Bitten By Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard Bites

I’m a bleeding edge guy, but sometimes being a first adopter can get you in trouble. Such is the case with the recent Snow Leopard install. The $29 price tag was too good to resist: I pre-ordered it and installed it as soon as it arrived in the mail.

Now, let me start by saying there are several great things about Snow Leopard. I regained 11Gb of space on my hard drive and most of the native apps feel zippier than ever. The new Exposé features are really handy and the ability to navigate Dock stacks makes them somewhat useful.

But there have been far more annoyances—some small, some huge—that leave me wishing I had waited to install Snow Leopard. Here’s a brief overview of my Snow Leopard problems so far:

  • Snow Leopard screws up my custom modifier keys. This is by far the most tragic flaw (for me anyhow) in that it kills my productivity. As a former PC user, I swapped the CTRL and CMD keys so my shortcut muscle memory would be the same on both machines. Snow Leopard unswapped them. Sadly, changing them back doesn’t seem to have any effect on the system, even after restart. Long and short: I’m going to have to relearn shortcuts for all of my apps. [Demo] Update: Michael Richardson discovered the solution to this problem.
  • Preview forgets your zoom level when viewing multiple files. Switching from file to file unzooms. [Demo]
  • The FlickrExporter plugin in iPhoto doesn’t seem to work—won’t log in to Flickr, requires a force/quit. [Demo]
  • The spinning beach ball in CS4 seems to have been replaced by an eyedropper in Snow Leopard. [Demo]
  • The Cisco VPN app stopped working. Good news: Snow Leopard has built in Cisco VPN support. Bad news: You can’t import .pcf files so you’ll have to input the settings manually which may mean you’ll have to find a shared secret decryption tool online. This article was particularly helpful. Update: I’ve been told the latest version of the Cisco VPN app actually does work in Snow Leopard.
  • Camtwist works, but you can’t apply any effects. I think it has to do with the quartz filters. Demo
  • Snow Leopard wiped my HP PSC 1300 print driver and doesn’t support it natively, so I had to redownload and install the drivers because I couldn’t find the disk. Frustrating.

I’ll be sure to keep this list updated as I come across any more… and please feel free to share your own Snow Leopard problems.

You should also look over the Snow Leopard compatibility list before upgrading.