Tag Archive for ‘Snow Leopard’

Apple Delays iOS Features to Focus on Reliability and Performance ➝

Ina Fried, reporting for Axios:

Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues, Axios has learned. […]

Software head Craig Federighi announced the revised plan to employees at a meeting earlier this month, shortly before he and some top lieutenants headed to a company offsite.

This is such an odd story to me. I just don’t see any indication that this is different from any other year. I expect the number of features that are initially planned for a given iOS release is always higher than the number of features that actually ship. As the team gets closer to their deadline, they realize that some number of these features aren’t going to see the light of day and they shift their focus to polishing the features they have already built.

Perhaps Apple will emphasize bug fixes and performance improvements as the primary focus of iOS 12, but there isn’t much evidence in this article that leads me to that conclusion.

Moving to Plex

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have been wondering why I installed Snow Leopard — an operating system that’s over five years old — on my iMac over the weekend. It wasn’t for nostalgia or even to breathe new life into an aging machine, it’s all part of my plan to move my Mac mini’s media hosting setup from iTunes to Plex. As it turns out, there are some interesting tricks you can do with iTunes media on the unsupported OS.

It started last Thursday, when I decided to revisit Plex. The app seems to be the standard for cool guy media hosting these days, but in my previous testing I didn’t like it. I had a terrible time navigating the application’s preferences and couldn’t understand how to find the features I was looking for. Now I’m not sure if there have been major updates to the app since then, but for whatever reason, Plex has clicked for me — big time.

I’ve already laid the groundwork to going all-in on Plex. I have the server app installed on my Mac mini, with all of my media files indexed, and I’ve installed the client apps on my Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. I’ve tried out several of the app’s plugins and have settled into using the HGTV and Food Network channels to fill a gap in our cable-less entertainment offerings. I’ve even integrated Watch Later into my life with a Workflow that uses the feature’s secret email address to add videos to my queue.

There’s just two more hurdles to overcome before I can close iTunes on my Mac mini for good. The first requires a hardware upgrade and the second will just take time.

We have two televisions in our apartment, one in the living and one in the bedroom. Each of them has an Apple TV connected, but the bedroom has the previous-generation, which doesn’t support Plex. My strategy has always been to upgrade the living room Apple TV when a new model is released and retire the old one into the bedroom. That way we’d always have the latest and greatest on our primary TV and the previous-generation in the bedroom.

With my newfound interest in Plex, though, this upgrade cycle might have to be disrupted. I would prefer to have the same television experience in the living room as I do in the bedroom — using the exact same apps and remote. I’ve been able to justify waiting for Apple to release their next Apple TV because there wasn’t anything we had access to in the living room that we couldn’t get in the bedroom. But because of Plex, that’s no longer the case.

I don’t really want to spend $149 on an Apple TV that’s over a year old, but Plex is a huge draw. And finally retiring our old Logitech Harmony is nothing to scoff at. I expect I’ll end up biting the bullet and buying another Apple TV, but I’ll probably wait until closer to the holidays when I might find one at a discount.

I’ve already invested a great deal of time toward the second hurdle and it’s the reason I installed Snow Leopard on my iMac. I’ve been so happy with Plex that I’ve gone through the trouble of installing a five-year-old operating system just so I can use Requiem. This brilliant piece of software hasn’t been updated since 2012, but on older versions of iTunes — I’m using 10.6.3 — it’s capable of making perfect, DRM-free versions of your purchased movies and TV shows by exploiting a flaw in the copy protection mechanism.

The process involves downloading my purchased media through iTunes, quitting the app, launching Requiem, waiting for it to churn through the files, and moving them to my Plex folder on my Mac mini. I’ve been doing this dance since Saturday night and I’ve successfully transferred sixty-six movies and four television seasons. At the time of this writing, I still have seventeen TV seasons to go, but I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I do think it’s important to note that I’m not using Requiem for piracy purposes and wouldn’t condone anyone else doing so. I just want to exercise my right to fair use by watching the content I’ve paid for on the player of my choosing. And having all of my iTunes purchased content and ripped DVDs in one place is definitely worth the effort.

Now I can use Requiem to strip the DRM from my iTunes purchases in the same way I’d use Handbrake to rip DVDs. As long as Apple doesn’t shut off access to the iTunes Music Store on these older versions of iTunes, I’ll be able to use these tools to merge my physical and digital media into a single, unified library and host it all with Plex.

