Regular Mac users: wait for v10.5.1 to upgrade

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, Hardware, Operating Systems

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  • That depends on what you're reading.

    "From everything I?ve read, the Leopard upgrade is cleaner than the upgrade to Vista,
    but it isn?t clean enough."

    The Vista upgrade is going fine. It's just that there are a lot more users, software,
    and hardware for Windows so you're bound to hear about more problems. Likewise
    there is an extreme amount of FUD being said of Vista. If you filter out the FUD you'd
    see that Vista is working much better than one would be led to believe.
  • Sound advice

    No need to be at the bleeding edge if you can wait a few weeks.

    Myself, I've updated my 3 Macs without problems but the annoyingly long time (1-2
    hrs per Mac). My Macs are business machines (2 Intel, 1 PPC) however (Mac OS X +
    Eclipse, iWork, OmniGraffle, Fusion, Final Cut, Flex Builder, XCode), there are many
    reports on the web having problems.

    Leopard feels faster than Tiger, and spaces is a bonus (though I have plenty of screen
    space). Solid upgrade.
    Richard Flude
  • Which comes first? The upgrade or the demand?

    It sounds like both Apple and Microsoft are/have developed a
    reputation for "glitchy" updates.
    If everyone were to wait for the "X.1" fixes the "X.0" problems
    would not be uncovered.
    On the other hand, non of us want to be involuntary "beta testers"
    when serious or critical work is involved.
    • Home Users

      The "involuntary beta testers" are usually home users.

      Particularly where Windows is concerned, most corporates to upgrade until post SP1 anyway.
  • Same thing with these articles

    Wait for the poor shoddy journalism to be corrected. Just visit these articles two or
    three weeks after they get posted, so all the inaccuracies get corrected.
    • Care to point any of them out?

      That way we could all stand corrected and be bette informed.

      The article looks pretty solid to me, and good advice as well.
  • RE: Regular Mac users: wait for v10.5.1 to upgrade

    Read another scary story before you upgrade at
  • RE: Always good advice...

    I'm using Leopard to type this and I've encountered
    plenty of rough edges. Would I do it any differently?
    Nope. Leopard is a great upgrade that fixes all kinds of
    niggling issues in Tiger that I wanted fixed. I'm sure
    the 10.5.1 upgrade will knock down a bunch of the
    obvious glitches. The people who expect Leopard to be
    perfect out of the gate are clueless about software
    development. The important thing is that 10.5.1 is
    coming before Christmas, whereas Vista SP1 won't
    arrive until next year.
  • Bugs but works

    I installed the upgrade to my MacBook Pro. I'm using it now to type this. What I've noticed is that it "seems" to be making my machine run more efficiently. So far, all of my installed software works, with a few reinstalls done. I will need to reinstall all my print drivers. I had 4 printers installed - all in different locations and different styles of printers. Oh well, I have a tech background - so that will be fun. Other than a few glitches that I've found with Safari (issues with Shockwave on websites - it posts a QT with a ?), I like the upgrade. I will run this a few weeks before I upgrade my Mini and iBookG4.
  • Good advice

    I've upgraded my mini (PPC, 512MB RAM) to Leopard, and have had the following

    1) Time Machine takes too much CPU and I/O bandwidth -- it takes about 5
    minutes each hour even when I'm not doing anything. I suppose there is something
    its backing up that it shouldn't and adding whatever that is to the exclude list will
    help. (log file perhaps?)

    2) The "Shared" section in the sidebar of the finder window is server oriented, no
    more mounting of the shares themselves in the side-bar; so if you want separate
    mount points for the remote shares to drag things to, you appear to be out of luck.
    I've found that I need 2 finder windows to do my copies using drag.

    3) Again with the Shared resources in finder -- The "connect as" box doesn't do
    well when there's no password -- I just end up as "Guest". Sometimes hitting the
    "Connect as" button has no effect at all, or hangs the finder for a few minutes.

    4) I've been experiencing UI freezes. Eventually it unfreezes, but it's unpredictable
    how long that will take. Twice I've pulled the power cord because it had frozen for
    more than 15 minutes. This usually happens when Time Machine and Quicktime
    are both busy, though using the cover flow view in Finder can trigger this too.

