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back to article Apple takes Snow Leopard for walk

Apple today released some intriguing details about the next version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard, including the surprise good news that it will cost a mere $29 and the expected bad news that it will run only on Intel-based Macs. Snow Leopard's debut at Monday morning's Worldwide Developer Conference cotillion keynote broke little …

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Alert

Can't see all the fuss?

Alright so it will be true 64bit, if they don't change their mind ala MS and remove the new stuff, like Vista. After giving it a whirl I can't see what the fuss was about. Time Machine wouldn't work properly, some stuff wouldn't compile as some library's were missing. The wireless connection was more flaky than ever and It didn't seem to be any quicker in anything I tried, oh and it took a bloody long to install! OK so it was a dev beta, but still.

Anyway, nothing will stop the genuine Apple fanbois wetting their knickers over it! Could the few remaining sensible Apple users ( yes there are some of us left out here ), please have a picket outside one the Apple stores and refuse to let the fanbois in on release day, unless they bring their mums, as it's the only way they are going to grow up a bit!

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Happy

Hackintosh anyone ?

$29 mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Time to sell off Visa and get ready to buy win7 AND No-leo

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If only

Great, a cheap, good OS....... Now make it run on any intel platform with non specific hardware. Then, maybe then it will be worth having a look at it. Keep paying top $ for a cheap OS???

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Happy

29 bucks?

If they follow through on that price it will be hilarious.

Just as Windows users are being asked to fork over yet more big money to replace Vista with WIn 7 which will probably have about 6 different versions Apple blasts Microsoft with a one-size-for-all upgrade at 29 dollars. Hilarious and brilliant marketing.

You will be able to upgrade something like 4 Macs for the price of a single WIn 7 Home Basic(ally useless) license. Ballmer must be fuming.

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Ty
Jobs Halo

Moron

You took it for a spin huh?

Well no wonder you posted anonymously you you pirate.

What a load of BS. It isn't FINISHED yet. Idiot.

I will enjoy you squirming as Windows suffers a slow painful death..

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Thumb Down

$30 for a service pack?

If MS tried charging $30 for these minor enhancements, they'd be laughed at (or sued!). Yet Apple seem able to charge for anything (like $10 or whatever for iPhone 3.0 OS for iPod Touch - yet free fro iPhone users).

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zfs missing

serious disappointment!! not a word about it! hfs+ is really long over its peak and zfs would offer features to be had nowhere else. wonder what happened. maybe its coming in 10.7...

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Stop

@AC 04:31

Do you actually know what the purpose of a development beta is? God, imagine a dev beta release having things missing/not working, I'm shocked!

Can you get your mum to read through your posts before you make them please? I'm sure she could help you out with the basic concepts.

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Jobs Horns

Heh

Waws fun reading that article right after reading:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/09/apple_security_suggestions/

When does a cardhouse fall?

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Anonymous Coward

29 bucks

Hilarious and brilliant and a bit desperate, as there was absolutely no way for us to pay the usual for a nearly user-face featureless Leopard Service Pack (as good looking as its innards are, until they are taken advantage of the fact is that the only crucial practical feature is Exchange compatibility).

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Boffin

Safari: Still corrupt

well, it may pass acid3 but not all is well; try this:

http://sroe.web.cern.ch/sroe/test/test.xml

and resizing the page to get corrupt screen display. I've reported this for over a year...

More obscurely, integer arithmetic in Safari's XSLT engine still isn't up to firefox's; try this in safari and firefox:

http://sroe.web.cern.ch/sroe/test/hextest.xml

(geeks only)

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Flame

The facts

I run Windows 7 64 bit RC1. installed it on someones MAC***

I don't think MACOSX supports directx 10 or 11***

How do you play Crysis on a MAC? run the boot camp utiltiy, install Windows 7 in a seperate partition. you can install 64 bit windows 7 with bootcamp, apple claims it can't be done??

just access google and type in how to install windows 7 on a mac? you will see links with step by step instuctions*******

Windows 7 has a new memory manager.

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Silver badge

$29? Is that upgrade or full?

As per title. At $29 I'd have a copy to run in a VM for testing and experience.

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Stop

@ AC

"If MS tried charging $30 for these minor enhancements, they'd be laughed at (or sued!). "

Yeh, so Windows 7 is going to be free, right?

