The Back Story

I finally switched to a MAC when the new MAC Pro towers came out in March. I had used PCs for years and had pretty good computer skills. I’m the guy that friends and family called when they could not figure out what was up with their computer… My experience with the switch was awesome! Literally it was like I had always had a MAC, no issues, just joyous ease and blazing speed. To be fair my move up the performance ladder was rather substantial. My PC was a core2 1.86GHz machine with 2GB of ram running Vista. My MAC is a dual quad core 2.26GHz machine with 10GB of RAM!

The Upgrade

Of course there was some drama sot get started. I went to my local Apple store promptly at 10 to get the shiny new disc, only to discover that they were closed for remodeling until September 18th! That was a tad longer than I wanted to wait and so I went to the nearest Best Buy, no Snow Leopard at that store, but the one across town had discs. Note to self: CALL FIRST!

The Preparation

I read some stuff online and I had my hard drive all backed up via Time Machine (How cool is that app?)  I chose to do an on top install rather than wipe the disc. My machine was new and I didn’t think that I had done anything to it that needed a start over. Bottom line the only preparation was to back up the drive that my OS was on.

The Install

1)   The Unwrapping. You have to love Apple’s typical over the top and somehow endearing packaging. Inner cartons on an install disc!

2)   Started at 12:07 and a very cool flash movie setup assistant plays. It predicts about 45 minutes for the install.

3)   I think it did 2 re-boots during the process neither of which required my intervention. My only action was to re-boot when it was over.

4)   Finished the final re-boot and 12:40. A quick 33 minutes to install a new OS.

My expectations were pretty high based on my experience with the MAC so far. I was also excited about the upgrade because most of it was really designed to make my turbo charged computer perform at its most awesome level.

The Big Reveal

1)   Opening applications is noticeable faster, especially Apple apps like Safari. Safari is blink and you’ll miss it fast. I did a speed test on Firefox and on Safari. Safari’s download test was 7 MBPS faster. Obviously subjective, but my feeling of speed shows that Safari is far faster as well.

2)   I have 2 monitors and one of them is swiveled portraits style. The new OS new this. In fact I didn’t find any old preferences that had been forgotten. Nice! On my last windows upgrade I even had to locate USB and Ethernet drivers! Try that without getting online…

3)   Entourage is the only software isn’t working right. I get my mail, but the views filters are not working

4)   My Adobe Lightroom and CS4 products all work as do all of the filters from NIK, Auto/FX and Lucis Arts.

5)   It does see my Epson NX515 printer, but cannot get the drivers. I thought that was odd since the printer is brand new on the market. I delete and re-install the printer and it works just fine.

6)   I still have a PC and am using a venerable Linksys WR54GT router. No problem going MAC to PC or vice versa. I didn’t touch anything here. The printer is also wireless…

7)   My Logitech mouse works in basic mode. I use the back button extensively on the web and it doesn’t work now. The Logitech software does not install with Snow Leopard.

8)   I booted in both 64bit (hold the 6 and 4 key while booting) and in 32 bit. I didn’t find any gotchas in one that was not there in the other.

9)   Apps open and close immediatel

10) I have not played very much with the new features. I use Finder a lot and I was looking forward to the increased thumbnail size. This is great, but only works in the grid view. I kind of like the column view myself.


For my system it was absolutely worth the enormous $29 to upgrade! In the first couple of hours I can easily notice speed improvements and have no complaints about the process or the issues that I have found so far. I feel like all the little buggy things will get sorted out quickly.

It really was a no brainer and easy process. Oh and by the way windows users, you don’t have to re-install any of your software, WOW!

I’ve been blessed to photograph a Snow Leopard!

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You can see more of them in my gallery here. I also teach photography and you can join me and get a chance to photograph a Snow Leopard too. Here is a link to the workshop.

In the mean time enjoy the upgrade to Snow Leopard it’s been great for me.