Its Snowing...

Apple released OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) this past week. I've gone ahead and upgraded my MacBookPro to OS10.6, and set up a partition on the MacPro to test 10.6.

I've learned over the years that my primary system simply can't depend on new software releases if I'm to get projects done accurately and on time. Therefore I'm very reluctant to actually work with a new OS loaded. I prefer to simply dual boot and play with the new OS until some of the bugs have been worked out.

Lately, Apple tends to use the general public as "beta testers" for any major release. Often there are bugs and issues that Apple releases updates to fix within a couple weeks or months. This all makes me wary to just jump on board with anything in spite of the hype that may surround the release. I waited to start working in OS 10.5 (Leopard) until OS 10.5.4 was released.

So, anyway... I've been playing with OS 10.6 for a couple days now. Overall it's pretty much like OS 10.5.8 but there are some differences -- both good and bad.

First the bad:

  • Quicktime -- Apple hyped the new QuicktimeX and how sleek and fast it is. Well, it's sleek I guess. However, it's limited. The play bar and controls now hover over video which I find annoying. I much prefer the traditional window QT had, which allowed a user to see the entire video as well as controls. In addition, much of the editing capabilities of previous QTPro releases is completely gone in QTX. It's simply not there. FOr this reason Apple included an OS 10.6 version of QT7Pro on the new DVD. If that's not a blatant admission that Apple knows QTX is deficient I don't know what is. So, I'm still using QT7Pro in OS 10.6 for the most part. The new QT is a waste and a change that was not needed if it couldn't be done correctly.
  • Window switching -- I use the OS shortcut to switch windows a great deal. In case you aren't aware then are Command-~ (tilde) and Command-Shift-~ (tilde). These allow a user to cycle through open windows in an application. In OS 10.5, when you hit Command-~ the top window is moved behind all other windows in that application. So, a user could keep tapping the shortcut to cycle through all open windows one by one. Well no more.... with OS 10.6 Command-~ now moves the top window back one space. So, if you've got three windows open, repeatedly tapping the shortcut results in Window 1, Window 2, Window 1, Window 2, and so on. This is simply annoying.
  • Color calibration -- I seem to be having one heck of a time trying to get all three of my monitors properly calibrated in OS 10.6. They are correct in OS10.5. In fact, I've struggled so much I've had to order a new calibration device (Eye-One Display Pro) to replace my old Spyder 2 calibrator. The Spyder 2 only works with one monitor, the Eye-One will work with all three. Traditionally I would calibrate my second and third monitor by eye so they were close enough. I don't use them for color-accurate work. I depend upon my primary display for that. Well with OS10.6 no matter what I tried I can't get monitor 2 or 3 to anywhere close.
  • The active icons in the Dock -- previously, when you wold click and hold an icon in the dock for an active application a small menu popped up and you could choose it's items. With OS10.6 not the entire screen dims, and a shorter menu with an "options" item appears, so it takes more navigating to get the the same items.. a waste.
  • Applications -- Overall application foregrounding and backgrounding seems dramatically slower with OS10.6.

And a couple positives

  • Applications - Application launch seems a bit faster. Nothing dramatic, but a tad. I suspect when apps start being released as 64-bit (a la Adobe Creative Suite 5) I may see more benefit there.
  • Safari - I will say that Safari under OS 10.6 is much, much faster than it is under OS 10.5. Dramatically faster - like its been turbo charged. Is that reason enough to install OS 10.6, not really
  • That's it -- So far, those are really all the benefits I've found. I'm sure they'll grow as updates are released.

Right now save your money and skip 10.6.0, even if it is less than $30. Wait three or six months then buy 10.6.3 or 10.6.4 it'll be better

Bookmark and Share