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Apple Updates Leopard--Again

On Tuesday, Apple released its second major update to Mac OS X Leopard, the operating system it shipped in October. Mac OS X 10.5.2 Update, as Apple calls it, is one of the largest operating-system patches I've ever seen. The "combined update" download, which applies every fix issued so far to an unpatched copy of Leopard, weighs in at 343 megabytes, but even on a Mac with the 10.5.1 update applied, 10.5.2 was a 341-meg download.

(A conspiracy theorist could note that the mammoth size of these files forces dial-up users to drive to the nearest Apple Store to use the shop's broadband connection to grab their own copy--and maybe they'll wind up buying a new iPod while they're around.)

A note at Apple's tech-support site inventories the fixes 10.5.2 brings. Most are the usual security, stability and performance improvements, but Apple also fixed two of the bigger sources of complaints about Leopard's interface--the partially-transparent menu bar and the Dock "Stacks" that offer quick access to the contents of your Applications, Documents and Downloads folders.

You can now return the menu bar to a solid shade of light gray, and you can tweak the Stacks icons (via a right-click menu) to change their appearance, vary their order in which they display their contents, or make them act like standard folders. Those may not sound like major changes, but Mac interface-design connoisseurs had objected vociferously ("Transparent Menu Bar, Die Die Die!") to Leopard's earlier implementations of these ideas.

10.5.2 was not as easy to load as earlier OS X patches. On the MacBook Air that I reviewed recently, a download through OS X's Software Update mechanism didn't work. After a restart, the computer stalled at the first step in the install process. I shut the laptop off, discovered to my relief that the aborted update hadn't destroyed the system, and--after a second failure by Software Update--downloaded the massive combo updater file and installed that instead, which worked as advertised.

After putting 10.5.2 on my own Mac, I discovered a second issue: iCal seemed to have lost all of my calendar and to-do entries. A survey of some Mac-troubleshooting forums suggested that I could recover those entries by deleting some cache files in my home account's Library/Calendars folder. That worked; you can read a more detailed account of this in Sunday's Help File.

With those glitches out of the way, I'm pleased overall with this update. I liked Leopard when it shipped--the lack of an equivalent to 10.5's Quick Look document viewer in Windows now annoys me on a daily basis--but I certainly like it better with this update.

But for all of the compliments I've given Leopard, I've heard from some readers who are annoyed or even angry about this operating system. About a month ago, for instance, one reader vented at length that "Leopard is buggy and you should tell people about it since Apple has ignored these problems for months." (I told him that I hadn't seen any issues with it on the five or six Macs I've installed it on, and suggested an "Archive and Install" reinstall to put a clean copy of Leopard on his Mac, but he hasn't written back to say if that worked or not.) So I'll throw these questions out there: How has Leopard worked for you? What kind of a difference has 10.5.2 made?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  February 15, 2008; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  Mac  
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Comments

Thanks for the update! (Rob, not Apple...) I'm ordering a new iMac next week to replace my G4 power mac, and I was hoping the next OSX update would allow time machine to use network disks instead of only local disks. Have you seen any such update in 10.5.2?

Thanks.

Posted by: Pat | February 15, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

My personal macs continue to run Tiger (if it ain' broke...), but I administer a couple at work (24" iMac and 15" MBP) and while the iMac updated w/o problem, the MBP suffered a "greyscreen of death" that forced -- twice -- a hard reboot before a successful install and restart. Although alarming (and, in my 17 years of mac-ing, unprecedented), this wasn't a deal killer.

My biggest problem with Leopard is that Palm syncing is pretty bad via Mark/Space's Missing Sync. M/S blames Apple, saying there are problems with Apple's SyncServer. Apple DID fix a few SS issues, but apparently ones for which M/S already had crafted workarounds -- not helpful. I figure it's what I get for continuing to hold onto such archaic software (Palm), but it still grieves me.

Basically, though, Leopard works great and continues to be a bomb-proof OS matched only by the Xandros install on my beloved eeepc.

Posted by: Bush -- not related | February 15, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't received notice of the update yet. I imagine the Update Icon will bobbing up and down in the Dock when I get home tonight. Have had very few problems since upgrading to Leopard. I'm a happy camper!

Posted by: Kimosabe | February 15, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Rob -- how many people do you think have upgraded to Leopard but still use dialup on a regular basis and have no access to broadband? 2, maybe?

Posted by: ah | February 15, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Apple hasn't enabled the use of USB drives connected to a router, but they did introduce their own wireless router with an integrated hard drive (Time Capsule). There has been no word as to if the existing routers (Airport Extreme and Airport Express) could be upgraded at some point to support Time Machine.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | February 15, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"A 341-meg download."

