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Apple To Ship Mac OS X Snow Leopard On August 28 647

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-about-time dept.
okapi writes "Apple announced that Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard will go on sale Friday, August 28 at Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers, and that Apple's online store is now accepting pre-orders."
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Apple To Ship Mac OS X Snow Leopard On August 28

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  • by weston (16146) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:02PM (#29176301) Homepage

    Leopard messed up audio programs of all kinds until Apple finally got around to addressing the issues with the .3 update. The recent .8 update screwed up some people's wireless connectivity. It hasn't been that long since some early adopters lost entire volumes of data when they upgraded.

    Snow Leopard is supposed to be fixes, tweaks, and improvements, so maybe this one is a better bet, but still, I can't see myself pre-ordering.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by nOw2 (1531357)
      I've never had a problem with an upgrade on the Mac; I think I've covered each point upgrade from 10.4.1 to 10.5.8. So I've preordered and will install when it gets here. The only Apple upgrade that's given me problems is iPhone 3.0; wireless strength gradually drops from full to nothing over 10 minutes or so. With 2.x it's fine.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Good point. Do us a favor and post here after you install it so the rest of us know whether it's safe?

    • by samkass (174571) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:22PM (#29176595) Homepage Journal

      I'm one of those crazy ones who always installs the .0 release. (I also back up, which is something most computer users don't do, either, so my risk profile is still probably better than average.) Most of the time for vast majority of people the upgrades go fine. There are always a few problems and the people experiencing those problems jump on the nearest message board and you hear a lot of noise about it. The millions who don't have problems don't, and you don't hear about them.

      Would I install 10.6.0 on a mission-critical, high-uptime machine? No, definitely not-- there's no immediate business justification for it yet. (Wait until more 64-bit and massively parallel software takes advantage of the new APIs.) My home machine, though, is for my own learning and fun, and it's definitely worth it for me there. I can always restore if things go terribly awry.

    • by MiniMike (234881) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:58PM (#29177097)

      ...but still, I can't see myself pre-ordering.

      So it broke your webcam too?

    • by leamanc (961376) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:04PM (#29177183) Homepage Journal

      As someone who has been testing Snow Leopard in many different scenarios for the past four months, I can say this is one update that will likely give you no problems if you install over the top of your existing 10.5.x installation.

      But, for maximum speed and efficiency, I would back up your user data and apps, and do a clean install. Snow Leopard is very lean and mean, and I noticed considerably more Snappiness on machines where I clean-installed and manually migrated my data.

    • is this youtube now? (Score:5, Informative)

      by linhares (1241614) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:27PM (#29177491)
      I have read this entire discussion and to my dismay it sound much more in line with youtube comments than /., and no. I am not new here. This update is interesting because of Grand Central Dispatch, some minor new 64-bit apps, and specially, OpenCL.

      OpenCL is going to change scientific computing, for good. NVIDIA's CUDA is great and all, but you get bogged to one vendor's platform. With OpenCL you can define compute kernels that will be run in the GPU, if the thing supports it. For neural networks, genetic algorithms, matrix stuff, fast fourier transform, etc, expect HUGE performance gains. Especially whenever there's an NVIDIA TESLA with 192 cores behind it you might find gains of 100x speed. I'll probably be modded as funny or some shit, but imho OpenCL is a game-changer for the scientific community.

      Finally, ONE DAY, there will be a killer app for the general public using the power of the GPU. Then I hope everybody will understand.

      In the meantime, I, and my students, will be studying and working with it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      The thing is though, a -lot- of Apple update "problems" are things that I don't think I would notice. Things like noisy HDDs, worse wireless, strange fans, etc. I suppose Mac users notice their computer more than most other people (I mean, if I paid $1500 for a laptop I would be more attentive than on my $300 laptop) but most, if not all problems are trivial for 97% of the people affected with the problem and are really only noticed because of a forum post.
      • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Monday August 24, 2009 @09:53PM (#29180983)

        you have a point. Apple only has 5 notebook models (white, air, 13" 15" 17") going at a time and they tend to keep the same model for 18 months or so with only minor updates. Compared to Dell that has many models, plus variations, and upgrades the entire consumer line with completely "new" models every 6 months or so. With Apple the tiniest inconvenience sticks out where with Dell, you'd be lucky to get the same internal parts even if the model numbers were the same, they change them all the time, even from week to week so it's hard to say any specific problem is "Dell's" fault and not your particular mash-up they shipped you this week because not enough people on the internet have Inspiron 13wzyz to complain about..some have 14wxyz and others have 13wxy ... get the idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by node 3 (115640)

      Leopard messed up audio programs of all kinds until Apple finally got around to addressing the issues with the .3 update. The recent .8 update screwed up some people's wireless connectivity. It hasn't been that long since some early adopters lost entire volumes of data when they upgraded.

