Monday, 7 September 2009

The Snow Leopard Cometh

After using my lovely Gen1 Macbook for nearly three and a half years with it's default Tiger install, I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to the latest incarnation of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard. I never upgraded to Leopard because, well, Tiger did everything I want and better the devil you know. Or something. I dunno, Leopard just never really "clicked" with me. However, as soon as I heard about what Apple were doing with Snow Leopard I signed up for notification of release.

Snow Leopard isn't a dramatic upgrade from the point of view of the user interface. It's very much just Leopard with polish. But what polish! Lots and lots of small incremental improvements, including a smoother Dock, better popout windows for folders in the Dock, an overhauled Finder, improved window display in Exposé, better image preview and selection in the picture importer ... Just generally better.

Installation was ... well, very boring. Insert disk, double click installer, click continue a few times ... and wait for half an hour. After an automatic reboot, I was sat at the login window. All done, all working.

As part of the upgrade process I got the latest versions of iLife and iWork bundled in the "Mac Box Set". I was still running iPhoto '06 so upgrading to '09 has provided a nice eye opener. Events and face recognition work brilliantly, and the whole thing feels a lot less clunky, which is odd because I'd never noticed the previous versions clunkiness until I played with the new one!
Not much else to report really. I'm very happy with the upgrade, and it's made my aging laptop quicker, prettier and has already improved productivity thanks to the numerous small improvements to the window manager and built-in tools. Top stuff.