Mac News Review

Leopard on a 1999 AGP Power Mac, Leopard Upgrade Problems, Fixes for Menu Bar and Dock, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.10.29

Special Leopard Edition

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

Leopard on an Upgraded 1999 Power Mac G4: Most of It Works

Engadget's Thomas Ricker says:

"It's no surprise to hear that Leopard smokes on the latest Intel box, right? That's all fine and dandy for new Mac owners but what about the rest of us (the majority) who are still pumping that legacy PowerPC architecture beneath Cupertino's OS? How does Apple's OS of tomorrow run on, say, an 8 year old Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics)? We decided to find out. Our test machine sports a paltry 512 MB and 1 GHz clock courtesy of an after-market CPU upgrade (was 400 MHz) - just a tad better than the 867 MHz / 512 MB minimum requirement. While the box held up surprisingly well, there's one major problem which you old-timers should be aware of.

"Let's get to it."

Problem areas include Time Machine, DVD Player, and Front Row.

Some Leopard Upgraders See 'Blue Screen of Death'

Computerworld's Gregg Keizer says:

"A significant number of Mac owners upgrading to Leopard on Friday reported that after installing the new operating system, their machines locked up, showing only an interminable - and very Windows-like - 'blue screen of death.'

"Easily the heaviest-trafficked thread on the Leopard support forums as of late Friday, 'Installation appears stuck on a plain blue screen' told how after a successful Leopard install using the default 'Upgrade' option and the required restart, some users' Macs refused to budge from the blue screen. Although many gave up after 30-60 minutes and rebooted, others were more patient and let their Macs be as long as six hours.

"'Hmmmm. I feel like a windoze user now,' said Doug Mcilvain. I have re-installed and it has been sitting there with a blue screen for 4 1/2 hours.'"

Information to Collect Before an Erase and Install

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"If you are going to install Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard by means of an Erase and Install installation (which is not the default type, and often not needed), you'll want to make note of some important information before you erase, as well as backing up your important files. This will save you time later.

"Note: Before installing Mac OS X 10.5 (no matter how you will install it), check the Mac OS X 10.5 system requirements.

"Note: If you already have Leopard installed and have created a Time Machine backup on a different disk, you can simply restore that backup after erasing your disk and installing Leopard. You will not need the rest of this article in this case.

"You should make sure you know the following before performing an Erase and Install installation of Mac OS X 10.5:

  • Your Internet service provider (ISP) information, such as their name, phone numbers for dialup access, and support website
  • Your Internet connection type (for example, if you use dialup or DSL/cable/broadband, if you use PPPoE, and so forth)
  • Any router, wireless router, or AirPort base station access passwords
  • Your email service provider (if different from your ISP)
  • Your email address and password
  • Your type of email account (for example, .mac, POP, or IMAP)

"Tip: Passwords and other personal information should be kept in a safe and secure place.

"Check out the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Before You Install guide for more information."

Apple Login & Keychain Update 1.0 Updates Leopard Login and Keychain

This update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard.

The Login & Keychain Update 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is recommended for all Leopard installations. It addresses issues you may encounter when:

  • Logging in with an account originally created in Mac OS X 10.1 or earlier that has a password of 8 or more characters.
  • Connecting to some 802.11b/g wireless networks.
  • Changing the password of a FileVault-protected account.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

File Size: 10MB

System Support: PPC/Intel


Mac OS X 10.5: Unable to Log In to Account After an Upgrade Install

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

You may not be able to log in with a user account that has a password of 8 or more characters and was originally created in Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, after performing an upgrade installation of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (the default installation type).

Products affected

  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Server


If you are unable to log in, you can use these steps instead:

  1. Restart in Single User mode (hold Command-S during startup)
  2. At the prompt, type: mount -uw /
  3. Press Return
  4. Type: launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
  5. Press Return
  6. Type: dscl . -delete /Users/[username] AuthenticationAuthority
    Note: Replace "[username]" with the affected user account's short name
  7. Press Return
  8. Type: passwd [username]
    Note: Replace "[username]" with the affected user account's short name
  9. Press Return
  10. At the "New password:" prompt, type the user's password
    Note: It is recommended that the original user's password be used to match the keychain password
  11. Press Return
  12. At the "Retype new password" prompt, type the same password
  13. Press Return
  14. Type: reboot
  15. Press Return

iMac MXM Update 1.0

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"The iMac MXM Update improves video compatibility with Boot Camp on certain 24" iMac models.

