Adventure With Snow Leopard

Taking time out of his busy day John Carter files this detailed report about his adventures with installing Snow Leopard. Got a minute?

"I just finished upgrading to Snow Leopard this morning. Total time under two hours, but that also involves a little extra work. This memo is more about warning others what NOT to do, and that is essentially to NOT go blindly through the upgrade process.

 "I wasn't sure if the upgrade would update my printer drivers unless the printer was plugged in and turned on, so just for safety I plugged in and turned on my printer, including a printer attached to an IBM laptop. Since the laptop printer is shared and the laptop itself is hardwired on my LAN, I was hoping that the upgrade would detect it and allow me to use it as a remote printer.

"During the upgrade I neglected to look for the 'Customize' button before doing the upgrade (it is on the left side of the window and I was only looking on the right side), so I had to go to the optional upgrades on the DVD. So please click on the Customize button, select all the options you want to install (if you don't know which options you want, at least click on Rosetta and X11). I don't recommend installing all the additional language translation, so you should check only those languages that you think you might want or need (primarily for translating from another language to English).

"After the upgrade finished (including the options), I needed to update those applications that I installed using 'fink.' One of those packages is 'GnuCash.' Unfortunately, the fink update failed while looking for dependencies for 'evolution,' which is another mail program that some time ago I thought I would try, but it failed the installation procedure for lack of supporting files (so I never got to try it out, and to this date there are numerous files laying around for evolution that aren't needed). This is a problem I will have to resolve eventually. Fortunately, GnuCash still runs, but the GUI front-end I installed (GnuCash Launcher 2.0) will not run (not supported in Snow Leopard). So I continue to execute GnuCash from a Terminal on the command line. No big deal.

"As for the Snow Leopard upgrade itself, there was one window at the end that showed a list of applications, one of them being Mail. Having no idea what that was about (not mentioned in the instructions), I pressed OK and the window went away. I think I should have clicked on each one of those applications in turn to see what it would do. I suspect that each application would come up and then present me with an option to update for Snow Leopard. Read on to find out why I think this.

"When the machine rebooted and I logged in, I was presented with a large number of update windows (about 7) that flashed across the screen with icons bouncing up and down in the dock. Frantically, I tried to read all the short message - to no avail. Finally, I just clicked on one of the 'Install' buttons that stayed on the screen long enough to read it. That message essentially said that in order to use the application it was referring to that I had to install Rosetta. At that point, I got an installation window that said Rosetta was going to be downloaded. It finished successfully. But I still had a number of jumping 'update' icons in the dock.

"I clicked on each of the update buttons in the dock and was presented with exactly the same install message for each one. My choice was to ignore or to install. Not wanting to miss anything, I installed every one, and every one was exactly the same - so maybe I didn't miss anything.

"Bottom line, I'm going to list a few applications that I frequently or occasionally use.

"What works:
  • My Canon MP830 printer works, but I am unable to print to the remote HP Laserjet 3150 printer on the IBM laptop (it says it is ready, but when I print to it, it then says it is busy and doesn't print). The upgrade did not automatically detect the HP printer, so I had to add that printer manually.
  • Mail. When I opened Mail, I was presented with a window to do an update. I did that.
  • NeoOffice works fine, what I looked at anyway.
  • Adobe Reader v8
  • Adobe Photoshop CS v8.0.
  • Safari took a 'long' time to recreate all 24 images in 'Top Sites' (you might have fewer images), but it works.
  • Firefox 3.5 appears to work, but I haven't tried everything yet.
  • Skype, Gimp, Fetch
  • Coda - after installing a Snow Leopard compatible update.
  • Delicious Library - after installing a Snow Leopard compatible update.
"What doesn't work:
  • Bento (will not launch) - but I presume that no one is really using it anyway. This is an Apple application designed to allow non-programmers the ability to create small and potentially useful databases. I guess they don't see it as a useful tool after all.
  • Cyberduck (will not launch)
"No sense going further with testing. It will either work or it won't, and what doesn't work I'll put out of my mind.

"If you used fink to install applications that do not have a GUI front end (like GnuCash), I recommend that you run the following commands from a Terminal before installing the upgrade:
$ fink selfupdate
$ fink update-all

"I did this out of self-preservation, but it didn't help me regarding 'evolution.' I have submitted a ticket to SourceForge on that issue."