Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Snow Leopard

I recently updated my mac mini with Snow Leopard (which btw you can get from Amazon for $25).

So how is it?

It killed my mini.

Well, that's not quite true. SL is an improvement over Leopard in a number of small ways (size and speed for example), but it does introduce a couple of showstopper bugs.

1) The Apple Remote.
Previously, I used my mini (which is connected to my living room TV) as a media PC. All the software to that end (VLC, Plex, etc), I controlled with the standard Apple remote.

Well, Apple didn't like that one bit. NOW, no matter which program is active, the remote launches Front Row or iTunes. The mini is basically unusable as a media PC until this is fixed.

That's not the real showstopper.

2) Bluetooth is broken.
Bluetooth works fine until you restart your Mac after upgrading. By which I mean, you can upgrade, and run for DAYS and everything will be GREAT. And then if you restart, BAM, Bluetooth goes bye bye.

And I only have a Bluetooth keyboard.

Boy, let me tell you how frustrating THAT is!

The mouse has completely stopped working, but I recently switched to a trackball (RF, so still wireless, but not Bluetooth). The keyboard does work sometimes (maybe 1 out of 20 restarts). Somewhat random though.

Now, I originally thought this was a problem with Little Snitch (a 1-sided firewall), because it didn't show up until after I had to reboot after installing LS. But a trip to the Apple support forums tells the real story.

HUNDREDS (thousands?) of people are having the exact same problem I am. Install Snow Leopard, reboot, Bluetooth stops (and sometimes Airport, but if I can get the keyboard working that works too, so wtf?).

Crazy frustrating. BUT, if I didn't rely on a Bluetooth keyboard, would I even notice? NO! I'd be happy with the leaner, meaner Snow Leopard. Programs are snappier, the whole thing takes GIGABYTES less space on the hard drive, and there are a bunch of little UI improvements. If I didn't have that keyboard, SL would be a huge success.

I hope it gets resolved soon, as I am unable to work on my final school project on any other computer. In the meantime, I guess I'll look for a USB keyboard and a LOOONG extender cable.


  1. Update:
    Also, my HP Photosmart C4480 All-In-One prints but doesn't scan. All scanning is built in to Snow Leopard now, so HP's own utilities don't work. Unfortunately, SL doesn't see the scanner part, only the printer part. So no scanning.


  2. "HP Photosmart C4400 series" is listed as supported on HP's site and at Apple's site for printing and scanning.

    Have you tried downloading Apple's latest HP driver pack? link

    Also, I use VueScan with my parents' HP All-in-One but I don't know if it's been updated to support Snow Leopard yet (and it's not free, but not too expensive).

  3. Speaking of the final school project, you probably don't need to hurry and finish it up considering how great the economy is right now for freshly graduated grads.....
    I'd say, you got plenty of time!

  4. @Dave
    I got the scanner working by using HP's uninstaller to remove ALL HP drivers from the system (including those installed by SL), and reinstalling the new drivers. Pain in the patoot, but it worked.

    No kidding about the economy. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, especially if you've heard about how I'm much poorer than I thought I was ($4000 less in one of my Japanese bank accounts, didn't properly file the paperwork for my $7000 in Japanese social security, so yeah, $11,000 down from where I thought I was). That was part of my live-off-of-until-the-economy-picks-up-or-my-projects-sell money.

  5. Well, after the 10.6.1 update the mouse is working again, but I'm afraid to restart the computer to make sure.