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back to article Mac OS X Tiger out, Leopard back in

I couldn’t resist. I went back to Leopard. I’ve been running Apple’s latest operating system for well over a month now, originally 10.5.1 and now 10.5.2, with no untoward effects. This wasn’t always the case. In a past post, I explained why mysterious Spotlight crashes had forced me to downgrade to Tiger. But I found myself …

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Time Machine...

"...though I'd like to see the ability to limit its ability to grab as much space as is available on the back-up drive to a user-defined size."

I had the same requirement; simply partition your external drive and point Time Machine at one of your partitions.

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Jobs Halo

Leopard experiences

I took 10.5 off too as it just wasn't ready. Last week, I reinstalled Leopard 10.5.2 over the top of my 10.4.11 as I just have too much software to be bothered to reinstall it all. I did make a backup clone of my Tiger disk with SuperDuper first so I was quite prepared to switch back again if there were any serious problems.

The big surprise was there were no surprises. Everything worked - except my HP Laser printer but that was solved with a simple permissions repair.

I have Filemaker Pro 6 with heavy duty AppleScripts connecting it to Entourage X. I have Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS running without any problems whatsoever - and I use all of these a lot. Who says these are incompatible?

The one major change I made was to change over to Apple Mail from Entourage X as it eats up the Time Machine disc space with its huge database.

The 3D dock doesn't bother me, the tacky 'space art' does so it's gone. I've made the menu bar solid so I'm quite happy now!

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Why...

is this article here? Anyone that wants to upgrade will have already, and anyone else will already know that their apps don't work with it yet...! Are you being paid by Apple to round up the last few Tiger users?!

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Non-compatible apps

Interesting. The only reasons I have not upgraded from 10.4.11 are (a) I always wait until x.x.4 comes out, as I do not have time to trouble-shoot earlier releases, and (b) the issue regarding non-compatible apps.

The cost of upgrading to Leopard is not the OS purchase itself, rather the cost of Adobe CS4 when it comes out and, possibly, Office 2008, although Neo Office seems to be more than enough for my needs.

So I'll take a look at Pixelmator, but that still leaves me needing a replacement for InDesign. Any suggestions? Is iWork Pages 08 comparable? I've not tried it.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Adrian

I did consider that, but with an external drive containing approx. 200GB of raw video footage and iMovie projects, but only 30GB of free space on my MacBook Pro, I can't repartition unless I get *another* external HDD to back-up the 200GB onto first. If I'm buying a second HDD, why bother partitioning.

The big external drive is currently used for archiving and back-up. It's enough for a couple of years. I'd like to use Time Machine with it precisely so I don't have to buy an otherwise unnecessary hard drive.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Joey

I have Pages, but it's essentially a word processor with some basic newsletter-oriented page layout elements. I need a *proper* DTP app. For me, after years with QuarkXPress, InDesign was a real joy to use, but I'm darned if I'm going to spend the price of two Asus Eee PCs to update the thing just because Apple's changed OS X so much.

If I was a professional designer it would be a different matter. But I'm not, so it isn't.

Still, it's a good suggestion, so thanks.

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Puzzled by the Office incompatibilty comments.

I'm still using Office v.X and it appears to work just fine on Leopard.

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my experiences

Hi Tony

My experiences are a little different - but then I started from a different place.

I got a new mac Pro in September last year and as I knew that Leopard was on the horizon, I only loaded up those apps that were essential to my work i.e. Appleworks, FMP6, CS3 and iWork 08.

No problems with the system at all.

My wife came back from the US the day after Leopard was launched and brought me a copy, and Aperture 1.5. (cheaper than buy them here!)

Did the upgrade and started playing. The only thing that I didn't really like was the translucent Dock and the almost invisible glowing balls. A few days later I found an app called TigerDock, and that got my old dock back.

The only problem I expereienced was with Safari. When I closed it, instead of closing it would always put up a message to the effect the "Safari has unexpectedly quit" - however, in every respect i appeared to have closed properly, history, cache & coockies all appeared to be correct. This behaviour still continues - even with all the latest updates.

Time machine has not given me any problems at all, it has been rock solid - working to an internal drive.