Hmmm... I just read your column. I received an 180 MB update on Monday! It took about 25 minutes to apply the patch. I rebooted twice -- just to be safe since it took so long -- and then checked update again and received a much smaller patch that updated the graphics. Now, my Apple seems to be much better. Finally!!! Today, Friday Feb. 15, I checked for any other updates and no more were available. Plus, since I wanted a bigger screen and the price was a little cheaper, I have a power pc not an intel one. Maybe my machine didn't need that much, and hence, the smaller patch?

Now, if Apple would add more codex's to Quick time, and more functionality to Safari, and I would be a much happier camper and could delete a bunch of 3rd party apps.

Posted by: umm.huh | February 15, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I downloaded the updates Tuesday (as I certainly wasn't going anywhere) and like them Already tweaked the Stacks display. Haven't found the setting for the menu transparency yet, but I have a solid black background so I probably wouldn't notice it.

Have issues with the airport base station. Better that it was, but not fixed yet. Once in a while, about every 5 or 6 hours, the connection is dropped and I have to reboot the base station. No idea why this happens.

Also: Running Ubuntu in a VMware window. Very nice. Especially the eye candy.

Posted by: wiredog | February 15, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Rob - I agree with ummm-huh, it was an update more like 180-182MB and I was patched up to 10.5.1 before the update.

to Pat - when the Time Capsule base stations/drives start to ship, I bet you'll see another update where Apple allows disks to be connected to a base station to be able to use Time Machine.

Posted by: CP | February 15, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I updated my two Max Minis w/o problems, but the fix I was hoping for was not present. Front Row no longer offers a 'resume play' option, unless the video lives in iTunes.

This horribly sucks for my HTPC Mac, so much so that I'm considering dumping Leopard for MythTV or a WinXP solution.

Posted by: Jeff Elkins | February 15, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Like Rob, my update was the 343MB version and I was at 10.5.1. For the record, I haven't experienced any real problems with Leopard and have been happy.

Posted by: Drew | February 15, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

the size of the update is dependent on what system you have.

Posted by: bob nonte | February 15, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

This is a great update! It solved a couple of minor problems I had, and introduced a few nice changes, such as Stacks and Time Machine.

The difference in the patch sizes is whether you're using the "Combo" updater, about 340+ Megs, or whether you download the patch from Software Update, about 180+ Megs. It's generally recommended you not use the Software Update file, but go to Apple Support and download the Combo Updater. If you have several Macs, like I do in my office, you can just put the file on a network share and use it for each machine and save the download time. The Combo file is good for all machine types, while the updater file generally contains file just for the computer you're downloading it to.

Wiredog: the transparency setting is in SysPrefs/Desktop & Screen Saver/Desktop (look under "Random Order". Although I've heard it's not available for some graphics cards.

Also, after this update, be sure to run S/W Update again and d/l the Graphics update. I saw a noticeable improvement in the graphics performance in my Mini after this update.

Posted by: Alan | February 15, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, one other nice addition; in the Sharing Pane, you'll find an option to share your CD/DVD drive over a network. Something that came standard with the MacBook Air.

Posted by: Alan | February 16, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

There was something rotten going on when I tried to migrate data to a Leopard 5.0 MacBook Air from my MacBook Pro. The migration failed and the MacBook Air kernel panicked and had to be shut down. The computer had to be returned. When the new MacBook Air arrives, I'll be sure to do the OS updates first.

Posted by: Podesta | February 16, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Spaces have been a little annoying to me. It has suddenly just jumped to another space, when i was doing something else in the other space. So after i upgraded to 10.5.2, i haven´t had these problem yet.

Too umm.huh, you can add these codecs yourselv. So you can play everything in quictime:)

Posted by: Eirik | February 16, 2008 5:20 AM | Report abuse

My updates went fine. I have a reflection on Leopard as a whole.

I used to do automated back-ups using Stuffit Deluxe's Archive Assistant. It works (and saved my hide once) & I still use it on my wife's Tiger G4 iMac. But Time Machine is SO much better. The hourly B/U makes it almost impossible to lose work. And the big thing is that Time Machine compacts past B/Us to conserve space, so that my external HD needs zero attention to prevent overflows. I LOVE IT.

Now if all the s/w makers would update their apps to Leopard, life would be super. I am amazed that Photoshop Elements and Print Explosion are still not 10.5-compatible.

Posted by: Gary Morris | February 16, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Hi Rob,

I'm the guy you quoted who complained about Leopard being buggy. Thank you for responding to my email so promptly, but I decided against a complete reinstall (too many bad memories of Windows) in favor of hoping Apple would fix the three problems I identified as being widespread from Googling Apple forums.

