Daily Archives: October 26, 2007

The road to Leopard – Part 2

I’ve been installing and testing Leopard since about 10AM this morning and I’m happy to report that compatibility and stability seem to be very high. So far I’ve only run into one peripheral (driver) that simply will not work on Leopard and that is my Dymo Labelwriter 330. Now keep in mind that I haven’t tested every little thing, but what I have tested has worked surprisingly well. As a matter of fact I would say that this has been the smoothest Mac OS X upgrade since the original Mac OS X. I’m having far fewer initial issues than I did going from Panther to Tiger.

Now for the news that many of you have been waiting for: Adobe Creative Suite 3 compatibility is GREAT! A few of the apps (Acrobat 8 Professional, Premiere Pro CS3, After Effects CS3, Soundbooth CS3 and Encore CS3) will need dot releases and those dot releases are in the works. The dot releases are mostly to fix minor issues. For Adobe’s official Leopard statement complete with timelines for the updates click here. You’ll be happy to know that the rest of the CS3 products have no known Leopard issues.

Does Adobe recommend running Production Premium or Master Collection before its updates are available?

A. Yes, we are comfortable recommending this. Our testing revealed a few issues in specific workflows when running the video professional applications on Mac OS X Leopard. Many video professionals would not encounter these issues on a day-to-day basis, but we want to provide updates in December 2007 to address these issues and meet our standards of quality. You can evaluate the issues by visiting www.adobe.com/go/support and searching the online knowledgebase for more information.

So for right now I officially give Leopard a GREEN LIGHT! I still highly recommend that you follow my upgrade strategy from Part 1 earlier today (below). I can’t possibly know about all the apps, utilities and peripherals that you rely on every day, so you’ll need to test Leopard for yourself.

UPDATE: If printing from Lightroom is critical to your workflow, then you might want to hold off a bit until the Lightroom dot release is available. Currently under Leopard switching to the Print Module in LR 1.2 is not possible!

 

What’s improved so far

Like I said, it’s been a day of mostly watching progress bars. So I haven’t had a lot of time to explore the new features. I wanted to get in and test compatibility first. However, there are a few things that I couldn’t help but take notice of. The first one is how much easier it is to set up FileSharing between multiple Macs. Each of my family members has their own Mac here and I do have a Mac OS X Server running. However, I wanted to set up my older Power Mac G5 as a networked "Time Machine" backup server for the rest of the Macs (not the server, it already has its own nightly backup routine). So I took two 500GB drives that I had from a previous upgrade and put them in a dual bay enclosure. Then I partitioned them to match the drive sizes of each of the Macs that I wanted to backup. Next I shared each partition to its respective user and this was as easy as it can get. Then I simply went to each Mac and selected the networked partitions as the Time Machine drive for each user. Now each Mac is backing up REGULARLY and automatically behind the scenes. Before this I was using ChronoSync to just sync their Users folders to the server. Now I’m getting their whole drive with incremental changes every hour.
The next area of improvement seems to be around performance. Everything seems much snappier. I know that it’s usually perception, but I would swear that Leopard is faster than Tiger in most operations.

I’ll have more to report on Monday after I’ve actually had some time to do my day-to-day tasks, but Leopard is looking like a winner!

The road to Leopard – Part 1

It’s Leopard Day (Mac OS X 10.5 officially available) and the big question on everyone’s mind is “should I upgrade?” or “is it safe to upgrade?” Apple posted a nice list of the 300 “New” features of Leopard as well as a Guided Tour Video. So if you look at these and say, “hey I want that!” then you will want to upgrade. However, let’s be smart about it. As you might expect from any major operating system update there WILL be bumps along the way. Even Apple’s on wholly owned subsidiary FileMaker, Inc. has announced that FileMaker Pro 9 (the latest version) is NOT compatible with Leopard. So needless to say there will most likely be other apps on your hard drive that have problems with Leopard too. The good news is that most apps will work just fine.

 

What about Adobe products?

The other big question on everyone’s mind is what about my Adobe CS3 products? I’ll have the official word for you later today. I know you want to know now, but I can’t say until I’m allowed to officially say what works and what doesn’t. So check back later today for Part 2 of this post.

 

My upgrade strategy

Sure we now know about FileMaker not being Leopard compatible, but what about the dozens or hundred of other apps you have there? Not every company is going to have a timely announcement and hey let’s face it, you’re ready to upgrade and play as soon as possible. So here’s what I recommend to cause you the least amount of pain AND to really know what works and what doesn’t:

  1. If you don’t already have an external drive that is capable of booting your Mac, go buy one today!
  2. Use a program like SuperDuper, Carbon Copy Cloner or DataBackup to make a CLONE BACKUP of your hard drive. This should result in a bootable copy of your exact system on your external drive.
  3. Now let’s make sure it works, go ahead and boot from that backup drive! Restart and hold down the Option Key and choose your Backup Drive to start up from.
  4. Once your computer is up and running from the backup drive. Insert your Leopard DVD and install Leopard ON YOUR BACKUP DRIVE! Yes your Backup Drive, not your main internal drive.
  5. Once Leopard is finished installing on your backup drive, it should boot from it. Now YOU can test YOUR apps and utilities and see what works and what doesn’t. Don’t just launch your apps, go ahead and try creating some documents and editing. Do the same kind of work that you need to do daily. Test your printers, scanners, peripherals, etc. Make sure it all works!
  6. If you find something that doesn’t work, check to see if there is a Leopard compatible update for that app. If not, then YOU will have to decide if it’s something you can live without or not?
  7. Let’s say that you find something that you can’t live without that doesn’t work with Leopard and there is no update currently available. Guess what? All you have to do is boot from your internal drive and you’re right back where you were before you installed Leopard.
  8. Let’s say that everything works fine and you’ve tested it all and you’re sure that all of your apps and peripherals work. Then all you have to do is install Leopard on your internal drive and you ‘re good to go.

 

This is the approach that I plan to take and I’ll continue to post what works, what doesn’t and any workarounds that I find. MacFixIt also lists some good advice on what to do BEFORE installing Leopard. Check it out here.