Monday, October 29, 2007

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard upgrade experience

I'm a technology geek... I admit it!

And I'm the worst kind of technology geek... the early adopter type. I stood in line for hours when the iPhone launched. It was a fun social experience. However, I decided to skip the launch festivities at my local Apple Store for the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard launch. had it for $20 less than Apple Store. Sure I wouldn't have it in my hands on launch day, but I'm glad I didn't because I would have popped that sucker in the computer and been at the mercy of not knowing how to fix any bumps I ran across during the upgrade.

Good thing I waited...

My order arrived late this afternoon. I did a quick update to bring my daily SuperDuper! backup current. I can't stress how important a current backup is for anyone performing an OS upgrade. This one little thing can save you from feeling that sinking feeling in your chest when you find out that something went wrong and you lost some important files.


Once that was done, I popped in the Leopard install DVD. Installation was extremely straight forward. Just insert the disc, tell it what drive to install to, and what kind of install you want to do. I did a very straight forward 'Upgrade' install.

I was kind of surprised that there were no screenshots or information about the new Leopard features during the install. It was quite boring actually. I made a phone call and watched an episode of the Colbert Report while it did its thing.

I thought it was particularly amusing how the install seemed to go quickly until it got to the '5 minutes left' mark. Once it said '5 minutes', time stood still. It was at '5 minutes' for no less than 15-20 minutes.

Once the install was complete and the system booted, it asked me to enter my Apple ID information. A message came up that there were two updates available for 'Login & Keychain Updater'. I installed the updates and let the computer reboot.

Bumpy road ahead

Once my computer rebooted, that's when things went south.

The AirPort card in my Mac Pro was no longer recognized! My computer is not anywhere near my cable modem, so I had no way to access the Internet to research the issue.

Thank god for my iPhone that I stood in line for hours to get on launch day! I loaded up the Apple Support website and found this discussion of others that were experiencing the same problem as me.

The solution that worked for me was to delete the following file:


Immediately after I dragged that file to the Trash, my AirPort card was recognized and connected to my wireless network without any further action on my part.

No sound from speakers

The upgrade had also disabled my speakers, so all audio was coming from the Mac Pro internal speaker. This was an easy fix. Just go to System Preferences and click on 'Sound'. 'Internal Speakers' is currently selected. I just click on the 'Line Out' device and my speakers started working again. I'm listening to a live version of AC/DC "The Jack" now.

Lightroom and Photoshop CS3

As I reported earlier, Adobe had already released documentation stating that Photoshop CS3 was certified for Leopard, but that Lightroom was not. After monitoring several discussions about Lightroom performance with Leopard, I already went into this with the knowledge that some people have experienced problems importing files into Lightroom and that the entire Print module didn't work at all.

I don't currently do any printing from Lightroom, so that was not a big concern to me. But the ability to import my photos was a huge deal! So naturally that is the first thing I did. I breathed a sigh of releif when I successfully imported some RAW photos from my CF card and some JPG files from my iPhone.

Lightroom was a little slow at first, but then it got back to its snappy self. I'm very pleased with the performance of both Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 in Leopard. Nevertheless, I will be happy when the Lightroom patch is available to address the printing module and any other Leopard compatibility issues.

Other programs

Mail crashed once and I submitted an error report to Apple. Other than that, all of the applications that I have tried are working great. I love the fact that my iCal icon no longer tells me that it's July 17th every day. All of the programs seem a little snappier than they were in Tiger (10.4).

The updates to Mail, iCal, Dictionary, and Address Book are enough to sell me on the upgrade, but there is so much more to this upgrade than you realize going into the upgrade.


Once I got through the AirPort card and audio crises, everything else has been smooth. I will go through and try out everything later, but tonight I wanted to hit the major ones and get a post up incase anyone else runs into the same issues that I did.

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