Naturally, as a contributor to this blog, I purchased a Snow Leopard family pack the first possible day. Some people may have pre-ordered on Amazon, but they missed out on the in-store experience. My mother lives close to an Apple store, so I decided to stop […]


Naturally, as a contributor to this blog, I purchased a Snow Leopard family pack the first possible day. Some people may have pre-ordered on Amazon, but they missed out on the in-store experience. My mother lives close to an Apple store, so I decided to stop by and upgrade my Macbook Pro while catching up with her.

Soon after arriving she asked, “Do I need that?”


I honestly had no idea what to say. Sure it’s a cheap and quick upgrade, but does she really need Snow Leopard on the 20 inch iMac she bought last year? Her entire computer life at home revolves around Safari, Mail, and Microsoft Word. She networks, reads, and writes. I, however, consider myself an über power user: Netbeans, Adobe CS3, and tinkerer extraordinaire. I can’t refuse an OS upgrade.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s Snow Leopard page.


The only item I see here that is actually appealing to my mother is “faster.” One can never say no to speed in the computer world. The rest sounds like under the hood features. Fortunately, the UI changes in Snow Leopard are miniscule enough to not terrify the average Mac user. I guess it’s safe to upgrade her. After all, the Apple coolness factor always entertains.

What about all of you? Planning on upgrading your parents’ computers?

  1. My parents computer is a first gen G4 imac. 700mhz of raw G4 power. so no. I haven’t even gotten them to leopard yet. Tiger is as far as we can go. I keep trying to talk them into buying a new computer but it just isn’t going to happen.

    1. However I did tell my friend on getting a new 13 inch macbook pro, which is total overkill for her needs. And I also convinced her to cough up $10 for the snow leopard upgrade. She doesn’t know why she has to install it, but it’ll be good if she ever installs next gen applications. Plus she’s trying to be a librarian and I imagine the exchange support will help her out eventually…

  2. I AM that parent and I LOVE this Snow Leopard upgrade. I’ve used Macs since Lisa was a small girl and this latest makes my 17″ MBP with matte screen (easy on the eyes) work amazingly smoothly. Thanks for asking…. :-)

    1. 17″ MBP with a matte screen? Sweet…
      Coolest parent ever award? Haha.

  3. I plan on upgrading my parents IMac just so I can have the exact same OS on my Mac and theirs.

    1. Good idea. Gotta be easy to support the parents.

    2. Agreed on this. It makes my life easier. Well, buying them a Mac made my life so much better.

  4. Yes, but not before 10.6.x where x >= 2 just to be safe

    1. I agree with that.

  5. Charles Barilleaux Monday, August 31, 2009

    My non-techy siblings have asked. I answered “yes” prior to release, and would do so more enthusiastically after a weekend of using it. Why?

    1. General goodness of having the machines I “support” match what I use.
    2. I’m making the bold assumption that any security or bug fixes in 10.5.0-10.5.8 made their way into Snow Leopard. I know that’s not exactly true, but but I definitely expect that it would at least catch them up a fair bit. For $30, it’s an easy way to catch up.
    3. It seems to run smoother/faster than Leopard.
    4. Ensure they have not “gotchas” around some future software.

    To be honest, there is no “ah-ha!” feature that would compel an upgrade. Leopard had Time Machine, which was nice.

    There is one reason I can see it, though, being far from my family from them makes it a hard case. I believe that personal computers (not PC, but a computer owned an operated by an individual (as opposed to a server)) benefit from being rebuilt ever 18-or-so months. After loading and unloading software, making tweaks that “you’ll put back,” improper shutdowns, etc, a clean slate. A new OS is a good excuse for that, and I know at least one Mac in my family that would benefit from that.

  6. If I could ever get my parents out of the PC hell they keep themselves in- I would.

    1. That would be why on one day when I was seriously fed up with their stupid-piece-of-crap PC (days before Christmas, mind you) that I trekked out to the Apple Store (traffic was miserable, and King of Prussia was so crowded) and purchased them an iMac with my own money.

  7. I regret not getting my parents a Mac when we got their last computer. Now I have to deal with upgrading them from Vista to 7. Yes, I wish I had the choice to upgrade their computer to Snow Leopard, I would be doing theirs right along with mine… Hindsight is 20/20 sigh…

  8. I suppose that eventually I will, but not yet. After upgrading on Friday, I discovered that most of the programs I use on a daily basis don’t work yet. I was able to get somethings up and running by recompiling from source, but not all of them. And the versions that I did get running aren’t necessarily all that stable.

    While my parents probably don’t care about the state of Qt, or PyQt, or Cyberduck (or even Growl for that matter); I think that Snow Leopard was a much more significant upgrade than anyone is letting on. For example, in addition to the new Finder, it looks like Expose has been completely reimplemented using Core animation. And there are enough differences in the way the dock responds, that I wonder if it got massively overhauled as well (it just isn’t as smooth as the 10.5 version).

    As the poster above mentioned. I’ll probably upgrade the family around 10.6.2 or so. I’m personally thinking about downgrading. I now know how new users of Vista must have felt after discovering their software wasn’t compatible with the Microsoft OS.

  9. Simple answer – ‘Mom I bought the Family Pack it so we’re putting it.’

    1. Good answer. I will just upgrade it. They won’t be able to tell the difference.

  10. Lots of good answers.

    But the real question: Did David stop to see his mom to “Catch up” as he reported? Or was he too desperate to install to go all the way home first?

    My 74 year old neighbor dropped by just as the installer was finishing up. He stayed for almost two hours. I don’t think he saw the tears.

    1. You caught me!


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