Finally upgraded to Leopard

I know, I know…a little late to the party.

It’s been about 7 months since Mac OS X 10.5 was released. More than enough time for all the apps I use to update to Leopard-happy versions. More than enough time for Apple to fix the big bugs. And more than enough time for the early adopters to document everything that could possibly go wrong for those of us who decided to sit back and wait a while.

Last night, I took the leap to the bigger cat on my MacBook Pro. Why now? Well, for starters I’m now not running anything that doesn’t say it’s Leopard/10.5 compatible. And I was starting to notice developer interest in 10.4 waning. I may be imagining this, but there comes a time with the small Mac developers who make the best Mac goodies where supporting the older OS becomes something they have to do and nothing more. New versions only run on the new OS, and updates start to include features that only work on the new OS. I’m not naming names, but my sense is that time had come.

After reading site after site debating the best way to upgrade, I decided on the easy-but-time-consuming path of:

  1. Clone entire hard drive to external disk (in my case a 250MB Firewire drive) using SuperDuper (time: 3 hours)
  2. Erase and Install upgrade to Leopard (time: about an hour)
  3. Migration Assistant to move all applications and files back to drive (time: approximately 4 hours…I let that part run overnight)

When I woke up this morning, the migration was complete and I was able to start right into OS X 10.5.1 with no problem. Another hour or so dealing with upgrades to 10.5.2 and its associated upgrades and I think I’m done.

Even though the total upgrade took over 8 hours, 95% of that didn’t involve me doing anything. So I think that’s the path I’ll take in the future.

Quick thoughts:

  • I knew Spotlight was faster in Leopard. Wow! That’s like saying a bullet train is faster than a bicycle. It’s actually usable now.
  • I like that Software Update now does the restart then it installs files. I’ve learned over the years not to open/move files around when Software Update is installing. This now makes the related problems a non-issue for users who don’t realize the trouble that may happen if you write data to the drive in the middle of a major install.
  • I was having wireless issues before the upgrade. My Mac wasn’t recognizing my home router as a preferred location, requiring me to manually select it each time. Even then, it would take a few tries before I could log on. Since upgrading to Leopard, my network is recognized immediately. Not sure if that’s directly related to Leopard or just that a nice, clean install was necessary.
  • I love Quick Look. I’ve already installed a few third-party plug-ins, such as one to view CS3 files , Zip file contents and contents of folders without opening them. In fact, if it wasn’t for all the speedy Finder searches I’ve been doing today, Quick Look and the changes in Preview, I would almost forget I was running a different operating system. I live most of my working life in Firefox these days.

Issues:

  • The only application that appears to have not cleanly survived migration is VMWare Fusion. On first launch I got a cryptic “Failed to connect to peer process” error. A quick Google found a thread related to the problem. An uninstall and reinstall of Fusion cleared it right up. This is why I wait months to upgrade. 🙂
  • This is nothing, really, but I prefer the deeper red for the close button in a Tiger window to the candy-red in Leopard. Every time I go to close a window, the color change is a little jarring.
  • Since I originally installed Office 2008 in Tiger, I’m having some trouble getting Quick Look to work on .docx/.xlsx files. I’ve downloaded the Office.qlgenerator file and placed it in Library/QuickLook as I think I’m supposed to do, but it’s still not working. Not a big deal. I’ll track that one down eventually (hopefully without needing to reinstall Office) unless someone has any ideas?
  • When I restart in Leopard, I had about 2 GB less disk space and it seems that the new OS is eating more RAM than Tiger did. But it’s eating it quietly, as I don’t feel as much of a drag when I’m hitting the disk for memory as I did before.

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