My thoughts on Snow Leopard

Last night I spent about five hours doing a clean install of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the latest and greatest Operating System from Apple. Going into it, I was hoping that this $29 (!) upgrade well help me get another year or so out of my Mac thanks to the reported speed improvements and refinements throughout the OS.

After those five hours last night, plus a couple this morning done some cleaning up, the verdict is in: I really like Snow Leopard. On the face of it, it does feel more like a Service Pack compared to even a minor OS release, but supposedly there is a lot of work done underneath the hood for developers to really hook into. Everything I have read suggests we won’t see the real power of this update until developers start targeting their apps for Snow Leopard directly.

What I like:

  • There is a definite speed increase, even on my first generation MacBook with the original 2.0 GHz Core Duo processor and 2 GB of RAM. Even though I am limited to 32-bit apps due to this processor, I definitely feel some very nice speed increases.
  • Looks like I freed up about 8GB of hard drive space. Nothing wrong with that!
  • Startup/shutdown is insanely fast. I can start the computer completely up in about 30 seconds. Shutdown seems like it takes 5 seconds at most.
  • The little refinements are very nice. Some little inconsistencies have been cleared up. It certainly feels like a completely mature OS now.
  • I really like using stacks to navigate within folders. Really clears up some clutter on the dock.
  • Mail seems a lot more solid and faster. To me, it is finally usable if you have lots of e-mail saved.
  • The new services menu really has potential. For the first time, I think I can actually make use of it.

Still playing around with it, but by all accounts, this is looking like a very nice upgrade.