I received my $10 Mac OS X Snow Leopard update disc in the mail this morning. Delighted that it came in early, I tore off the top of the yellow padded envelope from Valencia, California. Inside was apaper sleeve housing the Mac OS X Snow Leopard Upgrade DVD, a ‘Not For Resale’ sticker adorning one corner of it. A little square pamphlet accompanied the disc.

My main desktop PC was already on, so I popped in the Upgrade DVD into my drive and easily started the install via Disc Sharing. I easily followed the on-screen instruction prompts and upgraded my MacBook Air to Snow Leopard. About forty minutes later, the unattended OS upgrade finished and was booted into my user, ready to use. The first thing I jumped at: my Mail program, which I was reluctant to set up prior to the upgrade. And boy was I surprised. I use a hosted Microsoft Exchange account on my own domain (ThinkCarton.com), so when the Mail program asked me for my email address, I didn’t expect the auto-discovery to work. And it sort of didn’t: I had the wrong user name. But that was an amazing feat to me! With Microsoft Exchange on my PC, I had to run a script provided to me by my service provider in order to set it up correctly. And here, Apple’s Mail program figured it all out on its own! I corrected the user name, simply adding my domain name to the end of my user name. And away it went, zippily downloading all my emails.I just let it sit there for a while. When all the emails were done, I checked out my calendar. And though I expected the calendar to be synchronized, I was still very pleased. No more Google Calendar syncing! Lastly, I checked my Address Book. And lo and behold, all my contacts were there, listed in a group that was named after my Exchange account. The only thing I had to do check off the checkbox designating certain contacts as companies (as opposed to people): they were listed with no name under first and last. The tasks are all there too. Basically, everything is very well synced up. Now all I have to do is see if I can further integrate reQall and Things across all three devices: MacBook Air, iPhone, and desktop PC.Bootup time from the pressing of the power button to desktop on my MacBook Air (2.13 GHz version) took anywhere from 33 to 37 seconds, which by my standards is quick as hell, considering that loading to desktop on Macs actually means that you can start using it without fear of slowdown. Shutting down might as well be instantaneous, lasting anywhere between 2-3 seconds. I don’t know if Snow Leopard made my MacBook Air any faster though: I don’t remember what it was like before the upgrade. One thing to note though: when switching across spaces diagonally, it wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked it. There was some visible tearing or lag of some sort.

Overall, it’s good money spent in my opinion. I’ll be looking forward to checking out more of the improvements and refinements.