Chris Spooner

11 Sep

Yesterday I went through the obligatory process of upgrading Mac OSX to the new Snow Leopard release. I had the disc sat around on my desk since it arrived from pre-ordering it back in August, but finally got round to setting aside an hour or so to leave the computer working.

Macbook Pro and Cinema Display

The upgrade process was pretty easy, just stick in the disc and click a couple of buttons. I did encounter a little trouble in that my MacBook ejected the disc on restart. I first thought, ‘Oh, that was quick‘ until I realised the background was the same, and it still stated the old OSX version number under the About This Mac window.

It turned out my MacBook was spitting out the disc on restart, which was stopping the rest of the install taking place. Simply holding down the ALT/Option key during restart brings up the boot options, where the CD drive can be selected. From then the install was a breeze, and I was greeted with the nice vibrant new desktop wallpaper, and the groovy intro video.



There has been a few issues creeping up on the web, and plenty of people wanted me to let them know if I had any trouble after the upgrade when I posted out the message on Twitter. So far I’ve only faced one bug:

Ugly bold fonts in Firefox
I booted up Firefox after the upgrade and spotted ugly font rendering on the tabs. A quick Google search brought up this handy fix from Stucel. Simply head into Font Book, select Lucida Grande, Reveal in Finder and Move to Trash. OSX will automatically replace the font with a new version, which after a restart of Firefox displays perfectly.

However, if you then try emptying the trash, it warns that the file is in use. Another post from CNET gives a handy tip on how to use Terminal to force delete a file. After a couple of minutes of implementing these fixes everything is fine.

That’s about it problem wise so far. However if I run into anything else I’ll be sure to update the post.

Update: Cyberduck failed to open, however there’s a beta version that’s compatible with Snow Leopard – Easy fix

Nifty New Features

A lot of people asked if Snow Leopard was worth the upgrade. At £25 I can’t see why not! Within moments of running the new upgrade, I noticed the free HD space had increased by 15GB and the shut down speed was impressively faster. For a full list of the ‘real’ improvements simply head over to Apple’s Snow Leopard overview.


One feature I’m a little sad to see go is the naming convention for screenshots, where images are now time and date tagged. There’s stacks of posts giving praise to this new process, but being someone who uses plenty of screenshots in tutorials, I found the simple – Picture 1, Picture 2 etc filenames really handy! I’ve now got to find myself some kind of batch renaming app to shorten down the filenames into something a little more usable in my posts.

What’s your initial impression of Snow Leopard. Had any annoying bugs of your own?


  1. JohnONolan says:

    Awsome job Chris, I’m going to have to get a family pack and upgrade all my machines too I think. I’ve just been biding my time waiting for all the app developers to kick in with updates that fix any bugs :)

  2. Abbas says:

    Like you say Chris – for £25 – you can’t grumble. I’ve not made the jump yet, as I’ve read a few stories about Adobe not supporting anything lower than CS4 for Snow Leopard.

    This has placed a slight issue over the upgrade for me as i’m currently using CS3 and particularly looking to upgrade this anytime time soon.

    But the price tag is making me think – do it anyway.

    Have you noticed any improvements in performance?? Such as program loading times, loading times in general within programs such as Illustrator/InDesign and the like?

  3. Luke Lux says:

    Great post, thanks to share it!

  4. Ryan Downie says:

    I installed Snow Leopard last week and I must say the improved speeds on my macbook is worth the price alone.

  5. Zoe Corkhill says:

    Snow Leopard is great – my macbook seems much faster :-)

    You should try Name Mangler to batch rename your files, it’s a good little app. I use it all the time

  6. matt ashwood says:

    The one thing that happened to me…which wasn’t necessarily Snow Leopard itself, but they are saying it was an underlaying problem that Snow Leopard brought out.

    The day after I installed Snow my logic board crapped out

    I have a 2008 MBP and have never had a problem with anything. Apparently they said it was something that would have happened and Snow Leopard brought the problem to the front….and screwed me out for a week of work!

    But, thanks to Apple’s awesome customer support, they are covering the $1700 repair bill even though I was out of warranty

    Other than that, it was working awesome!

  7. Dan Diaczun says:

    Overall, Snow Leopard has been worth the upgrade. My applications are running a bit faster and startup/shutdown times are faster as well.

    I’m still using CS3 and have noticed that I can’t preview a site in Dreamweaver with Firefox and occasionally Safari.

    Strange, but I suppose it’s time to upgrade to CS4 anyway…

  8. Chad Engle says:

    I love snow leopard. Has been an awesome upgrade. Still jealous of you 24″. Need one on my desk ASAP. :)

  9. SuB says:

    I am loving Snow Leopard, but note this.
    It’s killed my 2TB Time Capsule, (replacement on it’s way).
    Pretty sure it has something to do with the new file system, bitcount method, or compression method used.
    As I had a none SL mac mini access it and thats more or less when it broke.

    A side note, the OS now counts 1GB as 1000MB not 1024MB so some of that ‘extra drive space’ isn’t really there.

    You may notice that a 120GB drive previously showing 7% less (around 112GB) will now show as 120GB… an interesting approach…

    But I’m wondering how many more issues this may cause (if it is indeed the cause of my Time Capsule woes).

    But gratz on upgrading at least!

  10. Chad says:

    Looks cool. Hope you like it!

  11. Lee Gustin says:

    Overall SL is great. Shut down/on is so much quicker (MBP 2007) as well as CS4 working nicely.

    The issue that I do have is there not being many patches for the 64 bit system. I recently purchased a Canon MP620 Wireless printer, which will not work wirelessly with SL.

    Agreeing with @Chad – jealous of your 24″. My 24 is only a Dell haha.

  12. Mattia says:

    About the ugly bold fonts in Firefox (isn’t a SL bug):

  13. Jeancarlo Zelaya says:

    Use Adobe Bridge to batch file name change your photos.
    You should be able to find it on your own but if not, just Google search, Bridge can also rename other files as a batch not only photos but yes look it up.

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