As you say, Quickview is a godsend - I only wish it would work on Appleworks files - I have thousands of Drawings created over the past 10 years. Annoyingly, iPhoto work won't work with AW drawings either. (whereas Extensis Portfolio on my old mac works with whatever I give it to catalogue). It doesn't work with IDD files either.

One thing that did surprise me, when using the coverflow concept for browing files, is that the icons have full transparency. That may have been in Tiger but I think it's new - possible this Quartz Composer thing (or whatever).

Here's a trivial something which I've discovered that many of my clients have not yet found, but really makes jaws drop. Go to the screensaver control and scroll down and select the pictures folder. On doing so 3 new buttons appear under the preview window. Pick the one on the right - that looks like a grid.

Activate the screen saver and wait.

It pays to have a well stocked iPhoto library.

Cheers

Ivan

I haven't done the latest security update yet, I'll wait a few more days and monitor the boards to see what's happening first.

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Have you tried OpenOffice.org?

I have Tiger, and thus far have seen no need to upgrade. But I use OpenOffice.org to work with MSOffice type files. You might want to take a look. The one you want to try is an alpha release for Aqua, from this site:

http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/download/aqua.html

It works on Tiger and is supposed to work on Leopard.

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@Tony Smith

The upgrade price for InDesign is somewhere around £180 — less than the price of one Eee PC... you can even pay that same price to upgrade from PageMaker.

It's still lots of money though. That said, crusty old InDesign 2.0.2 (the version before CS?) works perfectly, albeit slowly, under 10.5.2 for me.

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Paris Hilton

In fact parts of CS3 were compatible from the start

I read some time back in around the the 10.5.0 stage that Apple actually made changes to Leopard to allow the core of Adobe's product (Photoshop being one) to work natively within the updated OS. This means that although their product doesn't contain documentation saying it's compatible (because it was released before Leopard was) there is full compatibility. The article I read stated that it was more of the fringe, products in CS3 that weren't supported by Leopard. I'm sure the article is still kicking around so take a read as it did contain a more clear picture of which Adobe products were compatible, thanks to Apples cooperation.

I might add that the term compatible in this case doesn't include the rewriting of their products for the upcoming retirement of their code type. So I hear anyway. Don't envy them at all for the task at hand.

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Ragtime?

Not sure if it is Leopard compatible, but Ragtime might be a possibility for replacing InDesign.

http://www.macupdate.com/dev.php?id=9792

I also have no idea if it is any good or not.

Depending on how much capability you need, another alternative could be Swift Publisher from BeLight which takes a more iApp approach (again, I have no experience using it):

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/18896/swift-publisher

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Same bouncy-bounce

I did the same upgrade-downgrade-upgrade. In my case, the initial version of Leopard was just too slow on my G4 MDD/1.25. Plus the ancient Radeon 9000 I was using had no support for any of the CoreImage goodness. Two updates and a less ancient Radeon 9700 later, and I'm back to using Leopard. Slick as snot on a door-knob now, and stable enough to run for weeks on end (months maybe?). And I should mention that Time Machine is the first backup utility I've ever used on a personal computer.

Also, Just as a general OS X observation, each update to a version of OS X tends to make the OS seem more responsive, going back to 10.1.

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Hmm

I've been using Leopard since the day before the "countdown" release (the courier people delivered my preorder faster than Apple announced it's release), and frankly, I've not once thought about going back to Tiger.

Yeah, I couldn't get Office 2004 to work, but I'm an avid iWork user anyway so I don't miss it. Aside from that, I haven't come across anything else that hasn't worked. My laptop is by no means a powerhouse - it's just a plain and simple iBook G4 - and I've noticed a pretty solid speed boost since my upgrade.

The only way to benefit from a new version is to cooperate with it until it feels normal.

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Leopard + Time Machine..

I use Logic on my Mac, and decided that I just wanted my Logic folder backed up. Annoyingly, there's no way to specify 'Just this folder', I had to tell it not to back up every other folder. Also, I didn't want it to do backups automatically, so I have Time Machine turned off in System Preferences (that just turns off automatic backups, not Time Machine itself), and the menu bar icon enabled. Clicking the menu bar icon allows for a 'Back Up Now' option, along with showing the date and time of the last backup.

Also, I'm not a heavy user of it, but I do have Photoshop CS3 installed and working okay on 10.5.2. In fact, I've had no Leopard-specific problems with hardware or software - with the possible exception of Pro Tools with my Mbox, which I haven't actually tried just yet.