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Jobs Horns

TBH

TBH for £29 (£ not $ because I bet they use 1:1 £:$ ratio on it) I will probably buy it, mainly to take advantage of the reduced size and increased speed. If it had been the usual £70 then I wouldn't have bothered this time round,

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Anonymous Coward

Anonymous Coward 06:45

Microsoft ARE charging for a service pack. It's called windows 7...

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@ty

well he could have got it if he was an Apple developer, but then from his post that looks unlikely.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Safari: Still corrupt

@ Shaun Roe.

I visited the URLs you mentioned Shaun and downloaded the XML.

Then I tried viewing it in MS Notepad. It didn't like it much and displayed newline chars as little rectangles. MS have had 20 years to get the whole CR LF thing right. They haven't even tried.

I couldn't view the URLs in Safari from work unfortunately, maybe later when I get home. Just exactly what goes wrong when you resize the window?

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Anonymous Coward

@Ty

Apple have left out a big chunk of it's user base, forcing a hardware upgrade in the biggest economic downturn in years, great move. SL has nothing to offer which is why they are literary giving it away.

Even with Apple saying there has been a surge in users (probably PearC machines) the OS is still less than 10% of the OS market share and only competing with Amiga's, Spectrum's and Pippin machines.

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Unhappy

Break 'em and ditch 'em

So Apple release a really crap version (for once) of Mac OS for the Power Macs, then set sail, leaving PowerMac owners bobbing, clutching at wreckage. Apple could have had the conscience to give us one last, decent version.

Great.

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Unhappy

A sad day for my G5

Not unexpected, but sad all the same that Apple is Intel-only from now on. I did laugh though at Apple's claim that an install is now 6G smaller than it was, as if it has somehow been to Fat Camp for operating systems.

Actually all that's happened is they've thrown out one of the architectures, so it would be surprising if it didn't get a lot smaller.

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Jobs Halo

This is not a service pack

I think those above calling SL simply a service pack do not understand much about software architecture.

This is a ground up re-write of much of the OS, and fancy new things such as Grand Central and OpenCL. While these latter two won't give much effect until developers fully support them, the future gains will be immense. This level of hardware abstraction will make it very easy for devs to write much faster software.

I think it's a brave and wise move by Apple to focus on getting the core of the OS right for the future, rather than focussing on endless gimmicks and 'features', and eye-candy. This, I think, is partly the reason for charging $/£29 -- it's a difficult sell to most people if they can't see themselves getting anything new.

The other factor is that Apple need rapid adoption of SL in order for devs to start coding for GC and OpenCL. Hopefully this will speed adoption.

Finally, as others have noted, this makes a bit of a mockery of Win 6.1 (or 7, as MS's Marketing team would prefer you call it). This is no less of a 'service pack' for Vista than Snow Leopard is for Leopard -- yet all the indications are that MS is going to charge for it as per a whole new OS. While MS can be congratulated on finally fixing the graphic compositing architecture (which was responsible for much of the slowness and astonishing hardware requirements for Vista), they still have not fixed the basic architecture of the OS. The Registry is becoming a joke. And fully expunge backwards compatibility and properly adopt virtualisation (rather than the piecemeal adoption announced).

And finally, while a small OS footprint is laudable, I suspect that much of the 6GB saving is down to not having to include PowerPC binaries, which, for some reason, OS X insists on installing even on an Intel Mac.

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Wow. $29.00???

$29. Wow. That's cheap!

Unless you want to run Snow Leopard on your G5, (which is the majority of us Mac users at this point). In which case you can add in the cost of an Intel Mac, which is, say, US$1599 for a MacBook 15". So that's err... ummm... $1628. Which is a wee bit more than Microsoft are charging for their Windows 7 'service pack'.

That's right. Win7 runs perfectly well on the old Wintel boxes. :-)

While I'm musing over the relative merits, I haven't had the priviledge of trying Snow Leopard on any machine yet so its real benefits remain a mystery to me but I have Win 7 RC running on a couple of installs and it's surprisingly good. On a Hackintosh I built, CS3 for Windows runs faster on Win7 than CS3 for Mac on Leopard. Not bad for a late Beta, Microsoft.

So, goodbye Vista, hello Win7.

