Charles Moore's Mailbag

Camino a Great Browser for Tiger, Snow Leopard Virtualized on Lion-Only Macs, and More

Charles Moore - 2011.09.20 - Tip Jar

Camino a Great Browser for Tiger

From Bob:

Hi Charles,

From my old perch it seems as though tonight's Camino update 2.0.9 runs great on OS X 10.4 Tiger. What a surprise!

Hi Bob,

Glad to hear it.

Personally, I'm totally hooked on TenFourFox as my favorite Tiger-supporting browser, but perhaps Camino still supports Flash video, which TenFourFox doesn't. I must try installing the latest Camino build on my wife's 17" PowerBook G4. She tried TenFourFox and found it fast, but she can't live without Flash, so she's currently back to Firefox 3.6.22.


Publisher's note: I've been using Camino as my default browser for years, and the currently Camino 2.1 beta seems rock solid. I've tried going with Safari, Firefox, Opera, TenFourFox, and even Google Chrome on my 2007 Mac mini - my first and thus far only Intel Mac - but I always end up back at Camino. (TenFourFox is my second choice on my PowerPC Macs, Firefox 6 on my Mini). dk

Snow Leopard on Mid 2011 and Future Macs

From Christopher:

Hey Charles,

I was just reading your column on abandoning OS X 10.7 Lion in favour of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. And while my solution isn't as elegant as natively booting 10.6, it is the solution I would use if my Mac Pro couldn't dual boot back into 10.6 (I rely on AppleWorks 6 for archival documents from my PowerBook 1400, etc.). My plan is to install 10.6 Snow Leopard in a VirtualBox virtual machine. My Mac Pro easily has enough horsepower to do this (and it's supported, at least for the Server Version, which I currently have virtualised under Lion, to run Office:Mac 2004 and a few very old PowerPC Apps from the dawn of OS X), and it means I don't have to reboot to access Rosetta. I just leave it running in my Dock, and with a key press/click I can be back in 10.6.

I know this is nowhere near as elegant as it booting natively, but if you stick it to fullscreen, it can access all the functionality of the host Mac pretty much, and you could easily run 10.6 in a virtual machine fullscreen on top of Mac OS X Lion, and then just switch back for the odd Lion-only App you need.

There is hope for 10.6.8 on a "Mid 2011" Mac and beyond.

Chris :)

Hi Chris,

Dual Booting would be ideal in many respects. I have no hands-on experience with running virtual machines, so I don't know what the prospects would be for the Aluminum MacBook I use, but if it would work, it would be great to run both Snow Leopard and Lion in tandem.

By the way, MacBidouille (Hardmac) columnist Lionel reported (posting in French) last week that a reader reports getting a Mid 2011 Mac mini to boot into OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 with a clone of his MacBook Pro's hard drive. He had been under the impression that the latest Mac mini motherboard had been finalized before the release of Lion, and thus should logically boot Snow Leopard, and this is indeed the case.

Makes sense, as the Mini's mobo is based on the Early 2011 13" MacBook Pro mobo, and the latter still supports OS 10.6.


Hey Charles,

I'd say the prospects for running a VM (virtual machine) on your laptop would be pretty good. I can run a single VM just fine on my low-end 2010 11" MacBook Air just fine, and any Intel Mac with 2 GB RAM can run them in general. It's pretty good that someone has got 10.6 booting on the current Mini. I may end up buying one, as I'm sure it will be very near the end of the road for 10.6. (The only other Mac in recent history that I've seen that can boot a system from before its launch is my Dual 867 MHz Power Mac G4 MDD, which can boot 10.1.5 despite shipping with 10.2, but maybe Apple will create some more exceptions for corporate customers who need 10.6.) Thankfully I did my major system upgrade last year, and my Mac Pro can still boot 10.6.4 in an emergency.

Let's hope we can keep 10.6 alive for a long time yet,

Chris :)

Hi Chris,

It would be nice to think Apple might actually take the expressed needs of pro and serious consumer users into account in these decisions. However I'm not terribly optimistic. The exception here is, as noted, that the Mini mobo architecture owes much to that of the Early 2011 13" MacBook Pro.

Why not 10.6.8?


Hey Charles,

I'm sticking with 10.6.4, as it's the last version of Snow Leopard that I can persuade to play nicely with some elderly audio equipment I still use on occasion via a older MIDI interface. (I have absolutely no idea what Apple changed, but with 10.6.5 and above I get a lot of annoying static, and it's only on three pieces of equipment, so I'm sticking with 10.6.4 for the odd times I want those specific sounds. Thankfully my Mac Pro is early enough in the run that it shipped with 10.6.4 instead of 10.6.something else).

As far as the optimism goes, I'm not that optimistic either, but at least professionals and prosumer video editors managed to force Apple into selling on Final Cut Studio 3 via telesales (which is a relief, as I can't stand Final Cut Pro X - talk about a bigger pain than Lion's lack of Rosetta), so who knows. There have been a few instances of them bending to pressure/being nice but not actually telling anyone, such as Apple including, even if they didn't mention it, the ability to get Final Cut Pro 7 to work on the faster Power Mac G5s via a manual Pacifist install. I mean there have been a few of these unmentioned-but-later-discovered concessions to the creative community - Apple hasn't abandoned the backbone that kept it going in '97 just yet. Maybe they'll ship a disk with 10.6 on it to a customer if they call up and ask AppleCare. It's the sort of customer service thing Apple might consider if enough people asked for it, at least for 2011 models in an unsupported hush-hush-wink-wink fashion.

