In Defense of Snow Leopard

SnowLeopard 3.jpg

The internets are abuzz with a small uprising against Snow Leopard. Some pundits even argue it is simply a service pack. I disagree.

The most frequently cited evidence by critics is the lack of significant changes to the user interface. They aregue that because Snow Leopard doesn’t look much different from Leopard, it is somehow lacking. I think this position misses the point. Apple never intended to make Snow Leopard look significantly different from Leopard. Indeed, Apple posted a slide at WWDC that Snow Leopard had “0 New Features”, which was received with applause by the audience.

snow-leopard-0-new-features.jpg

Of course there are a lot of new features in Snow Leopard, but this sentiment is understandable. How many times have you received an operating system or application upgrade and said to yourself, “Gee, rather than adding three new broken features, I wish they had made the old version work better, faster, and smaller.” The thing is, Apple called our bluff. They did it.

It is like bringing your car to the shop where the mechanic upgrades your engine, drops in a new transmission and replaces the windshield wipers. You then pick up your car and say, “Hey, you just replaced the wipers. What good are you?”

Putting aside the fact Snow Leopard does so much work under the hood, it also adds quite a few significant interface improvements to Leopard. There is a lot more here than new wiper blades. The new services menu is much more useful to me than anything Leopard brought to the table. The dock Expose’ changes are also welcome. Indeed, I like all of the user interface changes. Some of my favorites are the little ones like easy linking in e-mail (command K), the speedy Finder, a sensible naming protocol for screenshots, and easy sound source control (option click the menubar sound icon). I’m sure I’ll discover more in the coming weeks.

While prior cats may have given us a new paint job or leather seats, Snow Leopard is all about horsepower. In many ways, it may be the most important OS X upgrade yet as it enables the Mac to seamlessly transition to the hyper-speed world of 64 bits and multi-core processors. To top it off, using the family pack licensing, I was able to upgrade every Mac in my house for $10 a machine. In short, I’m a fan of Snow Leopard.

25 Comments In Defense of Snow Leopard

  1. mail@christian-hoelscher.de

    The thing is that I am actually more thrilled about Snow Leopard than I thought before I would be.

    There are a lot of things in the system that make me very happy with it. The performance with external hard drives attached to my iMac has increased a lot. Everything feels more snappy. The time to boot and to shut down has decreased significantly and I am constantly discovering hidden gems.

    And I am looking forward to the point, when those many app developers will have been able to update their products so that they can use the horsepower SL provides us with.

    Sorry for my English, I am from Germany.

    Reply
  2. mail@christian-hoelscher.de

    The thing is that I am actually more thrilled about Snow Leopard than I thought before I would be.

    There are a lot of things in the system that make me very happy with it. The performance with external hard drives attached to my iMac has increased a lot. Everything feels more snappy. The time to boot and to shut down has decreased significantly and I am constantly discovering hidden gems.

    And I am looking forward to the point, when those many app developers will have been able to update their products so that they can use the horsepower SL provides us with.

    Sorry for my English, I am from Germany.

    Reply
  3. mail@christian-hoelscher.de

    The thing is that I am actually more thrilled about Snow Leopard than I thought before I would be.

    There are a lot of things in the system that make me very happy with it. The performance with external hard drives attached to my iMac has increased a lot. Everything feels more snappy. The time to boot and to shut down has decreased significantly and I am constantly discovering hidden gems.

    And I am looking forward to the point, when those many app developers will have been able to update their products so that they can use the horsepower SL provides us with.

    Sorry for my English, I am from Germany.

    Reply
  4. mail@christian-hoelscher.de

    The thing is that I am actually more thrilled about Snow Leopard than I thought before I would be.

    There are a lot of things in the system that make me very happy with it. The performance with external hard drives attached to my iMac has increased a lot. Everything feels more snappy. The time to boot and to shut down has decreased significantly and I am constantly discovering hidden gems.

    And I am looking forward to the point, when those many app developers will have been able to update their products so that they can use the horsepower SL provides us with.

    Sorry for my English, I am from Germany.

    Reply
  5. mail@christian-hoelscher.de

    The thing is that I am actually more thrilled about Snow Leopard than I thought before I would be.

    There are a lot of things in the system that make me very happy with it. The performance with external hard drives attached to my iMac has increased a lot. Everything feels more snappy. The time to boot and to shut down has decreased significantly and I am constantly discovering hidden gems.

    And I am looking forward to the point, when those many app developers will have been able to update their products so that they can use the horsepower SL provides us with.

    Sorry for my English, I am from Germany.

    Reply
  6. c.j.mills@ntlworld.com

    I’m pleased that some are rushing to Apple’s defence on this one.