Here is where my three listed problems stand now:

1. Leopard no longer hangs endlessly when I shut down since I followed a tip to remove iDisk from my desktop. I still think iDisk on the desktop should work since Apple charges me $100 annually for a .Mac account, but it's not that big a deal for me. But clean shut-downs are since I use Bootcamp WinXP regularly.

2. Trash now empties properly. I don't know whether it came from my tweaking or Apple, but I don't question success. ;-)

3. My Safari problems continue. Safari will fairly often shut down unexpectedly, usually with a brief message that there may be a problem with the Flash player. I have no idea how to fix this, so I'll keep hoping Apple will notice and fix it.

Thanks for all your good work and for paying attention to what your readers say.

Jake

Posted by: jbc3 | February 16, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I was going nuts with loss of wireless connectivity a couple of weeks after I got a new MacBook Pro with Leopard. I thought (and the local Apple dealer encouraged me to think) it was a router or ISP problem. New router, lots of attempted help from the ISP, continued problems, hours lost. Downloaded 10.5.2 when it became available and viola! Leopard seems to have been the culprit. Returned the new router, my old Airport base station works fine. It is a disappointment that Apple shipped such a buggy product.

Posted by: frodot | February 16, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Each and every update renders orphaned computers running old OS's (like my G3 iBook which cannot ingest OS X 10.5) that much more obsolete. Software evolution is now driving--and I do mean driving, like with a whip--sales of expensive hardware. Some selfless person should invent an OS that gets it right the first time, stays stable and stays put.

Posted by: Rafaelo di Gesso | February 16, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Since the update i got a blue screen and my mac would not load i rung apple support and with my mac only being a month and half old i was very upset, this is the whole reason for me moving to mac to have a more stable operating system.

I was on the phone for over 2 and half hours then they have said that my usb ports where no longer working the update had erased my drivers for my usb ports, I though this was very odd then before thay went they asked me to keep restarting pluging in my devices one by one, We have found the problem the update will not work with my printer which was working fine before the update.

They said that they are going to work on a fix and i could be the first of many, i have said to them that if they can not get my printer to work they should replace it with one that works its not my fault they have messed up with the update and it looks like to me they have rushed it out not ironing out all the bugs i reckon before the end of the month we will see another update watch this space.

Posted by: Kenny Wood | February 16, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Like frodot, I have had problems with wireless connectivity after switching to Leopard. Things have been better since 10.5.2.

Overall, though, my Leopard experience has been great. It's a very nice update. Quicklook is terrific. I love the ability to easily manipulate pdfs in Preview. There is no single wow feature, but just a whole bunch of small changes that add up to a worthwhile upgrade.

I just hope my tech support guys at work would install the update there soon (I am not allowed to on my own). I would like to make use of the system-wide to-do's that show up in Leopard Mail.

Posted by: Thor | February 16, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@Fairlington Blade, google "iTimeMachine" - it's freeware that does what you want - enables TimeMachine backups over the network.

@umm.huh - google "Perian" - it gives you all of the video codecs except WMA in ONE install. I removed DiVX, et al, and replaced with Perian and now I am quite happy. Replace QT Player with VLC and you'll be even happier!

Posted by: vaporland | February 16, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Rob, I run Leopard on a 1st gen 2gHz 15" MBP with 2GB ram and a 200GB 7200RPM HD - it totally rules.

I am able to use my Verizon Wireless Broadband ExpressCard (rev A!) almost anywhere, and it worked out of the box with no software install.

I run XP as well under Parallels and it is purring along. I run a lot of software simultaneously using only 2GB of ram and rarely stall.

I wish I had 802.11n, but I don't need to upgrade anytime soon. My advice to anyone experiencing laptop performance issues is to upgrade to the largest 7200RPM 2.5" hard drive you can find - it makes a big perceptual difference.

I second the motion of using "archive and install" when upgrading to Leopard from an older OS. This was the only option which preserved my software without glitches.

If you are able to copy your existing system to another drive with Carbon Copy Cloner (after running Disk Repair from your startup installer DVD!) and erase your internal drive, then use Migration Assistant, you'll be good to go!

Posted by: vaporland | February 16, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I updated my MacBook Pro to Leopard about a week after it went on sale - not a single problem to report, then or now.

Updates are always good to see, but I'll be honest, I saw no need based on my use - everything already works!

Posted by: Guest | February 16, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

No issues on my end, with any upgrades. Extremely thankful to Apple for bringing back the folder list to the dock. Stacks was just an awful idea.

Leopard hasn't made my life any easier or harder though...so I don't see a reason for anyone to run out and get it. I did try to restore my system from scratch using a USB disk backed up with Time Machine. 20 hours for 61 GB ????


Posted by: J5un | February 16, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Safari is much, much faster and glitch free. I open 20 windows in tabs (DSL) but it was slow before the update. The same with navigating between sites.

