Finally, Leopard

Summary: Make sure you uninstall SideTrack 1.5 before doing a Tiger-to-Leopard upgrade. Tolstoy: I'm not the kind of guy that leaps on new operating systems before the shrink wrap has shrunk. I like to let others take the lumps of a .0 release before I subject my core laptops and workstations to the latest and greatest. Thus, I kept my 17" MacBook Pro on Tiger until this evening. I probably would have stayed the

Summary: Make sure you uninstall SideTrack 1.5 before doing a Tiger-to-Leopard upgrade.

Tolstoy:

I'm not the kind of guy that leaps on new operating systems before the shrink wrap has shrunk. I like to let others take the lumps of a .0 release before I subject my core laptops and workstations to the latest and greatest. Thus, I kept my 17" MacBook Pro on Tiger until this evening.

I probably would have stayed there for awhile longer if I hadn't picked up a MacBook Air. I've been using it daily since I got it, switching back to the 17" when I needed the screen space (heavy coding, lots of RDP connections, etc), and I found that several of the features in Leopard were too good to pass up, especially spaces and the spring-loaded dock folders. So I mounted an NFS share to my trusty Adaptec Snap 650 filer, and backed up all 140GB of data from my MacBook Pro. Feeling relatively safe, I dropped the Leopard DVD into the drive (making that the second time I've used the DVD drive in at least six months, maybe longer), and let the installer do its thing.

The system updated successfully and rebooted. Happy that things looked like they had gone well, I started to log in -- but had no keyboard. The trackpad worked fine, but the keyboard was as dead as a doornail. No capslock lights, nothing. Obviously, this was a big problem.

I grabbed the Air and checked some of the sites I'd seen a month or so ago discussing intermittent keyboard problems with MacBooks and MacBook Pros on Leopard. Apple had released a fix for 10.5.1, and I had nothing better to try, so I plugged in an external USB keyboard, logged in, and fired up Software Update. The 10.5.2 update came down along with a passel of other updates. The subsequent reboot... did nothing to fix the problem.

Of course, the Apple update (MacBook/MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1) was rolled into 10.5.2, so it wasn't that... and this is my main machine. My workstations are great when I need the dual 24" LCDs, but when I need to find a comfy chair and get some serious writing or coding done, I'll grab the 17" and never look back -- except that without a keyboard, it's obviously useless. I was worried.

Then I remembered that I'd installed SideTrack. SideTrack is a trackpad helper app from Raging Menace. I've used it for years to enable single-finger scrolling on Mac trackpads, along with a few other nice additions not provided with the standard Apple trackpad driver. There's currently a Leopard update for SideTrack, version 1.6, but I hadn't checked that before the upgrade. So, I did the uninstallation and the necessary reboot, and voila, all is now well.

So if you're using SideTrack 1.5 on an Tiger system, save yourself a headache and uninstall it before you do the upgrade. Now my only decision is whether or not to reinstall the Leopard-compatible version of SideTrack. I doubt it supports the newfangled touchpad on the Air, and switching scrolling reflexes from laptop to laptop will drive me nuts. Decisions, decisions.

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