I thought I’d pull together a first impression of Snow Leopard, thanks in part to Apple shipping me my copy early here in the UK. I was running 10.5.8 on my nvidia imac 9,1, the current generation. I was feeling brave this morning when the disc appeared and thought I’d take it for a spin. The first thing which is noticeably different for veteran Mac users is that unlike any of the earlier OS X releases, SL will complete it’s entire installation from within the running Leopard OS. It only restarts at the end to finish. This was a little strange to get used to and I actually think it helps speed up the process. My installation with all options ticked took 38 minutes....not too shabby. My first port of call was to start software update and see what was available. Going from the About this mac button bought up a rather worrying, Software Update application not installed. Running Software Update direct from the option below About this Mac did however work. Here the loading bar looks different from Leopard and only served to bring up iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.4 which is for Radeon HD 4850 equipped machines...it did this before in Leopard, bringing up this irrelevant firmware update. The other update was for RDC 3.3.1. Right lets move on. Firing up Mail causes the library files to be updated. Here Mail is noticeably faster.We’re talking zero lag between moving from my Mobile Me, domain email and Gmail accounts, finally it works as it should. We’re talking serious snappiness... Time Machine which i use a lot is also quicker and gives more details like calculating changes and on the whole seems quicker. I did a quick test adding a 30GB file and running the backup, compared to in Leopard Time Machine backed up the same 30GB file as part of a backup 60% quicker, after calculation had completed TM did 1GB in 15 seconds...consider me impressed as I used to find TM really slllloooowwwww. Iwork 09 all works as before but pages is faster to load...thank god asi always found it dead slow! Expose for me was a bit slower than before and the difference visually takes some getting used to with the proportional sizes of previews. If i'm honest I loved how it worked before and with the slight lag, i was missed the old style. Finder has many noticeable improvements, the scrolling zoom bar I found very useful and the overall system seems more responsive. There is a real feeling of speed. I can glide over the finder from one bit to another and whilst I never found Leopard slow, SL seems extremely quick in respect of the Finder. Quicktime seems much improved but for me the UI changes seem at odds with the rest of SL. The gloss black looks nice but totally out of place and mirrors the whole look of the iphone. Also my MKV files no longer work despite still having the codecs installed...bummer! Perian....what have they done to you? Airport operation finally seems fixed. I usually a few times a day got the whole your network has been compromised message but so far so good. There is faster scanning of available networks and also a new option of computer to computer networking. Safari from my initial use seemed slower than version 4 in Leopard but this may be due to rebuilding caches following the install. ichat for me seems unchanged and I didn’t spot any massive differences bar some more ball spinning. I did notice however animating buddy icons but there was no example of one or instruction on how to implement this. I’m running in 64bit mode which was my installation default. To check run in terminal to get either 32 or 64 messages. ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi As I said so far so good. If anyone has any questions l’ll try my best to answer them.