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4.2 out of 5 stars234
4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 2 September 2009
I installed Snow Leopard (aka Mac OS X 10.6.0) on Sunday 30th August 2009 just 2 days after it was released, on my 3-year-old iMac. My iMac isn't particuarly powerful; it only has a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive. Snow Leopard was extremely easy to install, with few options or technical decisions to make, and took just 45 minutes to complete. I upgraded straight from Leopard and didn't have to re-format my hard drive or start over from scratch. I encountered no problems or bugs during the process and, when I got back to my Desktop, all my files and settings were completely intact.

In short, my iMac is now much faster. That's the main difference. Snow Leopard may look the same as Leopard on the surface, but "under the hood" it has been completely re-engineered and refined. From my experience, it seems like I'm running the same operating system (Leopard) but on newer, more powerful hardware. My iMac now starts up in 35 seconds and shuts down in 6 seconds. And it goes to sleep so quickly you'd think the computer had crashed! The Finder feels lighter and more fluid, with smoother scrolling and faster loading of icons. The Dashboard loads and updates more quickly, with less time spent waiting for Widgets to refresh their content from the Internet. Mail also feels lighter and more responsive, totally at ease with browsing through thousands of rich text e-mails.

Snow Leopard appears to be identical to Leopard, but it isn't. There are lots of new features and improvements to be found if you look closely enough. For example, Preview now allows you to import from a scanner, over Wi-Fi. This "just works" totally automatically, and requires no installation of third-party bloatware or complex configuration. Expose has been re-designed, presumably in response to Windows 7 copying Apple's dock (introduced in 2000), with left-click dock activation, a more organised grid layout, and the ability to minimise windows down into their parent application's icon. QuickTime Player is totally different and now allows you to record your own screen in high definition, and upload it directly to YouTube. Date & Time in System Preferences now sets your time zone automatically, by triangulating nearby Wi-Fi hotspots to determine your closest city. And one of the most useful features, automatic spelling correction is now system-wide, meaning your mistakes are corrected no matter where you type!

So is Snow Leopard worth £23.99? Absolutely, it's fantastic value at just a third of the cost of Windows 7. It makes your Mac run much faster and it fixes most of Leopard's little quirks and imperfections. I'm genuinely impressed. However, if you're not a geek, I'd advise you to wait a month or two before upgrading. Upgrading to a brand new operating system, just days after its release, is risky business and potentially counterproductive. Many third-party apps aren't yet ready for Snow Leopard, because developers weren't expecting it to come out until the end of September! So check the websites of your favourite apps for updates first, and perhaps wait for Apple to release 10.6.1 or even 10.6.2, before taking the plunge.
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on 5 October 2009
Whilst everybody likes their software to be up to date, some of your older versions of applications like Aperture will not run on the new platform and you will have to buy them again, it would have been helpful to know this before installing. Like all new Mac programming there are unresolved issues that will no doubt be ironed out in future updates, I suddenly found internet access very slow which I resolved by changing my network settings, a slow and painful process as I am not a 'geek', it would be worth looking at various issues that have come up on Mac forums before deciding to install. I would advise waiting for the creases to be ironed out before installing this version of Snow leopard. On the plus side it wasn't that expensive except for the time you may spend resolving problems!
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on 28 August 2009
Well, it's more of a makeover of Leopard than a full upgrade, but then Windows 7 is more of a makeover of Windows Vista than a true upgrade as well (IMHO).

This is a short review - the other two poor reviews were about Amazon's customer service, not about the Snow Leopard product, so I just thought I'd actually write something positive about the actual product.

Installation took about 40 mins on my old (white) MacBook.

Only thing I've found with Snow Leopard so far is that it disabled my Parallels 3.0 software - which simply means it's time to upgrade to Parallels 4.0.
Other than that, everything just works. Very happy with it.
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on 6 September 2009
Good news to anyone who still has Tiger, Snow Leopard can be directly installed... unless you want to buy iLife and iWork '09, this is a cheap fantastic upgrade. However, for it to work properly, you will have to back up all of your documents, photos, and applications if needed, then transfer them back. Worth the time & effort!
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on 3 September 2009
Snow Leopard is an evolutionary release that builds upon Leopard. It incorporates a lot of new technologies under the hood that allow Mac OS X to take advantage of GPGPU (using the graphics processor in everyday applications), and tools such as GCD (Grand Central Dispatch) that allow developers to take advantage of the multiple cores found in modern Mac systems. The kernel and all standard applications within OS X have also been recompiled as 64 bit on Macs that support it, so that they can perform more efficiently and take advantage of massive amounts of RAM.

It also features a lot of speed improvements (especially boot up and shutdown, install time, as well as general system speed). There aren't a lot of new end user features (QuickTime X is all I can think of), but Apple has taken a lot of time to refine the current features, productivity enhancements to the Dock (Dock Expose) and the Finder, and hundreds of small tweaks across the system that make little difference by themselves, but when grouped together make OS X that more enjoyable to use.

And at £23 I can think of no reason not to buy this.
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on 12 October 2010
Having been using Tiger, since buying it preloaded on my iMac in January 2007, I thought it was high time for an upgrade!

Snow Leopard is fantastic.

It's slick, and user friendly, but make sure you have at least 2GB RAM installed!

I was tempted to rate it 4.5 though, due to it being not much faster than Tiger.