    I personally love Snow Leopard, and love the speed improvements.

    I was number 3 in the Queue at my local Apple Store on Friday Morning (I also dropped in my MacBook for a new top case which was done within the hour), and couldn’t wait to get home and install it.

    I love the Cocoa Finder, the Dock Exposé really helps my workflow especially as it can be activated from within Cmd-Tab, and I’m looking forward to new applications written to take advantage of GCD and OpenCL. Then we shall see Snow Leopard really come to life.

    My only disappointment was the fact that the 64-bit kernel is disabled on my Mac (it is on most MacBooks), even though I have a 64-bit EFI. I suppose this has been done until there are more 64-bit KEXTs around.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next MPU on security.

    Reply
  7. c.j.mills@ntlworld.com

    I’m pleased that some are rushing to Apple’s defence on this one.

    I personally love Snow Leopard, and love the speed improvements.

    I was number 3 in the Queue at my local Apple Store on Friday Morning (I also dropped in my MacBook for a new top case which was done within the hour), and couldn’t wait to get home and install it.

    I love the Cocoa Finder, the Dock Exposé really helps my workflow especially as it can be activated from within Cmd-Tab, and I’m looking forward to new applications written to take advantage of GCD and OpenCL. Then we shall see Snow Leopard really come to life.

    My only disappointment was the fact that the 64-bit kernel is disabled on my Mac (it is on most MacBooks), even though I have a 64-bit EFI. I suppose this has been done until there are more 64-bit KEXTs around.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next MPU on security.

    Reply
  8. c.j.mills@ntlworld.com

    I’m pleased that some are rushing to Apple’s defence on this one.

    I personally love Snow Leopard, and love the speed improvements.

    I was number 3 in the Queue at my local Apple Store on Friday Morning (I also dropped in my MacBook for a new top case which was done within the hour), and couldn’t wait to get home and install it.

    I love the Cocoa Finder, the Dock Exposé really helps my workflow especially as it can be activated from within Cmd-Tab, and I’m looking forward to new applications written to take advantage of GCD and OpenCL. Then we shall see Snow Leopard really come to life.

    My only disappointment was the fact that the 64-bit kernel is disabled on my Mac (it is on most MacBooks), even though I have a 64-bit EFI. I suppose this has been done until there are more 64-bit KEXTs around.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next MPU on security.

    Reply
  9. c.j.mills@ntlworld.com

    I’m pleased that some are rushing to Apple’s defence on this one.

    I personally love Snow Leopard, and love the speed improvements.

    I was number 3 in the Queue at my local Apple Store on Friday Morning (I also dropped in my MacBook for a new top case which was done within the hour), and couldn’t wait to get home and install it.

    I love the Cocoa Finder, the Dock Exposé really helps my workflow especially as it can be activated from within Cmd-Tab, and I’m looking forward to new applications written to take advantage of GCD and OpenCL. Then we shall see Snow Leopard really come to life.

    My only disappointment was the fact that the 64-bit kernel is disabled on my Mac (it is on most MacBooks), even though I have a 64-bit EFI. I suppose this has been done until there are more 64-bit KEXTs around.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next MPU on security.

    Reply
  10. c.j.mills@ntlworld.com

    I’m pleased that some are rushing to Apple’s defence on this one.

    I personally love Snow Leopard, and love the speed improvements.

    I was number 3 in the Queue at my local Apple Store on Friday Morning (I also dropped in my MacBook for a new top case which was done within the hour), and couldn’t wait to get home and install it.

    I love the Cocoa Finder, the Dock Exposé really helps my workflow especially as it can be activated from within Cmd-Tab, and I’m looking forward to new applications written to take advantage of GCD and OpenCL. Then we shall see Snow Leopard really come to life.

    My only disappointment was the fact that the 64-bit kernel is disabled on my Mac (it is on most MacBooks), even though I have a 64-bit EFI. I suppose this has been done until there are more 64-bit KEXTs around.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next MPU on security.

    Reply
  11. pblasman@gmail.com

    I agree with everything that you said. Snow Leopard is an update of Leopard, it was never intended to be a new Operating System. Snow Leopard is a polish, a major overhaul of Leopard. Every time I use my 24-inch iMac, I discover something that was fixed and improved. Aperture is a lot quicker (once I learned to boot the computer in 64-bit mode), iCAl syncs with my Google Calendars smoother, the Finder is much improved and I can go on.