Posted by: Gary Norton | February 16, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The update worked fine for me on my iMac 20. No problems.
Dave Jewell

Posted by: david jewell | February 16, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

to jbc3: i had similar problems with safari. the apple support discussion board (which i've always found very helpful, btw) had some similar issues described on it. the suspected cause was a corrupted plist file, and the recommended solution was to exit safari, rename the safari plist file, and re-open safari, which would create a new plist. for me, this worked great. i would recommend going to the discussion boards, and if you don't see your problem described by anyone else, just submit a post of your own and someone will probably reply pretty quickly.

quick note: one guy replied by telling me to, i don't know, type left-handed on tuesdays and reinstall textedit, or something like that. my advice is, don't just do the first thing people might suggest. they're trying to help, and their solution might even work. but if it's way complicated and risky, it's probably not the best answer, so wait a bit and someone will offer a simpler, more helpful suggestion. try those first, and work up to the ones that suggest backing up your whole machine to a Zip drive, wiping it clean, and then restoring from the Zip drive. that is usually not the best answer. ultimately the plist solution was so simple and so successful i was really grateful i waited for a couple of responses to my discussion board posting.

Posted by: omar_p | February 16, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

My updating process has been frustrating. After installing the 343 MB patch on my MBP, I was horrified when it wouldn't shut down. Upon restarting it, my computer was definitely sluggish, everything was slower.I repaired permissions and even reset the PRAM. That seemed to fix most problems with speed (except with Office). Then I installed the graphics update and now starting up now takes about 20 secs longer than before any of these updates. But by far, MS Office has been the most affected. We're talking a little over 20 secs to launch (the first time).

Posted by: Camilo Montenegro | February 16, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Not only is the EeePC/Xandros "bomb-proof", it's the only OS I've encountered with which a person who is TOTALLY computerphobic could get up and running right out of the box. Talking about my wife. I've been in the computer biz since before the PC revolution, and my wife would absolutely hate it whenever she was forced to "...come look at this; you need to see it...". Her response was usually "...why does this take so long...", or "...why does it have to be so hard to do this...". As a result of being this practical and wise, she is probably better characterized as "computer-hater" rather than "computer-phobic". And all due to the Redmond gang.
Due to the march of time, she needed to have a computer of some kind; EeePc came along (I refused to buy a Vista-based machine); and she's fallen in love with it. So have I.
Time for us all to stop missing the point:
When it comes to OSs for the masses, the choice is not between Apple and Micro$oft, but between Linux and anything else which may claim to be a user-friendly OS.

PATCHES (from both big guys) encroaching on the GIGABYTE RANGE?!!!

My wife's EeePC with its 60 or more built=in applications, takes up 3 GB!

Start thinking LINUX, folks.

Posted by: Jon Colt | February 16, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I had no problem downloading 10.5.2, but I did notice that shortly afterwards, when I brought up Calendar it was blank. After a few choice words and several minutes had gone by, the data suddenly appeared. I will remember the advice concerning this problem.

Posted by: Philip Corn | February 16, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

When Apple's Inc's, customers say they don't like something they listen. You will never receive an update that fixes any widely complained about issue on anything related to Microsoft Vista. You get what you pay for with Apple. They deliver all the time.

Posted by: I thing to say! | February 16, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I'll list a couple of issues i've seen

1) it's hardware, not leopard but the conversion from the magsafe
connector has made my powerbook adapters paperweights.
i had to buy a new car adapter, aircraft adapter and a
brick for my travel case, my desk and my girlfriend's place.
a 50 cent adapter would save me 400 dollars

2)Leopard: Safari is very buggy, it locks up and crashes
routinely

3) Desktop sharing via iChat is unreliable

4) iCal is unreliable

5) sleep wakeup is slow, sometimes it takes 30 seconds to
wake up from a Coma.

6) 10.5 would crash a lot, 10.5.1 was better, i will see what is
happening in 10.5.2

7) SMB server access very buggy, our office uses SMB servers
and in 10.5.1 remote mount was buggy, and the ether net
port locks up forcing a hard restart every 3 days.

it's 10.5 and not anything else as the rest of the company
is runnign 10.4 and happy.

Posted by: pat b | February 16, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Who has dial up anymore?!!! Get Real.

Posted by: houseman | February 16, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I made the stupid mistake of upgrading to Adobe CS3 and Leopard as soon as they came out instead of waiting the prudent six months to let the bugs shake out...my bad.

Posted by: Bob Hudnall | February 16, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

have had 3 problems since installing leopard 2 months ago.

1. gmail routinely crashes once or twice daily
and I have to reboot the computer.
2. Merrill Lynch on line trading portal just
will NOT work and Merrill does not
Mac......having enough trouble surviving
themselves thru the sub=prime loss of
billions.
3. Charles Schwab Street Smart Pro also
crashes, so I now use Firefox.

