I can’t believe it’s been nearly 2 years since I became a Mac user. In many ways it seems like it was just yesterday but it also feels like I’ve been a Mac fanboy forever. My initial impressions of how easy to use Macs are, how the software allows you to be creative, how fast, reliable and fun they are and a whole bunch of other clichés Mac users go on about has turned out to be completely true!
Six months after I bought my MacBook Apple released a new version of their operating system called ‘Leopard‘. I read about how amazing it was and all the incredible new features but to be honest wasn’t really in a rush to upgrade. I loved the existing version – ‘Tiger‘ – and didn’t see any compelling reason to shell out £89 to get the new version knowing the inevitable hassle of either rebuilding or upgrading my computer (well, in the Windows world at least) so I was content to stay put. Until the other week.
I’m a big fan of Apple’s iLife and iWork suites and they generally release a new version every year. This time iLife 09 actually required Mac OS X Leopard which meant if I were to upgrade I’d need to bite the bullet and install Leopard, making it quite an expensive endeavour. Fortunately Apple pre-empted this and came up with the Mac Box Set containing iLife 09, iWork 09 and Leopard for the bargain price of £149. I put my order in and it turned up a couple of weeks ago. So now for the interesting bit – my first Mac OS upgrade!
Well the news is – there is no news! I decided to do a clean install and back up everything first. This was done by backing up my entire hard drive with SuperDuper! (and taking a couple of copies for good measure). I then blanked my hard drive, installed Leopard and after about half an hour was up and running. I re-installed all the software I use, restored all my documents, pictures, music, video etc. from my backup and in a matter of a few hours everything was back as it was, I had more space on my hard drive and Leopard was running as smooth as silk.
I’ve reinstalled and upgraded Windows many many times over the years and something always tends to go wrong. There are usually problems getting new drivers for graphics cards and sounds cards, something critical like the network connection won’t work so I have to go online on another machine and try to find the drivers and so on. It normally takes many hours – particularly installing the software – and installing Windows is always painful and runs about as smooth as sandpaper on teeth.
I’ve said before that the cool thing about Macs is that “they just work” and it turns out that upgrading or re-installing Mac OS X is exactly the same. As for Leopard, there’s nothing revolutionary, it just add a load of handy improvements on something that was already great – quite unlike the upgrade from Windows XP to Vista which turned something pretty good into something flaky, slow and unreliable. iLife and iWork 09 are much of the same – steady improvements and some cool new features. Just the way things should be!
Oh, on the subject of Macs, my Mac conversions statistics (i.e. the number of people I’ve persuaded to buy Macs now I’m a Mac fanboy) have been pretty good over the past couple of years – just recently my brother has turned from the dark side by getting one of those cool new all-metal MacBooks. Maybe you’ll be next! 😉