Reliving that OS X Snow Leopard magic

“Enthusiasts of all types always have that one special obsession. For muscle car people, maybe it’s one particular year of Ford Mustang,” Stephen Hackett writes for MacStories. “Photographers always have a favorite lens, while baseball players may have a favored bat or glove.”

“Ask almost any macOS fan, and they’ll tell you that Snow Leopard is their favorite version of all time,” Hackett writes. “There are a bunch of good reasons for that, beyond pure nostalgia.”

“Since 2009, a handful of releases have been compared to Snow Leopard. Since Apple’s move to an annual cycle, OS releases have become smaller and less important. None, I think, have truly earned the Snow Leopard badge until this year with High Sierra,” Hackett writes. “Time will tell if High Sierra joins Snow Leopard in the Hall of Fame, but I bet it will. A focus on polish and shoring up the foundations will always be welcome words to the Mac faithful.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For those who haven’t been partaking in betas, you’re really going o love macOS High Sierra!

44 Comments

      1. Having used XP on my work machine for years, it was rock solid. We updated to Win 7, dependability went downhill fast. Reboots became almost a daily occurrence; moving from one Office program to another would cause crashes at least once every few days.

        1. That’s scary my partner is still on XP now and it’s far from rock solid. To think of something less do sends a shiver down my spine though the way she talks in derisory terms about her newer work PCs maybe in that sense you are right by comparison. I am just amazed at what is accepted as normal by so many.

          1. To be fair, the IT department that I deal with can pretty much ruin a new Mac. So it stands to reason that corporate IT can also make a Windows PC running XP run even worse.

      1. I don’t think that’s what the OP was implying…more that High Sierra will be “the next greatest thing”. Regardless, finally resolving long time Mail, wifi, bluetooth, messenger etc. issues carried over from Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan and Sierra will go a long way toward recognizing High Sierra as the “next Snow Leopard”.

    1. Snow Leopard was without a doubt the most intuitive and reliable OS that Apple has been able to create. Since Snow Leopard, Apple lost its knack. The ugly flat grey and white look is difficult, the wireless and other fundamental features have been problematic. Features that worked well (cover flow, disc utility, ITunes, iPhoto, etc) have been hidden, deleted, ignored, or abandoned. Or worse, “replaced” by a half assed thin client that attempts to force you into an iCloud subscription and mandatory always on internet connection. The ios fluff that was ported to OSX is useless to a power user who retains the Mac as the center of his digital life and/or work.

      While all attention went to iOS starting in the late 2000’s, it was clear the B team on a shoestring budget was given the chore to do minimal effort changes which would be freebieware. That apparently is how much Apple thinks its OS updates are worth. Critical fundamental improvements like APFS could have and should have arrived in 2012 or before, but Apple was sitting on its butt. To Microsoft’s credit, they pushed the envelope. Windows made horrible design choices and clunker usability OSes every other try. But it also means they iterated and kept working out the bugs. from a technical standpoint, Windows 7 is almost as good as OSX 10.6 was. With Windows 10, they actually pulled ahead of macOS in too many ways to list here. Seriously, Apple usability and reliability actually dropped. Apple sat doing almost nothing. No, worse than nothing, they let Jony take an attractive GUI and turn it into a hard to read mess.

      While Windows offers hundreds of thousands of apps, the Mac App Store is wimpy at best, with almost all premium titles moving to Windows or going to susbscrptionware since Mac program development isn’t a money maker with Apple pricing itself out of the mainstream markets and yanking Mac hardware completely out of education, corporate, server, and pro workstation markets. Market share really does matter. With Snow Leopard on competitive hardware, Macs were raking in market share up til Cook arrived. Then the coasting was immediately apparent. With overpriced netbooks that are not user serviceable and ugly macOS, Apple makes more than ever in profits but is losing mindshare and receding again from the market. People here are being brainwashed into thinking that iOS thinclient subscrption computing is “good enough”. They think iOS is closing the gap because it is getting more features and attention. But they are wrong. MacOS is intentionally being hamstrung because Apple wants to serve consumers with games, rental music, and icloud rental. It is obvious Cook has no interest in making trucks that allow standalone computing creators excel.

      Sad reality is Apple wants to be the big brother that it parodied in 1984.

      If Apple had stronger leadership, the Mac would be more like a modern Snow Leopard today and everyone would be lusting after it as much or more than the latest iPhone with the Samsung styling and the Samsung OLED screen and the Samsung chips inside.

    1. Um, your semantics are a bit odd. I’ll try to provide detail:

      Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was the last version that offered a Mac OS X Server Edition, which cost $499 allowing unlimited users. (10.5 Server cost $999 for unlimited users, $499 for 10 users). Note that the client version of 10.6 cost $29.99.

      However, it was at the point of 10.5 Server that Apple began to get lazy and distracted. It is commonly considered that 10.4 Server was the last, great, professional standard version of Mac OS X Server. But it terms of a full Mac OS X Server suite, the last was 10.6 Server.

      It was at the point of 10.7 Server that Apple minimized the Server suite and sold it as a separate add-on for an additional $49.99. 10.7 Server is considered the low point in Server’s history. Apple has sorta, kinda, mostly improved it since that time. But it became expected that it would be buggy ever thereafter.

    1. Happy times!!!

      Best intro tune ever :).

      SL will always remain my favourite OS. I will admit that OS has vastly improved since Lion than a few obvious stumbles along the way.

