Mac users give Snow Leopard upgrade mixed reviews

Upgrading operating systems can be a frustrating experience.

When a new version comes out, which is every year it seems, users feel obligated to upgrade, adding more bells and whistles upon layers of other features until, as David Pogue of The New York Times puts it, “You wind up with a huge, sloshing, incoherent mess of a program, a pile of spaghetti code that doesn’t run well and makes nobody happy.”
 
If that sounds familiar and you’re a Mac user, Pogue and other reviewers are recommending Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, released Aug. 28. It’s an operating system upgrade that’s marketed as leaner, faster, and easier to use than its predecessors. No new features are added, and it’s only $30 if you already have Leopard; $170 if you don’t.
 
Pogue says it installs in 15 minutes, then starts up faster, opens programs faster and takes up only half the space on your hard drive of what came before. Snow Leopard frees up 7GB, Apple says.
 
Snow Leopard works only on Macs running Intel processors. It offers 64-bit versions of Finder, Mail, iCal, iChat, and Safari Web browser with major security capabilities. Grand Central Dispatch is a new multithreading technology that provides “maximum horsepower” for graphics processing and games. Grand Central Dispatch makes it easier for developers to write programs that take advantage of chips with more than one processor.
 
Information Week reports online sales are quite strong, topping the chart in Amazon.com’s software category after a week on the market.
 
Jake Widman of bMighty.com upgraded smoothly. He said Safari “blazes,” but the speed increase is difficult to detect elsewhere. He experienced some glitches, but added, “don't upgrade a mission-critical machine until you've tested Snow Leopard elsewhere if possible, and have a bailout strategy if you need one. But judging from my experience, on the whole the upgrade seems like a no-brainer.”
 
Jim Rossman of the Dallas Morning News says "Yes" to the upgrade. He likes that Safari launches and loads the home page in 2 seconds. He likes the version of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard that brings “true compatibility” with Microsoft Exchange, including calendar scheduling, meeting invitations and the global address book. He also praised the new QuickTime X, with its video recording and editing features and its clean design.
 
One reviewer was somewhat underwhelmed by the speed. Rob Pegoraro, personal technology columnist for the Washington Post says the faster performance “remained somewhat elusive” after Snow Leopard was installed on three Macs. He also noted that this upgrade won’t accept all of your existing software and hardware. Wikidot, a Web site that tracks software performance, says Snow Leopard is not fully compatible with more than 100 existing Mac applications, games, and software utilities. Pegoraro said Snow Leopard’s predecessor, Leopard, “still functions quite well in its own right,” and suggested skipping Snow Leopard for now.
 
Chris Gaylord of the Christian Science Monitor says to check for system updates regularly if you’ve already upgraded; if not, wait until the bugs are worked out.
 

You may like these other stories...

Which of America’s major cities offer the most favorable tax structures for businesses? According to a study released on Tuesday by KPMG International, the top five in the United States are Cincinnati, Cleveland,...
By Teresa Ambord There's nothing new about governments trying to use tax as behavior modification. They've been doing it forever, with home mortgage deductions, adoption credits, energy improvement credits, fuel...
By Teresa Ambord Not many political potatoes are as hot as taxes. Whatever your opinion about state and local taxes, it's prudent now and then to gauge how the prevailing rates affect a state's fiscal health...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.
Aug 26
This webcast will include discussions of recently issued, commonly-applicable Accounting Standards Updates for non-public, non-governmental entities.
Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.