Leopard 48 Hours In

Well, I’ve been “experiencing” Mac OS 10.5 Leopard for about 48 hours now.  After waiting so long and having this operating system so hyped up, I have to admit my reaction so far is somewhat mixed.

My “experience” started off somewhat rocky.  I attempted to do an in-place upgrade in order to keep all my software installs intact.  After what appeared to be a successful upgrade, I rebooted only to see the Apple version of the “Blue Screen of Death”.  Doing some reading later, I have found out that this has been very common with people chosing the upgrade route.

Thankfully, before I started, I used SuperDuper to mirror my internal drive to an external firewire drive.  Rather than fiddle with trying to call Apple’s tech support, I decided to just pop the install CD back in and rerun the install using the “erase and install” option to give me a clean installation.  In the long run, I think that’ll be better and it turned out that I had a few hours that I could burn putting all my software back on and setting the machine back up.

So, beyond setup issues here are a few reasons that I say that my reaction is mixed to the new OS.

The UI is, in a lot of ways just like Tiger.  The basic operation of the OS remains the same.  Sure there are tons of new features and the ones that I’ve seen so far are, for the most part, really nice. However, for those of us who lived through the Windows 95 to Windows 98, this upgrade feels similar in some ways.  There is a little more window dressing so to speak, but that’s not a totally bad thing.

One thing that I did find though is that my copy of Macromedia Studio 8 does not like to run under Leopard.  However, after a quick visit to Adobe to get the upgrade to Creative Suite 3 Web Premium (which I should have already done by the way) and a 3+ GB download, Adobe’s suite is running great.

Beyond that, I’m liking what I see so far with Spaces and Stacks.  I’m still trying to get them set up exactly like I want, but I can see some real benefits  is spending some time to configure this for the way I use my computer.

I’ve not goten Time Machine set up yet as my external drive stil holds all the data from my Tiger install that I backed up before I started.  I’m going to have to boot from that drive at least once to export some data from a couple of applications that I had installed before. I have a USB external drive that I may use for Time Machine (it’s much more portable than my firewire drive) and continue to use the firewire drive for SuperDuper images since I can boot from it.

I also like the new things in Finder.  I’ve used Cover Flow a bit and that looks like it will be nice.  The network locations in the Finder sidebar are a little confusing though.  I may have some DNS conflicts inside the house to clean up before that becomes really useful.

Anyway, so far the positives outweigh the negatives, so I guess it was a good purchase.  I’ve been waiting to upgrade the girls’ Macbooks until I got a little experience with Leopard on my own machine.  I’ll probably try to upgrade theirs in the next day or two (after a SuperDuper mirror though of course).

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