However, this is no doubt down to my only having 1GB RAM installed on my Mac. It's been slowing down for a while (on Tiger).

I'll be upgrading it to 2.5GB RAM asap, and then I'm confident that Snow Leopard run like a dream!

If upgrading from Tiger OS on your Mac, you don't even need to buy Leopard first.

Save money and upgrade directly to Snow Leopard.

Installation was a cinch :-)
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on 31 August 2009
I have now given it a few days of testing and using before submitting this review, but I am pleased to award OSX 10.6 five stars. There is a marked improvement in speed across the board. Safari 4 which I have not been happy with, now works much better. About 7GB of bloat have been removed and all for a very modest price. It loaded easily and quickly, and in terms of appearance, everything was the same, but the improvements in performance are worth the £23.

This release was announced in June 2008, so it has not been rushed out as one reviewer states. OSX 10.5 came out two years ago, so an update really was due.

I can honestly say it is faultless.
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on 14 July 2011
I got this to upgrade from Tiger, and the first time I installed it, didn't work, almost setting off a panic-attack! However, a re-install went smoothly and with no problems. Works a treat now. Didn't have to do anything to my saved files or settings. The whole process was extremely easy (each time). Highly recommend it for anyone still running an older OS.
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on 30 August 2009
As a long time Mac user, I always upgrade to the latest OS, but not always to the latest version of programs. The first problem I met trying to install Snow Leopard is that it didn't like my DVD drive. This was an 'upgraded' drive from Sony I put in my Mac Pro. Although I have never had a problem with it before, SN installed kept insisting that the DVD was dirty and couldn't be read. My Mac Mini had no trouble reading the DVD so I know that the DVD drive is the problem. I got the install DVD onto an external disk drive and installed from that.

Second problem was that Snow Leopard didn't like my printer software. I have an expensive Epson Pro 4000 which is a few years old and a brilliant 8-colour, A2 printer. I checked and there are no newer drivers available, so I can't use it with Snow Leopard. Likewise, my Microsoft Office X and FileMaker Pro 6 work perfectly in 10.5.8 but not in 10.6, even with the optional Rosetta installed. I have never needed to upgrade these as they do what I want. When I worked out the cost of updating all these things for 10.6, I gave up and reverted to a cloned backup.

If you have an Intel Mac running a lot of legacy software/hardware, you might want to think twice. If eveything is up to date, go for it!
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on 9 January 2010
I've been using Snow Leopard on my 27 inch i7 imac and I have to say, I'm seriously underwhelmed. To my mind, it reminds me of how Leopard was when it first came out, lots of integration issues with software.

If you work in architecture or graphic design, you will need to be aware of the issues regarding compatibility with Adobe Acrobat. This is precisely what happened when Leopard came out - lots of issues getting Adobe Acrobat to output properly. Most annoying with Snow Leopard is the absence of compatibility of Print to Adobe PDF - you now have to "save as Adode PDF". This has implications in how images present on screen, file sizes and layout. It is far worse than the system of printing to PDF which works great on Tiger. I have also noticed a lot of Finder crashes - something that never happens on my Macbook Pro and Tiger.

The main benefit of Leopard, and therefore Snow Leopard, over Tiger, from my perspective is the improvement in Preview / quick view, which allow for faster organization of files, particularly images and PDF. The scan to Preview via wireless is also a good addition, alebit something I could do anyway by the manufacturer's bundled scanning software.

It remains regrettable that it seems Apple have taken a leaf out of Microsoft's book and released an OS which hasn't been fully tested and also has more compatibility issues with pre-existing software. I would like to go back to Tiger on my imac (the last great OS that Apple produced) but in this day and age of constant upgrades, more and more software is being issued that requires 10.5 or above to work. Here's hoping that Apple latch on to the fact that we WANT PRINT TO ADOBE PDF back and do something about SL's coding to allow it to work again (google it and see the number of people who are grumbling about this matter).

EDIT: I've revised my rating down from 3 stars to 2 stars on account of the Font Book conflicts with Helvetica Neue. Its a common font Apple - you can't go messing around with this stuff in the OS. Anyone who uses Helvetica Neue - I suggest you do some research on issues of this font and SL before you upgrade. Between this and the ipad, seems like the wheels are starting to come off Job's wagon.

EDIT 2: (Same day). Going from 2 stars to 1 star. Look up 'Error code 36'. Its a very annoying new touch from the latest upgrade to Snow Leopard which essentially stops you from being able to copy files from your mac to a FAT or FAT32 formatted external drive. Great. Thanks for that.

EDIT 3: (two days later) - Another one for you to try. Get a folder, try to compress it. Watch how it doesn't finish - just gets to 5 seconds remaining / 99% complete. Then just sits there, waiting for you to cancel. This is just getting more crippled by the minute as an OS. Where's the negative rating - this is a lot worse that Tiger in terms of stability, reliability, compatibility.

EDIT 4: Try copying stuff from an external FAT32 drive to another FAT32 drive. You'll probably hit this error message: "The operation can't be completed because an item with the name [filename] already exists." People have been complaining about this since SL came out on the Apple website. Apple have taken no notice and have not addressed this fault. To busy making a stupid tablet computer that no one will want, I guess?

Apple's just work, right, Steve? Not any more, apparently.
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