As I have written about here before, last year, while I was spending multiple hours a week at the oncologist during my chemotherapy treatment for cancer, I bought myself a Mac Book Pro (MBP) laptop to keep me preoccupied. I have owned a variety of computers over the years and while I had used Macs a bit before, I had never owned one. Since then my Mac Book Pro has become my favorite machine to use (shhh don't tell my other computers or they may get jealous!).
Anyway, my MBP came pre loaded with Mac OS X 10.5 and I tried to always install OS updates as they came out, up to and including 10.5.8. This weekend I went own to the Apple store and paid my $29 for a copy of the new OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) release. I was a little nervous about doing this more major upgrade as I knew that most of the enhancements where not things you could easily spot in the user interface but were under the covers and I had heard of a few tools that I use regularly that had stopped working with 10.6. I went ahead anyway with the install. My summary so far is that things are going fairly well. The install (over the top of 10.5.8) went without a hitch. The machine seems a bit snappier now, definitely seems to come out of sleep faster and it uses a lot less disk space for OS components. I got well over 10gb back on my disk
The user interface geek in me was hoping to see a few more toys but as an old operating system guy myself I full appreciate what a task it is to do a migration such as the one I believe that took place to get 10.6 done. I remember way back in the early 1990's when we moved OS/2 from being a 16-bit operating system to being a fully 32-bit one. It is a non trivial job but at the time it enabled us to do a lot more with the OS. I hope that now that Snow Leopard is out we will see some new toys come along that exploit the 64-bit support..
Some things did break though. The worst one was the VPN that I use to dial in to work but a new version was released within 24 hours and I am up and going again. Great work by the developers! The built in VPN support in 10.6 is also rather nice. Of the other things that broke, all of them were freeware or shareware tools and utilities developed by individuals and in each case the problems seem to be related to the 64-bit API changes in 10.6 The good news is that fixes are on the way from the folks who made the tools.
My next project is to make time one evening to update my XCode development environment and do some more coding.
None of the mainstream apps I use like browsers, office suites and programming tools seem to have any problems. I also use VMWare Fusion to run Windows and Linux virtual machines and that all seems to work fine still.
I'll post again as I get to know Snow Leopard better.