Upgrading to OSX 10.5 Leopard
I pre-ordered the family pack for Leopard. We have four macs so that’s the cheapest way to upgrade them all. It arrived on the release day, Friday October 26, but since nobody was home, the courier took it back and locked it up while they closed for the weekend and I didn’t get it until Monday. So much for a geek-out weekend.
Anyways, once I got it, I upgraded the kids computers first, because one of the big things we wanted to take advantage of was parental controls. I enabled daily time limits for daily use, and bedtimes. Daily use limits cause their desktop sessions to logout after their time limit expires, and bedtimes cause their sessions to logout at bedtime. It uses the Mac’s “Fast User Switching” instead of just logging out, so that their sessions resume where they left off when they are allowed to log back in. That’s pretty cool. It also allows you to enable their accounts for remote management so you can tweak their settings from another mac. One thing missing that would be nice would be the ability to remotely grant additional time on the daily time limit without changing the set limit. I’ve tried also using the “try to automatically restrict browsing to child-safe websites” but it is overly restrictive and prevents sites from working that Emily needs for homework.
The kids computers went smoothly, and everything just works, except for one thing: The printer. I have an HP multifunction network printer, which is supported by OSX. Since the upgrade, sometimes the queue gets stuck and you have to pause and resume printing in the printer’s control panel on the mac to get it to print. I’m hoping that a reinstall of the software for it will fix that up, or that there might be an OSX 10.5 update for it’s driver. I haven’t spent any time troubleshooting that yet.
My computer, of course, didn’t go so smoothly. I installed as an upgrade, and experienced the much-discussed blue screen of death. The documented solutions on Apple’s website didn’t help, because I wasn’t using the application that they said may have been the cause of the problem, so I had to do a reinstall using “Archive and Install” rather than “Upgrade”. That was a huge nuisance, because it required me to fark around with a lot of my applications to get them working again. I had to do things like re-enter license codes or copy data over from the archive folder into my user home directory. Anyways, after that fun experience, everything is working again.
The kids say Safari is faster. It seems to be a bit faster but I still like Firefox better. Google Reader acts a bit flaky on Safari, especially when you are using keyboard shortcuts to hammer through your reading list in List View, which is my favorite mode of using it. I also use Firefox at work on my various Linux and Solaris boxes, with Google Browser Sync to keep my bookmarks synchronized, so Firefox on my mac works out well for me there too.
I’ve tried out screen sharing, which just works, and is very responsive. I also setup Time Machine, which is cool, and was literally a one click setup (plug in an external drive, and when it asks “Do you want to use this drive for Time Machine backups?” click “Yes”). It’s the simplest backup program ever. I’m disappointed that it can’t use network shares as backup targets. I don’t think there’s any reason it shouldn’t be able to use an NFS mountpoint, but it can’t. Apparently it can use iSCSI disks for backup, so I might setup a few zvols on my Solaris server to act as iSCSI targets to use with it. Of the many other new features, Quicklook is the most useful.
I’m giving things a few days to settle and to see if any other problems arise before I upgrade Jenn’s Macbook. She relies on hers for a lot of stuff so I don’t want to bugger it up on her. Once I figure out the printing problem, and get the kinks ironed out on my machine, I’ll update hers. So far it seems to be shaping up to be a worthwhile upgrade.