      Snow Leopard is supposed to be fixes, tweaks, and improvements, so maybe this one is a better bet, but still, I can't see myself pre-ordering.

      If you have Time Machine running, and your current Leopard install DVD, you have nothing to worry about. The problems you listed affected less than 0.1% of the Mac population. Even if something horrible happens and you lose your whole drive, you can just boot your old disc, choose to restore from Time Machine.

      If you *don't* have Time Machine running, you really should. The cost of an external drive is minute compared to the benefit of never[*] having to worry about losing all your data.

      [*] Technically, you

  • free upgrades? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by i_ate_god (899684)

    I've never owned a mac, but was thinking of getting a macbook in the future. Are OSX upgrades free?

    • by jjohnson (62583)

      The OS X equivalents of service packs are free. Upgrades cost money--I believe Snow Leopard is $29 for Leopard users. The retail price is $129.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by k_187 (61692)
        No, the retail price of Snow Leopard is $169. You cannot buy Snow Leopard without buying the "Mac Box" which includes Snow Leopard, iLife '09 and iWork '09. Thus, if you're upgrading from Tiger, you either need to buy Leopard now and the upgrade or pay extra.
    • Re:free upgrades? (Score:5, Informative)

      by wandazulu (265281) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:07PM (#29176361)

      All updates within a particular version are free (10.5.1, 10.5.2, 10.5.3, etc.), but jumping to a major version (10.4 -> 10.5) cost something. This particular upgrade is a little different insofar as they've tweaked the behind-the-scenes stuff more than anything else, which some folks might consider nothing more than a service pack, but because of that it's only $29 instead of the usual $129.

      HTH

    • Re:free upgrades? (Score:5, Informative)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:14PM (#29176485) Homepage

      OSX upgrades are as free as Windows upgrades are-- which is to say minor updates and bug-fixes are free, but major updates cost you.

      Lots of Windows fanatics like to point to the numbering scheme and claim that Apple makes you pay for "service packs", so they'll note that 10.4 to 10.5 is a paid upgrade, even though the version number stays the same. However, in OSX, it's the third version number that's similar to a service pack, i.e. 10.4.1 could be called Mac OSX v4, service pack 1.

      And that's not necessarily too different from Windows versioning. Windows 2000 was Windows 5.0, and Windows XP was version 5.1. Windows XP service pack 3, under Apple's versioning number scheme, could be called 5.1.3. Or really, since Apple isn't incrementing the "10" part of their versioning number, it could be 10.5.1.3.

      Ultimately I'm just saying that whole side of the argument-- that is, the version numbering-- is a little arbitrary and stupid. The point is that Apple releases small improvements and bug fixes all the time, and those are free. Every two years or so, they release a new version with new features and major improvements, and those can cost as much as $130. However, in the case of Snow Leopard, most of the improvements are under the hood, so the upgrade price is only $30.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheSunborn (68004)

        As an owner of an old Mac laptop that still Run OS X 10.1.8 let me say, that I still think that 10.2 should have been free, because 10.1.8 is so buggy and it will newer be fixed. Using NFS to mount a disk will almost always crash my kernel within an hour.

        A big problem with the way that Apple does upgrades is that to get bugfixes, you often do need to buy the newest OS X and it's seldom free. I wish they would split the os from their applications, so the os bugfixes/upgrades were free, but they could charge

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by nine-times (778537)

          And XP bugfixes don't ever require new hardware unlike Mac OS X

          There are certainly bugfixes between XP and Vista that you can't get without upgrading to Vista, and Vista requires new hardware.

          I still think that 10.2 should have been free, because 10.1.8 is so buggy and it will newer be fixed.

          I thought 10.2 was free, or maybe was as cheap as $20 (incl. shipping and handling) or something. I remember one of the OSX versions being cheap or free, and I'm pretty sure it was 10.2.

          I wish they would split the os from their applications, so the os bugfixes/upgrades were free, but they could charge you if you really wanted the i* software.

          They do split their OS from the i* software. The only one that comes with OSX is iTunes, which is free anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by schwanerhill (135840)

      If you buy a MacBook after June 8, 2009 (i.e. any time now) that doesn't yet have Snow Leopard (10.6) pre-installed, the update will cost $9.99. Apple calls it "free" with a $9.99 shipping and handling fee. (See the Macworld story [macworld.com].)

