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I didn't post last night for a very good reason--I was getting ready for Snow Leopard. I'm glad that Brad agrees with me that Snow Leopard is a pretty big deal--Why Snow Leopard is important, to you and Apple - Tech Blog - Future Shop Community Forums--even if it doesn't appear to be. I think getting 7 GB of drive space back is a bonus (not that I'll complain) to the behind the scenes improvements we're seeing. By ending support for the PowerPC-based Macs, Apple can now focus on making OS X (XI?) better and better for the Intel machines. I see Snow Leopard as just the first step in that direction.
Okay, but this post is about being ready for Snow Leopard so let's get to it.
First update your apps. There are a lot of apps that need to be updated to work with 10.6. I started with this great list:Snow Leopard Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Compatibility List then just kept an eye on the apps I use a lot. One of the key tools you'll need (Onyx) isn't Snow Leopard compatible, so after you use it to clean house, you'll have to wait for the update (I expect it will come shortly). Apple has come out with its own list of apps to watch out for--The Mac OS X Snow Leopard Applications Blacklist - Snow leopard blacklist - Gizmodo--basically the big ones (Browsers, Mail, Office, etc) are good to go.
Fine you have your apps, what's next?
Being a Gina Tripani fanboy I have to point you to her tips for prepping your machine--Prep Your Mac for Snow Leopard - Snow leopard - Lifehacker--a note on the whole drive cloning thing, yeah "get a sandwich" should be "get a multi-course meal". I left my backup to run over night. Yeah it takes a long time. Figure you are copying every single file from your drive to make a clone of it.
Isn't a nice time machine backup enough? Yeah, probably. However if something goes really, really wrong and you can't even boot from your machine, won't you be rather happy to have a bootable clone of your drive sitting there ready to use? Yeah I thought so.
Next thing is going to be the install itself. Hard core (hee hee) Mac folks like to do the complete wipe, clean install routine. Fine, that's best but I don't get paid to sit and watch files copy around. Yeah I have a netbook so I could keep (mostly) working, but let's just say I don't want to go there. When I tested out the first public release of the Snow Leopard beta, I wound up doing the wipe and reinstall thing. Not fun. Rather boring actually.
After Snow Leopard has done the whole install thing, you're going to go through the few minutes of "did it work?" panic, especially when you fire off Mail, etc for the first time. Remember, you have backups. You're cool. Chill.
That's it for now. Since it's (finally) 10 AM here in Vancouver I can wander down to get a copy soon.
Just as I finished writing this post MacWorld posted this good look at installing Snow Leopard (especially good if you have a MacBook Air to update--which I do): Installing Snow Leopard: What you need to know | Mac OS X | Macworld a good read.