    5) I've been having some trouble with spaces. Unintended space switching, and
    momentary space switching (slides to another space and then back) have both been

    I think that Apple needs to add some more configurability to these new features.
    Users should be able to select a different Time Machine interval (if it's possible
    now, I've not found a way to do it) and schedule, and there ought to be a way to tell
    it to use a different volume for the longer period (weekly, etc.) backups than it uses
    for the short period incremental backups. Time machine also ought to be aware of
    other system activity and not drag the system down when it's otherwise busy.

    The cover flow view needs a bit more tweaking as well -- for lower resource
    machines, a user ought to be able to select whether videos are rendered (those
    with previews set might be an exception, but that, too, ought to be a configuration

    I'm sure there's more, but I've just been using it for a few days.

    None of these are killers -- I've turned off Time Machine for now, and will turn it
    back on occasionally to get backups. I don't use cover-flow views. I hope that
    Apple addresses these issues, and look forward to using the features once they are
  • More hooey from our friends at ZDNet...

    Happy horse hockey... First you tout a faux statistic (99%+...), which, if true, would seem to be better than just about any consumer product record on record, and an argument for proceeding immediately.

    By your reasoning, no one should buy the first shipment of car models in a new model year, even, say, of BMW or Mercedes.

    That's not to suggest these two esteemed German marques are capable of turning out lemons. I'm sure they do.

    As the universal truth has it, s**t happens.

    Some people wear a belt and suspenders. These psychological types (or stereotypes, or archetypes, whatever) should wait... probably for Leopard 10.5.7

    Sheesh. I've used microcomputers for 25 years now, and never hesitated (from DOS 1.1 through Windows 286 / 386, through Windows NT, Mac OS 4.something through OS X beta and now through OS X 10.5) to install the new system. Sometimes you get the bear (indeed usually you do) and sometimes the bear gets you.

    My experience is, that at worst (and this ended with the departure from pre OS X Mac operating systems), changing the system software to a newer version will lose as much as a day or a day-and-a-half in reconfiguring and removing conflicts, finding drivers, etc. and then it's clear sailing.

    And those 25 years of using a microcomputer have been productive years, i.e., I'm no hobbyist. My income and profession depend on the use of production grade applications for producing work for paying clients.

    I'd rather have your job. Cranking out 500-1500 words a column/blog for a clearly lenient editor, whether I really had something to say or not.

    If ZDNet only printed substantive news, with scientifically based observations of product performance, would anyone come to read it? It would happen so seldom you'd be allowed to publish.

    I myself installed Leopard on the morning of the day it was released, and not one problem has presented itself.

    You guys should get real day jobs.
    • I actually do work on my Mac

      And that work includes FCS2, which is a very complex and somewhat fragile bit of
      software. Knowing what I know now, I would have waited to upgrade.

      BTW, I've been using microcomputers since the original Apple ][ back in 1978 -
      close to 30 years.

      I *didn't* wait to upgrade because, like you, I've had good experiences over the last
      several years with OS X upgrades. This one was different so, if you really need your
      system to work and you don't enjoy making it work, wait.

      R Harris
  • Never upgrade to dot zero, never upgrade the first week.

    I never upgrade to a dot-zero release of anything, and I rarely upgrade even a point release until it's been out a week, unless the release notes indicate a security fix I actually need.
  • RE:Regular Mac users: wait for v10.5.1 to upgrade

    I don't understand why an upgrade of any OS is newsworthy. I have been running Linux on one box for 4 years. Never had an 'upgrade', yet my system is current in all respects. Nothing newsworthy here. No problems to report. Why are there so many problems reported with Vista and Mac upgrades? It is a puzzlement.
  • Normally I wait.

    I wait to upgrade until after I read that bugs have been documented and resolved, but since I had recently bought a new iMac and qualified for the $9.99 offer, I figured, what-the-heck. Besides, we are well into the OS X maturity cycle as an OS when it comes right down to it. Tiger to Leopard is not near the leap from XP to Vista, it really is not a "new" OS. I basically skipped Tiger anyway, my older Macs have been running Panther, and the iMac was not in my possession all that long to get used to Tiger before I put Leopard on it. I found the upgrade to be painless and I love the new features.