  • new mac user here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jollyreaper (513215)

    Picked up a mini first of the year. This will be my very first upgrade.

    As I understand it, the version numbers here are pretty much on par with a Microsoft OS version number so 10.5 to 10.6 will be like going from 98 to Win2k and should be handled the same way, upgrading will make for an unstable system so I should backup everything and do a fresh install. Is this conventional wisdom still correct?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sl0ppy (454532)

      always back up. use time machine.

      try an in-place update. the installer should inform you if it is able to do an in-place update (it should be able to).

      if that fails, a clean install should be just fine, with your time machine backup used for applications, user files, and settings.

      • always back up. use time machine.

        try an in-place update. the installer should inform you if it is able to do an in-place update (it should be able to).

        How does that work for backing up applications? I had problems with utorrent's updates and for some reason could not do a full uninstall to be rid of it, user settings were preserved. I later found out that there were configuration files stored under my user folder in applications and libraries. Ugh, you know if Apple is going to steal an idea from Microsoft it's going to be one of the dumb ones. (Incidentally, utorrent for mac is still buggerfucked. They haven't had a stable version out for months now. I c

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          What dumb Microsoft idea did they "steal"? Programs use configuration files, not a registry, this is better and way easier to manage. They are almost always stored in ~/Library/Preferences.

          To restore an application you would restore it to /Applications. To restore any personal configuration would you have to restore the files in ~/Library.

          Of course, if you back up and then do an in-place update, there should be little reason to restore anything. They have continually gotten better with their upgrade system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Selfbain (624722)
      Yes. Historically, there have been issues with each major upgrade of Mac OS X. I had kernel panics on a regular basis when I upgraded to 10.5 but now it seems fairly solid. I'm hoping that since the focus for 10.6 was speed and stability that it won't have these issues but I'm not holding my breath.
    • I did in-place installs from 10.3 all the way to 10.5. There turned out to be a bug in the 10.5 update process that rendered File Vault home directories unmountable after the first reboot (WTF?) but the data was recoverable by booting the 10.4 install DVD, mounting the disk image from there and copying all of the files off it. I'd recommend doing a full backup before upgrading. Apple tests the upgrade, but not with all possible configurations (apparently no one at Apple uses File Vault...) and if you're
    • by juuri (7678) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:18PM (#29176527) Homepage

      The SL upgrade is much more like going from Win 98 to Win 98 SE if it must be put in those terms.

      Almost all of the upgrades are things under the hood that most users will notice little of, except the general speed up (which is quite significant in many parts), dock improvements, better Exchange support and improved dock functionality. This is a good update for tons of reasons most people shouldn't even really care about, so the pricing is quite justified.

    • If going from 10.5 to 10.6 is like going from win 98 to win 2k, my recommendation would be to buy a new machine for the new OS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nmb3000 (741169)

      As I understand it, the version numbers here are pretty much on par with a Microsoft OS version number so 10.5 to 10.6 will be like going from 98 to Win2k and should be handled the same way

      You're kidding, right? Please tell me you're kidding. Anyone who could possible equate going from OSX 10.5 to 10.6 to upgrading Windows 98 to the NT kernel-based Windows 2000 is one of two things:

      - Too young to have actually used Windows 98
      - Undergoing unhealthy bombardment by the Reality Distortion Field

      Reading the list

    • Re:new mac user here (Score:5, Informative)

      by Yaztromo (655250) <.moc.cam. .ta. .omortzay.> on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:01PM (#29177141) Homepage Journal

      Picked up a mini first of the year. This will be my very first upgrade.

      As I understand it, the version numbers here are pretty much on par with a Microsoft OS version number so 10.5 to 10.6 will be like going from 98 to Win2k and should be handled the same way, upgrading will make for an unstable system so I should backup everything and do a fresh install. Is this conventional wisdom still correct?

      You shouldn't have to backup your Mac just for Snow Leopard; ideally you've been keeping backups all along. Leopard made keeping good backups so brain-dead easy that all you have to do is get yourself an external USB/Firewire drive and plug it in, and let Time Machine take care of the rest. You don't even have to start the process in any way -- plug the drive in occasionally and let it do its thing in the background.

      However, presuming for a moment you haven't being doing regular backups: yes. Backup everything first.

      That having been said, with OS X I've never had to do a full wipe and reinstall. OS X has this very, very nice "Archive and Install" option that will move all of your existing system files into a "Previous System" folder, and then do a clean system install (optionally preserving all of your users and network settings, which I suggest). This does require a lot of free disk space, but it's safe and effective, and has always given me a very nice stable install of each new OS X release since Panther (10.3).