"This installer places the iMac MXM Update firmware updater in the /Applications/Utilities folder on your computer. Run the updater in the Utilities folder to install the update. Updating takes only a few seconds.

"To learn more about this iMac MXM Update, visit:

"System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.4.10
  • iMac (Late 2006 24-inch)


Using Time Machine

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Did you ever wish there was a really easy and safe way to let your Mac perform backups for you? Time Machine, included with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, is the answer. More than just a backup utility, Time Machine makes an up-to-date copy of everything on your Mac - digital photos, music, movies, downloaded TV shows, and documents - and lets you easily go 'back in time' to recover files.

"The first time you attach an external drive to your Mac OS X Leopard-based Mac, Time Machine asks if you'd like to use that drive as your backup location (you may need to erase the drive first). Choose yes and Time Machine takes care of everything else, automatically, in the background. You won't have to worry about backing up again."

Time Machine Doesn't Back Up to AirPort Disks

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Time Machine in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard can be used to back up to many kinds of Mac OS Extended-formatted drives, but it does not support AirPort Extreme's AirPort Disk feature.

"Time Machine can back up to another Mac running Leopard with Personal File Sharing, or to a Leopard Server volume, or an Xsan storage device."

Using Spaces to Organize Your Windows and Applications

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard introduces Spaces, which you can use group your windows and reduce clutter by quickly switching between different views of your open windows and applications. You can even tell certain apps to open in certain Spaces!"

Using Back to My Mac

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Requirements to use Back to My Mac

  • A .Mac membership.
  • Two or more Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard-based Macs that are configured for use with the same .Mac account.
  • Screen sharing requires a 128-Kbps Internet connection (300-Kbps recommended) (up/down) between the computers.
  • An AirPort base station, or third-party Internet router which supports UPnP or NAT-PMP (described below).

"Note: If you are not using an AirPort base station to access the Internet from home, you might need to manually configure your third-party Internet router device to allow UPnP or NAT-PMP. Check the device's documentation, support website, or contact the manufacturer to learn if it supports UPnP or NAT-PMP.

"Note: Some firewalls, such as at a large institution or company, may not allow some Back to My Mac connections. You might not be able to contact your Mac at work from home, but you probably will be able to contact your Mac at home from work."

OpaqueMenuBar Make Menu Bar Opaque

PR: OpaqueMenuBar is a tool for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to make the menu bar non-transparent, so you cannot see through it any more.

Since the last developer seed of Leopard, 9a559, OpaqueMenuBar wasn't able to actually make the menu bar non-translucent due to changes Apple made. With this new release, the application is working again - the first one in this field, as we believe. Just add it to your login items and you're set.

OpaqueMenuBar requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and is available for free. Another Leopard tool released by Eternal Storms Software is 2DOrNot2D, an application to quickly change the Dock's appearance in Leopard. The author greatly appreciates donations.

New in version 1.0: Now works with the retail version of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard".

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

System Support: PPC/Intel


DockSwitcher Switches between Dock Settings in Leopard

PR: This is a simple little app to enable users of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) to switch their Dock between the default glass style and a more 2D like one that Apple included but did not enable by default.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.

System Support: PPC/Intel


Dockscrew Gives Leopard Dock to a Darker Flat Look

PR: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard introduced a new 3D look of the Dock, when it's on the bottom of the screen and a darker flat look when it's on the left or right side.

With Dockscrew you can change the look of the Dock to the darker flat look, even when the Dock is on the bottom.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

System Support: PPC/Intel


TigerDock Gives Your Dock the Old Tiger Look

PR: Is the new dock in Leopard annoying?

Change your dock from the new 3D-look to the old (more like Tiger) 2D-look or reverse.

And as a bonus you can make the items in your dock slightly transparent when they are hidden, so you have a visual cue that they aren't active.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

System Support: PPC/Intel


PTHVolume 2, a Better Volume Control for Leopard

PR: PTHVolume 2 for Mac OS X Leopard is a replacement for the Mac OS X Volume Control. It allows users to control the volume on multiple audio devices as well as allowing Hot Key based volume changes with non Apple based keyboards.

iDVD and GarageBand Updated for Leopard

Improve overall stability and supports compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5.

Apple Releases iDVD 6.0.4

This update improves overall stability and supports compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5.

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later


Apple Releases GarageBand 3.0.5

This update supports compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5.


System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • iLife '06

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