The biggest benefit to all of this is that my media is now completely disassociated from any specific platform or vendor. It can be viewed wherever, whenever, and however I want. I’m using Plex currently, but without my files being laden with copy protection, I can freely move to any other player or platform and not have to worry about incompatibilities. It may have taken me a dozen hours to convert the media from their original format, but this kind of freedom is definitely worth the effort.

The Snow Leopard Moment ➝

Stephen Hackett explains what the phrase “Snow Leopard moment” means and why many of us in the Apple community are hoping for one with iOS 9.

10.6.2 Breaks Intel Atom Compatibility ➝

Rumors from late last month were true, Apple’s 10.6.2 update is incompatible with Intel Atom processors.

From Stell’s Blog:

The netbook forums are now blowing up with problems of 10.6.2 instant rebooting their Atom based netbooks […] Just an FYI, this is OSx86 after all and none of the scenes hackers really let down on support. The latest kernel may not be “officially” supported but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a modded kernel around the corner.

There are two possibilities I can think of, either this is a bug that will be fixed in 10.6.3 or Apple grew tired of users installing their software on unsanctioned hardware.

Update 11/19/09: InsanelyMac forum member teateam has developed a replacement kernel for installation of 10.6.2 on Atom-powered computers.

Apple Acknowledges Home Folder Data Loss Bug in Snow Leopard ➝

Erica Ogg:

For the past month, some Mac OS X users have been reporting their personal data missing after logging into their guest accounts, and Apple now says it’s working on finding a fix.

“We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix,” an Apple representative said in a prepared statement Monday.

Some users are reporting that after logging out of the Guest account in Snow Leopard, which usually wipes the data from the Guest account’s home folder, they find  other users’ home folders wiped as well.

Although this bug may be rare, it is still a nasty one. I would suggest disabling the Guest account until Apple issues a fix.

Update 10/17/09: Jonny Evans, of 9 to 5 Mac reports that Mac OS X 10.6.2 beta fixes the Guest account data loss bug. It’s difficult to tell when the update will get pushed to regular users but Jonny Evans thinks it will be released very soon.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Wednesday night I installed Snow Leopard on my production machine. It is a 2.4GHz 20-inch iMac that is used for the bulk of my computing. I have been using Snow Leopard for a few months on my MacBook but I try to keep that machine relatively clean, it is mostly used for browsing the web. So, up until Wednesday night I hadn’t really been able to spend a lot of time with Snow Leopard.

I’ve heard a lot of users complaining that Snow Leopard just isn’t worth the hassle to upgrade, they often compare it to a Windows service pack and wish that Apple had just been giving us these updates all along rather than waiting to release them in one fell swoop. But, here is the problem with this thought, Apple completely rewrote (at least) two major components of the operating system. Finder and QuickTime are brand new, pushing these updates out through Software Update would give people the false impression that there wouldn’t be any hiccups with their software. As most computer users know an OS upgrade is serious business, especially if you have to use your DVD drive to install it. There is a different perception that people have of a new operating system compared to a .x update. Apple needed that upgrade perception because they knew there would be incompatibilities.

I’m not just saying that Apple charged for this to cover their butts, because they didn’t. The move from Leopard to Snow Leopard might have been the biggest code change that Apple has done since the move from Classic to OS X. We’re talking about adding some pretty major new technologies (Grand Central Dispatch, OpenCL, etc.) alongside complete rewrites of major applications. For the work that Apple put into this and the changes that have actually been made I believe the hassle and the $29 fee is incredibly reasonable.

Granted I upgraded to Snow Leopard 5 days after it was released, but I only had a couple of headaches to deal with after upgrading. Not quite the awful hassle that some users have complained about. One of my 3rd party screensavers (that I wasn’t actually using) was incompatible with Snow Leopard, it was highlighted in grey when I visited System Preferences and when I tried to enable it I was simply told that it was incompatible with Snow Leopard and was asked if I wanted to move it to the trash. The second and final incompatibility was with a couple of AppleScripts that I had built to hide my Time Machine disk from my desktop. When I attempted to run them Snow Leopard told me that I needed Rosetta installed. The fix was simple, I opened them up in AppleScript Editor and re-saved them as an application.

