Snow Leopard upgrade

My Mac Box Set (family edition) arrived during the week, so I have now upgraded all three of our domestic computers to OS 10.6 Snow Leopard, and to iWork 09 and iLife 09. Two of the computers were on OS 10.5 Leopard and one on OS 10.4 Tiger. [There is also an Acorn and dead bondi blue iMac up the loft, obviously I did not upgrade them!]

It will be good to have everything on the same OS again. Things progressively seem to gather complexity, so I need to take the opportunity to simplify when it arises.

Impressions ?

Doing three computers takes ages, particularly if you add in things like backing up, and checking over the drives with Disk Utility. However working through them systematically, getting one computer pretty much sorted before I started on the next one, it was possible to do them all in about a day.

By way of explanation for the incredible time taken, a back up can take an hour, creating a timemachine vault for the first time takes several hours, each Snow Leopard install took just under an hour. iWork was around twenty minutes, iLife around forty minutes.

It is worth keeping an eye on the process, just in case of snags. Interestingly the Leopard-Snow Leopard upgrades rebooted part way through while the Tiger-Snow Leopard upgrades rebooted almost immediately. Presumably the reboot is to allow the computer to run off the OS on the DVD rather than the one on the Hard drive.

The most noticeable feature is the faces recognition in iPhoto, which similarly takes half an hour to process all your photos.

The Garageband tutorials don't seem to have caught anyone's imagination.

It is now possible to customise the date and time setting to include the full date in your menubar- yayyy !

Full screen capability in Pages - yayyy !

It shutsdown just incredibly quickly, like it crashed! everything else seems quicker too

General reduction of flakiness about ejecting disks, deleting trash etc.

- is snow leopard worth it - yes, it seems robust, frees up hard drive space, speeds up processes and reduces general flakiness - having said that it is not noticeable in a whizzy eye candy sort of way
- is iWork worth it - probably not on its own, but if you are doing the whole bundle then probably worthwhile. Some nice new things, but new templates are really just eye candy, you never use them do you?
- is iLife worth it - probably, faces recognition is a cool and useful add on. Without GPS on my camera, I'm not so much of an anorak that I want to manually insert geographic information.
- would I recommend my mum upgrade - yes, but on the grounds that it will just make everything run smoother, not on the grounds that it will look any different.

It is really cool that Apple have managed to sell an upgrade that really does not look any different. However the under the hood stuff is impressive.

As I noted above, things do seem to get more complicated, you do have to be brutal every now and again to make them simpler. The review above is very good on how Apple have made decisions, including difficult ones,

[such as leaving a relatively open door to pirate copies, abandonning support for old stuff, not filling your hard drive with unnecessary printer drivers - assuming you are connected to the internet to download the ones you require instead]

on the basis that they improve the user experience, even if it does mean alienating people running twenty year old scuzzy (SCSI) printers.

Perhaps the real genius has been to release an update with no new features and have the marketting chutzpah to convince people that it is a good thing that they want to pay for.

Technical savvy + marketting savvy = apple savvy

Annex A
My suggested approach
1 run software update
2 back up system
3 dismount external hard drive
4 install AppTrap - to cleanly delete applications
5 check AppTrap is running
6 review all applications, and delete anything that is really old or does not get used - goodbye Quicksilver
7 where applicable, delete podcasts to get enough free space on the hard drive for installing everything - only really an issue with the laptop
8 run disk utility
9 run onyx and do maintenance scripts
10 run Snow Leopard update
11 run iLife update
12 run iWork update
13 run through applications to get updates if required
14 delete superceded applications from Dock
15 after light usage back up again

Annex B
snagging issues
Bento 1 - does not run under Snow Leopard - need to upgrade to Bento version 2 to run under leopard
Onyx will not run under Snow Leopard - simply wait for an update version
Mail reports issues with Omnifocus script - presumably the script that lets you send an item to your email and have it appear in your omnifocus task list.
Mail once again will not send mail - I'll need to speak to tech support for my ISP about this, but I have pretty much switched to using Googlemail and Mailplane so this is not a pressing issue.

Annex C
observations - Spore does work, pretty much everything else still seems to work, with the exceptions noted above no problems encountered.