Snow Leopard experiences

Posted by: Dave

Snow Leopard experiences - 08/29/09 07:04 PM

I thought it would be good to have a thread where we could share our experiences with Snow Leopard that went beyond troubleshooting issues.

My system includes a 2008 Mac Mini (1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM), the wireless and wired versions of the Apple Aluminum Keyboard, and a Samsung 22-inch LCD monitor set at 1680 by 1050.

To put things into context, although I've owned Apple computers exclusively since 1988, I'm not a power user at all. Everything I've learned about using my computer was not due to interest but out of necessity. To me, my computer is just a tool, and I've only learned what I've had to in order to do what I needed to do.

I ordered my copy of Snow Leopard online from the Apple Store. On Friday, August 28th, the UPS truck pulled up and I signed for my copy of Snow Leopard. I opened it up, quit the applications my Mac Mini was running, put in the Snow Leopard Install DVD, agreed to everything, and then took the dog for a run. The install took about an hour and proved to be drama-free.

Once the computer automatically restarted at the end of the install, I ejected the Snow Leopard DVD and restarted it once again. At first, the only difference I noticed was that my desktop picture wasn't appearing, so I had to reset that. Then I started to look around.

As expected, I gained ten gigs of hard drive space, which was especially appreciated since I've already saved over 400 songs as high-resolution (1411k) files.

From having read an online review of Snow Leopard, I knew that it was now possible to go to System Preferences -> Date & Time -> Clock, and select "Show date" in addition to "Show the day of the week".

So far I have experienced no compatibility issues and nothing has crashed.

Overall, you really notice that the computer is quicker. It starts very quickly, and a restart takes forty seconds. Applications like Safari and TextEdit now open in a small fraction of a second. It could be said that Snow Leopard is the lightweight racing version of OS X.

Since I have yet to explore much else in the way of its features, hopefully others will add some tips for getting the most out of Snow Leopard.
Posted by: Pendragon

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 08/30/09 07:06 AM

A small glitch/nit, and AFAIK, carries over from the days of yore.

When/if dragging the Applications folder to the dock, the application icon will change fom the "Blue A", to that of the Address Book.
Posted by: roger

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 08/30/09 07:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Pendragon
A small glitch/nit, and AFAIK, carries over from the days of yore.

When/if dragging the Applications folder to the dock, the application icon will change fom the "Blue A", to that of the Address Book.


yeah, it seems to grab the icon from the first app in the folder, alphabetically-like.

I am loving the speed of SL, and my only glitch was downloading the new beta of Safari AdBlock, which was supposed to be SL-capable. unfortunately, I started getting the "endlessly loading pages" problem. uninstalling it cured the problem, and I'll wait next time!
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 08/30/09 08:12 AM


If you right-click, control-click, or click-and-hold on the Applications folder in the Dock, can you choose Folder under the Display as heading? That's the solution in Leopard.
Posted by: macnerd10

Snow Leopard first amateur's impressions - 08/31/09 11:03 PM

Just installed the SL over 10.5.8. Went without a hitch for about 40 min. Do not see much difference ON the hood; they say the cat's power is under it. All programs I tried open up and somewhat faster than before. Tried to open Acrobat 7 without installing any optional software. Got a message that I need Rosetta and whether I want to install it. Hit OK and it was installed and Acrobat opened up. The same with Photoshop CS and an older stat program InStat. But the best surprise was permissions repair. No more "reading from the database". Three minutes later the repair was complete with only one permission repaired.
So far, so good.
One more interesting thing (besides splitting keyboard and mouse preference pane). The option "empty trash" in the Finder is gone. Now there is only "secure empty trash".
Posted by: Pendragon

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/01/09 06:29 AM

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

If you right-click, control-click, or click-and-hold on the Applications folder in the Dock, can you choose Folder under the Display as heading? That's the solution in Leopard.


That works in SL as well, though when holding/control clicking, you must change the "Display As" to Folder rather than Stack.

And of course, thanks for the tip.
Posted by: GrayShades

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/02/09 07:16 PM

I got SL last Friday as well. Installation went fine. But I discovered a problem with Mellel. Initially it was reported SL ready, but the Style sets caused several problems. Although I managed to get it working after five days (I was gone for 3 days and couldn't work on it), I could only use two Style sets. Anyway, the developers acknowledged today a problem with Style sets, and they will post an update today or tomorrow.

