If you’re at all interested in all things Apple you’ll know that Mac OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, was released yesterday. I haven’t got my copy yet but it is on order from Amazon, so hopefully I’ll have my paws on it next week. I’ve only ordered the single license copy this time and not the Family Pack, as Apple have decided that my 4-year-old PowerPC Mac Mini is too decrepit to run Snow Leopard. A shame, but that’s the price of progress I suppose.
It will, however, run on my 3-year-old MacBook, as it has an Intel processor. I won’t be able to take advantage of some of the new features, such as OpenCL or H.264 hardware acceleration in QuickTime X. And the processor is 32-bit so none of the 64-bit code will be used. But it does have a dual-core processor so Grand Central Dispatch will be able to make both cores work harder, and based on various first-hand reviews I should expect faster startup and shutdown.
In terms of new features, full support for my HP DeskJet F2100 series printer is provided out of the box (partly due to a new version of CUPS) so I won’t need HP’s drivers – this includes scanning and copying support built-in to the OS. Mac OS X will also now remove printer drivers for any printers that I don’t use, freeing up a few gigabytes of space.
Support for Exchange 2007 doesn’t really affect me as I don’t use Apple Mail or Exchange for my email, nor do the iChat changes since I use Adium. The improvement to Services are welcome – until now they’ve been a useful but misaligned feature of the OS.
There are some pitfalls for early adopters, however, as some programs won’t work straight off the bat. The release of Snow Leopard was brought forward with little warning and so some programs are not yet fully compatible – there are issues with Growl, for example, and while a new version is on the way it’s not ready yet. I’ve also heard there’s problems with third-party screensavers. I’d therefore recommend you install AppFresh which is great for notifying you of available software updates for third-party programs. And obviously do a full backup of your system before you upgrade in case you have a power cut while it’s installing, or encounter some other issues.
I may or may not give my own first impressions of Snow Leopard next week, depending on how I’m feeling. Today was my first day off work in 13 days and so I haven’t really had the time or the inclination to think about things to blog about.