Friday, June 12, 2009

Living with the Snow Leopard

I happen to be one of these fortunate geeks that gets previews of many software products before they become publicly available. So, my latest gig, right after the WWDC, has been my decision to give Snow Leo a try, as I thought it would be pretty stable, not?

I was right. I put the new version on my desktop iMac 24" and my MBPro 15", and they both run like a charm. It's so bad that I hardly notice any difference with before. In fact, there isn't much to see above the veil... it's all hidden.

Fine, there are some new elements in the Finder, like better previews of Microsoft Office files (PPTs, and XLSs), in-icon previewing of certain file formats, sizing of thumbnails, and some animated rearranging of icons on the desktop if you happen to force a change of an item's order by changing its name (I've got mine ordered by name). There's this new Quicktime app (that Divx already implemented for ages) that seems to work fine, ok... not to get too excited about - not the end of the world! There's what they showed going on with the stacks too, but in all honesty, I've not been using the old stack features that much anyway, so it's kinda like a virtual welcome bonus to me...

What else? Oh, yeah, the clicking and holding an app on the dock, supposedly producing an app related exposé, doesn't seem to work yet on my boxes, unless I need to enable something that I haven't yet seen.

What I found annoying was the fact that I had to delete all my printers and add them back again. The old drivers were still there intact but apparently after the install the system couldn't work with the previous config. Anyways, as long as you know what to do, it works fine.

The one thing that scared the shite out of me though was the experience I had on the MBPro when I tried to connect my iPhone and open up iTunes right after the install. I got the message that my iTunes Library was created with a more recent version of iTunes so it couldn't open it!!! And dear me, I had no recent backups! Shite! How could that be? Shite again!!! I had not experienced that with the iMac install though. Conclusion: Learn by your mistakes... Snow Leo uses an older iTunes version than the one available at the Apple site, today. With almost explosive diarrhea, I went online to download the most recent iTunes version that Apple boasts and install it on the MacBook. Launched iTunes again and, thank Moses, everything was back to normal. Ouff! I could breath again!

The rest, as much as I could see after 24 hrs of Snow Leo, seems pretty much the same. Except of some feeling that things are moving faster and smoother on anything I did on the new environment, with only one exception: Parallels and Windows. It made me feel like I was working on a PC box again, from the previous century. I hope this was incidental and not a permanent thing. I'm sure the kids from Parallels are all over this, if my feeling's proven correct.

In any case, the only app I had crash on me early on, after the install, was iTunes, of all things. For the rest, I wonder why they don't launch it before the summer. They'd better listen to Microsoft more often about releasing early OS versions to the public... (I'm so bad, ain't I?).

I believe Bertrand Serlet is a genius (despite his froggy accent, but living in Belgium, I'm used to it), and that what he told us about the new advanced technologies that will make 10.6 a landmark version to be genuine and truthful. But the problem is, although the new code they put in and techologies like Grand Central Dispatching must have cost them gazillions, the final result for a dumb average user like myself does not show too much novelty justifying anything than a free upgrade. This explains the historic price drop to 29 bucks an upgrade. In any case, kudos to Apple who, in this case, they have obviously chosen for long term OS quality and smooth user experience than for the short term shareholder buck. It is good afterall that most of their Executive Directors (except his Jobness) do not hold substantial AAPL share amounts, neither options... I think!

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