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  • Life with the Snow Leopard

    source: Dot Earth

    As advertised, the new release gives a number of stability and speed improvements, much of which may be be imperceptible to the casual user. This is still a must-have upgrade, though it doesn't provide much white-knuckle excitement for the early adopter. It's an important step forward for an operating system that's been two years without a major upgrade, solidifying what's already under the hood and building a strong foundation for what's to come.

    The only significant piece of software I have that just doesn't work is SonicWALL's NetExtender VPN client. SonicWALL claims to be hard at work on a fix, but for now, I'll have to work around (basically, hauling out my poor, ignored ThinkPad).

    Firefox was having some odd, memory-hoggy behavior until I deleted Firefox and Mozilla folders in ~/Library/Application Support. I did mess around with Safari 4 a bit while trying to figure the problem out. It's solid and fast... I'm considering making a shift, despite my general preference for open-source software.

    The Finder is smooth and visually appealing in its new Cocoa-based incarnation. The massive 512x512 icons are a bit much for my MacBook's 13" screen, but offer yet another reason for me to get that Cinema Display I've had my eye on. One subtle but immensely useful enhancement is the ability to set the default scope of a search. Previously, Finder searched your whole drive by default. Now, you can choose the option of setting the local folder as the initial scope of a search, which is more intuitive and a great time saver in terms of workflow.



    The new black-look Dock contextual menu is kind of cool, I guess, but the Mac purist in me is somewhat offended by the inconsistency. Why just that menu in black? The ability to use Grid view in Stacks, though, is a real improvement. I'd avoided using Stacks, because they were just unmanageable for all but the simplest folder. You can nest Stacks, and view those Grids as well. I am thinking of moving my XMenu folders to the Dock, for a full stock-Mac UI.

    One other feature which appeals to my bithead side is Apple's adoption of the true gigabyte. What the Mac OS had been using - and Windows still uses - is the gibibyte: two to the thirtieth power (1,073,741,824) bytes. Now, when Apple says a gig, it means a gig: a billion bytes. It ends up making your drive look bigger, though nothing has changed... and the amount of space used looks bigger, too, which means the space you saved in the upgrade will actually be more than you think.

    All in all, if you have been sitting on the fence, you should feel confident making the upgrade. You'll appreciate the speed bump, everything works smoother, and it makes what was already the best-in-class OS that much better.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Life with the Snow Leopard started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      21 mins to go? omg are you on 56k?
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      lol, it took me 30 secs to download
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      me too
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      haha.. if not less...im running my download off MYWI on my iphone and im in a deep fringe extended network..its all downloaded now and worked flawless first try...thanks or the tip
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      cool. np
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GregTheWang View Post
      The true gigabyte is interesting...
      Agreed. I didn't realize that until reading this post.
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      nice review
      didnt really notice much at first when i updated my macbook and iMac but after a couple of days use, going back to school and using 10.5 i notice a few of the differences a lot more
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      I got my up-to-date Snow Leopard in the mail this afternoon. Notice the one I bought from the store says Install DVD and the one I got in the mail says Upgrade DVD

    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      I got my up-to-date Snow Leopard in the mail this afternoon. Notice the one I bought from the store says Install DVD and the one I got in the mail says Upgrade DVD

      got mine in the mail friday and it says install dvd...weird stuff..any difference?
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      You were using the up-to-date program to get snow leopard $9.95?
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      nope...older generation macbook pro...they overnighted it to me...$29
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      I dont think so. I didnt want to wait for that DVD to come in so I went to the Apple Store to buy a copy. I got the up-to-date one in the mail and noticed the difference
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      yeah i wouldnt think there would be a difference....just cheaper as a benefit to those individuals that had just purchased a most current generation mac...
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      I guess the Upgrade DVD cant be used to do a fresh install
    1. b3nny's Avatar
      b3nny -
      i believe the upgrade disc only works with previous installations of leopard. The install disc would be needed to go from Tiger to Snow Leopoard.
    1. supreme-livin's Avatar
      supreme-livin -
      my msn is actin all weird since it started snowin

      help pls!!
    1. gatorsm's Avatar
      gatorsm -
      The Upgrade CD updates Leopard and also installs a fresh copy on a clean drive. Did it last night.
    1. AlpineGreen's Avatar
      AlpineGreen -
      The following is the fix to get SonicWall's Netextender running under Snow Leopard:

      1) Delete the old NetExtender application - a reinstall is required due to some profile issues after upgrading to Snow Leopard.

      2) Download and install the latest version of Netextender(3.5.634) from the SonicWall demo site.

      3) It will automatically start and throw up an error (looks like a log file). Dismiss this and quit NetExtender.

      4) Open a terminal window and issue the following commands to fix the permissions on the /usr/sbin/pppd directory as Super User.
      sudo ls -l /usr/sbin/pppd
      (you'll then be asked for the admin password)
      sudo chmod u+s /usr/sbin/pppd
      sudo ls -l /usr/sbin/pppd
      (this will confirm the permissions change)
      exit

      5) At this point you should be able to fire up Netextender as normal with no problems.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i love my snow leopard