Otherwise, everything seems to work well. Several programs required minor updates and have worked flawlessly:

1Password
Nisus Writer Pro
Reunion

And yes, I gained 10+ GB after the install.
Posted by: joemikeb

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/03/09 09:51 AM

Three glitches with SL so far. All minor:
  1. I had to reinstall BOINC to get it to work
  2. LaCie Lightscribe images are all dark. I am still troubleshooting this one, but since something is burned on the media, I suspect an software issue
  3. Aquazone screensaver won't run
There is the incompatibility of utilities such as Cocktail, Onyx, TinkerTool System, Drive Genius, and TechTool, but that was to be expected so I don't count them.
Posted by: JM Hanes

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/07/09 10:25 AM

My applications folder was showing up in the Dock with an Address Book icon too (in leopard), where switching the Display option fixed that problem. What I don't understand is why it doesn't revert back to the Applications icon (as it does in a finder window sidebar). That was a really helpful feature! As it is, I now end up squinting at three generic (boring!) folder icons, where the only difference between them are mere ghosts of icons past.
Posted by: jchuzi

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/07/09 10:47 AM

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
There is the incompatibility of utilities such as Cocktail, Onyx, TinkerTool System, Drive Genius, and TechTool, but that was to be expected so I don't count them.
Tinker Tool System has been updated for SL compatibility. Drive Genius has been updated for some degree of SL compatibility but I can't say more than is in that link.
Posted by: Hal Itosis

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/07/09 12:18 PM

I'll toss in a question here: how are you SL users liking Spotlight?

I've read that there is an improved command-F option which (sort of) enhances the initial search window action. Is that enough?

Can we select 2 (or more) folders in ~/Documents and restrict the search to just those particular folders?

How about Spotlight's results window? Are there columns for size and date *modified* now?  [or just 'date opened' like regular Leopard.]

-HI- <Mac OS 10.5.8 until i get a new toy for Xmas>
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/07/09 12:36 PM


You'll want to check out Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: the Ars Technica review if you haven't already done so. (Nothing much about Spotlight, but some interesting stuff nevertheless.)
Posted by: Hal Itosis

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/07/09 08:21 PM

I more-or-less already read that as i copied it into a .rtfd document on my disk. [took at least 1/2 an hour.] And yeah... the lack of detail about Spotlight there (especially as to the results window behavior) was what motivated me to ask my questions here. [ditto the poor Spotlight reportage in Computerworld's article... and MacInTouch too.]
Posted by: macnerd10

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/07/09 10:20 PM

One from http://www.h2hreviews.com/blog/Snow-Leopard-fot-Photographers.html

Finder-
Spotlight:

-Change search locations.
-Change the default behavior of Spotlight to have it search the currently selected folder or your most recent search location.
-Adjust view options for Spotlight results just as you can with any Finder window. Modify the default view as well as the size, labeling, and alignment of icons.
-Search iPhoto Faces and Places in Spotlight.
-Spotlight now indexes Faces and Places in iPhoto '09. Search for pictures of your friends by simply typing their name in Spotlight. You can even search for your photos based on where they were taken.

But

http://www.macworld.com/article/142467/2009/08/106glitches.html

1. Spotlight results in the Finder cannot show additional columns: I was thrilled to think this was going to be fixed in Snow Leopard. After all, Apple's own Snow Leopard refinements page says the new OS includes, "customizable Spotlight search options." I thought for sure this meant the return of 10.4's ability to specify the columns, including Size, that would appear in the Finder's Spotlight search results.

Unfortunately, I am disappointed with the reality. Yes, there are customizable columns in Spotlight's search results—but only Date Modified and Date Created (press Command-J after running a search to see the options). Size, Version, Comments, and Label are grayed out and not selectable!

As such, I'll still rely on HoudahSpot for my Spotlight searches, because it works with Size (and tons of other fields the Finder doesn't support). I really don't understand how something so basic, which worked fine in OS X 10.4, can remain broken nearly three years into the Leopard/Snow Leopard era.



Posted by: Hal Itosis

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/08/09 09:41 AM

Thanx 4 the linx.

Originally Posted By: Rob Griffiths
Unfortunately, I am disappointed with the reality. Yes, there are customizable columns in Spotlight's search results—but only Date Modified and Date Created (press Command-J after running a search to see the options). Size, Version, Comments, and Label are grayed out and not selectable!

Huh? Bummer. crazy


Originally Posted By: Rob Griffiths
As such, I'll still rely on HoudahSpot for my Spotlight searches, because it works with Size (and tons of other fields the Finder doesn't support). I really don't understand how something so basic, which worked fine in OS X 10.4, can remain broken nearly three years into the Leopard/Snow Leopard era.

A mysterious annoyance indeed. mad

--

EDIT: yikes... i didn't realize you were quoting Rob Griffiths there!!!  (i've now edited the quote string to reflect that). Wow... i am bummed with and angry at Apple now. Spotlight still crippled???

Even Panther was slicker: select 2 or 3 folders in the Documents folder, type text in the search slot... BOOM; results from those 2 or 3 folders only.

Has anyone here tried Leap yet? The potential in Spotlight is amazing. Wake up Apple, i'm tired of waiting!

GRRRR.
Posted by: jevon

Re: Snow Leopard first amateur's impressions - 09/08/09 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: macnerd10
Just installed the SL over 10.5.8. <snip>
The option "empty trash" in the Finder is gone. Now there is only "secure empty trash".

I also installed 10.6 over 10.5.8. I still have both "Empty Trash..." and "Secure Empty Trash..." in the Finder menu.
Posted by: donikatz

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/08/09 10:53 AM

Yes, I'm also miffed that Spotlight in 10.6 is still inferior to 10.4 in some key ways. I don't understand why Apple can't just give us a decent search UI. It's so simple!

