Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Apple will release their latest operating system, Mac OS X Snow Leopard on August 28th.

You will be able to get an upgrade copy of Snow Leopard for RM109, or $29. You could get it for even less if you bought your Mac recently.

From what I’ve read, Snow Leopard is Apple’s answer to Windows 7 (which will be released in October 2009).

Looking at the features, I don’t see drastic changes on the user interface. Most would agree that Apple has worked to improve the features they already have, rather than adding new features.

What’s New

  1. 64-bit OS. This allows faster processing and the ability to use huge amounts of RAM (up to 16 terabytes, or 16,000 GB!). Nearly every built in app has been rebuilt in 64-bit.
  2. Better thread management for multi-core CPUs. This means your dual-core or quad-core CPU can function more effectively, and be used to do tasks at the same time.
  3. OpenCL allows applications to utilize the full power of graphics processors.
  4. QuickTime X. A new version of media player.
  5. Chinese character input via multi touch trackpad.
  6. Improvements to Expose and Stacks.
  7. Built in support for Microsoft Exchange email.
  8. Faster bootup and shutdowns. While this is well and good, bootups and shutdowns were already fast in Leopard.
  9. Smaller footprint, which means Snow Leopard will use less disk space on your computer.
  10. Improved Services menu that can match the right service options with the current application (I hardly use this feature).
  11. Improved iChat that uses 1/3rd of the bandwidth.
  12. Safari 4 (you probably got this already)

Windows 7

Allow me to briefly detour to explore the new features in Windows 7.

From what I understand, it has many exciting features as well. Some of them are:

  1. Improvements to security management console
  2. A new task bar, that will function almost like the Dock
  3. New features added to Aero interface (looks really interesting!)
  4. Improvements performance for multi-core processors
  5. Built in support for virtual hard disks
  6. Windows Powershell, which is a administration console
  7. Easily disable features you might not need, such as IE or Windows Media Player.

An upgrade will cost you between RM420 (Premium) to RM770 (Ultimate)

Will You Upgrade to Snow Leopard?

Personally I don’t see much value in upgrading the OS. If it has been running fine all this time,  then I don’t need to spend some money to upgrade.

I may want to, but I don’t need to.

In my case, I don’t see how any of the new features justify an upgrade.

I think I will wait for others to upgrade, read about their experiences and then I will decide.

🙂

How about you? Will you upgrade? Have you upgraded? Share your experiences here.

Download Full Version Free Games

If you’re bored of Solitaire or Minesweeper, I have found another way to find full version computer games.

Wikipedia actually has a list of commercial computer games released as freeware. If you take a look at the list, you will find a list of computer games released over 10 years ago.

I found downloads for games like Railroad Tycoon, Simcity, The Elder Scrolls: Arena, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Star Control II.

To download the games, look for the download or developer website link under the External Links header in the individual game’s wiki entry.

My New Apple iMac 20″ 2.66 GHz

As I mentioned in my previous post, I just got my brand new Apple iMac 20″ 2.66 GHz on Saturday.

It cost me RM5,299, which according to Google is US$1624.

I carried the box quickly to the car park, and headed for home. On the way to the lifts, I could see many people staring at my iMac box. I think most of them didn’t know what it was (probably thought it was a TV or a monitor).

Some gave me an envious look. Now I got a taste of what it feels like to drive a BMW.

So I arrived home and put the box near my computer table. Immediately Uncle Adino and Baby Patrick climbed on top of the box, because they were so excited. Their tails were wagging and all.

The next photo shows my computer table, and my current computer setup. There’s my Dell Inspiron 5100 in the middle and a pair of speakers beside it. I want you to look at the mess of cables under the table.

The next photo shows you the size of the iMac box compared to a Nintendo Wii box.

When I opened the box, there was a small rectangular cardboard box which contained the keyboard, OS X installation CDs and manuals.

The next photo shows my new iMac 20″ sitting on my new computer table. I think the iMac just made my computer table look bad.

I realize that it looks like the table is bending under the iMac’s weight, but that’s not so. The table is warped because it wasn’t assembled properly.

I have to mention that the iMac’s keyboard is slimmer than a cracker biscuit! There are even two USB ports on either side of the keyboard!

All this excitement made me hungry.

This photo shows the back of the iMac 20″. As you can see, there is only one cable that fits to the back of the Mac.

Okay I’m cheating. The keyboard, mouse and Ethernet cable have not been fitted.  If you accidentally trip on the power cable, it is designed to come off cleanly.

The screen swivels up and down to adjust for different viewing heights.

Another shot of the back of an iMac. It looks gray because I used my camera flash in this shot to reflect the Apple logo.

This is the Super DVD drive on the right side of the screen. It supports writing dual layered DVDs.

The setup is complete. I’m averagely tall in height (179 cm), and the monitor towers over me, which is great. No more neck pain from looking down on the screen.

A top down view of the iMac.

The iMac comes with a small remote control. I thought they bundled a free iPod by accident!

Using the remote control will open up a media menu, which interfaces with iTunes to play all your music, pictures and movies. I guess the iMac can be used as a media centre too.

The iMac posing beside my Dell Inspiron 5100. My old laptop looks like those X-wing starfighters that have been laser scorched through many space battles.

When I was creating a user account, I suddenly saw myself on screen. The built-in webcam activated to capture a user profile picture. I took a picture of the computer taking my picture.

I spent the whole of Sunday installing applications, transferring my files, testing out the different hardware components and getting used to the Mac interface.

I have to say that it takes some getting used to. But the interface is really Cool (with a capital C).

It’s not that difficult to learn how to navigate around. If you know what you want to do, then there is a Mac way to do it.

I’ve fallen in love with my iMac, and so has Poey Chin.

I’ll write a technical review of the iMac some time next week, after I’ve used it for a while. I will describe the hardware specs, the applications, and the experience.  Look out for that post soon.