10.4 or 10.5?

ebensorkin's picture

I am preparing for next year at reading and I was considering going to 10.5. What I see based on my searches of Typophile is that the majority of us on macs seem still to be using 10.4. I am wondering what if any pros/cons you think there are in going to 10.5 in terms of the stability of Fontlab, ADFKO, Tal's software etc. And also for Parallels and interaction with Win XP. Thanks!

ebensorkin's picture

Also what about bootcamp vs Parallels. Can I keep my XP a bit more secure that way & just download stuff for it while in OSX? Or is that a false idea?

Stephen Coles's picture

I'm not sure a majority is still on 10.4. Everyone I know has upgraded. It's worth it.

aluminum's picture

Upgrading OSX isn't quite the decision dilemma that upgrading Windows is. Consider OSX upgrades more like service packs...they're fairly painless so you might as well go with the newer version if you can.

The big thing is .5 is Time Machine.

Bootcamp vs. Parallels isnt' really a security thing. Both are Windows. ;o)

Parallels wins out for me as I can run it at the same time as everything else. Store your work files in OSX, and access them from Windows running in Parallels. That way your disk image isn't as large and you can wipe and restore Windows at anytime without loosing your work files.

cuttlefish's picture

I figure the decision on BootCamp vs. Parallels depends on how marginal your system is already. If you have a huge surplus of RAM and multi-core processors, you'll have no problem running everything at once. On a lower-end system, or if you're playing resource hogging games, you might be better off with the dual-boot setup.

My old 500 MHz G4 is pretty well topped-out running 10.4.11, and I don't expect to be in a position to upgrade the whole system any time soon.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'd be curious if anyone has upgraded any 1.5 GHz PowerPC G4 to Leopard and love the fact that they did it. I haven't upgraded because I've heard quite a few heartburn stories.

Miguel Sousa's picture

I moved to 10.5 a couple of months ago and haven't had any problems. Everything I was using in 10.4 is still working great. I haven't used Windows on it. My machine is a MacBook Pro 15" 2 GHz 2 GB.

I'd say, go for it! 10.5.4 has just been released which fixes some nasty crashes with InDesign CS3. Apple has already announced 10.6 (Snow Leopard), so by the time you're well into the academic year, you might start thinking that 10.4 is somewhat outdated. And you definitely don't want to be doing OS updates during crunch time... ;^)

blank's picture

Aside from Time Machine and Cover Flow, neither of which I want to use, are there any really compelling reasons to not just wait for 10.6?

Stephen Coles's picture

Yes, about 50 little things like Quick Preview that save a lot of time by the end of the day.

kris's picture

FontLab is just as 'quirky', unstable & unreliable in 10.5 as it is in 10.4, so don't worry too much about that.


Mark Simonson's picture

I've been using Leopard since it was released. Initially it was a bit wonky, but that's been pretty much sorted out.

My favorite Leopard features (things I would miss if I had to go back to Tiger) are: Quick Look, Time Machine, the streamlined networking user interface, and Spotlight (which works much much better than the Tiger version).

I thought I would like Spaces, but I haven't found it to be that useful. Cover Flow looks cool, but I tend to avoid using it. Quick Look is better if I want to browse the contents of files.

I disable the 3D dock and the translucent menu bar. Other than that, the window "chrome" looks nicer and is more consistent.

In general, I find Leopard to be at least as stable as Tiger. One of the reasons I upgraded so soon was that I was having a lot of stability issues with the Finder in Tiger on my main machine. Leopard cleared it up. Although it may be that re-installing Tiger would have worked just as well.

One thing: If you have a pre-Intel Mac, you lose the ability to run Classic apps. (Intel Macs can't run Classic apps, even in Tiger.) My experience with OS X is that most of the stability problems I had (especially anything to do with fonts) were related to Classic, so I don't think this is a bad thing.

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks very much for all the fine advice. Onward I go!

Bert Vanderveen's picture

James wrote: Aside from Time Machine and Cover Flow, neither of which I want to use

You should try them! TM has saved me at least four times from redoing very tedious work.
And CF is THE way to preview a lot of fonts fast.

BTW The last combination of updates (Apple’s 10.5.4, Adobe’s InDesign 5.0.3) has improved my quality of life immensely.

. .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

.00's picture

My only complaint with Leopard is that the OT support in Pages seems a bit strange. But if you don't use Pages....