At first I thought I might have just been one of the lucky ones, but Jim Dalrymple believes that Snow Leopard is the most compatible release ever. But, now we have the question as to whether or not Snow Leopard was a big enough upgrade to be worth popping in a DVD for it. Although Snow Leopard doesn’t have a lot of user-facing features with all of the new code behind the scenes I’m guessing that you will be glad to have upgraded in a month or so when you start seeing “Snow Leopard only” underneath some newly popular application’s download link.

Previously:
8/27/09: Preparing for Snow Leopard
8/24/09: Snow Leopard Officially Coming August 28

Preparing for Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard will be available tomorrow and there are a few things you should do before upgrading.

AppCleanerIt’s always a smart idea to clean up your Mac before doing an OS upgrade. I’d start by removing applications that you don’t need or want anymore. AppCleaner was developed to do just that. AppCleaner not only deletes the application itself but any Library folders associated with it as well. It can even help you remove any widgets, preference panes, or application plugins that you no longer need.

AppFreshOnce you’ve removed all the unnecessary applications you should update all of the remaining applications to the most recent version. AppFresh is an application designed specifically to keep all of your apps up to date. Simply open the app and let it scan for updates. You’re one click away from installing all available updates.

Let’s move on to cleaning up your boot process. In the “Accounts” system preference pane there is a “Login Items” tab, this will list the applications that open when you log in. Remove all the apps that you don’t need when you boot your Mac, not only will this make boot time faster but will also help the upgrade process go smoother.

After your Mac’s thorough cleaning, verify and repair disk permissions and the disk itself. You won’t need any extra software to do so, simply open up Disk Utility (found in the Utilities folder), select your hard drive, and choose Verify Disk/Disk Permissions or Repair Disk/Disk Permissions. This process can take some time but is well worth the time right before a major OS upgrade.

SuperDuper!The last step before upgrading to Snow Leopard is to backup your hard drive. You might already be doing this with Time Machine but you should also have a bootable backup so you can get up and running quickly if anything goes wrong. Using a second hard drive SuperDuper! will make a bootable backup of your Mac, including all of your preferences and applications. Depending on your amount of disk usage this could take several hours.

You’re now ready to upgrade to Snow Leopard.

Previously:
8/24/09:
Snow Leopard Officially Coming August 28
8/16/09: Snow Leopard Disc and Retail Packaging
8/2/09: Pre-Order Snow Leopard From Amazon

Update 8/27/09: In Walt Mossberg’s review of Snow Leopard he does confirm that the $29 upgrade disc can also upgrade machines running Tiger.

here’s a tip: Apple concedes that the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade will work properly on these Tiger-equipped Macs, so you can save the extra $140.

Upgrade 8/27/09: Along with Walt Mossberg’s review several other web sites have published their reviews of Snow Leopard. Here’s a list of the notable ones:

Update 8/31/09: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Compatibility List

Update 9/6/09: Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard Officially Coming August 28 ➝

Snow Leopard

The rumors were true (and my prediction as well) Snow Leopard will be shipping on August 28. I’ve been running the betas for a few months on my MacBook and there isn’t a single change that I wouldn’t consider to be an improvement.

Apple has also revealed the box art for snow Leopard. The retail packaging that was leaked last week was real. So, when you unbox your copy of Snow Leopard expect a white box and a big cat to be staring back at you.

I have pre-ordered Snow Leopard on Amazon but the shipping status still hasn’t changed, currently there is no indication of when Amazon pre-orders will arrive to customers.

There is still some question as to what build number will be in the box. Monday is almost over so the “leaked” screenshots of 10A435 are obviously fake. It is more than likely 10A432 will be the build in the retail box.

Previously:
8/21/09:
Snow Leopard Coming August 28
8/16/09: Snow Leopard Disc and Retail Packaging
8/2/09: Pre-Order Snow Leopard From Amazon
6/8/09: WWDC 2009 Predictions

Update 8/25/09: Just received an email from Amazon regarding the delivery status for my Mac OS X Snow Leopard Family Pack. The estimated arrival date is September 2-4.

Update 8/25/09: A Twitter and Tumblr user by the name of Pedro Ample has received a retail copy of Snow Leopard early and has confirmed that build 10A432 is what comes on the retail disc. He has posted images of the retail box on Tumblr while confirming the build number on Twitter.

Update 9/6/09: Snow Leopard