The Operating System Updates of 2009


As all Apple aficionados know, Mac OS X Snow Leopard was released yesterday. Upon receiving a marketing email promising free delivery on day 1, I pre-ordered my copy online via the Apple Store. Unfortunately, as the tweets started accumulating, my account indicated delivery was scheduled for September. I wouldn’t say I’m a Mac fanboy. But I am a tech fanboy. And I want it now. Good thing we live just a few miles from a brick & mortar Apple Store to get my fix.

The Macbook upgrade last night was painless, clocking in somewhere around 45 minutes and requiring no interaction on my part. But there have been scattered reports of Snow Leopard driver and software incompatibilities (a wiki here). I can confirm my Brother laser printer is no longer seen on the network and the Cyberduck FTP client won’t launch (which should be resolved imminently). Other than the low upgrade fee ($30), my primary reasons for joining in are the new QuickTime capabilities and whatever performance improvements it ekes out of my existing hardware. I’m also optimistic that Snow Leopard will overcome my inability to install third party memory. (TBD)

Also on the horizon is Windows 7 – a more substantial (and pricey) upgrade to Microsoft’s much maligned Vista. Much of that haterade is overblown, but there’s been plenty of room for improvement. And having run W7 betas on multiple machines the last few months, I’m quite pleased with what I see (and pre-ordered a copy for 50% off). Plus, I’m hopeful of some exciting Media Center news out of CEDIA early next month.

13 thoughts on “The Operating System Updates of 2009”

  1. since i recently bought a 13in MBP i ordered via Snow Leopard Up-to-Date for 9.95. couldnt beat the price… expected delivery is wed. i thought about going to the store too but i am resisting. i am looking forward to quicktime x’s screen recording, could prove to be very useful as a sys admin…

  2. Not mentioned, Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 6 will be shipping with an updated xf86-video-ati driver ( official released by ATI Linux graphics division ), and will support the Radeon HD series graphic cards right out of the box.

    …oh yeah, Ubuntu is $0.00

  3. Dave, you ordered direct from Apple? I ordered from Amazon via the marketplace link off to the right side of your webpage here (looks like Snow Leopard is no longer listed, but it was for a while) in the hopes that you’d get a little commission money from it. Plus Amazon had it for $5 off, and it qualifies the order for free shipping, so I was able to add in a book I’ve been meaning to order and get free shipping for that too. Amazon isn’t shipping until September 1, and the free shipping may take a few days (though I’ve always found it much quicker than they estimate), but I usually wait a little bit before upgrading anyway — make sure there aren’t any major problems found (possibly even waiting until a 10.6.1 update is out), and waiting until some vital software is verified to work (mostly SuperDuper, which took a few months to prep for Leopard).

  4. I also was able to get the $10 upgrade on my recently purchased MBP, and it just shipped Friday, so I won’t get it until Tuesday.

    Doesn’t look I’ll be able to install though, as with CEDIA coming up I really can’t go without my EVDO modem and video/photo apps.

  5. Todd, I do run Ubuntu on occasion as well. Was pleasantly surprised recently to discover the current and previous shipping versions have decent builtin support for various aircards.

    SN, I was planning to order from Amazon until Apple lured me with launch day delivery. Didn’t realize AMZN also had $5 off. Waiting for the point release is a pragmatic call – wish I had that kind of discipline. I think I get 3% commission or so on Amazon affiliate links – thank you for the contribution to my Starbucks fund. :)

    Ben, Did you dump your MB Air?? I’m still on the 13″ unibody Macbook released last fall. Wish I had a SD slot and backlit keyboard. But my resolve is strong. (And I’m planning on picking up a Windows netbook this fall when better processors and Windows 7 are included.)

  6. Stay away if you use Aperture 2, it’s blowing junks with Snow Leopard, including hard resets if your on battery.

  7. Found two more Snow Leopard issues…’s web Slingbox client either doesn’t like or doesn’t recognize the OS and errors out with: “Sorry, the Mac Web-based SlingPlayer requires an Intel Based Mac with OS 10.5 or higher to be installed.” Also Roxio’s TiVo Transfer app won’t launch. Looking at their forums, they’re working on buggy public betas for Roxio Toast 9 & 10 owners. I’m on 8, so probably SOL.

    These issues are somewhat puzzling as Snow Leopard has been available to devs for quite some time. I’m having XP to Vista flashbacks.

  8. SN, if you want a link to purchase Snow Leapord online, click on the link to my blog and its in a banner on the bottom of every one of my blog posts. ;)

    But, I for one am not running out to get it – though I might at some point. My Mac works fine right now for what I do with it. It’s not my main PC. If the upgrade was free I might get it but at this point there is no compelling reason to pay anything for it.

    I’m also concerned how it might play with my network. I have my Mac set up to access my PC network, to backup automatically to my Drobo hagnign off an XP machine, to print off my printer hung off a Windows 7 PC. I don’t want to play with the balance because it took me hours of research and effort to get it to play nicely on my network.


  9. Dave. I am actually jumping on getting a MacBook pro today since I then can code for iPhone and still have a decent graphics mahine running windows 7 for my 3D software. I know I am paying a premium but not having two machines makes a difference. Plus the battery life on MacBook pro’s blow away anything on market.

  10. My primary reason for wanting Snow Leopard has been full Exchange support. Everything else is gravy for me, as proper Exchange support is easily worth the $29.

    NeoOffice does not work, as well as the aforementioned CyberDuck. OpenOffice does work, however, and I assume NeoOffice (and CyberDuck) will be repaired quickly.

    I had some installation issues on my Mac Mini, but the issue was resolved on the Apple forums by about 3pm EST on Friday. So far, I am very happy with the upgrade and can report that Exchange functionality is as advertised.

  11. i found another issue too. we have a juniper ssl vpn and it doesnt play well with snow leopard when launching the tunneling app. likely changes in java libraries in snow leopard

  12. FYI Snow Leopard disks have boot camp 3.0 drivers. most significant feature: ability to read HFS+ drives. windows 7 x64 is working great with the new drivers…

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