Upgrades and Troubleshooting
Between the time when Apple packages the software and you install it, the developers usually find—and will have fixed—many important bugs. In the case of Tiger, there were some system security issues that have been fixed as well as some smaller compatibility issues in the DVD player software and Airport software. New bugs and compatibility problems are being fixed every day, so be sure to update your system and native software as soon as you finish installing it to make sure that you have the most stable and reliable version available.
As of this article, there are a few outstanding issues that have not been resolved by upgrades. The first issue involves Epson printer drivers and seems to render the drivers non-functional. This problem can be avoided by not upgrading your system (by using Tiger as installed right out of the box), but that is not recommended because of the security issues fixed by the upgrade. The best way around the problem is to upgrade to 10.4.1 rather than the 10.4.2 version that the software update program will download for you. You can find the older upgrade on the Apple Web site by clicking on the "Support" tab and then choosing "Downloads" from the menu bar. Version 10.4.1 was released on 5/16/05, so it will be down near the bottom of the page. Be careful not to download the server version.
The Airport 4.2 upgrade has been known to cause some problems with Apple Airport brand Wireless Access Points. The upgrade seems to include new firmware that can create some speed reductions. The newest upgrade to Mail (2.02, included with 10.4.2) also seems to be causing problems with passwords and outgoing mail. These problems are easily solved by reconfiguring a few settings. For details on changing these settings if you experience any of these issues, refer to http://www.macfixit.com. There is always a risk of losing third-party software when upgrading an operating system, as the problem with the Epson drivers shows. When upgrading to Tiger, however, I have not lost any software except a freeware, multi-client chat program (Fire) that worked after a simple upgrade from Version Tracker.