Tag Archives: snow-leopard

Which is More Usable – a Mac or Windows PC?

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During live calls the other night, I had a guy ask me whether I felt that Macs are becoming more mainstream than Windows machines. He went on to say how he knew that in the past Macs weren’t very “user friendly,” and that he feels they are much more so now. The user interface on a Mac has certainly changed over the years, yes.

But you have to look at it like this: it’s still completely different than what Windows users are used to. Many long-time Windows power users give up when trying out a Mac. They feel they cannot find their way around. I’ve seen it happen many times. With that said, though, it all comes down to a matter of opinion and preference. I cannot possibly tell you which is better for you – or anyone else – to use. It depends what your likes and needs are.

I made a change to Mac as my primary system back when I was completely disgusted with Windows Vista. Vista had zero usability as far as I was concerned. The Mac operating system had what I needed, and works well for me. I don’t have a problem with Windows 7. In fact, I have a machine right in my office that runs it. For my needs, though, Apple builds a better system.

The only similarity between Microsoft and Apple is the fact that they both create an operating system. That’s where it begins – and where it ends. Apple makes a piece of hardware to go with that software and attempt to control it. Some people don’t like that. However, as consumers, we SHOULD like it. We know who manufactured each and every part inside of our Mac system. We know who to blame if it goes wrong. We know who to contact if things go awry.

Apple is pretty much the only company on the planet that controls everything from stem to stern… hardware, software and service. Don’t get all freaked out because you have to pay for Apple’s One Care. You have to pay for ANY extended warranty, right? It doesn’t fail me – ever. Every problem I’ve had was covered under the repair system. I don’t have to question “who is to blame for this problem?” It was all made by Apple, and it all goes back to Apple.

If I had to wager a guess, I’d say that HP will come the closest to being what Apple is as a company. Its problem, though, is that it currently has to support another company’s operating system.

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Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard Review

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I’m sure you’re still laughing at my impression of a Snow Leopard, in honor of the newest release of Mac OS X. The upgrade is only $30.00, which is an excellent price. You should go out and get it right away, but I’m not sure if you’re ready to install it just yet.

The upgrade was painless. The trick to it is to take the disc out of the sleeve, put it in the drive, and click the Install button… and you’re done. From that point forward, it will show you if your applications are compatible or not.

Some people are saying that Snow Leopard is an awesome upgrade, and others don’t think so as much. I’d say right now, I’m seeing it split pretty evenly. I am enjoying some of the new features, such as Exchange integration on the desktop – it works flawlessly. I haven’t seen much of a speed increase, though. There are some nips and tucks around the operating system. The Finder has been completely re-written, which is awesome.

There are subtle changes, as well. I’m a little leary about putting it on all of my machines. Yes, it’s a great upgrade. The changes are incremental, but I’m not sure if all of my applications are going to be compatible, especially ones that I really need and use. So, I’m going to wait about a month of so to make sure all of my software is updated before I jump in.

What do you think of Snow Leopard? If you’ve installed it already, let me know your thoughts so far. If you have it but haven’t installed it yet – why are you waiting? I’m interested to hear about that, as well.

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What's in the Next Mac OS X: Snow Leopard?

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The current shipping version of Mac OS X is dubbed Leopard. At the recent Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Steve Jobs announced the next version, which is named Snow Leopard. Doesn’t sound like much difference on the surface, does it?

It’s going to be an upgrade, certainly. They’re telling us there won’t be so many “in your face” new features, as there were with Leopard. Apple is claiming the new version will ship within a year. They’re saying it’s going to be an incremental upgrade. This is going to be full of tweaks as far as performance, security and stability go. Snow Leopard will purportedly be able to support Terabytes upon Terabytes of memory. They plan to make it fully compatible with 64-bit. It will also be optimized for multi-core systems.

In a roundabout way, Apple is telling us that the new operating system will make your current hardware run faster and better. Well, it will if your system is 64-bit capable, and on the Intel platform. It will be interesting to see the speed differences. I think Snow Leopard is going to be all about speed and performance overall. According to Apple themselves:

Taking a break from adding new features, Snow Leopard — scheduled to ship in about a year — builds on Leopard’s enormous innovations by delivering a new generation of core software technologies that will streamline Mac OS X, enhance its performance, and set new standards for quality. Snow Leopard dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos.

They are planning to push something called “OpenCL”. To quote them again:

Another powerful Snow Leopard technology, OpenCL (Open Computing Language), makes it possible for developers to efficiently tap the vast gigaflops of computing power currently locked up in the graphics processing unit (GPU). With GPUs approaching processing speeds of a trillion operations per second, they’re capable of considerably more than just drawing pictures. OpenCL takes that power and redirects it for general-purpose computing.

I think what they’re saying is that you’re going to have the ability, with optimized software, to take better advantage of your hardware. Your GPU will potentially be turned into basically another CPU. They’re going to redirect the GPU, and make it do more for you. That’s fantastic!

Another thing worth mentioning for those of you, like me, who are using Microsoft Exchange Server, Snow Leopard will provide out-of-the-box support. This will be built into Mail, Address Book and iCal.

Snow Leopard is all about taking what you have, and making it one heck of a lot better. I’d take boosted performance and speed over a bunch of new features any day.

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