Just a quick update.
The in-place upgrade I did to MacOS X 10.5 Leopard simply wasn't working as well as I had planned. Never before have I encountered problems upgrading major versions of OS X.
The first thing I noticed is that operating system stability was hindered. The OS would go flaky for a few seconds at a time or just hang indefinitely with the "spinning beach ball o' DOOM!" Then, I started encountering problems with applications that would crash. GIMP wouldn't even start up. I installed a fresh version, which would start but would crash as soon as I even tried to modify images. Firefox would go non-responsive or just simply crash and exit disgracefully. A fresh install of Firefox including deleting its profile information didn't help. My Last.fm agent hasn't worked properly at all since the upgrade. This is just a smattering of the problems I've had in the last week.
With that, I went ahead and did a fresh install last night, completely formatting and erasing the drive. I wanted a mulligan. I finally bought a new external enclosure for my backup hard drive (my wife borrowed my old enclosure) and went to work backing up only what I really, really needed. I didn't use Time Machine or anything. I just salvaged my virtual machines from Parallels, my photos, my music, and my documents. I wrote down a list of the apps I use most often, and went to work.
After the fresh install, my MacBook feels much more lucid and rich. Now, I'm disappointed because I didn't realize that iLife doesn't come with Leopard. It came pre-installed on my MacBook when I got it back in December, so I'm hoping beyond hope that the iLife packages are on the disc that came with my MacBook and that they weren't just installed at the factory as a one-time thing. I rely heavily on iPhoto and GarageBand, as amateur photography and music composition are two hobbies of mine.
FireFox seems to be stable for a change, but GIMP still doesn't run properly. I haven't gotten the rest of my applications installed yet, so only time will tell what works and what fails miserably.
For the time being, I am a little miffed. I don't quite regret installing Leopard yet, but it definitely wasn't the smooth transition that I'm used to.
Just a quick update.