For the increasing number of Mac users in the audience, today’s the day to start deciding whether you want to upgrade your operating system: “Snow Leopard” is on the scene.
Number-wise, this is a move to OS 10.6. It will only work on Apple computers with an Intel processor and at least 1 GB of RAM. For anybody whose Mac came with 10.5 (Leopard), this should include you. And for you, it’s a $29 upgrade. (Users of 10.4 “Tiger” will need to spend more if they want to upgrade, but it’s still possible.)
The $29 fee is kind of a double-edged sword for me: it’s the cheapest operating system upgrade of, I think, my entire life. And yet, because it’s so inexpensive, that must mean it’s not necessarily worthwhile. Apple’s been pretty upfront about that, though… most of the changes are pretty boring.
Here’s what I recommend for right now:
- Find yourself a good, detailed review of the Snow Leopard features
- Wait at least a week and keep your ear to the ground for problems people are having: I’ll be watching my Apple friends on Twitter and this part of the macnn.com forum.
- Not sure how often this will be updated, but I also found a list of programs that we know don’t work (or are restricted) with Snow Leopard
- If you can manage it without losing any software, I strong recommend doing a clean install that wipes your hard drive first. In my experience–and I used to do this for a living–the only reason to upgrade an operating system (as opposed to a clean install), is to document what goes wrong.
Personally, I’ll be watching to see what new gee-whiz features Apple will soon introduce that won’t work on anything earlier than 10.6.
Updated March 13, 2011 and originally published August 28, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.