tightvnc
I finished upgrading my MacBook to Leopard last weekend. In all, it was a fairly easy process: I backed the machine up to my external Firewire drive using SuperDuper, formatted the machine’s hard drive, and installed the OS from the Leopard disk. Once the installation was complete, I used Apple’s built-in Migration Assistant to bring all my files and applications over from the Firewire drive, a great new feature in Leopard (it used to only allow you to migrate from another Mac).
A side note about Migration Assistant: it would be really nice if Apple gave the option to pick and choose which apps you want to copy over from the old environment to the new. Unfortunately, it’s an all-or-nothing proposition, which means I’m sure I brought some leftover garbage from the old machine image.
I am happy to report that so far every app I tried works fine under Leopard. I was worried about Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, but so far, so good.
I bought another external firewire drive to act as a Time Machine backup space, so both Lisa’s and my machines are now backed up through that method every time I plug in that drive. I figure I’ll use this feature as often as possible, and do an every-other-week image backup with SuperDuper.
My biggest complaint with Leopard is that Spotlight, the Mac OS X built-in search engine, did not index my e-mail, nor did it index many of my regular files. I had to manually rebuild these indexes, which I learned how to do by reading this blog page. Now I can pretty much find anything on my machine.
Now for something really, really cool:
Mac OS X 10.5 has an option called “Screen Sharing” built in– this is also known as plain old “VNC” (Virtual Network Computing). This means that you can remote-control your Leopard-based Mac from another machine on your network.
I’ve read about ways to do this from another Mac, but last week I discovered this excellent tutorial which brings your Mac desktop to your PC. Now, I love my MacBook and use it for pretty much everything, but when it comes to keyboard-and-mouse-heavy activites (like reconciling my checkbook in Quicken) I miss using a full-size keyboard and mouse. By using TightVNC on my Windows XP PC (which has the aforementioned full-sized keyboard and mouse) I was able to run through my drill with less strain on my eyes and wrist. I know some of my Mac brethren are screaming “blasphemy!” right now, but it works, and I like having the option. The photo above is a snap of my PC’s screen.
I’ll keep you posted of any more adventures with Leopard. So far, I’ll give it a thumbs-up.

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