Why Snow Leopard Thawed Back To Leopard
Last weekend I upgraded my MacBook Pro from Leopard, Mac OS X 10.5.8, to Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6. This kind of classes as early adopter behaviour as there's no bug fix release for Snow Leopard out in the wild yet to iron out any kinks or rough edges but I wasn't particularly bothered by this. I've used OS X since version Cheetah, version 10.0 and have gone through the intervening releases, Puma, Jaguar and Panther. With Tiger I stopped using a desktop machine and took a decision to make my Yahoo! supplied MacBook Pro my sole day-to-day machine, an experiment I didn't regret and which has become the norm for me. When Leopard arrived I took the early adopter plunge and upgraded and, apart from a few teething troubles, which I can't even recall now, all was well. Then Snow Leopard arrived and I waited a week, not quite early adoption but early enough. I heard no shouts and screams and even my one blocker, the lack of suitable Cisco VPN support for the version required to connect to Yahoo!, was resolved so I made sure my backup was up-to-date and upgraded. The backup gives me more foresight than I really deserve.
At first all was good. The Exchange server my corporate mail is hosted on is Exchange 2007 and at the right service pack level to work with Snow Leopard's rather stringent requirements. Mail took my authentication credentials and set up my Exchange account, iCal did the same and so did Address Book. Granted they took a while to sync up but that was over a VPN connection, over a wifi link, over my home broadband connection so some slack was cut.
- A meeting invite would arrive, be responded to and deleted out of my Inbox but Mail still thinks I have one unread message. The only solution I found would be to rebuild the mailbox, of 10366 messages at the last count, every time a meeting invite or update arrived.
- Talking of meeting invite updates, each one created a new appointment in iCal. Got a meeting invite and 5 subsequent updates? Hey presto, you've now got 6, count them, meeting invites.
- Safari Input Handlers were finally disabled. Now I know that they were undocumented and never actually supported by there's some plugins I use a lot that now just don't work, including DeliciousSafari and Inquisitor. If you're going to remove some functionality at least open up a plugin API for Safari developers. But no. Yes I know I could run Safari in 32-bit mode but that's not really the point.
- Mail lost all my previous settings for Junk Mail. I could understand it for my Exchange account as that was, too all intents a new account, but for every other mail account I have as well?
- Safari lost all my settings which said don't remember user name and password for this site.
- The Mobile Me and RSS screen saver vanished with no replacement on offer; no Flickr photo RSS feeds for me.
- Exchange calendars can't be synchronised with an iPhone over Mobile Me, you have to use ActiveSync, and if your company doesn't support it, well no syncing for you then.
- The entire printer driver architecture seems to have changed and all my printers needed new drivers. Which would be fine but alas the updated bundle of Ricoh drivers doesn't include the printer that is on every single floor of the Yahoo! office, so no printing for me.
I could go on but I won't; the lack of printing was the final straw and so I spent 50 minutes last night restoring my Leopard install from that backup I mentioned earlier ... thank you Shirt Pocket for writing SuperDuper! So I'm now back to a machine running Leopard, without native Exchange support, but with all of my working environment back and ... working. When the next release of Snow Leopard comes out I'll try again, but I'll make sure I take a full backup beforehand. Just in case Snow Leopard needs to be thawed again.