Leopard or Snow Leopard or Nothing?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Glen Labah, May 26, 2010.

  1. Glen Labah

    Glen Labah Guest

    About a month ago I purchased used a PowerBook G4. While certainly not
    the latest thing on the market, it is enough for what I do. It was also
    a huge advancement (not necessarily an improvement in all ways) over
    what I had been using - which dated all the way back to OS 8.6 (really,
    I have no need of a huge amount of the stuff that comes built into most
    OSs these days).

    Those who remember when I used to post to this newsgroup several years
    ago will remember I was pretty much the last one whose newsreader gave
    some really arcane results thanks to it being Newswather (not MT
    newswater, but the 1980s era news reader that predated it).

    In any event I have been exploring the various features of the MacOS,
    and the ability to use wireless networking and the like is certainly a
    huge improvement over the old desktop.

    However, the MacOS version that came with this is OS 10.4. I went
    through the entire upgrade process to get it up to 10.4.11. However,
    10.4 didn't come with Pages, and the version of Preview that came with
    10.4 doesn't appear to have the ability to resize images. There are one
    or two other things that are missing that might be helpful too.

    The local Mac store still has versions of Leopard available in the box
    on the shelf at somewhat over $200 a package. I can probably find used
    versions somewhere at a bit of a discount now that Snow Leopard has been
    around for a little while, however:

    + With snow leopard available, should I just upgrade to that?

    + Does snow leopard even work that well on G4s? Isn't it really
    intended for Intel based Macs?

    + Legacy software was at one time an issue, and that is why I kept OS
    10.4 on it for the past month, but I now have an old laptop that runs OS
    9.2 just fine, and it can be used to run, for example, my old version of
    Photoshop, illustrator, and a few other several hundred dollar programs
    that I used to use from time to time, but don't use enough right now to
    justify buying completely new versions for use with OS 10.5 +.

    + It would, however, be kind of convenient to have the ability to run
    everything on one computer - but not really a vital function. The old
    laptop doesn't take up that much space, and if I really need to I can
    dig it out of the drawer.

    + Are there any severe issues going directly from 10.4 to Snow Leopard
    without the inermediate step?

    + It would probably be a good idea for me to install a larger hard drive
    in the computer, and I assume that would be best done at the same time
    as the upgrade to Snow Leopard. Any thoughts on that? Or move photos &
    etc. to a large external firewire drive?

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    Glen Labah, May 26, 2010
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  2. Glen Labah

    Guest Guest

    not an option for a powerbook g4. snow leopard will not run at all on
    powerpc macs. leopard is your only upgrade, or stay at 10.4.11.
    see above.
    there is no classic in leopard. if the software is not os x native, it
    cannot be used.
    none, but you don't have that option with that computer.
    it's a bit of a pain to upgrade the hard drive. actually, putting it
    back together is the tricky part.

    put the photos and videos on a large external drive. it's easier and
    you can use it with any computer.
    Guest, May 26, 2010
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  3. Glen Labah

    David Empson Guest

    No version of Mac OS X comes with Pages.

    Pages is part of the iWork suite, sold separately from Mac OS X. The
    current version (iWork '09) runs on 10.4.11, but I expect the next
    version will require Leopard.

    Some Macs came with a _trial_ version of iWork preinstalled, but this
    was part of the bundled software for the computer, not part of Mac OS X.
    You had to buy iWork to use it beyond the 30 day trial period (which
    starts when you first ran any of the applications in the iWork suite).

    Similarly, the iLife suite (iPhoto, iMovie, etc.) is supplied (in full)
    with new Macs as part of the bundled software, but it is not included in
    the retail package for Mac OS X. If you want a later version than the
    one which came with your computer, you need to buy it as a retail

    Since the start of 2009, Apple has been selling a "Mac Box Set" product,
    which is equivalent to buying a particular edition of Mac OS X, iLife
    and iWork, for a discount which in the US effectively meant you got
    either iLife or iWork for free. (The pricing equation got more
    complicated after the release of Snow Leopard, due to its price being
    much lower than Leopard; other countries vary considerably due to
    exchange rate changes between the release dates of the various

    The original Mac Box Set (January 2009) included Mac OS X 10.5.6, iLife
    '09 and iWork '09. It was updated in August 2009 to include Mac OS X
    10.6 instead of 10.5.
    Apart from any other factors, Apple is no longer supporting 10.4 for any
    software updates (with the possible exception of Safari and iTunes, and
    I don't expect them to continue much longer).

