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10.6: Snow Leopard DVD is full OS X install disc
Authored by: robg on Oct 16, '09 05:25:34AM

In the past, we've run hints, or had comments to hints, that cover topics such as converting upgrade CDs to full install CDs, ripping movies from DVDs, downloading QuickTime/YouTube/whatever videos from the web, removing the serial number check from Office, sharing iTunes music outside the local network, recording high definition TV signals, copying music from your iPod to your Mac, and many other such topics. On, I've written about jailbreaking your iPhone, and building both desktop and netbook style "Hackintoshes."

At some level, all of these subjects cover activity that could be illegal. Should we therefore have not covered of those topics??

The thing about these hints is that they discuss things that can also be used in a non-illegal manner. For instance, if you've ever had your Mac hard drive die without a backup, taking all your purchased music with it, then Senuti (which copies music from your iPod to your Mac) is a lifesaver. Yes, it can be used to steal music from others' iPods , too, but how the program is used is up to the user, not the developer.

The same is true of DVD ripping apps -- they can be used to steal rented movies, or they can be used to convert your owned DVDs into a format that's much easier to travel with, and that offers longer battery life on your laptop.

Just because something has a "bad" use doesn't mean that it can't have "good" uses, too. In this particular case, knowing that the 10.6 disc is a full install can help those who, as pointed out in other comments, upgraded from 10.4 to 10.5, and then bought the $29 10.6 upgrade: they don't have to do three full OS installs if they ever rebuild their systems.

It can also help those who may have already purchased new versions of both iLife and iWork, and are balking at forking over $150 again for software they already own, just to get the latest OS. In my opinion, Apple really messed up here by trying to keep things too simple -- there's no reasonably-priced upgrade path for such folks: the Snow Leopard upgrade for them costs more than any single full prior release of OS X!

This tidbit about the install DVD was known on the day the OS shipped -- as I linked, it was disclosed in a Macworld review, and on many other sites. We're not revealing any great hidden power that nobody knew about, and that will force people to steal the OS.

Mac OS X Hints was founded on the simple premise of sharing knowledge about the OS X and its associated applications. I see no reason to change that focus just because a given hint can be used in an illegal or morally-wrong manner.


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10.6: Snow Leopard DVD is full OS X install disc
Authored by: David Allen on Oct 16, '09 08:46:07AM

I have used Macs since the first 128 k Mac with the 9" grey scale display. I bought it (maxed out the one credit card my papá gave me to use for emergencies) when I went to the USA to attend graduate seminary at SMU in Dallas, TX. I have bought new Macs as I could and saved to buy the new OS when it came out. It was not always easy to keep up with the information prior to the world changing internet so my memory and history is perhaps wholly, but please Rob, tell me when Apple has not released a full install disk for the Mac OS X? When has the disk ever required an installation of the prior version of Mac OS X before it would make an installation?

This operating system only legally functions on one brand of computers. The only time there is a first time buyer of Mac OS X is when that person is a first time buyer of a Macintosh computer. Every version of the Mac OS is an upgrade. Every retail disk with Mac OS X is an upgrade disk. And every retail disk that I can recall is a fully operational installation disk.

The only person to whom this might be a revelation of earth shattering proportions is someone who wandered in from the hit man tactics of upgrading Windows.

I admit to being a bit of a geeky prude because I am a solitary religious working as a psychologist in human resources, even though I am a citizen of a 3rd world nation where everyone around me has pirated everything, so believing in honesty comes with the territory, but I fail to see a true ethical use of posting this hint. And yes the information is out there, as you mention from day one, but you have now given your imprimatur that to use it must somehow be OK.

David Austin Allen
Monterrey, NL, MX

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10.6: Snow Leopard DVD is full OS X install disc
Authored by: TonyT on Oct 17, '09 05:58:39AM

Nothing wrong with MacWorld posting this. Rob stated that to do this would violate the SLA. What really surprised me was how people try to convince themselves that they've done nothing wrong.
Did you see Goatbergs review of 10.6 in The Wall Street Journal? I can't believe that he told readers "...the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade will work properly on these Tiger-equipped Macs, so you can save the extra $140."

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