And sorry Snow Leopard, you've left me behind. At least for now. See you in a year?

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FFTF

"Snow Leopard's Finder is essentially unchanged, but small improvements have been made."

In terms of new features, maybe, but a Cocoa rewrite of the Finder is a pretty major change and "FTFF" is a pretty familiar acronym in the Mac world with good reason.

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Stop

To all you moaning gits...

...evolve or die. Power PC's can't be supported forever, after all this isn't Windows XP - thank fuck. The 64 bit Snow Leopard will become the professionals choice of OS. It allows backwards compatibility with 32 bit software thus allowing for a gradual third party software upgrade path and allows for more efficient use of GPU capabilities.

Windows is a fucking joke in comparison and don't even mention Blu-Ray, downloadable HD content is the future (just have a look at whats happening with the Xbox and Sky this year) DVD's, like CD's, are almost history.

Oh sorry you can't play games on it, get a console. Mind you SIMS 3 seems to be pretty good on my iMac.

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@KiwiAndy

Dear Andy,

I'm afraid the majority of Apple users are now on Intel. Besides, I believe it is fair to say that the G4 users make up a larger share than the G5 users.

Apple isn't interested in them for a different reason: they are looking for growth, and growth means Intel. This is the OS all new or returning Mac users will be using, so it makes sense for them not to dilute their new OS with redundant backwards compatibility.

I for one am looking forward to trying this out on my Dell Mini 9 and my home iMac.

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@Evil Graham

It's true, the G5s are near immortal, but even the youngest of these will be four years old, come October. What regular PC owner would expect to have much use for a four year old computer? Even if PowerPC support was continued in the OS, what new software would be available? A lot of software is already stipulating x83 architecture. Upgrade them as much as you can, but the newest of those PowerPC mobo designs, are nearly half a decade old. There are clock speeds that restrict what RAM you can put in, and the range of graphics cards is dwindling.

If (as with my now rather battered Powerbook), one of your memory cards suddenly goes >Poof<, you either limp onward on half a Gig of RAM (doable, but you've essentially got a very nice looking netbook, by that stage: Eclipse does not like half a gig of RAM) or you try and source five year old SODIMM from somewhere. That Powerbook is over seven years old. I got my money's worth. It can go in the cupboard, and become a test server.

My guess is that the removal of PowerPC support is unlikely to have played a major factor in the reduction of memory footprint. You get about as many bytes, on an individual sytem, regardless of how many may have been available on the install CDs. Its not as if a PowerPC version is going to litter its kernel with a mass of x86 executable "just in case". My guess is that they've taken out a lot of legacy hardware support. After all, when you're a company that can _definitely_ _say_ that you'll never have to deal with a PS/2 mouse port, first version USB, or a SCSI-1, et cetera, that's a lot of kernel modules you can do without.

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Gates Halo

I would now like.....

It would be great if M$ did the same, and said sod it, we'll let you upgrade to win 7 Home Premium from xp or vista for £30, but in return you are not allowed to downgrade (they could probably inactivevate your license key just to make sure)

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Time to look at ditching the G5 I guess

I wonder how long updates for non Intel apps and such will continue, might have to look at selling my trusty G5 machine whilst it still retains some value.

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No upgrade price for Europe?

I notice that while the US page states:

"Coming September 2009 with every new Mac.

Upgrade from Mac OS X Leopard for just $29."

…yet the UK and various European pages make no mention of the upgrade price. A mistake, or are we going to get shafted?

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@ Buck Futter

Dear Buck,

Can you show a link as to your CPU/OS share info?

It doesn't matter what Apple's rationale is for dropping PPC support other than the fact that the tithe to be extracted is a bucketload more than for Microsoft's dropping of Vista. Perhaps you missed the point that my comment was in answer to the posts claiming that $29 seems to be cheap compared to what Microsoft will charge for Win7 when it's released? It won't be cheap for me.

And stripping out half of this 'Snow Leopard' service pack's capabilities (the PPC code) and then having the gall to actually charge for crippling it for those like me who still use a G5 tower for a living, is truly breathtaking in its cynicism. The entry price to Snow Leopard for me will be a very expensive one indeed.

However, I'll be installing SL on my hack as soon as I'm able to access the OS. It should be interesting to see exactly what improvements Apple has made that will justify the major investment in hardware to support it.