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Alternative applications

You could get VMWare, install Ubuntu as a virtual machine, then use some of the Linux apps: Scribus (for DTP), The Gimp and Xara (for Graphics), and of course OpenOffice for all the Office-type stuff.

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Stop

No Virtualised Ubuntu Required

@Verity Chapli

All of those programs run fine on a mac.

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Scribus is also available for OS X

http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/22952/scribus

You don't need Linux per se.

NeoOffice/OpenOffice.org and the GIMP also run on OS X (either natively or in X11).

However, the free OSS VirtualBox virtualisation environment is a better choice than VMWare/Parallels if all you want to do is test out a Linux distro on OS X. If you find you need more capabilities, you can always purchase VMWare or Parallels at a later date.

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Oops, Scribus is currently PPC only

My bad, the current version of Scribus is not an universal binary. The Linux version might run better.

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Jobs Horns

Having a Vista Moment Apple Droids???? Hypocrites!

My my my my ... All mighty Stevie Gods walks on water while simultaneously hurling turds of a buggy OS (Tiger), which this article and tons of complaints on macfixit.com and other Mac self-help sites confer on (see Apple is no help); yet you Tards have the miniscule ca-hones to lambast Vista for lesser bugs or being slow (which Tiger is too).

Take a look in the mirror MacTards, see the Stevie Gods brain-washed Hypocrite.

Hope you enjoyed tossing $149 down the drain, again. Running Linux, means never having to go BACK(wards).

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@ @ Adrian

Hi, Tony...

I don't know if you know this, but you can do live partitioning in 10.5 Disk Utility. Just go into the partition tab for your external drive and resize the main partition, then click the [+] button to make a new volume/partition in the space you've just freed up. Click 'Apply' and (after a brief wait while it thinks) you're done.

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Alert

@tony re: repartitioning

I don't know if you're aware of this, but Leopard allows you to non-destructively resize HFS+ partitions. If your external media drive is in HFS+ format, then you should be able to repartition it for Time Machine without having to go through contortions.

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Linux

Photoshop replacement

How comes the GIMP is not the first suggestion for a photoshop replacement?

Being free, you can fiddle with it and see if you like it; being GNU, it has a lot of linux and pc and mac users, and howto-writers, and forums, and free plugins, and other goodness; being scriptable, I found it easier to automate workflows with.

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Linux

Ow ja, now I remember...

GIMP drawbacks were: a) you have to install X-windows, so find back those install DVD's and locate the package, and b) it's a pc/linux thing so keyboard commands are by default instead of apple+key now control+key.

This is annoying for 15minutes each time you switch between aqua and X-windows, though there's visual clues so you adapt eventually.

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iCal 3.0 complete Crap!

The Cat is cute, but iCal 3 is really broken, the new iCal 3 interface makes entering information more difficult, with more than twice as many clicks as iCal 2. While iCal interacts better with MS Outlook it is far more difficult to use than product from the beast.

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The latest development versions of GIMP run natively (no X11)

Not ready for prime time yet, but development builds of GIMP run natively in OS X without a need for X11.

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Coat

Oh! Deeply joyus funbold!

What I really really don't understand, Webster Phreaky, is if you hate Apple and everything associated with it sooo much, that you bother to visit all those Mac forums and take time to rant in such a bucolic and vituperative manner on any Apple related topic on El Reg.

Now calm down, dear. It's only a computer...

/coat - with snake, tree and fruit design....

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GIMP

If you have used Photoshop, GIMP will make you scream! Yes, it's free but IMHO, that is still too expensive! It's like saying that water is the same is good Irish Whiskey. Yes, it's mostly the same but I know which I prefer.

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@ Webster

Oh come on, we had you admit the real you in the other thread as a mac loving closet fanboi, you can give it a rest.

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Adobe Prices

The thing to do is install Virtual RPC and then you can run PhotoDesk and Ovation Pro or Techwriter, and of course the very excellent Artworks vector drawing package.

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Webster Phreaky - full time troll

Hi Webster Phreaky aka Keith Benicek.

Maybe you should spend your time better by getting a good job instead of trolling Apple postings and getting fired.

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Who needs them

"So, out went Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop CS and InDesign CS and a couple of utilities."