    Leopard will still be supported until the release of 10.7, and due to
    Apple's current emphasis on the iPhone and iPad universe, I don't expect
    we'll see 10.7 before mid 2011.
    You can't on that computer. Snow Leopard requires an Intel processor.
    The PowerBook G4 has a PowerPC processor. Leopard is the last version of
    Mac OS X it can run.

    You should also confirm that your PowerBook G4 meets the system
    requirements for Leopard: at least 867 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM (I'd
    strongly recommend having more RAM than that), and 9 GB of free disk
    space (more would be good).
    I know many people using Leopard on G4s. It can be a bit sluggish on
    low-end models, but is fine on faster models, as long as you give it
    plenty of memory.
    Fair enough.
    Note that 10.5 can't run Classic, whereas 10.4 can.

    If your PowerBook G4 is old enough to be able to boot into Mac OS 9
    (roughly 2003 or earlier) then you could set it up with a separate
    partition containing a bootable Mac OS 9 system, and restart the
    computer to switch operating systems.

    A PowerBook G4 of that sort of age is likely to be too slow to be
    officially supported by Leopard, or slow enough that it would be

    For later models, a similar option would be to partition the hard drive
    with 10.5 as your main system and a second partition with 10.4 and Mac
    OS 9, which can be used with Classic.

    I have a PowerMac G4 (QuickSilver 2002) as my "last PowerPC Mac". I've
    deliberately left it running Tiger so I have easy access to old
    software, but at some point I'm intending to set up Leopard as its main
    operating system and put Tiger plus Mac OS 9 on a second hard drive. I
    still have a working PowerMac 8600 with Mac OS 9, so don't really need
    to use it on the G4.
    Moot point because you can't run Snow Leopard, but if you had an Intel
    Mac running Tiger, my experience having done a few such upgrades is that
    I haven't observed any problems.
    No particular reason to do the hard drive upgrade at the same time, as
    long as you have enough space. Leopard needs a fair amount more disk
    space than Tiger. (Snow Leopard needs a fair amount less.)

    If you have a means to connect the old drive externally, you could do
    the hard drive swap, install Leopard on the new drive, and migrate data
    from the old one, keeping it running Tiger. Tidy up the new drive to
    remove anything you don't want in the Leopard system after the

    Note that Disk Utility in Leopard can repartition a hard drive without
    erasing it (growing or shrinking the size of a partition, and add or
    remove later ones; you can't shift the start position of a partition).

    Depending on the PowerBook G4 model, replacing the hard drive is
    anything from relatively easy (Titanium 15" models) through medium
    difficulty (Aluminium 15" models) through a pain the neck (12").

    They all use parallel ATA hard drives, which are limited in capacity and
    manufacturers, so your upgrade options aren't as good as with more
    recent models.
    That would certainly be easier.
    David Empson, May 26, 2010
  4. You can't.
    It only works on Intel based Macs. It won't even boot on a G4.
    You can run SheepShaver, a PPC emulator. It will run MacOS 7.6 up to

    Not an issue in this case.

    Now that you found out you can't do what you ask, you have to decide if it is
    worth the upgrade to Leopard and ask a whole new set of questions.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, May 26, 2010
  5. IF its an Intel Mac you would be better of going straight to snow Leopard.

    I OTOH have PowerPC Computer I would love to get my hands on a copy of
    X.5 there are a couple of programs I wish to get that run on nothing
    prior to Leopard.
    Phillip Jones, May 26, 2010

  6. 1. Consider learning how to express yourself concisely.

    2. Don't post post multilevel complex questions and expect a clear answer.
    Joseph Capgras, May 26, 2010
  7. Glen Labah

    Wes Groleau Guest

    But I'm going to try anyway.

    PLEASE don't quote an entire two-page post only to add two lines proving
    you didn't read the first line.

    Wes Groleau

    A pessimist says the glass is half empty.
    An optimist says the glass is half full.
    An engineer says somebody made the glass
    twice as big as it needed to be.
    Wes Groleau, May 26, 2010
  8. Glen Labah

    David Sankey Guest

    Snow Leopard does not run on PPC, so won't run on PowerBook G4.

    Tiger as you now have is the last version to support Classic, which is
    what you need to run your old old applications. Therefore if you
    upgrade to Leopard you will lose this possibility.

    No versions of Mac OS come with Pages, this is part of the iWork
    package. The current version of this still supports 10.4.11.