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@Shaun Roe

I've tried going to the first URL using Safari 4 Beta on my Win XP lappy, and can't really see what the issue is. The screen doesn't 'corrupt' on resize, as far as I can tell. The CSS states a fixed table width of 1000px, so that's why it doesn't resize, if that's your issue.

The W3C web page validator does give 3 warnings for the XML, by the way. Maybe you should look into that once you've finished trying to end the world in CERN!

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Unhappy

Re: No upgrade price for Europe?

You can pretty much bet that the good old 1:1 exchange rate for technology will come into play. Start saving your £29 ($46.95) now.

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Boffin

@Daniel

"My guess is that the removal of PowerPC support is unlikely to have played a major factor in the reduction of memory footprint"

It is 100% likely, in fact. Mach-O executables ( which is the format OSX uses ) are distributed as so-called FAT binaries. This means that the executable code for both Intel and PowerPC architectures is wrapped up inside the same file. Now given the fact that PPC code is RISC code, it is as verbose as Finnish ( and about as understandable, meh) - stripping it out will often give a more that 50% reduction in executable size.

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Jobs Halo

Fail

"If MS tried charging $30 for these minor enhancements, they'd be laughed at (or sued!). Yet Apple seem able to charge for anything (like $10 or whatever for iPhone 3.0 OS for iPod Touch - yet free fro iPhone users)."

And what is Windows 7 if it isn't Vista SP3?

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Jobs Halo

@RichyS, Really?

Are you really complaining at a £29 upgrade? *Really*? It's still cheap. Admittedly £19 is cheaper, but still. *REALLY*?

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Boffin

@RichyS, @Anonymous Coward

Details and screen shots here:

http://shaunroe.blogspot.com/

ok, if it shouldn't resize, then it shouldn't...but neither should it corrupt the display like that

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Stop

Don't Ditch The G5

This is a featureless OS Apple is having to almost give away. Wait for the next release and save your money.

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Anonymous Coward

Shaun Roe

Well spotted - and absolutely right. Except its not a Safari problem per se. It's a problem with WebKit that could be fixed with a simple update. run the page on Chrome to see what I mean. And mate, nit picking - it's a *very* specific rendering error.

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@Steen Hive I conceed, this may be so

I was thinking of the Darwin Kernel itself, which only used to compile the native code. But sure, higher level executables tended to be double bundled, so that users could drag and drop them across the network, between x86 and PowerPC machines, and they'd 'Just run' without 'installing' (just give the administrator password for the recipient machine).

However, I concede your point entirely: what comes in the black cardboard box with the big 'X' on it presumably contains a lot more of that Mach-O gubbins, than the Kernel. I just cannot concieve of dragging my copy of Finder (say) onto someone else's machine, since I'd already have a copy. Oh well, my bad.

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I don't see the problem

I've got a mix of machines - actually I've got exactly one Intel machine, the other four in the house are PPC (and not G5 either), and I support my mate with my old G3 running 10.3. I don't see an issue with SL dropping support for PPC, it had to come some time or other.

BUT - I don't see Apple dropping *support* for 10.5 and earlier on PPC. As I read it, most of the developments in SL seem to in getting the best results from the 64bit Intel machines - so there's very little to be gained by supporting PPC with it. 10.5 (and earlier) isn't going to go away any time soon, and I don't expect any of my machines to "just stop working" because Snow Leopard is out and not supported.

Just for comparison, pick a version of Windows, and think about how well it will/would have run on a machine that was 4 or more) years old at the time that version came out - and I take things like XP SP2 to be distinct from XP.

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Boffin

@Mac Phreak

Very specific, yep, hence the geek icon...but it stopped a project dead in its tracks at the time...and I'm surprised it was never finally addressed, given the fairly dramatic appearance of the fault.

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Unhappy

PPC not that old

I know that a computer more than a few years old is considered out of date but a high spec machine can be useful for longer than average. My G5 Quad Core with 8GB RAM 4TB internal Storage and decent graphics setup, still flies along as happily today as the day I bought it. 10.5.7 Adobe CS4...

Its a shame that I wont be able to upgrade it this time but its still a damn fine computer none the less.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Lewis Wernham

"…yet the UK and various European pages make no mention of the upgrade price. A mistake, or are we going to get shafted?"