Och sure it should be a doddle to replace those puppies.

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Ecclectic melange...

"..and the ability to look inside documents just by selecting them and hitting the spacebar"

Well slap my thigh; I never knew that! That's really neat thanks:-)

Time Machine doesn't work with File Vault. It only backs up the whole 'partition', a bit like Entourage with its massive database files. This renders Time Machine useless for laptop use (where the data needs to be encrypted in case you -- OK, I -- loose the laptop [again])

Save some money, don't buy Office 2008. It corrupts files and has more bugs than is normal for Microsoft software. In fact it's more buggy than IE! I've experienced corrupted files and general shagged formatting of files from previous Office versions. 'Downgrading' to Office 2004 increases performance and reliability, not to mention compatibility.

That probably explains why Office 2008 is only £100/$200 for three licences; even Microsoft aren't that callous!

I can't see why anyone would upgrade to CS3 at Adobe's eye-watering prices. Especially given the cross-Atlantic price differential. I'd love to upgrade but I'm damned if I'm paying them that much.

I generally like Leopard. I'm particularly pleased with the spotlight search where I have a <cmd><space> shortcut to type the name of the file/program I want. Don't need Quicksilver now.

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Leopard?

Am I the only one that can not quit certain tasks ?

If something was hanging the only way to quit it was via shell.

I don't think the majority of users would even know ho to quit a task via shell and normally, a shell should not be needed for something like that.

And as far as the compability goes...

As long as that problem with Java remains, I will to stay away from it.

Tiger was really nice and stable, Leopard does not give me that secure feeling (and a update patching over 100 critical security flaws at once does even less)

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Jobs Halo

leopard, vista...

Microsoft and Apple bring it on themselves to some degree. Everyone expects OS X to be perfect, and forget that all versions 10.0+ have been buggy till at least .2, if not .3.

Vista isn't as bad as everyone says, once you turn off all the new "features". At which point it's like Win2k, and seriously not worth the cash.

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Happy

2 cents and some love.

I have only one comment. Any compatibility issues from one OSX 10 version to a another OSX 10 version needs to go away. As long as they are all OSX 10's they should all run the same programs without the makers of said programs having to fix or update them to. Just my 2 cents. Love and peace for all. ^__^

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Happy

@ Webster Phreaky

Keep Squirming, your panic amuses us.

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X11 Installed by Default

Under Mac OS X 10.5, X11 is installed by default as it is required by Terminal.app.

Unfortunately, the shift from the X Org version of X11 to the XFree86 version did cause more than a few problems. These weren't fixed until the release of Mac OS X 10.5.2 and this week's security update. If you are running any Leopard release prior to Mac OS X 10.5.2, you need to upgrade your system.

For those of us that migrated to Mac OS X because it had Unix under the hood, GIMP isn't a problem because there was never a version of Photoshop released for Unix.

NeoOffice or OpenOffice supplies the tools needed to handle documents sent to you by your colleagues with Windows-based systems.

I just got a Mac Pro (2008). I selected VMWare Fusion for my virtual environment as it allowed me to create a Windows XP virtual machine from a running system. This got me around a problem with only having a Windows XP Pro OEM install disk because I had designed my own system. The old system went to the hazardous waste facility last week.

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Paris Hilton

@Webster

You're just bitter because you don't have a shiny backlit keyboard. Nuff said. Really.

But hey,i'm drunk and i've started so i'll continue. You may find the backlitness a handy low-level light source when you're up late, all alone watching tasteful erotica.

Btw still happily running 10.3.9 n see no reason to upgrade yet. That said with a powerbook g4 i'm in a long term rutt wrt software compatibility and support. Thanks st hand job and no FF3. Oh and i'm not a fanboy, just a pisshead who runs xp, linux and os x. Thery're all nec and useful for me for diff stuff (and i admit os x isn't as powerful in command line as linux but one picks the tool for the job, no?).

But its *all* about the back lit keyboard on a laptop. not that i'm as sad or grumpy as you appear, but, i thought the thought of backlitness might cheer you up a bit; as you seem like you need a ray of joy in ur angsty box of glum. Reinstall with linux if you want but the keyboard will brighten you a bit on tedious days, depending on how late you work and if you have motion sensitive lighting in your office.