HELP, Steve Jobs

Posted by: Robert Perrin | February 16, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Just did a clean install of Leopard on my Macbook, which previously had Tiger.

No problems at all so far :) I got Office 2008 installed and iLife '08 installed.

At first (on 10.5.0) I had some issues but I updated to 10.5.2 and got updates for all my software (Only took about 20 minutes on my Internet Connection) and everything works great.

Leopard is great!

Posted by: Harshboy | February 16, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't apple get dogged out whenever they release many patches? People are always so quick to judge the microsoft products, Let's Not forget steve job's isn't perfect either.

Posted by: Rob | February 16, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The 10.5.2 update via SoftwareUpdate was fine. However, after the Leopard Graphics update, Opera seems to be unhappy in the area of fonts - some links using underlined text only show the underlines and the font being used differs markedly from pre-graphcisupdate. Safari and Firefox were both fine.

Posted by: perfgeek | February 16, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@Gary Morris: There is a new Photoshop Elements 6.0 for Mac, Leopard compatible. Haven't used it yet, but will probably try soon.

My biggest beef with Apple is that the GMA X3100 chipset in newer macbooks does not have the same compatibility with certain game engines as its predecessor, the GMA 950. So game developers have to change their games to match, when Apple should be providing the same drivers and compatibility as earlier chips! I was hoping the graphics update would fix this, but it didn't.

As for Safari, I still have the same password issues (multiple prompts for the same site) as before, and will continue to use Firefox. I would recommend it for anyone who has issues with safari.

Just switched to mac, and, while it's definitely faster, more user-friendly, stable, and prettier than windows, it has problems of its own I'd still like to see fixed.

Posted by: grace | February 16, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

10.5.2 was a God-send, as I'd actually been forced to revert to Tiger from an Airport issue that had been causing Kernel Panics literally about every five minutes. Sadly Time Machine had not fully finished backing up and I actually lost a substantial amount of data in the process.

However, I did learn my lesson about rushing into updates and not backing up. My Mac is now faster than ever, and *knock on wood* not a single kernel panic.

Posted by: Alex | February 16, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

If updates are such a bad thing, why do I know people waiting for Vista SP3 before even thinking of switching from XP?

Has the WP had to resort to smarmy articles to generate page views from intended flame wars now?

Posted by: Sarasota | February 16, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse


There are lots of people with stuck with dialup because this i not exactly the land of equal opportunity.

As for Leopard, I've had no problems. Apple errors on the side of simplicity and style over customizability, but given third party utilities, it buries the competition.

Posted by: Doug Derryberry | February 16, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Rafaelo di Gesso wrote: "Some selfless person should invent an OS that gets it right the first time, stays stable and stays put."

There are such OSes such as Plan 9. I can compile the plan9 kernel all its standard programs from its source code in a few minutes on 10+ year old PC. The problem is that people want all the eye candy they got used to and they don't want to climb its learning curve.

Posted by: Anon | February 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I had been a slow migrator to Macs. It started in 2005, with my first Mac mini, and then a G5 Imac. I had been PC user, and builder of PC's for many for a number of years, and my history of Windows dates back to the DOS 4-5 days, and Windows first usable OS, in my opinion which was 3.11.

At any rate, I have almost converted my wife completely to MAC as she now is a happy owner of a macbook, and I am happily chuggin on my new MacPro Octo core beast, and own a Macbookpro that is pushing well into it's second year and is keeping up just fine with Leopard installed.

It is not a perfect OS, I am sure, and I know I will never realize all it can do. I know this though,, I have had no virus or spyware issues for more than 2+ years now, lock ups are very infrequent. Oh yeah the beachball apperas from time to time, but recovery is usually simple and not a good awful reboot, and potentially lose everything deal as it so often seemed to be.

Installs, upgrades are so much more seemless, quicker. Hardware, plug and play does just that!! No CD,driver issues to hassle with more than 99% of the time, or so it seems.

It's just simply better. That's all. While Windows certainly posseses many of the features a mac does, the mac simply does it with more finesse. Nuff said.

Thanks for letting me state my thoughts. Kevin

Posted by: Kevin Wilson | February 16, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Since upgrading to Leopard:
the thesaurus on ms word is seen as white font on white background... have to double click to see anything.
spss 11 doesn't work, needed to upgrade to spss 16.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Rafaelo di Gessso wrote (and Anon commented on),

"Some selfless person should invent an OS that gets it right the first time, stays stable and stays put."

Check out Ubuntu (Canonical is the name of the org behind Ubuntu), and its operating philosophy, which includes major upgrades every six months, will always be free, learning curve: flat-to-downhill (don't confuse learning curve with the un-learning of brainwashing you may have to do).
Canonical will send you--free--two DVDs of the Ubuntu version--6 available--of your choice: one for you; one to give to someone else.
Or you can download it free.

