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Snow Leopard retails for P1,690 in the Philippines

Written by Jayvee Fernandez

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Truth be told I wasn’t into the hype for the Snow Leopard announcement as it seemed more like a ploy to get consumers to shell out 29 USD for what could have been a software update. I’ll tell you why — the very fact that Snow Leopard focuses more on “having a faster Mac” after install channels most of what these other software updates say, from version 10.5 onwards to what is now version 10.6.

So all of the qualms have been put to rest as they gave me a review copy (!!!) of Snow Leopard which I installed, for educational purposes on two Macs — a 2G “Black” MacBook and the first 13 inch unibody, both running on Intel processors. The rumors are true — Snow Leopard does some magic to your files and frees up disk space. The product text says about 7GB of space is freed up but in reality, my black MacBook freed up 11GB while my unibody gained 10GB. Not bad — think of it this way: Snow Leopard pays for itself because its as if you bought an extra 10GB for USD .00

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They did a great job with Quicktime — I’ve always wanted to buy the Pro version for the codecs, but this new Quicktime X, complete with new logo, takes the cake. Part iMovie, part Screenflow, and part Quicktime Pro, it again allows Snow Leopard to pay for itself. I won’t be surprised if the new Quicktime will interface with an update to iMovie ’09 as they have similar cropping features. Next — I was bummed with my USD $80 purchase of Screenflow many months back as Quicktime boasts a pretty robust screen recording feature. Junior Tan from Apple however laid my frustrations to rest as he really did show me how big a difference Screenflow was from the screen grab feature of Quicktime.

Ah, Expose is so much better as well. Rather than the “artistic” clutter of all your open windows, Expose arranges everything neatly, just like how Stacks does it. Everything is faster. The UI is more responsive. Javascript loads better. And the spacebar preview for documents works so much better as it zooms into the document to make the fonts readable.

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What’s equally interesting is the new 64 bit boot mode. If you restart your Mac and hold down the “6” and “4” keys, your Mac will boot in 64-bit mode taking full advantage of the multi core capabilities. There’s been some debate though with regards the full support of 64 bit. Apparently, my 13-inch unibody isn’t even part of the list — I can boot in 64-bit, but can’t utilize the new 64 bit drivers. Well, Macrumors says this whole 64 bit thing should not matter, and you should not really care at this point.

* If you wish to boot your Mac in full 64 mode by default, you can edit the com.apple.Boot.plist and change the values, allowing you therefore to boot back into 32-bit mode by holding the “3” and “2” buttons. Pretty intuitive.

Overall, my two MacBooks are running relatively faster with Snow Leopard. I guess purchasing this upgrade isn’t going to be a big decision problem as it is indeed cheap. Truth is, you actually do not need it if you’re a regular consumer as a lot of the tweaks are for the developer community (i.e. Grand Central). Nonetheless, if you feel the need to be up to date and want that much needed speed boost — and an extra 10GB of space, Snow Leopard pays for itself even just through the HD space optimization and Quicktime X.

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Nota Bene: Some applications may have problems loading. I’ve seen that Plants vs. Zombies does not load, according to Gabe Mercado (his new video podcast is brilliant by the way!). My ultra useful Menu Meters menu bar app also does not load. World of Warcraft has some problems as well when it comes to a conflict with Spaces and shortcuts.

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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