Q. Before we upgrade to Snow Leopard, I want to ask you if you have tried the system and if there are conflicts from the software Iâ€™m running?
A. Yes, I have tried Snow Leopard as I updated one of my primary Macs as soon as Apple sent me my copy. However before I upgraded I made sure that I had a good backup and I even â€œclonedâ€ my hard drive. I have not upgraded all of my computers yet because there are still some conflicts.
You can clone your hard drive with â€œCarbon Copy Clonerâ€ or â€œSuperDuperâ€ software. Cloning makes an exact copy of very file on your hard drive on a second hard drive; including the System, Applications, all of your own data and most importantly the files critical to booting your Mac. Make sure you have â€œmake bootableâ€ checked and you should start the Mac from the clone to test that it works.
Snow Leopard is not only Appleâ€™s latest upgrade to its Mac OS X operating system (also know as version10.6) but it is the next step in the Macintoshâ€™s migration to Intel and 64-bit processing. The majority of the operating system has been written to take Advantage of the 64-bit capabilities in modern computers. In theory a 64-bit wide cpu can address up to 16.8 million terabytes of RAM â€“ although todayâ€™s computers have an artificial memory limit.
You may have heard that some of the low end MacBooks cannot boot into 64-bit. In fact at this point in time it is not terribly important to boot into 64-bit since there is still a fair amount of 32-bit software in use. The Intel Macâ€™s can switch between 32-bit and 64-bit when it is required but if they boot in 64-bit mode they cannot run 32-bit code.
I recently purchased a MacBook Pro 13 with 2 GB or Ram and was a little disappointed with its initial performance. As soon as I upgraded it to Snow Leopard it came to life and is now snappier and much more responsive. So I would encourage you to seriously consider upgrading.
Before you do you should make a list of all the software you use regularly and pay close attention to items you depend on. You can find a growing list of software compatibility here: http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/ If you are in publishing, you may want to note that Extensis Fusion is reportedly not compatible at the time I am writing. You can also go to the manufacturerâ€™s web sites where they will have published their Snow Leopard status. Users have also reported that while some titles are not officially supported they are running without too much fuss.
We recently tested Extensis Fusion 1.0 on Snow Leopard and it seemed to work fine. There have also been reports that Adobe CS3 works for the most part. So while we strongly recommend that you check with your software manufacturers about compatibility all is not lost. You can create a clone drive as mentioned above and test the upgrade on the cloned version of your system.
So do your homework, back up and/or clone your Mac, get a copy of Snow Leopard ($35 CDN) and enjoy!