Get ready for Lion with OS X 10.6.8

Apple just released the latest update for Snow Leopard, OS X 10.6.8. Included in the update are countermeasures for the latest variants of the malicious Mac Defender software, improved support for IPv6, and enhancements for the Mac App Store in preparation for the upgrade to Lion.

Mac OS X through the ages

Apple has come a long way since it first introduced OS X at WWDC 1998. Lion arguably represents the biggest shift for the Mac operating system we’ve ever seen. Here’s a look back at how OS X has grown over time to put it in context.

This is big: OS X Lion Update is App Store only

The next version of OS X will also be sold only through the Mac App Store. This is yet another step away from traditional media distribution as Apple will effectively be cutting out other means of software distribution like Amazon.

Apple Releases Security Update to Address Mac Defender Malware

Apple promised to release a security update to address Mac Defender malware and its variants, and that update arrived Tuesday afternoon. Security Update 2011-003 is now available for all Macs running Snow Leopard, and brings file quarantine updates, as well as a malware removal tool.

Snow Leopard Goes Out With a Market Share Roar

Come WWDC in June, we’ll likely see OS X Lion changing status from preview to official public release. That makes May a good time to look at the April report on OS market share from web-analytics firm Net Applications for some perspective on Snow Leopard.

How the Mac App Store Can Become Truly Transformative

One of the sleeper features of the Mac App Store was Apple’s new approach to “suite” products. Instead of forcing users to upgrade the entire iLife suite, applications are available as individual purchases. Hopefully, it’s a model Apple adopts across the OS.

Mac OS X 10.6.5 Has Just Arrived

It’s time to fire up Software Update! The latest version of OS X, version 10.6.5, has just landed. Aside from the standard “general operating system fixes,” there’s also a slew of specific ones addressing some common bugs, and improved Microsoft Exchange server reliability.

Snow Leopard: This Cat Has Fleas

After nearly a year in release, Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard still seems to still be a work in progress. I keep trying to upgrade to Snow Leopard, but always end up back with Leopard for a number of reasons including bugs and hardware stress.

OS X 10.6.3 Update Brings Record Number of Fixes

As predicted, an update to Apple’s Snow Leopard and Leopard operating systems, which fixes a record number of vulnerabilities, is now available. The sizable patch, which weighs in at over 700MB, tends to a number of known security problems within the latest client and server versions of OS X, and is the largest update Apple has ever put out.

How-To: Image Snow Leopard to a Hard Drive for Quick Install

Whether your hard drive has failed or your OS has become corrupt, you may occasionally have to reinstall the Mac OS.  Fortunately, Apple (s aapl) does a beautiful job of making installing or reinstalling your operating system relatively painless compared to our Windows (s msft) brethren. Unfortunately, it’s still a painfully slow process running off a DVD. Not to mention, optical media can get scratched easily (one of the reasons for the long install times is Apple’s optical media verification).

To solve this problem, I recommend backing up your Mac OS installation DVD to a hard drive. Doing so protects it and allows you to install the OS quickly, as well as run Disk Utility on your main drive or reset a password. I keep a hard drive with Leopard and Snow Leopard installers so I can reinstall or repair multiple OS versions easily. Read More about How-To: Image Snow Leopard to a Hard Drive for Quick Install