Paris cos i'd backlight her with my keyboard

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Jobs Halo

@Tony, repartitioning

I'm a happy iPartition user, it does the job without needing to buy a new external disk. I have no affiliation btw other than being a happy punter.

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@ Webester

"Hope you enjoyed tossing $149 down the drain, again. Running Linux, means never having to go BACK(wards)."

You cannot go backwards with Linux because there is nowhere to go to, as it is still at the start. Linux is now where SunOS was 15 years ago, and until the desktop will be based on X11, it will always be 20 years behind compared to OSX.

Technology improves and evolves, and Linux is most a re-implementation of things appeared on other platform ages ago. The Gnome Desktop is still a joke compared to the Old Classic MacOS and, yes, even Windows.

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Leopard, issues??? not here!

most odd, I did a clean install of leopard on my Powerbook G4 1.67SD

then installed CS3 and Office 2004 no problems with any of it... :) been running fine since a week after original release...

I must also be in the minority as I quite like the translucent menubar, 3d dock and stacks!!!

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Compatibility...

I wonder when the difference between the two macosx-es is just a minor version number, how could they make them incompatible so much? It's like the difference between win5.0 (windows 2000) and win5.1 (windows xp). Different graphics but the same os. The last time apple did a real os change was switching from macos9 to macosx, it was like switching from win3.1 to win2000. But since then the kernel is the same. And companies selling software just want everyone to buy everything again. No matter how buggy it is, but at least linux keeps the compatibility with applications from the '60-ies and bsd unix versions even keept the whole os compatible for over 40 years now. Compared to this the macosx problems and vista's "not even compatible with itself" approach is a big step back from what we seen in the past.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Rens

You are confusing an upgrade to the OS with the change between CPU type.

Given the complexities of switching from PPC to Intel, it did just work™ .With the exception of a few legacy apps (particularly games) not working in Rosetta, the whole process *was* seamless. However, that happened at the level of Tiger, and not Leopard, and also well over a year ago.

Fwiw, the problems with Office and CS are entirely of Microsoft's and Adobe's making. Apple had been telling them for years that they needed to drop their legacy coding environment (and hence code) and get with the programme but they wilfully ignored the warnings before it was too late. If they had been using XCode sooner, instead of for just these latest releases, then these problems would not have existed.

So what should Apple have done? Crippled their OS for the benefit of two laggard developers thus making all others suffer, or push on and forget those two developers, especially as they are both ones that have shown scant regard for the Mac platform and its users for years?

Now, onto Leopard - it has a number of bugs, many very annoying. It's embarrassing that they released it in the shape it is in (10.5.0). However, compared to what else is out there, it is still a much, much better OS and that includes Tiger.

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@ tempemeaty

OSX 10.4/10.5 compatibility is more in the vein of Windows 95/98/me compatibility, or Win2000/XP compatibility than say, Vista and Vista SP1 compatibility... OSX 10.4 to 10.5 is not a "Service pack" like most windows people expect when they see a point upgrade, its a feature set change... Just like there were some teething problems between them, they're fairly minor when you say compare XP to vista.

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Jobs Horns

so...

...you're having to compromise on software compatibility to accommodate the MAC OS?

Isn't the the definition of MAC?

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@rens

Just how many software packages did Microsoft break with Vista (including a number of their own)? WHENEVER a new version of an operating system comes out it will break application software (mainly those that use hacks that they shouldn't have).

Running a complete copy of 10.4 inside of a VM is NOT a solution that Apple should have been looking at. Its one thing to do this to allow Windows and Mac code to co-exist (where there's going to be a low degree of interaction between components anyway) but even Microsoft have done nothing worse than the 16 bit windows subsystem, and that because 16 and 32 bit code won't co-exist otherwise.

Apple owns the OSX environment. They provide quite a lot of free developer support (I don't see MS giving full versions of Visual Studio away for free, and they've only recently started providing free cut-down copies). They gave folks plenty of warning that things were changing and that switching to the new IDE was the way forwards. After all this they offer 10.5 to the Mac buying public, who like it rather better than Microsoft buyers like Vista (Leopard is on a bigger percentage of Macs). It's therefore the job of software developers to build code that runs on the platform that their users are using. Conversely those users who NEED to run these programs have the option of staying on 10.4 (or XP in Microsoft's case), in which case they are giving no money to anyone.

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