experience is the fact that my MBP has an Intel Core Duo rather than a Core 2 Duo, so it is not a 64bit processor.

As readers of my other post; mentioned above, or people who had installed OS 10.6 know, the update has recovered about 50% more free space on the boot hard drive. This savings may have hidden the fact that applications are occupying more RAM than before, which may be another reason why my MBP is slow. As my MBP has a maximum RAM capacity of 2GB, which I had already maxed out.

So what I decided to do was to sell my tired MBP and replace it with one of the latest MBP 15" model.

My conclusion is that if you do not have one of the later Macintosh from late 2008, there is really no need for you to upgrade to OS 10.6. You can hold off on the upgrade until there is a requirement from one of the applications you use to upgrade. Even then you should read my post, Snow Leopard Now Installed, and do the check of your Extensions, Input Managers or Plug-ins for incompatibilities before upgrading.

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AuthorVinko
CategoriesApple Inc-

As many of you know Apple released the latest version of OS X, 10.6 (aka. Snow Leopard) on Friday, August 28, 2009. I had pre-ordered this version on Tuesday, when Apple began accepting orders on their online store for HKD238.00. Apple had originally told me that my order was going to ship on August 28 and I would not receive the shipment until Monday, August 31. Although I was a bit disappointed I was glad to have the time to prepare my Mac for the upgrade. So I was caught by surprised when Apple delivered my shipment on Saturday, August 29.

You ask, "...prepare my Mac for the upgrade"? Yes, I normally do a fresh Time Machine backup and a full image backup of the boot up drive before I attempt any OS upgrade. Since this time it is a dot release, and the amount of changes to the underlining OS, it is even more important to do so.

For the case of OS 10.6, almost all components of the system has been rewritten in 64 bit architecture. Even the kernel; underlining engine that drives the OS, boots up in 32 bit mode by default unless the user holds down the "6" and "4" keys during boot up, but all 64 bit application will run in 64 bit architecture. The reason booting up in 32 bit mode by default is for general compatibility with the early Intel based Macintosh (Intel Core Duo) which are 32 bit.

Due to this 64 bit architecture, there is also a great deal of incompatibility for Plug-ins, Extensions, and Input Managers. It is best to examine the usual locations for these items for incompatibility first before performing the upgrade. You can use the excellent crowd source list at SnowLeopard.Wikidot.com to see if the applications, extension and plugins are Snow Leopard compatible.

The usual locations for Plug-ins, Extensions, and Input Managers are:

  • /Library/Adddress Book Plug-ins/
  • /Library/Contextual Menu Items/
  • /Library/InputManagers/
  • /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
  • /Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/
  • /Library/PreferencePanes/
  • /Library/QuickTime/
  • /Library/StartupItems/
  • /Library/Widgets/
  • ~/Library/Adddress Book Plug-ins/
  • ~/Library/Contextual Menu Items/
  • ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
  • ~/Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/
  • ~/Library/PreferencePanes/
  • ~/Library/Widgets/

Note: the "~" represent the Home directory of the current User account

Since this version of OS X is an upgrade, there was not the usual options in the Installer to do an "Archive & Install" or "Erase & Install". I was going to do a fresh install but erasing my hard drive, install a fresh copy of 10.5.8 then upgrade it to 10.6, but I decided not to. If you want to do so, you will have to first erase your hard drive using Disk Utility, then install OS 10.6.

Apple said that the new OS has a smaller foot print, which was indeed true. I compared my hard drive's free space (26GB) before upgrade to after the upgrade (39.3GB), which means I gain 50% more disk space after the upgrade. During the installation wizard I did choose my normal Customized install, by excluding all Language version of OS X and Printer Drivers. Although, this time the Installer had a new option for Print Drivers, which is to install only the Print Driver necessary for this Mac.

After about 12 hours of use, I find OS 10.6 to be pretty good. So far there are no incompatibilities that I can see, especially after I removed all known incompatibilities prior to the upgrade.

My main advice to all is make sure you have a full backup before attempting the upgrade.

Posted
AuthorVinko

As all of you know the pending release of Apple's latest version of OS X, version 10.6 (aka Snow Leopard), will be available this Friday, August 28th. To help you decide whether to purchase this upgrade, or more precisely, whether the applications, utilities and plugins you're using are compatible with OS 10.6. There is a Wiki created to track such information.

So before you rush onto Apple Online Store or other online retailers to place your pre-order. You may want to run down the check list first. See if one of the applications you depends on is on the list. If it is marked as not compatible, you may want to check with the developer before making your purchase.

Snow Leopard Compatibility Chart

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AuthorVinko
CategoriesApple Inc-

OS X Snow Leopard

While checking Apple Online Store Hong Kong last night I pre-ordered OS 10.6 (aka Snow Leopard), also bought an Airport Express to replace my dying Airport Extreme (white flying saucer).

This is the first time in the past 20+ years that I pre-ordered Mac OS. I personally have a MacBook Pro 15" (mid-2006 MacBookPro1,1) so will not be able to take advantage all that are new in the latest OS. Does this qualify me as a true fanboy?

I recommend anyone with dual core and dual graphic cards to upgrade to OS 10.6, everyone else can wait until more reviews of OS 10.6 are released here on this blog. Unless you're a die-hard like myself.

OS 10.6 Order

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AuthorVinko
CategoriesApple Inc-