Regular Mac users: wait for v10.5.1 to upgrade

Summary:I've used a lot of operating systems starting with the late, great TOPS-20 on DEC's 36-bit DECsystems. Also VMS, RSTS, CP/M, MS-DOS, Windows versions 3.

I've used a lot of operating systems starting with the late, great TOPS-20 on DEC's 36-bit DECsystems. Also VMS, RSTS, CP/M, MS-DOS, Windows versions 3.1 to XP, Solaris and Mac OS versions 6 to 10.5 Leopard.

My definition of a great OS is one that makes it easy to get work done. It is consistent, intuitive and flexible. It gets out of your way when you know what you want to do. And it is stable.

That's why I prefer Mac OS X However, the upgrade from 10.4.10 to 10.5.0 hasn't been as clean as I'd like. It has cost me hours of work time. I'm lucky because my work has to do with computers, I have some very smart, Mac-savvy friends and over 25 years of hard won experience figuring out workarounds.

In short, I'm not a Mac user who just uses their Mac as a computing appliance. I'm very interested in the how and what of my Mac. I like playing with my computer. But I also know lots of busy people who don't have time to mess around. And to those people I say "Wait for 10.5.1 to upgrade!"

What's your hurry, stranger? 99%+ of Leopard upgrades go smoothly. But the ones that don't can produce aggravating or even crippling problems for average users. There are several classes issues that are big problems for Mac-as-computing-appliance users:

  • Upgrade problems: can't upgrade or downgrade; can't login; unable to send using Mail; permissions broken; keychain broken; admin accounts disappear.
  • Application problems: existing apps not working correctly (Office) or not working at all (SuperDuper, Letterbox, iDefrag.
  • Leopard problems:Time Machine not working correctly; slow performance; video viewing.

The Storage Bits take If any of these problems would cost you valuable work time, then hold off on upgrading. Tiger is a fine OS and millions of your fellow Mac users are breaking trail for you.

In another month there will be documented fixes for these problems. Apple will release some fixes. In another 4 months, 10.5.1 will be even more solid than 10.5.0.

While I really enjoy the improvements in Leopard upgrading has risks. IMHO those risks are too high right now for production oriented users who don't have excellent tech support immediately available.

Comments welcome, of course. From everything I've read, the Leopard upgrade is cleaner than the upgrade to Vista, but it isn't clean enough.

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware


Robin Harris is Chief Analyst at TechnoQWAN LLC, a storage research and consulting firm he founded in 2005. Based in Sedona, Arizona, TechnoQWAN focuses on emerging technologies, products, companies and markets. Robin has over 35 years experience in the IT industry and earned degrees from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton... Full Bio

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