Snow Leopard – Got the disk, but still waiting

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Yes I’ve upgraded my Mac Mini to Snow Leopard, and yes I’ve done a test install of it on the Mac Pro using a spare disk, and it looks great. However, much as I’m keen to upgrade to the latest and greatest OS on my Mac Pro… I can’t.

There are a few key applications that are holding me back.

Logitech Control Centre 3.0 – having a Logitech MX Revolution mouse and a Logitech diNovo Keyboard for Mac, the LCC software is pretty much essential. The current version of LCC (version 3.0) won’t even install under Snow Leopard, and although there are some workarounds to get it installed and to get some of the functionality back, it’s not elegant. Logitech are apparently working on a Snow Leopard compatible version of LCC that should be released “any day now”.

Evernote 1.4.8 – I use Evernote all the time for creating and syncing notes between my two Macs and my Windows (work) laptop. While Evernote 1.4.8 will install and run under Snow Leopard, there are certain things that are broken. There is a Snow Leopard compatible version (1.4.9) in the works, but it’s not out yet. As I write this, Evernote 1.4.9 has appeared on MacUpdate!

VMware Fusion 2.0.5 – another of my core apps, I run my work (Windows) desktop under VMware when I’m working from home. Fusion 2.0.5 won’t even load up under Snow Leopard in 64-bit mode, so best to wait for a fix. No timescales on that one…

1Password 2.9.31 – again, this is something I use every day for storing website logins, secure notes, license details, etc. It will work under Snow Leopard with  some caveats, e.g. it only supports Safari in 32-bit mode. For proper supported S/L functionality it seems I should wait for 1Password 3.0 to make it out of beta. As a registered user I can access the latest beta 3.0 version, but given how critical the data is that I store in 1Password, I’d rather wait for the release version to be on the safe side.

Adobe Lightroom 2.4 – home for all my photos and version 2.4 is reported to have issues under Snow Leopard. Another wait…

DropBox 0.6.556 – great for syncing files between my various machines, but it seems a few bits of this version are broken under Snow Leopard. There’s a version 0.6.557 on MacUpdate but it doesn’t mention S/L compatibility. There’s an experimental build 0.7.12 available, but again, I don’t want to trust my data to something experimental.

EyeTV 3.1.2 – apparently it works but there are problems with the sound.

goSecure 1.2 – the developer hasn’t yet confirmed this is Snow Leopard compatible, although I tried it out on my Mac Mini and it seems to work OK.

MailTags 2.3 – the developer has stated that 2.3 isn’t Snow Leopard compatible and that a new version is on the way.

…and there are a few more.

Wake me up when it’s Christmas.

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The Apple device that I really want…

People love to kick around rumours about what will be the next killer item to emerge from Apple’s secret labs, and there are quite a few on the go at the moment. An updated Mac Mini with nVIDIA graphics, bigger RAM and hard disk capabilities, 802.11n and some fancy unibody case. A speed-freak Mac Pro based around Intel’s Core i7, updated iMacs and even an Apple Netbook.

Yuck!

Yuck!

Thing is, much as I’d be interested in all of the above, there’s something I’d prefer. Something that’s so far off the radar that it’s not got a mention anywhere, yet something that could replace what I consider to be the nastiest piece of tech to emerge from Apple in recent years. You see I absolutely loathe Apple’s Mighty Mouse. Wired or wireless, it’s an abomination. A triumph of well… something over function! The Mighty Mouse included with my Mac Pro was used for all of three minutes before it was put back in the box and replaced by my Logitech MX Revolution. So what could Apple produce that would make me ditch my Logitech mouse? What would be something so much more useful, and that would fit in with the way they’ve been moving?

A separate multi-touch trackpad that users of the Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro (and maybe even the future nMac) would love. So what are it’s features?

  • Aluminium surround to match the various Macs
  • Large glass trackpad area, say 9″ x 7″
  • Wireless (bluetooth if it’s responsive enough)
  • Rechargeable batteries (chargeable via a USB cable from your Mac)
  • A switch to toggle between multi-touch ‘finger mode’ and a graphic ‘pen mode’
  • Maybe a few slim function keys around the edge, in the same style as the Apple wireless keyboard keys
  • A nicely weighted pen so it can be used as a graphics tablet (in pen mode)

I could imagine Apple selling a version without the pen for a modest price, and the same one but with a pen for a bit more.

Personally I’d love to ditch my mouse and have a MacBook style trackpad to use instead. Basically I’d be able to do all the things MacBook users do with a mere waft of the hand. I know there are a variety of pretty good graphic tablets out there already, but my primary reason for wanting this is more as a mouse replacement with the multi-touch facility, than for drawing and the like. So, if any Apple employees stumble across my little site – feel free to tell your boss you’ve seen this great idea. I don’t want any royalties, I just want the product!

The humble MX mouse

Logitech Control CentreWhat can you say about mice that hasn’t already been said before? As it happens – not much, but there’s a couple of things that spring to mind for Mac users considering an alternative to the (quite frankly dreadful) Apple Mighty Mouse. For almost a year now I’ve been using a Logitech MX Revolution mouse with Mac OS X, and if you want to see a good review of it, albeit with a Windows slant on it, the guys over at Trusted Reviews have already written a far better review than I could ever manage.

Now at first, I was connecting the mouse via Synergy running on a Windows XP machine, meaning that I had basic Mouse Configurationmouse support under OS X but couldn’t program the wheel and left/right buttons to do anything other than their default actions. This all changed when I finally ditched Windows as my primary workstation and connected the mouse directly to my Mac Pro. At that point I was able to load the Logitech Control Centre software for OS X and configure the mouse exactly how I wanted, as unlike my diNovo Edge keyboard it’s fully supported under OS X. The software works well and lets you choose from a variety of options for the various wheels and buttons you get on the MX Revolution.

Blistered mouse!

Blistered mouse!

In use the mouse is as comfortable as ever, being easily the best mouse I have used, and I have no problems getting the mouse to last a week on a single charge. I’d even go as far as saying this is the perfect mouse except for one minor niggle – durability. My MX Revolution is probably a year old and doesn’t get particularly heavy or rough use and so you’d think durability wouldn’t be a problem. However, on the right-hand side of the mouse the finish is a smooth plastic that has a rubberized coating for extra grip. On my mouse this rubberized finish is already ‘blistering’ and peeling off so I’ll probably have to replace it before long. Trouble is, the MX Revolution is so comfortable and pleasant to use that I’ll probably replace it with another one despite this flaw!

I might actually drop Logitech a line and see what they have to say about this, as I’m sure I’m not the only person who has found this. Of course I don’t have the original receipt and so I’m not looking for a refund, but if they say anything interesting I’ll let you know. Hopefully if this is a problem they’re aware of, they might have have improved the process by which they bond the rubberized finish to the plastic. Who knows? As Judge Judy would say – am I getting hung up on the minutiae in life??