How to Tell if Your Mac is 32-bit or 64-bit
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As a result of the low price, initial sales of Snow Leopard were significantly higher than that of its predecessors. Unlike those of previous versions of Mac OS X, the goals of Snow Leopard were improved performance, greater efficiency and the reduction of its overall memory footprint. Addition of new end-user features was not a primary consideration: New programming frameworks, such as OpenCLwere created, allowing software developers to use graphics cards in their applications.
This is also the first Mac OS release since System 7. Snow Leopard was also the last release of Mac OS X to ship with a welcome video at first boot after installation. Additional requirements to use certain features: Snow Leopard is available as an upgrade for Intel-based Macintosh computers. Single-user licenses and "family pack" licenses for up to five computers are available. For qualifying Mac computers bought after June 8,Apple offered a discounted price through their "up-to-date" program provided that customers' orders were faxed or postmarked by December 26, There are three licenses available.
If you have purchased an Upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard license, then subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one 1 copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer as long as that computer has a properly licensed copy of Mac OS X Leopard already installed on it.
Subject to the terms and conditions of this License It is not entirely clear which license is offered with the retail version of Snow Leopard. On the other hand, some Apple press materials appear to indicate that this version is, in fact, the "Single Use" license:. However, even if the retail edition of Snow Leopard is in fact a "Leopard Upgrade", the company has acknowledged that there is no technical barrier in that edition preventing a direct upgrade from Mac OS X "Tiger".
Mac OS X Snow Leopard is intended to be a release aimed to refine the existing feature set, expand the technological capabilities of the operating system, and improve application efficiency. Many of the changes involve how the system works in the background and are not intended to be seen by the user.
For example, the Finder application was completely rewritten in the Cocoa application programming interface. Despite significant changes in the software, users will experience almost no changes in the user interface. Snow Leopard includes the following changes:. While the Finder was completely rewritten in Cocoait did not receive a major user interface overhaul.
Instead, the interface has been modified in several areas to promote ease of use. As with most upgrades of Mac OS X, new wallpapers are available. There are new wallpapers in the Nature two of which are of snow leopardsPlants and Black and White sub-folders under the Apple folder. Furthermore, there are new Apple wallpaper sub-folders with multiple wallpapers:. New solid colors can be used as wallpapers as well. There is a new blue and gray, as well as a solid kelp which serves as the "green wallpaper.
Mac OS X Tiger added limited support for bit applications on machines with bit processors; Leopard extended the support for bit applications to include applications using most of Mac OS X's libraries and frameworks. In addition, the Mac OS X kernel has been rebuilt to run in bit mode on some machines. Newer Xserve and Mac Pro machines will run a bit kernel by default; newer iMac and MacBook Pro machines can run a bit kernel, but will not do so by default.
Stuart Harris, software product marketing manager at Apple Australia, said, "For the most part, everything that they experience on the Mac, from the bit point of view, the applications, the operating system, is all going to be bit, but that at this stage there were very few things, such as device drivers, that required bit mode at the kernel level".
With some tweaking, the Unibody MacBook can be set to boot the bit kernel. Grand Central Dispatch uses the multiple processor cores now in every new Macintosh for more efficient performance. Due to the technical difficulties traditionally involved in making applications optimized for multicore CPUs, the majority of computer applications do not effectively use multiple processor cores.
Grand Central Dispatch includes APIs to help programmers efficiently use these cores for parallel programming. Grand Central Dispatch shifts thread handling focus to itself rather than leaving it to specific applications to distribute jobs evenly across cores and clears up unused memory created by inactive or old threads to achieve maximum performance. Apple is also releasing APIs for Grand Central Dispatch for developers to use in their applications and also to analyze specific blocks of code running on Grand Central Dispatch.
A new C and Objective-C language feature named " Blocks " facilitates creation of code that will easily optimize to take advantage of Grand Central Dispatch. OpenCL Open Computing Language addresses the power of graphics processing units GPUs to leverage them in any application, and not just for graphics-intensive applications like 3D games. OpenCL automatically optimizes for the kind of graphics processor in the Mac, adjusting itself to the available processing power.
OpenCL provides consistent numeric precision and accuracy, fixing a problem that has hampered GPU-based programming in the past. Only the most process intensive parts of the application need to be written in OpenCL C without affecting the rest of the code. It only works with the following Mac GPUs: CUPS the printing system used in many Unix-like operating systems has been updated to version 1. Power management has been improved, with implementation of a new wake on demand feature supported on more recent Macintosh hardware.
Should the request require the host computer to wake upthe router sends the necessary special wake-up-packet  to the sleeping computer. The Safari web browser has received updates to version 6. Snow Leopard breaks compatibility with several older versions of some applications, such as Parallels Desktop 3. Printer and scanner drivers used by previous versions of Mac OS X are not compatible with Snow Leopard and will be replaced during Snow Leopard installation.
Since the initial release of Snow Leopard many manufacturers have provided compatible drivers that are available via Software Update. Engadget's opinion was that this could be largely because most users would not see a noticeable change in the look and feel of the system.
CNET editors gave it 4 stars out of 5, stating "Intel Mac users will like Snow Leopard's smartly designed interface enhancements, and its Exchange support is a must-have especially with Outlook for Mac on the way.
On October 21,SFGate blogger Yobie Benjamin wrote that the "MacBook Pro that came preloaded with Snow Leopard kicks butt and is a screaming fast machine", but "when I tried to upgrade one of my 'older' MacBooks, it was a fricking disaster from hell". Apart from upgrading, Benjamin also tried a clean install.
But he complained of slowness even after his clean install. He wrote, "I ended up downgrading back to OSX If you want to roll the dice and try, go ahead Lesson learned I'll wait. Mac OS X Server includes these features and other server-related features.
Apple initially stated that Server would include ZFS support, but mention of this feature later disappeared from Apple's website and it was not included in the final release due to licensing issues.
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