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Upgrade to Leopard

Last week I upgraded my laptop from Tiger to Leopard. The process went quite smoothly.

  1. Backed up to an external firewire drive using Carbon Copy Cloner.
  2. Restarted with Leopard disk, and selected Archive and Install.
  3. Customized the installation by deselecting X11, most of the languages, and all but the Canon and Lexmark printer drivers. (Sheez, the driver crap took more than 800 megabytes.)
  4. Allowed machine to think for less than an hour. Somewhere between 30 and 50 minutes; I didn’t use a stopwatch. 😉
  5. Restarted, prompted to install 10.5.1, restarted, et voilà! Happy laptop!

More details…

The cruddy Missing/Sync for Palm no longer runs, but I have a (literal backup) plan in place: We’ve got a Mac with a Tiger partition onto which I now periodically backup my Treo. After transferring the registration, a little setup, and a few syncing cartwheels, that is. (Not too painful.) I want to avoid spending any more money on Missing/Sync, especially since the latest (non-free) release remains broken on Leopard (at present). Sadly, this beloved Palm device will likely be my last.

While on the topic of sad software endings, I’ve migrated over to using from Thunderbird. Old RSS articles wouldn’t import; perhaps there’s a scripty I could use to translate the file format to something parse-able by Or not. Still, the setup went smoothly for the most part. SpamSieve’s installation was a bit more complicated than Thunderbird’s, but it hums along smoothly now.

MAMP v1.7 somehow needed more memory allocated for PHP to run properly. I discovered this when MarsEdit couldn’t refresh (sync articles) with my local WordPress installation. class-IXR.php, a core WordPress file controlling XML-RPC kept throwing a fatal error regarding memory allocation. In addition, Spam Karma 2’s options (a WordPress plugin) were blank in the web admin UI; sure enough, SK2 complaints about memory also appeared in php_error.log. I got the hint, changed memory_limit from 8M to 16M in php.ini (for PHP 5), and both MarsEdit and SK2 run well again.

Surfin’ da ‘Net seems pokier, at least with web browsing, grabbing syndicated content (RSS), and signing onto to chat services. DNS resolution in Leopard might be the culprit. Or, rather, Leopard implements DNS resolution in the more compliant IPv6 fashion, but the servers between you and your target might not, hence a possible slow down.

Other observations:

  • Vienna has scrollbar weirdness, but is usable.
  • Textareas in some applications (like MarsEdit) display text with inconsistent style. Workaround: resize window.
  • My laptop handles waking from sleep much better now than under Tiger. My external display no longer goes snowy-bright, the most obvious effect. Also, iTunes no longer crashes on startup after waking up. Yay!
  • I’m in the minority who actually don’t mind the transluscent menubar. Oh, shush.
  • I’m in the majority who dislike both of the offered Dock styles. Palette doesn’t work for me; I cannot seem to get my chosen colors to appear in the 2D aspect.
  • I haven’t played with Spaces, now that Virtué development has stopped.
  • I haven’t played with the Leopard version of Zooom, which might not cope well with Spaces.

Heh, so there are still things to investigate (bien sûr!), things that I hope will be fixed soon, but I’m rather pleased with Leopard.

Finally, any major upgrade reminds me how much I need a backup system that’s more reliable than my manual “copy folders to another disk” habit, yet more flexible than Carbon Copy Cloner. Clearly, I need to play with Time Machine, since it is available. Indeed, I’ve turned on TM and it churns happily away making daily and hourly backups to the external firewire drive. Important: Make sure your Mac doesn’t fall asleep during the initial backup; don’t logout or shutdown during the initial backup, either. Problems might ensue. However, I’ve yet to restore anything, or delete a backup, or other customy-kinds of tasks.

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