Leopard, initial impressions

I spent Sunday installing Leopard, Apple’s newest upgrade to its operating system. My first impression, is it feels rock solid right out of the box, and feels faster, but, and I know I am picky here, I hate the default desktop image. I understand that the background image is part of Leopard’s space theme, but I found it ugly.

It took me some time to get through the installation, longer than I had hoped. So I did not get around to actually using much of the operating system just yet. I hope to write more about my experiences later.

Here is what I did to get myself up and running with Leopard.

1. I backed up all my data onto an external hard-drive.

This sounds like a straight forward process, but here is where I ran into some of my initial difficulties. My own external hard drive is running out of space. So I tried to clean up the data on the hard drive. Like many people that I know, I simply was using my hard drive to dump data onto without really thinking of its relevance or whether I still needed the data I stored there. The worst was my music. It was completely disorganized and to actually organize this would have easily taken a day. I had no time for this. So I just did the bare minimum. Somehow, I manage to open up about 70 GB of space on the hard disk. This would be sufficient and everything should be smooth sailing from this point forward. However, I am also a windows user (not very proud of this fact, but a job requirement).

I just recently bought my iMac. So all my data that I backed up was on my window machines. To make a long story short, my hard drive was formated with WIN NFTS file system (no not the cool ZFS, operating system in Leopard). This meant I could ready and copy data from my hard drive to my iMac, but no writing. So it was not possible to backup my iMac with my existing external hard drive ( I keep wanting to call it Festplatte, which is how you say it in german).

A friend tipped me off to use MacFUSE, but I could not get it working and did not have the patience to work through it at this point πŸ™‚ In the end, I borrowed my brother-in-laws external hard drive and everything went easily, especially since he has Firewire 800 connector.

2. Ran the install from a DVD image.

Aside from the initial 10 minute chugging of my DVD drive, this process was painless. I had a small issue with some customize options that I needed to apply, but nothing that I could not figure out. One thing worth mentioning is that there is an option to make Leopard case-sensitive, I chose this option, and I really think its very useful. In Tiger (Mac OS 10.4 this was not an option.

3. Restoring my workspace.

I am still in process of doing this. My first step was to install the browser of my choice: Firefox. I like Safari, but Firefox gives me more flexibility which I cannot do without. For example, I use Google Browser Sync to maintain my on-line life: bookmarks, cookies, etc. This works over the browser and is not OS dependent. I have a .Mac account and Safari book marks are not maintained on the windows version of Safari. I do not know why, and its kind of a big missing feature for me.

Secondly I restored my Address Book. This worked flawlessly. I then tried to restore my iCal database, this did not work. So I of course started to panic, because I just spent most of Thursday cleaning up all my calenders. But I use Plaxo, which is my online Address Book and Calender program. I swear by it. I downloaded the plugin, and presto, everything was there again.

The last thing I have done till now is copy my music directory back. I simply copied my iTunes sub folder back into the music directory and when I fired up iTunes everything was restored. This made me very happy.

So thats all for now. Will let you know more of my experiences especially once I start using xCode for the first time!

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One Response to Leopard, initial impressions

  1. spiff says:

    So you have a lot of apple stuff at home now. A step that brings you forward πŸ˜‰

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