    Changing the internal disk in a Powerbook is not impossible, but also
    not trivial. And 80 GB is tight now.

    Kind regards,

    David Sankey, May 26, 2010
  9. There are several clear answers.
    And learn to trim.
    John McWilliams, May 26, 2010
  10. Glen Labah

    Glen Labah Guest


    It's a PowerBook Aluminum 15", 1.25 GHz, 1 GB.
    Glen Labah, May 27, 2010
  11. It's probably either the Family Pack (SRP $199 US), or the Family Pack version
    of the Mac Box Set (Leopard + iLife + iWork, $229).
    The single-license version of the Mac Box Set was only $169.
    Wayne C. Morris, May 27, 2010
  12. Glen Labah

    Glen Labah Guest

    My thanks to all who offered their advice.

    I'd like to go the Leopard route, and the boxed set with iLife and
    iWork, as it would be helpful sometimes to have a word processor.

    However, it doesn't appear that any OS 10.5 boxed sets are available
    very easily any more. I'm seeing prices up in the $300 range just for
    OS 10.5. I've checked eBay, and there is a used box set for sale via
    that route, but it is in Europe.

    Couple of sellers have just the OS.

    I've also checked C/L too, but not much of interest anywhere near where
    I live.

    Any thoughts on retailers that might still have an older version of the
    OS still around?
    Glen Labah, Jun 3, 2010
  13. Glen Labah

    Glen Labah Guest

    Glen Labah, Jun 3, 2010
  14. Glen Labah

    Glen Labah Guest

    Something like this?

    With the ability to run off of the USB bus, plus the ability to do
    Firewire, seems like it would work fairly well.

    (I'm somewhat entertained by the specifications that state it is not
    recommended to drop the drive while it is operating.)
    Glen Labah, Jun 3, 2010
  15. Glen Labah

    Guest Guest

    it's about the same. some things are a little faster, others are a
    little slower.
    Guest, Jun 3, 2010
  16. Is that possible? I thought that Leopard only came out in two versions:
    the Single User or the Family Pack for five computers.

    The Boxed Set with iLife and iWork occurred with Snow Leopard but not
    Leopard IIRC.

    For a word processor, you could get a copy of NeoOffice. Contributions
    are requested but not required.


    Another word processor is Nisus Writer (probably Express based on your

    Try here. I found it on Yahoo by searching for Leopard Apple Operating

    Thomas R. Kettler, Jun 3, 2010
  17. <
    It came with Leopard too, but not initially.
    Michelle Steiner, Jun 3, 2010
  18. Glen Labah

    David Empson Guest

    Mac Box Set was introduced in January 2009, with Mac OS X 10.5.6
    (Leopard), iLife '09 and iWork '09. (I bought it to get the new iLife
    and iWork, and sold off my previous copy of Mac OS X 10.5 as I didn't
    need two of them).

    It was updated in August 2009, with Snow Leopard instead of Leopard.

    Both the Leopard and Snow Leopard versions of the Mac Box Set came in
    single licence and family pack editions.

    (As I've already said earlier in this thread.)
    David Empson, Jun 3, 2010
  19. Glen Labah

    David Empson Guest

    I don't know where you see that. I tried a search on google.com (after
    bypassing its automatic redirection to the New Zealand page, which
    doesn't have the shopping feature). My search was for

    "mac os x" 10.5 Leopard -Snow

    and the cheapest listing was US$111 for a new family pack (there was
    mention of a $70 used one but no actual entry for it). Other family
    packs were listed at $260 new and $300 new. Original retail price was

    Single licence edition prices ranged from $189 (used) to $253
    (refurbished). Original retail price was US$129.

    eBay is probably the best solution.

    I've been trying to buy a copy of Mac OS X 10.5 on behalf of someone on
    our local equivalent (TradeMe) for a few months, and I know two other
    people who want them. One comes up every few weeks, but I haven't
    managed to get one yet. I missed a couple that were reasonably cheap,
    others have sold or been passed in at more than 75% of original retail,
    in one case about 95% before adding postage.

    There are a few family packs there at the moment, but the opening bid or
    buy now is about 75% of original retail, and way too expensive for a
    single user.

    Demand for upgrading PowerPC Macs to Leopard is high, and supplies are
    David Empson, Jun 4, 2010
  20. Glen Labah

    Glen Labah Guest

    Glen Labah, Jun 4, 2010
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