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The Legend of Snow Leopard

In the view of many long-time Mac users, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was the pinnacle of Apple’s desktop software, with every update since a step backward in one way or another. 9to5Mac’s Michael Steeber looks into this phenomenon and its origins. Along with the timing and pricing issues Steeber mentions, an argument could be made that Snow Leopard was the last version of OS X before Apple started to add iOS elements in 10.7 Lion. Plus, Snow Leopard was the final version of OS X to support Rosetta, and thus the last version that could run PowerPC applications. Despite all this, it’s worth remembering that Snow Leopard hasn’t seen a security update in years.favicon follow link

 

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Randy B. Singer  2018-01-31 23:13
Snow Leopard is the Word 5.1 of Mac operating systems. Everyone looks back on it fondly. However, just like Word 5.1, if you talked to users about bringing it back, I think that you would find that they would say that they wanted Snow Leopard but with [include favorite modern feature here] added. Once you add all the modern features that everyone wants, I think that you would have something very close to High Sierra. See: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/rick_schaut/2004/06/18/word-5-1-plus/
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Andreas Frick  2018-02-01 03:14
Snow Leopard already removed support for HFS-Disks. I like it still because it runs AppleWorks. I have a lot of drawings and databases created by it. Apple never brought a true successor. Import into Pages is poor and the outliner clearly worse. I don't need or want any cloud support and also not of MS-Exchange. But I want local synchronization. Also many bugs and problems of Leopard still are not fixed in High Sierra. Instead many useful features have been removed: Dial up networking, fax, web sharing, and bluetooth has been castrated.
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levanah  2018-02-01 13:01
I still appreciate Snow Leopard because I still use a 2007 24" iMac as a secondary machine--and IMO those two are/were the perfect combo. (And my late-2009 white MacBook chokes on anything newer.) Agreed that this was the last fully desktop-optimized OS, & frankly the more iOS elements are introduced to my desktop computing environment, the more annoyed I get. My first desktop was a Commodore 64...which may explain my POV. ;-) (BTW, for those missing the visually handy colored screen elements that started disappearing after SL, I've been able to find two 3rd party apps that together restore many of them: TotalFinder and Folderol.)
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If Apple had continued to support the Rosetta emulator to work in the new OS's as it did with Snow Leopard, they would have pleased many of us.The ability to use some of the old PPC applications would be great. The iWork suite is a very limited replacement for the old Appleworks. Apple would have spent their money more wisely by updating Appleworks to continue to work with the new OS's. The Appleworks data base has no replacement other than perhaps Filemaker which is too expensive. Tried Bento but did not like it. Then Filemaker quit Bento too. Don't respond with me needing to move on. Have used every Mac OS up to and including Sierra. I have been using Apple products longer than some of you have been ALIVE !!!
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Norman Wikner  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2018-02-01 17:40
I keep one machine running Snow Leopard, but it is not connected to the internet or even my LAN.
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Peter Ulvskov  2018-02-02 14:27
10.6.8 remains the best OSX that Apple has made,and 10.7 was a disaster that the Mac's OS has yet to recover from. Apple has forgotten customers that use the Mac to get work done. Their lack of a reasonable successor to the aluminum Mac Pro proves that point.
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I agree with Peter that 10.6.8 with Rosetta remains the best OS X that Apple has made, Unfortunately the availability of printers that support it has become a major problem. You also need an early 2011 Mac to use 10.6.8. The other OS X that was very stable was Tiger 10.4.11. Macs of that era would allow a dual boot system for OS 9.2 and 10.4.11. Or at the very least the Classic option. I still use Appleworks on 10.6.8 and ClarisCad on OS 9.2. I realize I am “dating” myself. Yes, I use Sierra but am avoiding High Sierra at all costs. I have enough Macs for the above to last until I die.
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It's really interesting to see that despite all the disagreement on which path Apple should take going forward, most people seem to agree on when in the past Apple was strongest.

Snow Leopard seems to have been the pinnacle of OS X while in terms of MBPs, the 2015 model appears to take that spot.
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Alan Sanders  2018-02-06 00:58
The fact that Snow Leopard hasn't had ongoing security updates is only relevant to those who are still using it today. The significance od Snow Leopard's reputation is that it worked so well by the time its development cycle was completed. Apple has never polished any subsequent release to this extent AND IT SHOWS!!!
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James Reynolds  2018-02-06 11:12
My teaching institution was still using 10.6 on 100+ computers until 3 months ago. We upgraded because we bought new machines and had to. 10.6 Server was also the most documented Server product. That should put into perspective the different priorities at Apple then and now, considering that Apple has canceled the Server product.
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