Time Machine is great, and Spaces would be also but it does not work very well with the multiple windows of FontLab.

dan_reynolds's picture

Eben, if you want to use BootCamp, you'll need 10.5. Apple doesn't offer the 10.4 BootCamp anymore, so you'd have to acquire it against its license if you wanted it. Also, since it isn't supported, you don't get updates or technical support on it, which you would for 10.5.

I use BootCamp on 10.5 with Vista. Dan Rhatigan from last year has 10.5 (?) with Paralells and XP.

As for this year's class, most of us have updated to 10.5 since its release last year. I don't really see why you'd want to prefer 10.4.

mad grab's picture

Go for it!!!!

1985's picture

I've had problems printing from FontLab on 10.5 but I'm sure it's an unrelated issue (anyone have any ideas?). I installed CS3 at the same time as 10.5 and the improved performance over CS2 was quite noticeable.

Thomas Milo's picture

Hm. Important exchange.

The balance is that there's loss of OSIX support even on Motorola machines, patched up search, another step towards less clumsy networking, being held hostage by boot camp and then there is the time machine as only the legitimate selling point. For that the tedious new graphix are a heavy price to pay in terms of performance.

I stick to OS 10.4.9 with WinXP on Parallels, until there's a functional upgrade. No need for bootcamp whatsoever. My present configuration is rock-solid, well integrated and fast on a 2.4Ghz, 4Gb memory MBP.

For FontLab and Fontographer I use Windows because I happen to have these versions, for CS3 Mac for speed or Windows for convenient Unicode interchange and most international functionality, as the MacOS still hasn't caught up with Windows.

I gave up on the MacOS searching function. If I really want to find what I am looking for, and not everything else that looks vaguely like it but what I am not looking for, then I search with the Windows file browser.

Thomas Milo

cuttlefish's picture

Oh, yeah. Disabling Classic mode. I'd forgotten about that one. Though I hardly use it that is another thing preventing me from upgrading to 10.5.

Nick Shinn's picture

I always keep the original OS.
Right now I'm running 10.4.11 on a 2006 iMac.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Hi guys:

I won’t upgrade until Apple upgrades their text engine to support complex opentype features in my fav app Pages. TextEdit is actually more compatible!

I’m still using Tiger on my dual 2.3ghz G5 machine. Stable, but Tiger is not that good with the memory management.

Video playback is lousy tho. Apple uses the worst video codecs or something. VLC is very smooth.

Snow Leopard is Intel only and I really don’t want to upgrade. Seems the Apple shortening the usefulness of their machines faster than the Wintel world... I’m probably wrong but anyway.

Mikey :-)

Thomas Milo's picture

Oops- indeed 10.4.11

Thomas Milo

HaleyFiege's picture

I just upgraded today to Leopard and CS3. I'm liking it better. Everything seems a bit smoother. Though I really hate how it sticks all my web downloads into the "downloads" folder. Does anyone know how to bypass that? I have it set to desktop in firefox preferences.

Stephen Coles's picture

It should respect your browser settings. Do you mean in Safari?

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Safari Preferences. First Tab (General). Change the loction for Downloads here.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

canderson's picture

Eben, my advice is to think carefully about whether you need to run any software that isn't compatible with 10.5. For example, some applications like Freehand or Quark 6.5 have not been updated and are not known to work reliably on 10.5. If you're application software is current-- CS 3, Quark 7.x, now would be a good time to upgrade. Keep in mind that we are currently on the fourth 10.5 update, so many serious issues have already been addressed.

As Mark pointed out, there are some nice features with 10.5. For example, once I started using Quicklook (space bar) to preview files, I've needed to keep fewer applications open. My problem now, is that I now try to do it on my Windows system, and puzzle for a second about why it isn't working.

birds's picture

Im on 10.5 too and I cant print off fontlab either! It worked for a good 7 weeks and then decided to just crap out on me.
I use it in a few classes and some students and faculty have had the same problem when they switch to 10.5.
Does anyone have a notion of how to resolve this problem?
Im using Fontlab 4.6.

dan_reynolds's picture

I've never had a problem printing from FontLab Studio 5 on OS X 10.5… but I do limit my FontLab printing, as in smaller sizes the type tends to get distorted.

ebensorkin's picture

That's a very good thing to know. I think there are many many compelling reasons to test you type in InDesign. The main one being as I found out today you can update the font with out even versioning the name if you export the font into the Adobe Library. But there is also the ability to put a date stamp on your test automatically and the ability to text with & without open type scripting of various kinds ( this has no automated stamp however ).

Anybody have any smack talk about testing in InD?

My deep thanks to everybody who has posted on this subject!

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