Archive for Snow Leopard

Apple Opens App Store For Macs…. But For Snow Leopard Users Only

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 6, 2011 by itnerd

Got a Mac? Running Snow Leopard? Great! Now you have an app store of your own. Just like those iPhone users, Apple announced today that they have an app store for Mac owners:

Apple® today announced that the Mac® App Store℠ is now open for business with more than 1,000 free and paid apps. The Mac App Store brings the revolutionary App Store experience to the Mac, so you can find great new apps, buy them using your iTunes® account, download and install them in just one step. The Mac App Store is available for Snow Leopard® users through Software Update as part of Mac OS® X v10.6.6.

So if you’re running Leopard (10.5) on that PowerPC Mac of yours, you’re out of luck. If you’re running Leopard on your Intel Mac, you’re also out of luck. Thus it’s time to upgrade, just like I said previously.

Back to the app store. It seems to have a few tricks to it. For example, it recognizes that I’ve installed iLife on my Mac. Interesting. I wonder what other info it looks for. Privacy policy anyone? Anyone? I also note that there are substantial discounts for Apple apps. For example Aperture is $219 in the Apple Store. It’s $79 on the app store. Other Apple apps have similar discounts. Clearly if you want to buy Apple apps, you should buy them through the app store.  You can also buy the different pieces of iLife and iWork rather than being forced to buy the whole suite. Interesting tactic.

Users aren’t forced to use the app store, but I see this driving a significant amount of Mac users application purchases as it’s a very safe bet that this will be installed on every Mac at the factory. You can also bet that Apple is hoping that their cut of each sale is going to be a huge revenue driver. After all, it’s not about the apps. It’s about the cash.

Look What Arrived This Morning….. [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 15, 2009 by itnerd


This is the Snow Leopard Up To Date disk that seemed to disappear for myself and others and required a call to Apple to get another one shipped in a timely manner. Mr. Mailman dropped it off today. There is no postmark on the envelope so I can’t tell if they actually shipped it on the 28th like they said. It was shipped from Valencia Ca, so I suspect that it was going by mail all the way and Purolator was never involved in the actual shipment.

At least it didn’t get lost.

UPDATE: To those who’ve contacted me regarding buying the retail copy I got from Apple, I’ve already unloaded it. Thanks anyway.

So I Installed Snow Leopard, And…. [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 12, 2009 by itnerd

.. I have to admit, Apple has the upgrade process dialed in. Here’s all I had to do to upgrade:

  1. Insert the Snow Leopard disk
  2. Double click the installer
  3. Agree to the license agreement
  4. Choose the drive I wanted to install Snow Leopard to
  5. Type in my password.
  6. Go find something to do for 50 minutes (in my case I did the dishes).

That was it. Dead simple. The installer did it’s thing and 50 minutes later I was running Snow Leopard. Another 5 or 6 minutes after that I downloaded and installed the 10.6.1 update. And all is good. Here’s my initial impressions:

  • My system starts up slightly faster.
  • I gained back some disk space. I can’t recall what my disk space was before I did the upgrade, but I’ve gained at least 5 or 6 GB back for sure.
  • The Finder (the user interface for Mac OS X) is a lot better. A lot of stuff that has annoyed me about the Finder is finally fixed. For example folder windows consistently open to where I left them last time I was in the folder. That was something that really annoyed me. Also when you click on a folder in the dock, you can finally drill down to sub folders in that view rather than clicking on the folder and having it open a new Finder window. Very cool!
  • The system “feels” slightly faster doing some things, and the same doing other tasks. YMMV.

In terms of stuff that broke after the upgrade. That list is thankfully short:

  • iAlertU crashes when you trigger the alarm. Hopefully it gets updated soon. Until then, I’m not using it.
  • I use a program called MP3Gain to normalize the volume levels of my MP3s. It wanted to install Rosetta which is the software that allows Power PC applications to run on Intel Macs. That was a non-starter for me as I have no interest in having Rosetta on my system. So knowing that MP3Gain is simply a front end for a UNIX application called AACGain, I knew that if I replaced the Power PC version that was inside the application bundle with an Intel one, it would work fine. So that’s what I did and the application works fine under Snow Leopard.
  • My FTP program Cyberduck didn’t work under Snow Leopard, so I’m running a beta version at the moment (which seems really stable).
  • My D Link DNS 323 NAS box wasn’t liked by Snow Leopard because of the version of SAMBA running on it. I could see it, but I couldn’t access the files on it. Not good. So I’ve updated to a beta firmware that has an updated version of SAMBA. It too is remarkably stable for a beta product.