Hope you're listening (reading?), Rafaelo. This is the real thing.

Posted by: Jon Colt | February 16, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Why Linux? Personally, I cant stand it. And any one who is still using dial up probably has a mac with a built in modem. They stopped selling those a long time ago. What I am saying is that their computer probably would not have the power to even think of running 10.5

Posted by: WarWeazl | February 16, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

When Linux catches up in the large-vocabulary speech recognition department, I'll consider it. I can't type for very long and really depend on dictation for emails and any other text. The only option I've heard of for Linux is to run NaturallySpeaking under WINE, which is not very appealing.

Until then, I'm sticking with Mac. M$ is not even in the equation for me.

Posted by: James | February 16, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way to load Internet Explorer onto an iBook? There used to be Internet Explorer for Mac.

Posted by: curious | February 17, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Did the upgrade...bad idea. I'm no Mac dummy, but jeez.

After hanging in a blue screen forever and 1 forced reboot it slowly started up. Then problems:

1. Absolutely no connectivity to the internet, even though I have full signal strength...ethernet offered no hope as well, no matter what I tried. 0 Packet sent or received.


2. I could not open any finder window. Any attempt would cause the Finder to crash. I had to use Spotlight to navigate to Disk Utility for a Permissions Repair. Now I have a Finder window, but when trying to view toolbar icons the finder crashes and relaunches again.

3. Can't empty trash or delete an orphaned Preference Pane icon called NetUpdate (which I can't move either). When I try to delete them I get the apple error code -8062. Sometimes it caused the Finder to crash and relaunch.

I love Mac and hate this Update!!!

I am running a 1.5 Mgz Powerbook G4 12". Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: jaspertonka | February 17, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Okay...forget the last help call.

I fixed it. It looks like the updater only partially installed and then lodged itself in my trash while still connected to critical network systems that I was unable to correct because processes that would not quit (so I couldn't kill certain other processes).

I had to go into terminal and sleuth my upper level .Trashs folder to find out that the install .pkg still existed and was working havoc on my comp. It had only partially changed my network congfig and stalled, leaving me and the comp unable to access or make any changes to the apps.

I had to break the .pkg process links and reinstall the update before I had a working comp. Crazy. Super frustrating and I suppose an unusual problem. I've learned a lot so if anyone needs help about this update...I may be able to help.

Posted by: jaspertonka | February 17, 2008 4:45 AM | Report abuse

HEY...I fixed the problem. I just wrote about it but the letter was deleted and I don't have the energy to repeat it. So...if you have questions about it just respond and I will retype it again.

So you know it required terminal, hidden files, some reinstallation and a lot of time.

I wish my plight upon no one. I love mac...but

Posted by: jaspertonka | February 17, 2008 4:50 AM | Report abuse

Safari still has memory issues after the 10.5.2 update. I only had a few tabs opened and it was using around 250MB RAM.

Posted by: James M | February 17, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Having been a mac user since the the days of 10.2 I can say with absolute honesty that 10.5 is the best version of OS X to date. The Quicklook feature is a blessing, Cover Flow in finder is great and even Spaces rock!

I am glad that Apple have listened to the complaints and added an option to turn off the translucent menu bar. Now I hope that the 10.5.3 update will include an option to turn off the 3D dock, which is the only thing I don't like about 10.5.

Posted by: Hugo_ZA | February 17, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"It's just simply better. That's all. While Windows certainly posseses many of the features a mac does, the mac simply does it with more finesse. Thanks for letting me state my thoughts. Kevin"

Welcome to the Mac world Kevin! Like you, I grew up on PCs for work (starting with DOS 2.1), but was a "closet" Apple owner, an Apple II. Throughout the years I had to live in the Windows world, but always had some type of Mac computer at home.

Apple was always the pioneer, inventing technologies that took the PC world years to adopt. Making hard choices whenever others told them they were wrong. Now, with OS X, it's nice to see people finally realizing the potential of this great company.

They're not perfect, but, as many others, have noted, they do listen to their user base more than most companies do.

Welcome aboard!

Posted by: Alan | February 17, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Check out Ubuntu..." - Jon Colt:

Hi Jon, I'm glad Linux works for you. Linux is an ideal operating system for certain uses. But, unfortunately, it is not a mainstream, consumer-friendly OS. It lacks support for a wide range of diverse peripherals, and while strong in some applications, it is lacking in most consumer type apps. Also, once the user strays from the graphical shell of the OS, most users are lost... just way too geeky. And to be fair, that's fairly common with any OS these days by the normal user.