    I’m upset with the Tech Press and Apple. Many in the Press had advance copies of Snow Leopard. We all know that they were under NDA and could not say much until the release date. However, many of them were making comments in blogs, podcasts and in the press about how great Snow Leopard is going to be. In my opinion, they over-hyped it. Not one that I listened to or read said that it was an update to Leopard, they all made it sound like it was going to be an entirely new OS with major changes. Apple, and I don’t blame them, did nothing to counter the over-hype.

    So imagine my disapointment when I booted Snow Leopard Friday night and…. saw Leopard….. yes a much improved version, but it was still Leopard.

    Reply
  12. pblasman@gmail.com

    I agree with everything that you said. Snow Leopard is an update of Leopard, it was never intended to be a new Operating System. Snow Leopard is a polish, a major overhaul of Leopard. Every time I use my 24-inch iMac, I discover something that was fixed and improved. Aperture is a lot quicker (once I learned to boot the computer in 64-bit mode), iCAl syncs with my Google Calendars smoother, the Finder is much improved and I can go on.

    I’m upset with the Tech Press and Apple. Many in the Press had advance copies of Snow Leopard. We all know that they were under NDA and could not say much until the release date. However, many of them were making comments in blogs, podcasts and in the press about how great Snow Leopard is going to be. In my opinion, they over-hyped it. Not one that I listened to or read said that it was an update to Leopard, they all made it sound like it was going to be an entirely new OS with major changes. Apple, and I don’t blame them, did nothing to counter the over-hype.

    So imagine my disapointment when I booted Snow Leopard Friday night and…. saw Leopard….. yes a much improved version, but it was still Leopard.

    Reply
  13. pblasman@gmail.com

    I agree with everything that you said. Snow Leopard is an update of Leopard, it was never intended to be a new Operating System. Snow Leopard is a polish, a major overhaul of Leopard. Every time I use my 24-inch iMac, I discover something that was fixed and improved. Aperture is a lot quicker (once I learned to boot the computer in 64-bit mode), iCAl syncs with my Google Calendars smoother, the Finder is much improved and I can go on.

    I’m upset with the Tech Press and Apple. Many in the Press had advance copies of Snow Leopard. We all know that they were under NDA and could not say much until the release date. However, many of them were making comments in blogs, podcasts and in the press about how great Snow Leopard is going to be. In my opinion, they over-hyped it. Not one that I listened to or read said that it was an update to Leopard, they all made it sound like it was going to be an entirely new OS with major changes. Apple, and I don’t blame them, did nothing to counter the over-hype.

    So imagine my disapointment when I booted Snow Leopard Friday night and…. saw Leopard….. yes a much improved version, but it was still Leopard.

    Reply
  14. pblasman@gmail.com

    I agree with everything that you said. Snow Leopard is an update of Leopard, it was never intended to be a new Operating System. Snow Leopard is a polish, a major overhaul of Leopard. Every time I use my 24-inch iMac, I discover something that was fixed and improved. Aperture is a lot quicker (once I learned to boot the computer in 64-bit mode), iCAl syncs with my Google Calendars smoother, the Finder is much improved and I can go on.

    I’m upset with the Tech Press and Apple. Many in the Press had advance copies of Snow Leopard. We all know that they were under NDA and could not say much until the release date. However, many of them were making comments in blogs, podcasts and in the press about how great Snow Leopard is going to be. In my opinion, they over-hyped it. Not one that I listened to or read said that it was an update to Leopard, they all made it sound like it was going to be an entirely new OS with major changes. Apple, and I don’t blame them, did nothing to counter the over-hype.

    So imagine my disapointment when I booted Snow Leopard Friday night and…. saw Leopard….. yes a much improved version, but it was still Leopard.

    Reply
  15. pblasman@gmail.com

    I agree with everything that you said. Snow Leopard is an update of Leopard, it was never intended to be a new Operating System. Snow Leopard is a polish, a major overhaul of Leopard. Every time I use my 24-inch iMac, I discover something that was fixed and improved. Aperture is a lot quicker (once I learned to boot the computer in 64-bit mode), iCAl syncs with my Google Calendars smoother, the Finder is much improved and I can go on.

    I’m upset with the Tech Press and Apple. Many in the Press had advance copies of Snow Leopard. We all know that they were under NDA and could not say much until the release date. However, many of them were making comments in blogs, podcasts and in the press about how great Snow Leopard is going to be. In my opinion, they over-hyped it. Not one that I listened to or read said that it was an update to Leopard, they all made it sound like it was going to be an entirely new OS with major changes. Apple, and I don’t blame them, did nothing to counter the over-hype.

    So imagine my disapointment when I booted Snow Leopard Friday night and…. saw Leopard….. yes a much improved version, but it was still Leopard.

    Reply

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