With the exception of the MP3Gain issue, I expected all of those things to happen as I checked this list before upgrading and did some Google searches as well. Plus if things really went south, I had a recent backup (you do back up your computer don’t you?) from the night before. I also proactively updated a lot of my applications to Snow Leopard  compatible versions. So that likely made the upgrade process easy. I’ll have to play with it some more to get additional impressions, but I’m pleased with how things went. Given the circus that I had to go through to get my copy of Snow Leopard, that’s a good thing.

UPDATE: Another thing I’ve noticed, my file copies over Gigabit Ethernet are MUCH faster in Snow Leopard.

Snow Leopard Updated…. That Didn’t Take Long

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 10, 2009 by itnerd

Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.1 tonight to the universe. It fixes the following problems:

  • compatibility with some Sierra Wireless 3G modems
  • an issue that might cause DVD playback to stop unexpectedly
  • some printer compatibility drivers not appearing properly in the add printer browser
  • an issue that might make it difficult to remove an item from the Dock
  • instances where automatic account setup in Mail might not work
  • an issue where pressing cmd-opt-t in Mail brings up the special characters menu instead of moving a message
  • Motion 4 becoming unresponsive

There’s a bunch of security fixes tossed in as well as an updated Flash player as well to solve that rather sneaky downgrade of Flash that 10.6 did to users. Snow Leopard users can grab this update via Software Update. I’d download, try it, and let you know what I think, but I’m still waiting for my copy of Snow Leopard. Oh well. I’ll just have to download the Security Update for Leopard instead as it contains many of the security updates that appeared in 10.6.1. Oh you Tiger users on Intel and Power PC can feel the love too as there’s a Security Update for you as well.

It’s Been A Week And Still No Snow Leopard Up To Date DVDs [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 10, 2009 by itnerd

It’s been almost a week since I posted this story and it seems that Canadians are still not getting their Snow Leopard Up To Date DVDs from Apple. A quick look at Twitter as well as shows several things:

In my case, I phoned Apple and got a very helpful customer service rep who is creating a new order for me as we speak. The plan is to ship out a retail copy which I should get by the 18th of this month. So it does seem that Apple is trying to address this, but they are not doing this proactively. While it may be a lot of work for Apple to be proactive, it may create some good will if they reach out to their customers to deal with this rather than have their customers call in ticked off and complain.

Oh yeah, I’m still waiting for Apple P.R. to get back to me in regards to this issue. Not that I’m shocked by that or anything. Still, it might be worth it to them to at least comment on the issue to show that they at least care.

UPDATE: Apple P.R. may not want to speak to me, but their shipping department does. I just got a shipment notification which means my Snow Leopard is in transit. It has a tracking number (unlike the last one shipped by Canada Post) so I should be able to see its progress. Perhaps by Monday I’ll have it in my hands. By the way, others on ehMac who called Apple to complain are reporting the same thing.

Has Apple Dropped The Ball On Shipping Snow Leopard Update DVDs To Canadians?[UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 4, 2009 by itnerd

There’s a fairly lengthy thread on Canadian Apple Fanboi Site where disgruntled Canadian fanbois are venting. Why? Many of the people venting ordered Snow Leopard Up To Date DVDs as they have recently purchased a new Mac and are thus entitled to a upgrade at a lower cost. While retail copies have long since arrived in the hands of happy Mac owners, those who ordered the Up To Date DVDs are still waiting. According to the order status, they’ve been shipped by Purolator/Canada Post, but it’s a safe bet that they really mean Canada Post as Purolator is owned by Canada Post.

Here’s a sampling of what is being said:

According to Apple my shipment was sent by Purolater to a Canada Post depot where it will be sorted and hopefully delivered tomorrow or the day after … or the day after that. The customer service rep told me that if it doesn’t arrive by Tuesday I should call back and they would see about sending out another one .

Is Apple trying to save a few $$ here? I realize this was a U-T-D order for $13 , but why not just courier it directly to my house? They should perhaps reconsider their shipping options.