      I’m trying to think of the name of the wifi connectivity issues Apple was having for some time. And then Apple went back to the old protocol that was used in SL.

  1. Yeah, but will it have the “look and feel” of Snow Leopard? if not, it misses the mark, at least partly.

    What about nesting folders inside of folders inside of folders?

    What about the dock WITHOUT the stupid cage it’s in now? The dock was caged until Tiger, which released the Tiger. Jonny Ives’ current docked cage is an insult to all Mac users. The previous, Snow Leopard dock was a thing of beauty, as were its 3D icons.

    And what about a Finder sidebar in color, that isn’t so faded gray that you can’t see or read it?

    We need the “look and feel” of Snow Leopard too!

    1. I do agree SL was a thing of true beauty and worked beautifully too. I hated upgrading from it and only did do when lack of support started to bite. I won’t be upgrading to HS (apart from on an external) simply because too much of my Adobe software won’t work with it from what I hear and upgrading would just be too expensive as I increasingly head for semi retirement in a competitive environment where software costs would be the same no matter how much or little I work. That’s simply not viable for me.

      1. Yes. This is one of the main reasons why I can’t upgrade to HS. I have an older suite of Adobe Studio programs that are not 64-bit compliant and I don’t have a need to upgrade to their latest pay-every-month version as I’m also slowing down on my design freelance jobs and can’t justify the monthly expense.

        1. Like you I run an older computer with legacy programs including Freehand MX that works great for freelance work. Also run CS6 Adobe full suite, NEVER the rental model. ZERO reason to upgrade because everything works great …

    2. It was so much prettier. I just fired it up in a VM, and wow, it looks so much nicer than 10.12.

      And losing the color sidebar was so incredibly stupid. It actually slows me down finding things, the color icons were immediately identifiable.

      And let’s not forget the scroll arrows, the idiot who took those out needs to be severely beaten. Yes, the mouse scrolls. Yes, the trackpad scrolls. But sometimes you want just a tiny bit of a scroll, and that’s so much easier with the arrows.

      Snow Leopard had two horrible flaws though. It was the version that killed PowerPC support, and at the time I had an absolutely screaming fast quad G5. It was quite a while before I had an Intel machine that fast. AND, it was the version that killed AppleTalk. That meant I had to carry a second laptop for years to configure old printers. I still have to pull out the iBook with 10.5 sometimes to deal with one.

    1. Are you kidding me? Microsoft invented the computer crash! And Windows XP popularized computer viruses. It wns the Academy Award for the virus!

      Windows Sucks! I used 3 Windows machines for 20 years, and it got so bad that I rid myself at home of Microsoft Windows entirely. I’ve converted my old Windows laptop to Ubuntu Linux. While it ain’t as good as Mac, it’s way, WAY better than Microsoft Windows!

    1. Sometimes progress… isn’t. Anybody who ever used MS Word 5.1a will agree it was the best ever. It has been downhill since 1994. Unfortunately, it only ran on a real or emulated 68K processor.

      1. Parallel example: Freehand MX (2004) compared to Illustrator CC (2016). Many improvements with filters and PS integration, but nowhere near the elegant day to day production prowess of FH …

      2. I have to disagree. MS Office for the Mac became much more powerful in 2004 and again in 2011 editions. One personally might not need all the new features, but they have made things faster and easier for power users. Fundamentally better xml file types was a huge leap forward too. Excel and Word have remained well ahead of the competition. There is a very good reason that Jobs threw in the towel and made sure MS committed to supporting the most complete professional office suite on the Mac for the long term. Apple meanwhile has dabbled in amateur level office apps that receive development attention every 6 years or so unless they lose interest altogether. AppleWorks, Claris, iWork all have such fragmented history and unnecessary user pain. Go ahead and try to open an archived file from any legacy Apple office program using the latest Numbers or whatever. Good luck.

        Snow Leopard gets my vote as the most attractive OS too. I think Apple started copying MS when OSX went from a paid upgrade into a free update. The bean counters don’t understand that users will happily pay for a product if that product is valuable. A free giveaway is usually worth the price tag and no more. Even at Apple.

  2. They forget that they sold iPhones quite well when it lacked arguably trivial things like cut, copy and paste. Apple has never has sold for features. They sell for implementation and fit and finish. Apple and many of its users are getting seduced by features rather than what made the device successful in the first place. If this were still true they’d have looked at other phones when designing iPhone X and said to themselves “Holy shit! We can design a phone with camera system and no fugly notch?? No way!!!”

  3. I’d previously understood that the look and feel — and usability — of Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4.8) was the zenith that everyone nostalgically harked-back to.

    With maxed-out RAM, obviously.

    Impressed to read that it’s been upgraded to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (with its useful Universal Binaries)!

  4. Snow leopard is also my favorite OSX version.

    Got a mid-2012 MBP running Mavericks, been hesitant to change. Do NOT like the idea of a more iOS-ish look and feel that MacOS is undergoing to some extent. Think that is a huge mistake as touch screens are basically more work and less productive. I also don’t care for the look of iOS that much (although I love my iPhone 7 and iOS 11)…

    1. IOS 11 is for ultraportables. I would never want such an OS anywhere near my Mac.

      Truck drivers have been waiting 5 years for Apple to get its act together and deliver what High Sierra is supposed to offer. Still waiting!

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