Sadly, FileSpot is now abandonware. We chose it over HoudahSpot and a couple of others in comparison testing, after we had a rash of complaints from our users (it's always fun to go through upgrades only to have your users see it as a downgrade -- and rightly so). All our users need is a simple way to limit searches to specific (and multiple) remote volumes. Apple inexplicably removed that option after 10.4. FileSpot has a simple way to do it (although still not as simple as Tiger). HoudahSpot's interface isn't as simple as we'd like, but looks like we don't have much other choice...
Posted by: Hal Itosis

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/08/09 02:17 PM

macosxhints to the rescue?

Might indicate that a 10.6.1 update may (possibly) improve things (like how the Stacks -> hierarchical menu tweak in 10.5.1 rewarded Leopard users last go-round.)

The Audacity Of Hope. grin
Posted by: donikatz

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/08/09 02:20 PM

Nice find, thanks Hal! At least that helps with one of Spotlight's most glaring shortcomings. Fingers crossed for future enhancements!
Posted by: LeafsMac

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 08:33 AM

According to all the activity on the "official" 10.6 Apple forums, it's plain to me that Apple rushed this thing out the door without much 3rd party software (especially printers) tested to work, or even yet developed. They also "forgot" to include drivers for many popular legacy printers.

My workhorse printer is an Epson Stylus Color 880, and the only place where drivers are found for that (and other legacy Epsons) is on their European site. The upgrade to SL wiped everything else out (dumb!) and the OS disk does not include drivers.

By the way, it's great to have the ol' MacFixIt Forums back... CNET's new MacFixit is just like any other former excellent service that gets purchased by a big company and becomes gutted and useless.
Posted by: jchuzi

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 08:48 AM

Mac OS X 10.6.1 to address bugs, crashes in new Cocoa Finder

Posted by: donikatz

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 09:16 AM

Honestly, it's pretty much the same story with nearly every major OS upgrade. Folks who don't want growing pains should just wait for the 10.x.1 update (EDIT: thanks for the link Jon!) and should research all their third-party apps & peripherals before running out and buying an upgrade. If you're an early-adopter, you have to expect these things. Not that it makes it okay, it just makes it nothing new or unexpected...

PS: Welcome to FTM! smile
Posted by: joemikeb

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 09:45 AM

Apple does not develop the printer drivers, those are built by the printer manufacturers themselves in cooperation with Apple. Some of the manufacturers choose not to update their drivers, or only a limited number of drivers for what they feel to be their most popular (read latest) models, until after the OS is released and maybe not even then. The rationale being they don't want to spend any more time, money, or effort than they absolutely have to before the OS is finalized. Lately HP has been in the forefront of this trend.

Note: new printer drivers are seldom, if ever, included in the OS updates. If you want the latest driver the best source will always be the printer manufacturers web site.
Posted by: macnerd10

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 09:53 AM

I had some frustration in that department yesterday, trying to set up HP LaserJet 1200. After SL upgrade it refused to run displaying error. I went to the PPD list and it was there. Then I tried HP site and instead of giving an option to download the driver, it said that OS 10.6 includes the driver for your printer. Then I just added a new printer and it worked instantly through Gutenprint driver. Will not bother with HP drivers anymore.
Posted by: macnerd10

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 09:58 AM

There is one annoying bug precluding PowerPoint 2004 to load, with or without Rosetta. No one has come up with a simple workaround except for reinstalling Office. It does work after reinstall. Office 2008 runs fine.
Another "bug" is Safari running in 64-bit mode by default on later Intel Macs. Some things including PDF browser plugin are not compatible. A workaround is to get info and click "open in 32-bit mode".
Posted by: joemikeb

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 10:11 AM

The donationware Startup Mode Selector works well to always start in 64bit mode now and I assume it would work equally well to force a start in 32 bit mode. I am running in 64 bit mode full time and have yet to encounter anything that does not work. But I use Adobe Reader 9 and not the PDF browser plugin.
Posted by: macnerd10

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/09/09 03:06 PM

I could never make Reader work in other browsers than Safari; even in Safari, I had intermittent problems. PDF browser plugin works with all of them. I hope, the author will tweak it to work in 64-bit mode soon.
Posted by: Hal Itosis

Re: Snow Leopard experiences - 09/11/09 01:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis

Now incorporated into a Macworld article:
Posted by: Dave

Snow Leopard 10.6.1 - 09/11/09 03:08 PM

I've just installed the update from 10.6 to 10.6.1 and haven't noticed anything different yet.
Posted by: donikatz

Re: Snow Leopard 10.6.1 - 09/11/09 03:19 PM

Unless you're affected by any of THESE fixes, you prob wouldn't notice anything. My guess is the bad press for the Flash security issue is the main reason they rushed such a small batch of fixes as a full .1 update.
Posted by: macnerd10

Re: Snow Leopard 10.6.1 - 09/11/09 05:24 PM

Printing and e-mail problems apparently affected quite a few people (me excluded). This would justify an update, apart from Flash.