      Yaz.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:09PM (#29176383)

    Pretty soon, Apple is going to run out of cats to name their OS X versions after. How many are left? When are they going to stoop to calling a new version "Housecat"?

  • kanji input (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Speare (84249) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:10PM (#29176415) Homepage Journal
    The only feature of Snow Leopard that looks at all interesting is the hanzi/kanji input on the trackpad. Probably hard to draw the twenty-stroke characters, unlike the five-stroke example screenshots. But since I rarely use my laptop OPEN (I run in clamshell mode to an external monitor most of the time), even that is not particularly useful to me.
    • Re:kanji input (Score:5, Informative)

      by broken_chaos (1188549) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:22PM (#29176597)

      There's a large number of under-the-hood rewrites and redesigns. The Finder is finally rewritten (so it's not using 10+ year old technologies), the major parts of the OS (kernel, most built-in apps) are 64-bit, and there's several other new things - like the new QuickTime (which serves, however terrible the app on other platforms is, as a very nice media playback framework on OS X).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RealGrouchy (943109)

      The only feature of Snow Leopard that looks at all interesting is the hanzi/kanji input on the trackpad...But since I rarely use my laptop OPEN (I run in clamshell mode to an external monitor most of the time), even that is not particularly useful to me.

      I don't even have a trackpad, because I use an iMac. I'd probably have to buy an external trackpad to take advantage of this feature.

      Come to think of it, I'd also have to learn Japanese.

      - RG>

  • 'Nuff said. Some of us are forced to use it. It was a pleasant surprise to see it integrated so well into the iphone/itouch; it will be even better to see it integrated to ical and mail.app. Of course, I'd prefer not to have to use it at all, but I'd also prefer to live on a beach in Hawaii.

  • See, I changed one letter, an 'n', for another, an 'l', as a way of making fun of the new release of Mac OS... I don't have any real reason for thinking it's slow, and it's not like I really have anything against Snow Leopard (apart from the fact that I, myself, am not interested in running Mac OS X any more) - it's just fun to make fun of it.

  • One of the things I've been trying to find out about are the improvements to OSX Server in 10.6, specifically regarding email and webmail. Can anyone tell me whether they're still using SquirrelMail?

    Apple has a very nice webmail/web-calendar system that they use for MobileMe, but so far they haven't used any of that in OSX Server. I'm somewhat baffled, since I would probably buy an Xserve on the day that they offered such a nice webmail solution in OSX server.

  • by v1 (525388) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:22PM (#29176599) Homepage Journal

    1) this is an update, not a full installation. There is no "full price" edition, you MUST have mac os 10.5 on it now

    2) 10.6 drops support for PPC (already mentioned previously here) so if they have older versions of Mac OS X on them it doesn't matter. However, some of the earliest intel macbooks and imacs shipped with 10.4.7-9 and their owners have not upgraded to 10.5 so there are some intels floating around without leopard on them.

    3) VERY IMPORTANT - Apple will stop selling 10.5 the day they release 10.6. So if you have a macbook or intel imac with 10.4(.11) on it and don't get it updated to 10.5 before the 28th you cannot install Snow Leopard. The AASPs are going to go mad as of today trying to order as many 10.5 retail packs as they can get their hands on. If you will be needing one, you'd better get it NOW.

    • by v1 (525388) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:28PM (#29176675) Homepage Journal

      also 4) for $170 you can get the 10.6 box set that includes ilife and iwork. that is the only option apple will offer you if you get stuck with a 10.4 intel after the 28th.

    • Boxed Set (Score:5, Informative)

      by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:32PM (#29176741)

      3) VERY IMPORTANT - Apple will stop selling 10.5 the day they release 10.6. So if you have a macbook or intel imac with 10.4(.11) on it and don't get it updated to 10.5 before the 28th you cannot install Snow Leopard. The AASPs are going to go mad as of today trying to order as many 10.5 retail packs as they can get their hands on. If you will be needing one, you'd better get it NOW.

      Apple sells a "boxed set" that upgrades Tiger to Snow Leopard, with no intermediate steps.

      Yes, the Boxed Set is $169, which is more than Leopard alone was($129) but it does inlcude iLife and iWork as a bonus. (Yes, this is just a ploy to get more copies of iLife and iWork out there.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ropiku (1071312)

      1) this is an update, not a full installation. There is no "full price" edition, you MUST have mac os 10.5 on it now

      Only the $29 version is an update and you need Leopard to use that version.

