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OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - A New Start

Posted: 28 Dec 2022 22:16
by TheMetalWizard
This incredibly outdated OS has been my primary for a very long time now. While it may be outdated, it is far from obsolete.

A forum post since any attempt at making a video out of this has been pushed back and inflated to a point that it didn't make any sense. I would end up making update videos on this 13 year old OS which would be pointless. Not many people will care, not many people will see. So low effort forum post is my choice. This is all my perspective on the OS and I would love to hear your opinions.

I still shill it. I have 100% confidence that it is the most stable OS Apple has ever made. I do have some reasons why that is the case and why modern contenders haven't taken it's throne.
  • Snow Leopard had a very standard lifespan of 2 years. I'd consider it a good period, yet updates didn't end until 2013 and security fixes until 2016*. This means that only Intel Macs from 2006 to 2011 can run it. (I am ignoring the PPC dev build and patches to run it on 2012 Macs since that is a 3rd party solution that isn't essential since those machines can run newer OS's with ease). This means that it's support range was also standard with great performance on every supported Mac. It's lack of hardware backwards compatibility on PPC is a key reason why it's so stable, which I will try to explain next.
  • Other contenders like Mojave or Monterey also run on Intel, so it isn't a huge task to patch outdated hardware to run them. People running a 2008 Mac Pro can upgrade their machines to run Monterey which could be unstable and locks away some features that require more modern bluetooth protocols or hardware. I'm not saying that it's a bad solution, because they are still fantastic machines, but it is a factor in why Monterey might be unstable for some users. That lack of PPC hardware support means there is no patch to run it on outdated hardware.
  • Since these newer OS's have features that rely heavily on the Internet to run, losing legacy support can lock you from downloading any Apple apps or exclusives from the App Store if you haven't previously purchased them.
  • Snow Leopard can be completely air-gapped and remain fully functional. With it's Rosetta support and all Apple or other big box apps of the period being distributed on discs with serial numbers, it's completely viable to load DMG images and sign the software to run. Something modern OS's can't do thanks to Internet reliant DRM like unpatched adobe apps or any App Store apps. (FaceTime was available on the App Store on Snow Leopard for a very short period after Lion's release. As far as I can tell this is the only app that is locked away, with many more apps being locked away behind the App Store once Lion released.)
That will be my most controversial take. Sorry Mojave lovers.

I find it hard to summarize what Snow Leopard can and can't do. As for accessing the modern world it can be a chore, but for applications ranging from the original Carbonised apps going all the way back to 1999 to around about 2012-2014, it is incredibly powerful. Rosetta is very inefficient and will not run PPC apps as efficiently as real PPC hardware, but with later Intel machines receiving the latest Core 2 Duo, I5/I7 and even Xeon processors, it can run them very fast albeit inefficient. I have never used a PPC app that felt sluggish on my late 2007 MacBook (not pro).

I built this entire website on Snow Leopard and started my Discord server with it, until Discord updated in early 2022 and won't load on any browser other than InterWeb, a browser I don't recommend to any SL user due to how poorly it runs.

It can be used as a fully featured Plex server and can use many protocols for use as a file server. It can still be used as a web server, but because the security is outdated I do not recommend that. Maybe use a VPS as protection and funnel it through, or just update. (I know, hypocrite)

It runs Telegram, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, eBay, Netflix alternatives (yar-har) and VLC which can connect to online streams. Also iTunes! I am writing this with a YouTube video in the background.

iTunes is one of my favorite features. Not just because of the new Music app being terrible for iPod usage, but because the combination of Rosetta and iTunes 11.4 being ideal for running every generation of period correct iPod app. iTunes 11.4 feels modern, but will work with iPod Touch 1G, iPhone SE 1g (As long as you don't update) and will allow you to download cracked apps and jailbreaks to your older iOS devices. It even works with AirTunes/AirPlay from the 1st generation AirPort Express to the very latest, now discontinued AirPort devices. I use it to stream to our HomePod mini which is the very latest and still sold AirPlay device.

Being an Intel OS, BootCamp is available and I believe it can run all the way up to Windows 10. Personally I don't use BootCamp and instead use Parallels running Windows XP SP3 32-bit for use with my iPod Touch 1g (hi curl)

Going back to the distribution of apps relying on serial numbers, piracy is everywhere and the majority of apps can be found and used without a hitch. No need to patch. I use Photoshop CS4 but SL can run the entire CS5.5 suite. The majority of software is considered abandon-ware so the legality of doing this is a grey area, but I don't see what's not being sold anymore as stealing.

The customization is baked right in. If you dislike TextEdit, Terminal or any other built in app then there are a million alternatives. You want changes to the dock to look black or like OS X Tiger? There's an app for that. You can even uninstall built in apps from Apple, something that later you would need to give a 3rd party app admin privileges, and usually had to pay for to use.

The Finder is also incredible. It is by no means as powerful as Classic Mac OS Finder, but it still makes you feel in control. It even has Cover Flow! One issue is If you want to show hidden files you must either type in a command into the terminal, make a batch script or download an app that will do it for you. I recommend this

The Disk Utility is powerful. Real powerful. Unless you go back to OS X 10.3 on PPC, this is going to be your strongest bet at gaining control over your disks. So far it's been my only option for burning CD/DVD's many times thanks to certificate signing errors on Mojave.

There are many fun tools. My wallpaper is moving just like Wallpaper Engine thanks to a dashboard widget which plays the screensaver in the background. There are many screensavers available for download. My personal favorite is the Matrix falling text. Makes me feel like a hackermen 8-)

I've ran out of bulletpoints of what I think SL is great at, and this was just excerpts of my phone's notepad which I expanded on here. It's all what I've written down as noteworthy and simply does not scratch the surface. It looks like I'm just dunking on Mojave and Monterey, but really I do love all 3 and all the OS's inbetween are just stepping stones before getting to those major 3. I just primarily use Snow Leopard because it is without a doubt the most reliable beast I've used.

Re: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - A New Start

Posted: 29 Dec 2022 15:15
by TheMetalWizard
Found out Nestopia (NES emulator) runs on Snow Leopard up to v1.4.1. 1.4.2 requires OS X 10.11