Finally, support is severely lacking for Linux. Unless you know someone that is fluent in Linux, or are literate enough to sit down and learn the OS (how many consumers will do that?), support is going to remain to be a defining issue. Complicating the issue is the many flavors of Linux, each one doing something just a little different. It was the same in the Unix world I use to live in. Even OS X is a Unix variant.

Unless you're going to give out your phone number as a technical source for support, I'd be hesitant to persuade someone to go the Linux route. Personally, I would never recommend Linux to the average user. I hope one day that will change.

Posted by: Alan | February 17, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Few problems with Leopard from the start- well before the start, actually, as I have been getting beta versions. The earlier betas even worked fine on my old lampshade G4 iMac, though the released version required just a bit faster clock than that old machine has. We were having a kernel panic problem associated with a Logitech wireless mouse on a 15 inch MacBook Pro, but 10.5.2 seems to have fixed that.

Can't imagine how "10.6" will improve things, but I'm sure it will be along any year now.

Posted by: Bill Mosby | February 18, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Since you asked . . . . My "upgrade" to Leopard on our home MacBook was an utter disaster. For reasons that Apple seems to know about but refuses (not surprisingly) to publicize, the "upgrade" install wiped out my admin account, virtually crippling my computer. Among other glitches, it also wiped out Quicken's ability to recognize my password, costing me months' worth of my most relevant financial data. The install also wiped out our Backup (the predecessor to Time Machine) in a way that prevented us from recognizing the damage done until after we let Leopard commandeer our external HDD for Time Machine, leaving us with an inability to go back and restore, even though we'd backed things up as we should have. Apple tech support ultimately took our laptop for a week and got it back into working order, but only after quite an ordeal and still resulting in the loss of significant data.

Posted by: Michael | February 18, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Jake ( with the buggy Leopard and the 3 issues): I have Tiger on my 8-core MacPro and share some of the same issues: shutdown "hanging" (although I do not have idisk or .mac) Safari just shutting down (seems to do this when redirected to a .pdf; new "bug" with Safari 3) Haven't noticed a trash problem, but for a week, the tower would shut down if i bumped my knee against it!

Posted by: FMP | February 18, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

10.5.2 doesn't change anything about repairing authorizations. Indeed, since I installed Leopard, I cannot repair any authorization. It's extremely weird. Disk Utility still use 20 minutes to write ACL found but not expected. Apparently it is not awkward, but I have the bad feeling that my computer runs slower and slower. And to do a clean install doesn't change anything (the secund already)... so there are still some bugs to fix!

Posted by: domnuldid | February 18, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

In our landmine clearance organisation we run some 30 latest Macs around the globe. Since upgrading to Leopard the very vital Skype file transfer does not work any longer. Some of our fully paid for SNAPZ X etc turned into demo versions by themselves. Migration guarantees dataloss eg in iView - regardless of TimeMachine. Parallel which we need for our GiS systems seized working and strangest of all, Google Earth does not run anymore- regardless which version we install. Now the videocard in my own iMac puffed and as it is part of the motherboard, that is a total write-off. And the funny thing is that we seem to be the only ones having above problems. Conspiration theory, here I come. I love Macs, but.... anyhow, they are just stupid computers and by definition can only do one third of what advertisement says. Just like Windows....or anything else. Pen and paper are more reliable.

Posted by: Hendrik Ehlers | February 18, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Apple listening? Good customer service? I remember those days fondly.

I have never had such a hard time of making a computer work as since i switched to leopard. I'm not useless around a mac - had them for 20 years and have made all the repairs on my last 6 powerbooks myself.

Leopard feels like beta in a form where the prettiness was more important than stability. I shouldn't have to use spotlight to launch the terminal window just to make an archive re-install work because the finder won't run.

Then there's the new apps.

Safari? I would prefer it to Firefox, but not when it crashes as regualrly as it does. I no longer even try.

But the biggest frustration has been iCal. No matter what I try, nothing I enter will be there the next time I launch. I've spent hours reading posts and patiently trying different strategies and it just doesn't work. I'm sure it's simple enough but I've spent way too much time on it already.

These are pretty basic applications. It's not supposed to be this hard. If Apple did not have such a loyal following, offerings like these would ensure that it never gained one.

I will attempt a carbon clone then a full erase install and upgrade, then migrate assistant. Hopefully that will work. Else it's back to tiger, which was stable and nice enough to look at. After a week I hopefully won't miss all the things I really like about leopard. Sit back and wait until 10.5.5 and try again. Or change platforms. Ubuntu you say...?

