Taking a Chance with x.0 Releases

For the past three days, I’ve had the Snow Leopard disc that’s in the mail sitting in a pile. Generally I couldn’t care less about installing software, but for some reason I was second guessing myself. From the people I know that have Macs, they are generally split between getting the latest release and waiting for the first point release (i.e. 10.6.1). I can easily see the logic in waiting, but you hold off on getting the latest and greatest. The same dilemma will arrive in a few weeks for PC users when Windows 7 launches. I’ve been using the Release Candidate for quite a while and I find it fine with the exception of a few compatibility issues with software here and there.

I usually don’t like to get into specifics, but I think maybe holding off for a point release may have been better with Snow Leopard. Most of the problems I was having didn’t really get fixed and now I have a few more bugs to deal with.

Exchange Support

What a load of nothing Exchange support has been to me thus far. The only reason I intended on using it was to hook up my school email with my regular email in Mail. Unfortunately, I presumed the same technology was in Snow Leopard that is on the iPod/iPhone. Apple’s portable devices license a technology from Microsoft called ActiveSync which allows it to directly connect with an Exchange server. On the desktop/notebook side, they connect to Exchange using EWS or Exchange Web Services. I assume since I can access my school email through the web, they have this enabled on their servers. I could be horribly wrong and pointing the finger at Apple, but they should have just used the same technology.

WiFi Connection

Apparently a ‘cool new thing’ in Snow Leopard was that you can see all the signal strengths in the drop down menu. Whoop dee doo! The problem that I currently have after upgrading to Snow Leopard is that it likes to time out my connection. It’s not dropping connections like a few other people are complaining about, but when I try to load any web page it will time out. The funny thing is that Adium still appears to be connected for a minute or so until it eventually times out and signs off.

QuickTime X

While I generally like the improvements they did with the new QuickTime Player, I wonder why they didn’t take the time to build in WMV playback into the player. It’s like the freaking Swiss Army knife of players with Perian installed, but it still lacks support for WMV playback. I have to use a turd of a plugin called Flip4Mac WMV. It might not be the developers fault it’s a pile of crap since Apple probably has him go through plenty of hurdles. The import time of a WMV file on Leopard wasn’t that bad, but it’s currently slow as molasses in Snow Leopard. This is most likely a result of the beta version I have to run.

In general, Snow Leopard is more refined than Leopard though. Expose is a lot better, along with new version of the Finder which is a bit faster than the old version. Start up and shut down times are a bit faster. Also, Stacks on the Dock can actually dig down into other folders and the Put Back ‘feature’ in Trash has already been put to use (Only god knows why it took them so long to put this in). I haven’t had a chance to test out the HFS+ read support for Boot Camp yet or the built-in support for Cisco IPsec VPN connections. I must say this though:

I wouldn’t have purchased 10.6 if it had been the normal price. ($129 USD)

The $25 price made it a lot easier to swallow.


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