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Mac Users: Don't Pounce on Leopard

By Shawn Soni 

The newly released Leopard is the next major upgrade of Apple’s  Macintosh OS X operating system. Let me deliver a caveat for those who might be thinking of becoming early adopters, because Apple has always had a relatively trouble-free upgrade history with new OS products. Take your time.

Leopard is a wonderful and feature-filled new release, however there are some issues that might make it worth waiting before upgrading any Macintosh that is your primary work computer.

If you have a “spare” Macintosh capable of running Leopard (minimum 512mb RAM, 867Mhz G4 processor), it's a worthwhile idea to install it there to see the OS and learn about. Some programs are not “certified” to run Leopard yet. Notably, Adobe Lightroom 1.2 is “not fully certified for Mac OS X Leopard, but future updates will address areas of Leopard compatibility” (Adobe Leopardsupport.pdf), and others like MYOB AccountEdge Network Edition 2007 are not fully compatible with Leopard, which could have a direct impact on any business functionality like accounting and customer relationship management.

MYOB, in notifying their clients about issues with Leopard, provided a link via e-mail to a site, Macrumors.com, that has a partial list of applications that do not have full integration with Leopard. Interestingly the list also has Apple's premier photo application Aperture listed as having problems with the new Leopard application “Time Machine”.

The site cryptically only says that running Aperture and Time Machine together can cause dire consequences and wonders if there is a patch (1.5.6?) out yet from Apple. Overall, Leopard is worth a look but not on a computer that will be carrying out the day-to-day functions of your studio work or management. The issues with applications that could be mission-critical to a successful workflow (Lightroom and Aperture) and others make waiting a while for software vendors like Adobe to get their applications completely up to speed and integrated with this next-generation OS a smart move.

Shawn Soni owns a small studio in Raleigh, NC doing wedding, portrait and commercial work for local web designers. He worked for more than 15 years as a Software and Networking Infrastructure consultant and I/T staffer for companies in the southeast and midwest building networks and providing support for Windows, Netware and Apple networks. He got his first Mac in 1985, and has been a passionate Macintosh user and advocate for years.