Anything could happen to exchange rates between now and September so it's only wise not to fix a foreign currency price yet.

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for your $29 you get...

in addition to the nearly 1000 applications that have been code modified for back end improvements, enhancements, stability, speed, and more:

- Quicktime X (Quicktime plus previously sold ALONE for $29)

- Fully integrated Exchange support (Outlook cannot be bought for the Mac by itself, but the PC version is $129, Office with Exchange support costs hundreds) I might add, the support looks better than what Outlook offers... and it doesn't require outlook to be running to access the contacts and calendar.

- new iChat with higher def and lower bandwidth and new features (OK, updates to most chat apps are typically free, but most are also add supported and this isn't...)

- full native 64 bit including intelligent thread management, and full OS support of multi-core CPUs (even Win 7 won't be there, many underlying apps are still single threaded)

- open access to the GPU for mathmetic functions to accelerate processing. No, not just limited to apps coded for nVidia cards, open access even for everyday apps to that horepower though APIs native to the OS. (easier for programmers to take advantage of, and also allows more than 1 app to use those resources concurrently)

Yea, all the other 995 bullet points are just performance enhancements or minor gimmicks, but they end up with a result of 50% faster and 50% less install space and greater stability.

What are we getting in Win 7 Ultimate for $129 upgrade (IF it's that cheap, current is 219)? bareley some of what was originally promised for Vista coming 3 years too late, and it's still not native 64bit across the board, most apps don't run well under 64 bit, the entire OS is not nearly multithreaded, and virtually anything you add to the base OS costs more and does less than what comes for free on a mac (of with iLife for $79).

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Anonymous Coward

@PPC Owners

The transition was announced in June 2005 (almost exactly 4 years ago) and actually started in January of 2006. It was announced at the same time that PPC based mac were to be fazed out over the coming year, with support being withdrawn in the next major OS release (Leopard). As it is, Apple actually continued to support the platform. They also announced a year ago that the platform *would not be supported* by 10.6. You've had 4 years to prepare. This isn't the first time Apple have done this, and it sure as hell won't be the last. So please, stop your bitching. You have been told on several occasions that this was coming, if you weren't prepared, that YOUR fault.

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@ Mac Phreak

Not bitching, just being cheap :D

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Boffin

@Shaun Roe

AFAIK Safari uses libxslt, so the floating point bugs maybe there. I've had issues with this library before since the Apple-shipped PHP build uses the same old libraries. FWIW running xsltproc on the command line on my Leopard MacBook gives the same error, whilst it works perfectly on Ubuntu 9.04.

I don't know who needs to be leaned on within Apple to get this "fixed", but really it's just a case of them using an up-to-date library. I'll personally be pissed if SL ships with an old version of libxslt!

The screen corruption issue is something else though!! I don't have a version of Chrome to hand, but it would be interesting to see if the problem is common to that.

Just in case it's useful, I ran xsltproc -V against both Leopard and Ubuntu 9.04 and here's what I got.:

Leopard$ xsltproc -V

Using libxml 20616, libxslt 10112 and libexslt 810

xsltproc was compiled against libxml 20616, libxslt 10112 and libexslt 810

libxslt 10112 was compiled against libxml 20616

libexslt 810 was compiled against libxml 20616

Ubuntu$ xsltproc -V

Using libxml 20632, libxslt 10124 and libexslt 813

xsltproc was compiled against libxml 20632, libxslt 10124 and libexslt 813

libxslt 10124 was compiled against libxml 20632

libexslt 813 was compiled against libxml 20632

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Jobs Halo

Old Mac whining

For some reason, my Quadra 650 (132 MB RAM/512k VRAM) doesn't handle Mac OS 8.1 or 8.5x very well. Had to take it back down to 7.6.1. Still, Photoshop 2.5 runs nice and fast and my LaCie tabloid scanner works great.

I guess this summer will be time for Mac housecleaning. Time to reimage all the G4's and G5's and then sell them off. Might make enough for a new Mac Mini or two.

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Gates Halo

Still non-functional for home use

No reason to even have a Mac in my house. It won't do anything I can't already do, and it doesn't do most of the things I do already do.

Yay for email... and uhm... browsing... Whoo?

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