Dumb Mac questions

Andrew8468

Plans on freezing in the dark
Oct 26, 2008
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Canada, eh?
OK, follow up dumb question. This Mac currently has 10.5.8 but the install disc says 10.5.1, so I assume I am going backwards?
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
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Plunk down the $29 for Snow Leopard, aka 10.6. Life will be much better for you.
 

Andrew8468

Plans on freezing in the dark
Oct 26, 2008
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Canada, eh?
OK, now I am confused. Should I still do the fresh install or just go to the local Future Shop, plunk down $39.54 and just install Snow Leopard?
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
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If you can swing the cost, I'd say do the fresh install with Snow Leopard. Once Lion (10.7) hits, they will stop offering updates to 10.5.x. Also, you'll need Snow Leopard if you want to purchase anything that is exclusive to the App Store, since it requires 10.6.6.

You could just go with 10.5.x and wait for Lion to upgrade, but it might not be out for a year or more. Plus, the cheaper pricing they offered for Snow Leopard may not apply to Lion. Normal upgrades between major releases used to run $129, though speculation is that they will probably settle in somewhere cheaper like $79. (but then again, maybe not.)

Your call, but for $30, I think the Snow Leopard upgrade is worth it.
 

Andrew8468

Plans on freezing in the dark
Oct 26, 2008
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Canada, eh?
Well, it took quite a while but I did a fresh install of 10.5.1, then upgraded to 10.5.8, then to 10.6.3 and now 10.6.6. I also sprung for the Mac Box Set and added iLife and iWork. So thanks to all who offered advice and assistance. Guess I need to start saving for RAM and HDD upgrades.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Louisiana
Technically OS X isn't really like Windows in that you have upgrade only disc. It may say upgrade, but I've yet to find an upgrade disc that you can't do a full clean install.

Just saying, you really didn't have to go through all those upgrades. You could have just used your Mac Box Set disc and did a fresh clean install right to 10.6.3 then just did the online upgrade to 10.6.6. None the less the way you did it works too!

So, how are you liking it?
 

Andrew8468

Plans on freezing in the dark
Oct 26, 2008
4,309
551
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Canada, eh?
Since I've only had the computer for a week, it would be hard to say if I am noticing any differences other than my dock is much more crowded than before. I also know I can do the upgrades again if I end up buying a bigger hard drive.

Another question. Officially this model only supports 3 GB of RAM but I have been reading people can put 4 in. Guy at the store where I bought the software says you can put in 4 but the Mac will only "see" 3.
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
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Another question. Officially this model only supports 3 GB of RAM but I have been reading people can put 4 in. Guy at the store where I bought the software says you can put in 4 but the Mac will only "see" 3.
That is true for a number of systems. Official support will max out at 3 for instance, but you can install 4, and usually you will get slightly better performance from having matched pairs.

These guys do a lot of testing and benchmarking, and have some decent information. I'd recommend them for any upgrades that you need. I've purchased a lot of RAM from them over the years.
Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro Memory Benchmarks and Upgrade Performance Testing
 

Brad Bishop

Member
Dec 3, 2008
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Since I've only had the computer for a week, it would be hard to say if I am noticing any differences other than my dock is much more crowded than before. I also know I can do the upgrades again if I end up buying a bigger hard drive.
You can skip that if you like by just using the Disk Utility and an external USB drive mount like BlackX. Basically the steps are:
- open Disk Utility
- format the drive setting it for GUID parition
- 'Restore' the Mac drive to the USB drive.

Then you can test by shutting down and when you reboot hold down the 'Option' key. That should show you your internal hard drive and your (still mounted in the BlackX dock) drive you just cloned (essentially). Pick that drive and just boot off of it to make sure it's ok. If it is, shut down and then do a drive swap. If it's not then you've goofed up one of the previous steps so start over and ask for help.

Good luck!
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
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In my experience, while cloning a drive is nice (CarbonCopyCloner is a cool app), for most users just using a simple Time Machine backup is enough to get your system back up to speed. When you install the new drive, part of the install process for OS X is to import things from a Time Machine backup. I've done it twice now and it has worked very well.

And as DAB pointed out, next time you can just do an install from the most recent OS disk that you have. No need to do 10.5 first, then 10.6, etc.

As for your dock - don't forget that you can change it's look and remove anything you never or rarely use. You can resize it, too. And real men actually put it on the side of the screen, not the bottom :D
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
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That's funny. That's what I do. Left side.
Haha - me too. I was going to say that, but didn't want to bash too hard on the right-side dockers, since at least they got the "side" part right :D
 

Ehilbert1

Ooh-Rah!!!!
Oct 13, 2008
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Columbus, OH
Does the Mac OS have any type of media center built in? My wife and I were talking about getting her a new laptop and this question came up. I know with Windows 7 you can add a TV tunner and make it a DVR, watch Netflix and so on. I'm just wondering if you can do those things with a MAC. Those are feature important to my wife. Thanks for the help.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Louisiana
Not built in, but dozens of options otherwise, most which can be downloaded for free. I even have a USB TV turner plugged into mine at the office to watch TV on the rare occasion that I want too.

Windows 7 has media center, but I wouldn't give you a slug nickle for it. Unstable as all get out in my opinion. I've had it actually corrupt some media files here recently when playing around with it. But this is a common problem with Microsoft. They try to put so much into Windows that they just don't ever get it just right. Though I will say that Windows 7 over all is damn rock solid. There is 3rd party software that makes Media Center looked like childs play.