After waiting for Leopard to arrive I finally got my hands on it and went ahead with the installation. When you install your latest OS X you have a few choices:
In the past I’ve usually done a full HD backup, I then format the drive, and do a clean install of the new OS – using the upgrade as an excuse to clean house and get rid of all the crap that accumulates over time. But for some reason when I went through the process this time, the only option available to me was an “Upgrade”, which entails updating the OS as well as all applications and settings ( I later learned that perhaps having my external USB hard drive connected was the cause of that single option. )
So I rolled the dice and after doing the “upgrade” i noticed lots of sluggishness and beach balls a plenty !
So over the holidays I finally decided to do a full cloning of my hard drive using carbon clone ( which was simple and worked well ), and then proceeded with a clean install of Leopard aptly named “erase and install”.
Things are now snappy and that clean fresh OS feeling is quite minty ! You can also use the built in migration tools to transfer settings or just use the clone to copy over the “home” directory.
The newest version of Mac OS X “Leopard” is out in the wild, but my Amazon.com order has an estimated delivery date for next week.
Not a big deal, but made me think: In today’s world of broadband and on-demand user behavior, why doesn’t apple offer a digital download option ? On top of it, it’s environmentally more responsible to do away with all the extra packaging, fuel costs for shipping, etc.
As far as expertise and DRM issues, Apple has the experience with it’s iTunes store and .Mac service to offer this kind of option and make it secure.
In the gaming space I’ve seen Valve‘s digital efforts evolve over the last few years into a really impressive offering. They have a service called Steam (gigaom review) which essentially allows you to purchase games and download them instantly. They also use the service to foster online gaming, do auto patching, premier game trailers, and fight against cheats. It was initally conceived because they had trouble with 3rd party distribution, and ironically today Steam is used as a distribtuion platform for other game publishers.
The other company that could also facilitate this would be Amazon themselves. They distribute music digitally with their new amazon mp3 store — so why not do the same for software ?