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My First Mac OS Upgrade

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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!

The Mac OS X Leopard 'About' DialogWell 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! 😉

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

8 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Thanks for the heads-up – I’m still using Windows but less and less wedded to it now that virtually all of the important features I use every day aren’t on my local machine anyway. Now the most significant barrier to me going over to Mac is the cost – and that I like to use Open Source where I can (though that’s getting a lot more Mac-friendly as time goes by.

    Another year or two maybe 🙂

    Also, thanks for the desktop background software- loving it and recommending to lots of friends.

    Reply

  2. You played no small part in converting me.

    As for OS X. It is a joy. When I installed Refit to dual boot to Ubuntu, I thought I had trashed my Mac. I simply plugged in the external USB disk that I use as a Time Machine, and bang!, it worked out exactly what I was trying to do and fixed it for me. I’m not easily impressed, but that left me speechless.

    Reply

    • Heh heh, glad to be of service!

      Yeah, what I love about Macs is that they always make an informed choice about what you’re trying to do rather than stupidly waiting for you to work eveything out for yourself. Well thought out software from top to bottom.

      Reply

  3. Hello John, I’ve been running Leopard since it came out so I’m hoping that when Snow Leopard is released in a few months they will continue with the Mac Box Set as this is a worthy saving.

    Paul

    Reply

    • I was originally thinking of waiting until Snow Leopard gets released but the Mac Box Set was too good to pass up. I’m sure they’ll do something similar when it’s released.

      Reply

  4. Been on a Mac since 10.2 and still miss my PowerBook 12″ although the extra power of my MBP with 4Gb of RAM does kind make the larger form easier to handle (still not convinced by the glossy screen as soon as it becomes an option I’ll be replacing it) I did have 6Gb of RAM in my slightly older MBP and that made it just a fantastic machine, but as I can upgrade whenever I need to I tend to get the latest and greatest when it comes out, especially as moving from one mac to another is so easy….

    Reply

    • One of those new MBPs is definitely on my list as soon as my MacBook expires (or I can think of a good enough excuse to tell my wife), very nice!

      Reply

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