1.5ghz Powerbook G4 12" 1.25Mb

Posted by: simon | February 18, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I really like having access to my applications as a hierarchical menu as compared to stacks or the grid view. Everything with the update went well on my G5, ibook G4, and mini.
However,I still have not mastered the new firewall in Leopard. I cannot get screen share , connecting computers or even sharing iPhoto or iTunes unless the firewall is turned off all together. I've tried all the options under the firewall preference pane, but connection is only possible with the firewall turned all the way off. Any ideas out there?
B

Posted by: Jonser | February 18, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

If you are using Vista you can preview your docs, similiar (but not as good as apple). Make sure you have the feature turned on, it will turn be off if your computer is not fast enough, but after turning it on I did not notice any difference.

Kinda funny reading this - this sounds a lot like Windows XP release from Apple. Lots of work the first year to get it in shape.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

"In our landmine clearance organisation we run some 30 latest Macs around the globe. Since upgrading to Leopard..."

Hi Hendrik, With the important work you do, I'm not sure if it was a good idea to upgrade all your Macs at once? Especially if you had mission-critical applications that were needed? I have a small office running 5 Macs, and we only upgraded one at a time, then lived with each one for a week or two to insure there were no issues. One of my older Macs had trouble, so we re-cloned it back to TIger and are still using it like this until the application vendor comes out with an upgrade.

As mentioned above, each computer is cloned before the upgrade, so we can always go back to where we started from if something goes awry.

Just something to think about.

Hope you get everything working!

Posted by: Alan | February 19, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Hi Jonser,

"However,I still have not mastered the new firewall in Leopard..."

I'm not really happy with the firewall either, but if you do an internet search, you'll find several articles detailing how to properly configure it. I think Apple's site also has some worthwhile information.

Also, if you use a NAT router between you and your ISP/Telco, it will minimize any weakness in your OS firewall. Finally, I use the new version of Little Snitch that monitors apps "phoning home".

Hope this helps!

Posted by: Alan | February 19, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Hi Alan,

no worries, we carefully differentiate between "data" and computing with whatever OS. Multiple FTP plus hardcopy does the trick. Also, I meant iPhoto and not iView. Thx

Posted by: Hendrik Ehlers | February 19, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I use MacOS X on my laptop to connect to several mail accounts, including work, using Mail.app.

Until 10.5.2, Mail.app worked fine for me. Since installing the update for MacOS X 10.5.2, Mail.app crashes immediately if I have my work email account (with an MS Exchange 2007 SP1 mail server running on Windows 2003 SP2) configured. For now, I'm forced to use the (really awful) Outlook Web Access to connect to work email.

So I'd say that 10.5.2 still has some serious bugs in it. To be honest, 10.5.0 and 10.5.1 also have been seriously buggy. While Apple used to have good QA, for the past ~1 year their QA has been declining visibly. Sigh.

Posted by: MS Exchange user | February 19, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Rob,

As always, a very helpful article. My main problem with Leopard has been an increasing tendency for the "beachball" to appear every time I open the computer and often when I change programs. This did not happen much with Tiger, began with greater frequency after I installed Leopard and appears to have become a daily annoyance. I'll call MacSupport but I thought I'd let you know my experience

Posted by: William Shine | February 19, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

USING: G4 1Ghz 12" PowerBook, G4 Dual 1Ghz MDD

I think Leopard is really a leap forward in terms of some features. The spring loaded folder, quick look, TIME MACHINE and spaces are great features. I don't like the fact that some of the customization option have been removed from networking/connections. Although I must admit that soon as I installed Leopard on my machine (CLEAN INSTALL) everything just worked and set it self up on its own.

Recently for the past few days I have had a problem where the PowerBook hangs when I wake it from sleep. This is annoying, specially when I have to go from class to class with five minute breaks. I know a clean install will fix this problem like many other problems that can be fixed this way. However it is an inconvenience for me to reinstall cause it is time consuming. Time Machine is great though for the reinstall because everything gets put back into place.

The Dual G4 MDD is running GREAT the graphics are great due tot he ATI 9800pro and everything else works just fine. Only problem is Kernal Panic when waking from sleep with a ext. USB hard drive connected. This problem is due to the Belkin USB PCI card which I have to replace with another one that doesn't have compatibility issues. Other than that its running smooth and clean as a whistle.

Posted by: Abe | February 20, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The only major problem I've got after loading Leopard is that I can't run Power Point files without purchasing some kind of upgrade. Has no problem runing them before.... is this some kind of bait and switch?

Posted by: Ben | February 22, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Dial up... I use a MacBook Pro and choose to live in an area without DSL, cable or other broadband (my cell phone service is even flakey here - gasp!)

Obviously, I had to get a USB modem when I moved here, but it works as well with Leopard as it did with Tiger. I do miss knowing the connection speed though. How hard could that have been to leave in the interface?

Upgrading to Leopard, CS3 and Office 2007 all at the same time worked fine for me.

Posted by: sparx | March 30, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

... uh. Make that Office 2008.

Posted by: sparx | March 30, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

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