Upgrading the OS

As many of you know, we are a Mac family. In addition, Alan and I are both computer geeks and like to have the latest version of any software we use, let alone the operating system. Of course we bought Leopard, Apple’s much-touted new upgrade to OS X, as soon as it came out some months ago. We installed it right away in our iMac and have been enjoying it there ever since. But although we bought a family license for Leopard, we didn’t install it right away on our laptops. One of the reasons is that our laptops (a 12″ and a 15″ Powerbook) both have PowerPCs chips and there was some question at first as to how well would the new operating system – optimized as it is to work well with the new Inter chip in our iMac and the latest Macs – would work on older machines. Since I rely so much on my laptop for all my academic work, I didn’t want to risk it at first. And I also had to wait until all of the software I use would catch up to Leopard.

The time has finally come. Leopard is now on version 5 4 it seems and most of its initial bugs seem to have been exterminated. So this afternoon I finally cleaned up my hard drive (deleted junk, cleaned my trash, removed software I didn’t need), made a full back up to an external firewire drive. I’m now half-way towards making a clean install of Leopard on my trusty 12″ Powerbook. The next step will be to migrate all my files and applications from the external drive. I know things should work fine, I’ve done major OS upgrades before, but I still feel like a parent whose child is having a heart transplant…

PS: did I tell you I might be converting my brother into getting his first Mac? I promised him he would not regret the jump.

Update: Yay! It’s done! Hooray to Apple for creating an operating system that allows you to do a clean install – i.e. formatting the hard drive and installing the operating system from scratch – and then allowing you to migrate everything you had in your old machine without having to re-install a single software. Even the internet settings, desktop picture, preferences, everything migrates seemlessly. That’s why there’s no going back for me.

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New OS

Here I stand, waiting for OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard) to finish installing on our iMac. Yes, we were one of those Apple nerds who pre-ordered the new and flashy operating system as soon as we possibly could.

There are some pretty nifty new features on the new OS, but the ones I’m looking forward to the most are the new Dock, with its stacking feature  – I need every help I can get to keep my desktop semi-organized -, and the new Finder, with its ubercool cover flow.

I’m just not sure whether I’ll be installing it on my laptop right away. We bought a family license (i.e. we can install on 5 computers), but I’m not sure if it would make my laptop somewhat slower. Maybe I’ll buy some more memory first. Usually, new Apple OSs don’t really require new hardware upgrades in the same way as Windows updates do, but it seems that this new one, with all of its 64 bit processing and multi-threading capability is a bit out of  the league of older machines… We’ll see…