Well Purolator/Canada Post has failed on their 6 day time frame… not once, but by the looks of it…. hundreds….. I am pretty sure Apple could get something out of it….

Well I called purolator but they could tell me where my package is, since I have no tracking #, and I told them the situaltion. They told me to wait until tuesday, and if I dont get it by next week something might have gone wrong.

Thanks apple…
Just because we bought it for $13 doesnt mean we dont love you! Be nice to us, after all we forked over all that money for a computer.

Well I guess the only choice we have is to wait. Good things happen to those who wait- who knows maybe apple will refund our money?

It’s nearing the end of the work day and still no package. So it’s officially past the promised date. Not impressed. I made my UTD order over a month ago.

I’m pretty upset at apple myself. Pretty ridiculous. Just because I get something from them cheaper doesn’t mean they can take there time shipping it :@. For all I know they could have just shipped them out yesterday. Whatever, hopefully it will come tomorrow.

As you can see, Canadian fanbois are upset.  I’m in the same boat as I have a Up To Date DVD on order that has not arrived as of yet, and I have to say that I’m not really impressed with Apple at the moment. Perhaps there’s a really good reason for this? In the interest of finding out if that’s the case or not, I sent a message to Apple Canada PR asking for their comments on this situation. If they respond, I’ll post it here.

UPDATE: Still no comment from Apple (not that I’m surprised by that), but there are some comments on Twitter that might interest you.

Snow Leopard Ships… Here’s What You Need To Know Before You Upgrade

Posted in Tips with tags , on August 28, 2009 by itnerd

Today is the day that Snow Leopard ships to the masses. But before you upgrade, you should likely take some precautions to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

First of all, MAKE A BACKUP. I cannot stress this enough as a lot of my work comes from people who didn’t do this before doing something major to their computer (and upgrading your operating system is major). I have a great resource for backing up your Mac here. By having a backup you can ensure that you can get your system back up and running with minimal pain should things go south. Oh yeah, the more paranoid among us would say that you should test that backup to make sure it works as a backup is useless if you can’t restore it perfectly.

Next, you should visit this page to make sure that the applications on your Mac are Snow Leopard compatible. Keep in mind that this list is one that is being updated constantly so the application that you’re looking for may not be on there yet. Therefore it pays to check back at a later date to see if it’s been added. If the apps that you rely on daily are not compatible with Snow Leopard, you may want to skip upgrading until updates come out. I should note that Apple themselves have as similar list, but it’s nowhere as detailed. But this list does describe the fact that if you do go ahead and update and the Snow Leopard installer comes across software that won’t work, it will punt that software to a special folder.

The last thing I would do is boot of the Leopard CD and run Disk Utility to verify the volume that Snow Leopard is going on. It likely wouldn’t hurt to do a permission repair as well.

At this point you should be good to go. One thing that I’ll do is I’ll note this Apple Insider document that details the changes in the Snow Leopard installer as it is very different than any previous version of  OS X. This document will be handy for those of you who have done OS X upgrades before as you will know what to expect.

If anyone else has any other tips, please post them in the comments section and share your wisdom.

Snow Leopard To Ship This Friday [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 24, 2009 by itnerd

If you’re an Apple Fanboi, you’ll going to love the news that Apple is shipping their Snow Leopard operating system this Friday unless you have a Power PC based Mac:

“Snow Leopard builds on our most successful operating system ever and we’re happy to get it to users earlier than expected,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “For just $29, Leopard users get a smooth upgrade to the world’s most advanced operating system and the only system with built in Exchange support.”

I pre-ordered a copy when I got my replacement MacBook Pro this June and when I check my order status via the Apple Online Store, it still slated to ship in October. Perhaps that will change in the next few days? In any case, as soon as I get it, I’ll likely do a backup of my existing install and try it out. If anyone out there gets their hands on a copy of Snow Leopard, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

UPDATE: According to the Apple Online Store, my order is due to ship by August 28th. I should note that I only paid $13 CDN for this as I bought a Mac after June 8th. So if you just bought a Mac, make sure to click here so that you can get Snow Leopard for less. You should note that your order has to be in within 90 days of the purchase of your Mac, or December 26th 2009 whichever is earlier.