Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Snow Leopard

Back earlier this summer - maybe June or so - I was sitting with my advisor in our weekly meeting, and he leaned over and asked, "So Miss Outlier, how is your computer running?"

Gently patting my original MacBook baby, I replied "She's still going strong - even though I got her way back in 2007 when I started grad school."

Well okay, fine, I didn't really say "she." But I do feel attached to my laptop. Not only was it a gift from my father at the start of my career as a grad student, but it's been pretty much fused to my fingertips for over 12 hours a day for the past four years.

I use it a lot.

"The reason I asked," continued my advisor, "is that my daughter also has a Mac, and it's been giving her problems - and I was wondering how much to sink into it before I get a new one."

I considered a moment, and told him that the hardware has always been excellent on every Mac I owned. "But," I said, "you know what's really starting to hold me back? Having an old operating system." I still was using the OS X version that the laptop came with (10.4), and enough new releases and time had gone by that the newest versions of the most of the software I use is no longer supported. And some software that I would LIKE to have, wasn't compatible. What I really wished I had was OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard.

Figure: Girl can dream, right?

"Oh, well that's easy!" said my advisor. "Buy yourself the upgraded OS X, and put it on the lab account. We can't have you held up over THAT."

Reason #863 I love my advisor.

Figure: So pretty....

So you see that picture right there? That beautiful, sexy picture? That's my desktop right now.

I have just upgraded to OSX 10.6, from 10.4. It's gorgeous. Snow leopard, I have arrived.

Last night I eagerly dove into installing the newest versions of all the software I need/want. I updated Microsoft Office to the latest version, and iTunes to the most recent release. I've installed Papers 2 (now I can reference media types other than just journal papers - like textbooks, patents, websites, etc.). And I've had my eye on EverNote for a while - now I have it!

But then I went to upgrade to the newest version of Safari - and it told me, "must have OSX 10.6.8 or 10.7."

Wait a minute - hold on. There's a 10.7? I could have sworn I got the latest OS. I mean, who bothers paying for an old version?

So I did some Googling, and guess what happened in July.

Figure: Ah, Jobs, we will miss you.

They announced OSX Lion, which is 10.7.

CLEARLY I have not been reading enough Mac fan sites. I did not realize this was coming - and if I had, I would have held off a few more weeks.

But you know what, I will take 10.6.8. It's a whole lot slicker than what I had, and of course, you never want to be too early of an adopter (right? work with me here). Because, you know, they haven't had a chance to work out all the bugs yet.

Yep. I did this on PURPOSE, I tell you. :)


  1. I've heard of people having some compatibility issue with 10.7, especially with Office. So yes, there really are problems with being a super-early adopter on this one.

  2. You're better off with Snow Leopard. A bunch of people in our lab bought Lion right away and can no longer run several of our lab-specific programs. I chose not to upgrade; I don't feel like I'm missing much and I can still use Prism, MacVector, etc., to my heart's content without buying several hundred dollar software upgrades.

  3. To go with snow Leopard, maybe would show try some Snow Phoenix whisky from Glenfiddich; wink wink.

  4. Lion throws away emulation of PowerPC, so a lot of older software won't run under Lion. Right now, it looks to me like Snow Leopard is the sweet spot for Mac OS X. (My laptop has 10.6.8, my desktop has 10.7)

  5. Well, sounds like I made the right decision to go with 10.6 after all. Thanks for the reinforcement, guys!