Or at least, that's my hope.

Chris :)

Think Lion Is Bad? Windows 8 Seems Worse!

From Stephen:

If you think Lion is bad, take a look at Windows 8. Developer Preview its available to everyone. No more Start menu. I was put off with it in the first five minutes. At least with Lion I am still thinking about running it as my main OS over Snow Leopard. I have it running in VMware Fusion 4 at the moment.


Hi Stephen,

I'm pretty much a Windows ignoramus, but check out this article that says: is possible to activate the standard start menu and disable much of the Metro functionality.

Windows 8 Start Menu Toggle is a free software for Windows that changes a single value in the Windows Registry to disable and enable the traditional start menu.

The program, when executed for the first time will trigger the installation of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 from within the OS. That's an interesting feature right there that does not seem to have been mentioned before. Instead of having to run all different versions of the .NET Framework side by side, only those that are needed are active after installation.

When you run the program on Windows 8 you get a single button interface. When you click on it you either activate or deactivate the start button.

Have you seen this YouTube video, Windows 8 Start Menu?


True, but like always Microsoft has to make it hard. I am glad I am running an all Mac house now, switched about three years ago, and I'll never go back. And this is from a 12+ year experienced Windows (C#) developer.


Hi Stephen,

That's a well-informed endorsement.

After nearly 20 years on the Mac and knocking Windows, my encounters with which never enticed me to explore it further, I'm surprised to find myself wondering if eventually Windows might be a better fit for me than the Mac OS. I'm not to that stage yet, but I have to acknowledge that Microsoft appears to be more mindful and considerate of users unenchanted by the charms of touch-based computing and for whom keyboard/mouse driven efficiency trumps touch control vagueness and ambiguity.

This article, Windows 8 Also Has Tools for Power Users, articulates what I'm getting at rather well.



I have a great article idea for you. I know that you and some other Mac users are not impressed with Lion. Now, I am not very thrilled with it either, but it would never make me go back to Windows as my primary OS.

The idea is this, download and install (probably via) Boot Camp, Windows 8 developer preview, it's available to everyone and use it as your only computer for one month, then come back and write about your experience and if it would make you switch to Windows, or maybe you will come to the realization that "Hey, Lion isn't so bad".

Windows 8 will run on VMware Fusion 4 too, maybe even VirtualBox; I'm not sure about Parallels. If you don't have any virtualization software and you don't want to buy any, try VirtualBox, which is free. Just in case Windows 8 won't install via Boot Camp.

I picked Windows 8 mainly because it's a free time-based trial (I don't think that there is a Windows 7 trial), and because they are heading the same way that Lion appears to be moving.

I use Windows 7 at work on a daily basis as a web developer, so I can help you out if you have any questions or need software recommendations etc.


Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the reality check. ;-)

Your suggestion is probably a sage one. However, my time logistics these days are so tight that even installing OS and application updates gets shoved to the back burner.

It would, however, make excellent sense for me or anyone else seriously contemplating a platform switch to go the Boot Camp or virtualization route to test the waters before making a more radical commitment.

My provisional plan is to try working with Lion (probably on a different Mac than my current main axe) before making any more drastic changes. That will involve getting around to buying a modem that will work with Lion (high-speed Internet dropouts are still too frequent in this neck of the woods to completely cut the umbilical to dial-up) and find some workable substitutes for mission critical (for me) apps that still have PPC code. I appreciate that the latter would be a more formidable challenge with a switch to Windows than adjusting to working in Lion.


I Love Launchpad

From Adam:

Everywhere I go on the Internet, I read about how everyone hates the new Launchpad app. I recently bought a Mid 2011 Mac mini, which of course came with Lion installed. Of all the features I hate (Autosave and Versions being the top of the list), I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would hate Launchpad. I already have over 100 applications installed on my computer, and while the Dock is useful for launching my most common dozen or so, there are quite a few times a day when I need to use another, and opening a Finder window or dragging through the entire list of applications in a stack is slow and cumbersome.

I assigned Launchpad to my upper right screen corner, and with my Logitech mouse with side scrolling, I can switch between the different pages easily. Allowing me to group apps by page or folder based on whatever criteria I choose has greatly sped up my workflow. I keep one page that has all my work type apps - iWork, Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut, etc. - and another that contains more of the general system and entertainment apps. Out of all the grumbling about how horrible Launchpad is, have you ever actually heard anyone say why they don't like it?

I can understand the change from Spaces to Mission Control being jarring. On my old computer, I had nine spaces set up for various apps, and as I said before, autosave and versions - and even resume - can be quite annoying. Mail took a little getting used to, but I do like it, and even the initially ridiculous iCal has become at least okay to me. But as far as Launchpad goes, that is one feature I loved straight out of the gate.


Hi Adam,

Personally, I prefer QuickSilver as an application launcher. I'm not crazy about the Launchpad screen on my iPad, although it makes more sense to me there than it does in OS X. But if you like the Launchpad, more power to you.

I have nine Spaces configured in Snow Leopard. Here are two a blog entries about using Spaces in Lion, Using Spaces on OS X Lion and Spaces in Lion.


Installing Rosetta for Snow Leopard

From MP,

Mr. Moore,

Your article on Snow Leopard referenced a way to add Rosetta to it, but the link didn't take me there. I wondered if you have a current link you could supply, my searches have not worked.

Thank You,

Hi MP,

Rosetta is built into Snow Leopard but doesn't install by default. This Mac Observer article explains how to enable it both during or after the Snow Leopard install.



Thanks so much.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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