First Takes on Leopard Installation

For those that may not know, Leopard is the name of the much anticipated and recently released major upgrade to the Apple OS X operating system.  For newbies, OS X is pronounced OS Ten, the X is used as the roman numeral ten, as in the next version after OS 9.  I know, I think pronouncing OS “X” sounds much more techie and SiFi too, but an Apple veteran will probably call us on it.  And the whole “cat” thing with Panther OS 10.3, Tiger OS 10.4 and now Leopard OS 10.5, perhaps someone can enlighten us on how that evolved, but I better get to some comments on my experience with the newest cat (Mac) on the block.

Apple Festivities

Yes, I was in line for the Leopard release, but only an hour this time, compared with nine hours waiting for the iPhone.  The interesting thing is I received my ordered copy the afternoon of its release, even before the Apple Store started selling it.  But I didn’t want to miss the festivities, and besides, I took my wife with me so I could get two cool Leopard T shirts. 

Leopard T Shirt

I purchased the family pack as I had three computers to update.  Here’s another insight about the difference between Microsoft and Apple.  I paid $169 for a family pack that allows me to install the OS on up to five PC’s in my household, and doesn’t require a previous installation.  Apple doesn’t sell an upgrade and at this price its not necessary.   

Oh, and about the $169 price.  The retail price is $129 for a single user or $199 for a family pack. I qualified for a discount for local government employees at 

And if you’re a student, teacher or staff member of a registered school you can get Apple discounts at

After getting home I spent a lengthy amount of time attempting to install Leopard on my iMac. I had been having some weird behavior from my hard drive and suspected that I would have trouble, so I thought I would try to upgrade on the first attempt and then format the hard drive if repairs were needed. The latter proved to be the case with Disk Utility not able to make repairs. While not looking forward to reinstalling applications, I had complete backups on an external drive thanks to the backup utility Apple provides free with .Mac service, so I bit the bullet and got it done.

While my drive was formatting, I decided to give my wife’s iMac a whirl. Somewhat to my surprise everything went perfectly, and in about an hours time the update was installed and working with no effort on my part other than answering a few questions at the beginning of the install process and a couple of reboots. Easiest major OS upgrade I have ever performed.

The next day, I performed a clean install of the OS on my iMac and everything looked great, so I reinstalled applications and restored data from my backups. I even upgraded to a new version of Quicken and it too, worked flawlessly after a few initial hiccups.

I still need to upgrade our MacBook Pro, but that has a critical Windows application running on the Windows side of Boot Camp, and I am going to do some research into the Leopard version of Boot Camp before taking the next leap. So all in all, everything went as expected, the machines are running well, and my iMac is running much better after renewing its disk drive.

Stay tuned for some initial takes on Time Machine, Spaces and the new iLife 08 in future posts. John

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