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I have a macBook running 10.4.11, I want to do some IPhone development so I think that I need to upgrade to 10.6. On the apple store there are two products that claim to upgrade you to snow lepard (10.6).

1) The site says that it is recommended that I should use the box set. Why? Will Snow Leopard work on my machine? Do I need to buy the box set?

2) I have IWork 08 installed right now. Will that continue to work on 10.6? Will ILife continue to work?

3) I have heard that 10.6 is actually faster than 10.4. Is this true? This seems unlikely to me.

4) Is time machine included with 10.6 or is that bundled with ILife or something like that?


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3 Answers 3

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  1. The site says that it is recommended that I should use the box set. Why? Will Snow Leopard work on my machine? Do I need to buy the box set?

    Apple wants to reconcile the loss of potential sales from you not buying Leopard by making you buy the box set (an extra CD/DVD in the box isn't even $1 to them). The bare Snow Leopard will work fine, according to MacWorld no matter what you had installed previously. It may not be strictly speaking legal (to quote Inception), but Apple losing a mere $140 is not enough grounds to get charged over generally.

  2. I have IWork 08 installed right now. Will that continue to work on 10.6? Will ILife continue to work?

    In short, yes. Run Software Update and everything should be fine.

  3. I have heard that 10.6 is actually faster than 10.4. Is this true? This seems unlikely to me.

    Benchmarks.

  4. Is time machine included with 10.6 or is that bundled with ILife or something like that?

    It is an OS feature. It is included, yes.

Note: Snow Leopard doesn't run on PowerPC Macs if you were thinking about doing that.

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Doesn't seem right to advocate breaking license agreements. –  Spiff Sep 20 '10 at 21:18
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Other common actions that involve breaking license agreements: 1) Jailbreaking your iPhone, 2)using WINE and Windows at the same time, 3) uninstalling a program by deleting its desktop shortcuts, 4) lending a laptop to your friend, and 5) using a computer on a University campus without being a student or faculty there. This is why nobody reads them ;-). –  digitxp Sep 21 '10 at 2:21
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+1, good answer. Just to elaborate, the DVD @29$ contains a full OS, you don't (at least, I didn't) need Leopard installed to use it. –  trolle3000 Sep 23 '10 at 12:00

The interesting thing about OS X is that it's "upgrades" are technically full versions, but with discounted upgrade pricing. Assuming you meet the rest of the requirements for Snow Leopard, I think you can use the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade on Tiger (this article) seems to confirm that notion.

I would backup your hard drive and do a clean install (erase the drive, install a fresh version of Snow Leopard, etc.). Also, you may encounter some errors with some apps not working (Snow Leopard checks for these sorts of errors when upgrading from Leopard). It might not be completely smooth sailing, but it should work for the most part.

I have IWork 08 installed right now. Will that continue to work on 10.6? Will ILife continue to work?

It should. Might as well try; if it doesn't, you can always spring for an upgrade.

I have heard that 10.6 is actually faster than 10.4. Is this true? This seems unlikely to me.

OS X releases generally get faster with each version. That said, I was using 10.4 on an old iBook G4 with 1GB of RAM, and now use 10.6 on a MacBook Pro with 8GB RAM, so it's hard to directly compare which is faster.

Is time machine included with 10.6 or is that bundled with ILife or something like that?

Time Machine comes with the OS.

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The $29 upgrade version is only for people with a valid Leopard (10.5) license. The way for a Tiger (10.4) user to get a license for Snow Leopard is to buy the Mac Box Set. –  Spiff Sep 20 '10 at 21:16
    
+1 for the link. I think that that makes sense. –  sixtyfootersdude Sep 21 '10 at 1:10
    
@Spiff Legally, but not in practice. –  digitxp Sep 21 '10 at 2:23

First, beware that that "Education" view you linked to of the online Apple Store has the wrong prices for both of those items you linked to, unless you're in Canada or something and those are non-US dollars (I checked Canadian and Australian exchange rates and it still seems too high, although Apple has been known to vary pricing between countries by more than just the exchange rate). If you're in the US and that was your school's custom store view, then your school is putting a nice premium markup on top of the MSRP. The Leopard -> Snow Leopard upgrade is usually $29 US, and the Mac Box Set usually costs $169 US.

The Mac Box Set is the right answer for you. It's the only way for someone with only a Tiger license for a given machine to get a license for Snow Leopard. It also comes with the latest iLife and iWork so you don't have to worry whether the obsolete versions will still work.

10.6 is in many ways faster and more efficient than 10.5, but I'm not sure how it compares to 10.4. I would say, however, that 2GB of RAM is a bit on the light side for running Snow Leopard. It works, but it ends up trashing VM to disk a bit too much. So if you don't have more than 2GB of RAM in that machine, consider upgrading that as well.

Time Machine is included.

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That is the Canadian education price. I just checked the regular Canadian price and it is the same. Everything is always more expensive in Canada. –  sixtyfootersdude Sep 21 '10 at 1:07

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