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A Big Deal

November 26, 2012 - Dave Hecei
With Apple shipping new computers with the latest Mac OS, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, some might get confused by this move. Apple has just recently put OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on sale again. Personally, I think this is a Big Deal.

If you have a Mac that is about a year or less old, then disregard this post. Snow Leopard will not run on your machine. If you have an Intel Mac that came with OS X Tiger (10.4) or OS X Leopard (10.5), then you should seriously consider buying OS X Snow Leopard (10.6). Available now on the Apple Store web site, the Snow Leopard install DVD is priced at only $19.99.

Why would I want an operating system disk that's two generations old? Good question. If you have an Intel Mac running 10.4. or 10.5 then 10.6 is the next logical step in upgrading your OS. Some of the latest versions of Mac software, from Apple or other publishers, are starting to require 10.6 or better to install. If you have an older OS you cannot get a new iPad mini. The latest iOS devices use the latest version of iTunes and that requires OS X 10.6.8 or better.

Some of the latest software requires OS X Lion or better. Apple's amazing (and also free) iBooks Author App for the Mac requires 10.7.4 Lion or better. The problem is that you cannot just go to the Apple Store near you and buy it. They don't sell it on a disk only from the online Apple Mac App Store. The trick is, you cannot get to the Mac App Store from OS X 10.4 or 10.5. You guessed it - it requires Snow Leopard. Now you're starting to see why selling Snow Leopard again is a good move for Apple. For those who have let the upgrade train pass by them, they can now get on by purchasing Snow Leopard on a disk. From there you can then buy Mountain Lion, Apple's latest Mac OS.

Even if you don't want to run Lion or Mountain Lion now, I think getting  Snow Leopard is crucial in going forward with any Intel based Mac. It works with any Intel based Mac with at least 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage space, and a DVD drive. If you are thinking of going beyond Snow Leopard into Lion or Mountain Lion there are a few things to be aware of. You will need to check to see if your Mac can run Lion. Apple has a list of what can or cannot handle the big cat.

Tiger and Leopard are great versions of OS X. If they work for you, then don't worry about this upgrade. However, if you ever think you may want to upgrade your Mac somewhere down the road, getting Snow Leopard now for $19.99 might be your last chance (unless you want to rely on E-Bay for used copies). Apple is selling Snow Leopard today, but it may only last for a very short time. Snow Leopard includes the Mac App Store, which is the gateway to any future upgrades of the Mac OS.


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