      Tiger users can buy the Mac Box Set at $169 that includes Snow Leopard, iLife 09 and iWork 09.

    • by EvilIdler (21087) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:52PM (#29177025)

      1+3: Lies.

      There is a full price edition - Mac Box Set. It contains the OS, iWork and iLife. That one is targetted at 10.4 users, according to the info page.
      Leopard users already have iWork and iLife, and at least iLife is available as a very cheap upgrade for those who have '08.

      What, you don't like paying more than an upgrade price to get the latest OS? Fuck you for not buying a newer Mac :)
      (The box set is priced about the same as MS Office home editions in my Apple online store)

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:21PM (#29177413)

      It is an upgrade, true, but ALL Apple OS sales are upgrades, they don't just sell a 'full install' because there has never been mac that went out the door without an OS on it.

      Upgrading from 10.4 to 10.6 will not be a problem as long as you are an intel mac, 10.5 isn't required to be installed. In fact, upgrading from no OS will work as well, they 'upgrade' disks are fully bootable and will install on a blank harddrive.

      Not sure where you get your ideas from but it would appear that you haven't been around for the last 5 OS upgrades with OSX or the previous 9 with System1-9, nothing new here, move along.

  • by angelbunny (1501333) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:11PM (#29177299)

    I'm on 10.6 right now and even the betas seemed far more stable than 10.5. Also, the speed increase is definitely there. I honestly never expected moving to 64 bit using every day desktop apps like mail and safari would have a noticeable speed increase, but I was wrong. It is much faster. However, I admit the speed increase is the most noticeable on first load of that app, or a cold start. After that most apps in 10.5 are so fast the speed increase in 10.6 is hardly noticeable.

    The dock has changed yet again. The even in the most resent release of 10.5 I have issues dragging an item from a folder in the dock to the trash. If I do this to quickly the trash can does not come up. 10.6 has cleaned out most (if not all) of the dock issues in 10.5 in my case. The new folder design in the dock is nice but I wish it had more options. I would love to shrink the icon size or change the display format (like details) in the folders in the dock.

    Quicktime X bothers me. The logo for the new quicktime in the dock is terrible looking and when running the program even if the UI looks nice it doesn't match the rest of the OS. It is like running the most recent version of windows media player in Win2k. The theme may be nice but it is kind of odd. They also removed features I used from quicktime 7. Like, I would go into full screen and it would auto start playing. In quicktime X I have to manually hit the play button after full screen. If I stream a video I can't find the options any more to turn off the auto play. I hate it when it starts playing randomly when the window is minimized ffs.

    All in all, 10.6 is nice but so is 10.5 and honestly the UI changes with the dock and quicktime in 10.6 I dislike. I would of been much happier with 10.6 looking identical to 10.5 and just running faster and being far more stable.

    The only features I haven't "played" with yet is OpenCL. My macbook pro has a 128meg geforce 8600 which is the min requirements. In windows for openCL the min is 256meg (it sometimes works half assed with 128meg) so I need to make an RSA decrypter or something to see how well it runs. I'm honestly not expecting much in this area.

  • by mario_grgic (515333) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:22PM (#29177423)

    You will not get 64 bit kernel, since by default 32 bit kernel is installed on all supported hardware except XServe. Even more, you can not install 64 bit kernel on hardware that could normally run it, since it appears Apple has restricted 64 bit kernel to hardware that has 64 bit EFI. Also, 64 bit kernel is not available on any Macbook.

    So, basically, you have 32 bit kernel with 32 bit kernel extensions and drivers, just like in Leopard with hacks to allow it to run 64 bit user applications. True more applications are now 64 bit, but who cares if their mail or calendar is now 64 bit instead of 32 bit? It's not like your mail program needs more than 4 GB of RAM anyway.

    And the applications that could really benefit from 64 bit like Photoshop are not available anyway. And once they are available they will run on Leopard as well (which was marketed as 64 bit end to end, when in fact the only application that is 64 bit on Leopard is Chess, and XCode).

    So unless you really need that exchange support, I don't see compelling reason to upgrade at all?

    • You will not get 64 bit kernel, since by default 32 bit kernel is installed on all supported hardware except XServe.

      (a) we don't know if this is true of the final release.

      (b) it hardly matters unless you planned to add more than 32GB of RAM to your system. All user apps can still run in 64-bit mode just fine.

      And the applications that could really benefit from 64 bit like Photoshop are not available anyway.

      Well sure, the system is not out yet!

      But we'll see those apps before too long, especially a lot of ap

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