Saturday, November 3rd, 2007, at 5:16 pm


On Monday night I took the plunge. I installed the latest version of Mac OS, version 10.5 (aka Leopard). This is an account of the installation, my initial thoughts on the OS on the whole, and a list of software that works after the install.

Leopard day arrives!

I pre-ordered Leopard a few weeks prior to it coming out and selected the free shipping option. Now that I think back, it may have been the only option provided but I wouldn’t have gone for an upgrade even if it were available. I anticipated that I’d receive my copy sometime the week after it came out.

10:00 AM on Friday, October 26, 2007, I had my copy in my hands. Wow! It was neat to have it in my hands prior to the official “release” of 6pm Pacific time (9pm my time).

As the total “NP” that I am, I had not prepped my computer at all for this. I always prefer to install new operating systems fresh as it guarantees it will go smoothly and also prevents system bloat (or Win Rot as a colleague adeptly put it yesterday). In the past, this has meant burning CDs or DVDs galore.

On the recommendation of my brother, I checked out this program called SuperDuper! This program allows a user to create a fully bootable backup of your entire machine (minus “the temporary and system-specific files that Apple recommends excluding”).

I had some difficulty running the backup, but it was entirely a result of my tendency to not read directions before jumping right in and trying something. I ran the backup and continued on using my computer as normal which turned out to be a big mistake. Apparently web browsers writing to their cache/history files breaks the backup. A few tries, a number of hours, and some time letting my computer mull things over on its own later I had a working disk image back-up of my entire system. Props to the Shirt Pocket team on making a great product!

Finally, I proceeded with a complete reformat and installation. I took the opportunity to work out as I heard it would take a couple hours. Within 40 minutes, I had a new cat purring at me!

Contrary to many opinions out there, I really like the new “3D” dock-bar.

It’s pretty slick.

The most notable UI enhancement is the final eradication of the “brushed metal” aesthetic. About time. Spaces is already my best friend. There are also some jokes thrown in!

A Mac computer on my network:

A Windows computer on my network:

Finally, the part that people are probably looking for: the rundown of what works.

Programs that work perfectly just by copying them over:
Chicken of the VNC
Google Earth
Microsoft Office 2004 (Believe it or not. The apps felt a bit sluggish at first, but they are fine now!)
Remote Desktop Connection (Beta 2)
The Rosetta Stone
Toast 8 Titanium

Programs that required reinstallation, but work with no problems:
Cisco VPN Client
iLife 08
Little Snitch
TextWrangler (in order to get the command line tools)
VMWare Fusion (Beta)

Programs that don’t work at all or have issues:
CoRD – It seems to have an issue redrawing under Leopard.
Skype – This is a problem. I can run it once, but have to reinstall to run it again. They say it’s a known issue and it’s being worked on.
SuperDuper! – Haven’t tried to install as they specified it’s not yet Leopard compatible on their homepage