Sunday, December 25, 2011

Preparing for OSX Lion

My usual path for upgrading from version of OSX to another is to wait until it gets to about the .2 release, and then go for it. Certainly the move from Leopard to Snow Leopard was smooth enough, and on my then quite new 13" MacBookPro was a pretty low risk move.

However, moving to Lion 10.7 is not quite do low risk, the main reason being the Apple have removed some things I really like (Front Row and iSync), and one thing I actually need (Rosetta to run PowerPC apps).

To see what would break, I ran System Profiler, and by selecting 'applications' from under 'software' and then add 'kind' as a column. This allows you to sort by whether something is Intel or PowerPC. This checks everything on your HD so it will find potentially all sorts of cruft. I had some PowerPC apps in my ~/library/caches folder.

Also I ran the command

system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType >~/Desktop/ApplicationTypes.txt

and then from the command line counted the number of PowerPC apps:

grep -c PowerPC ApplicationTypes.txt

which gave me 51 (!)

Oh dear. AT least from System Profiler I can see that actually the situation isn't quite so bad. My PowerPC only apps fall into the following:

- Macromedia Freehand MX. Alas Apple finally did what Adobe could not, and killed Freehand, though its taken nearly 8 years. Can you believe that Adobe still sell it, with no updates since Feb 2004?? Its either move to Illustrator, or join the Free Freehand movement.

- The software for my Minolta DiMage Elite Scan 5400. Sigh, the writing's been on the wall for this for some time. For the amount I use the scanner, likely I'll keep an older Mac on SnowLeopard.

- Old version of Final Cut Express I got with my 12" G4 PowerBook, yes, how old??

- MSOffice 2004. Yes its old, but yes it does a couple of a things for me that Google Apps cannot: pagination and table of contents. I'm trying the 2011 edition to see if I like it.

- Sizzle. Such a great tool. Although its a front end for DVDAuthor, there's no up to date OSX equivalent.

- Adobe CS4. Leaving the biggest issue till last, the question is: will CS4 even install on Lion? I need CS4 because I need Illustrator (cos they killed Freehand) and Acrobat Pro. Not often, but I do need them now and again. Some googling suggests that CS4 should install, but its need the Java Runtime (why???), so best to get that straight after Lion is installed. Can get it from Apple.

and some Apps that clearly do not report correctly such as

Audacity - though you can get new version from here

OK, thats about it. So, spend my ~$30 and lets see what happens!

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