Since this is a Mac blog & you are reading this post I figure you have heard that Apple released a new operating system last week; code name Lion. This is the seventh iteration of their OSX operating system and it's got a lot of changes in it. Most users will be happy with the changes but as with anything new, it might take a while to adjust to the changes. If you haven't upgraded yet you need to make sure you are prepared.
The first thing you can do to get ready is weeding out all those unwanted applications and data and doing a general clean up. Then, after you're done cleaning up do a backup. You do backups on a regular basis don't you? If not, you can read through my posts about backups here and here. As a general rule ALWAYS do a full backup before a major OS upgrade.
The next step may be painful but stick with me. Lion is a new OS and is getting rid of some of the old legacy code. That means some of your older applications may stop working. If you count on an application in your day to day computing life then it's good to check to make sure it will work after you upgrade.
Back before Apple switched to Intel as the Mac CPU of choice they used chips made by IBM/Motorola called PPC (short for PowerPC or Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC Performance Computing). That means appications that you rely on might stop working when you upgrade to Lion. To keep from shooting yourself in the foot it's a good idea to check before you upgrade. Here's how to check for PPC apps on your computer:
Go to the Apple menu and open "About This Mac."
When the window opens click on the "More Info" button. That will bring up the system profiler application. Click on Software and sort by kind and you will see a list of all your applications. Those that are "Universal" or "Intel" will work fine in Lion. Anything that is PPC will not.
If your favorite app is listed as PPC it might be time to find a replacement or see if an upgrade is available. For me that meant finally abandoning my old version of Quicken 2006 (yeah I was too cheap to even upgrade to Quicken 2007). Just know that the new upgrade for Quicken 2006 & 2007 , Quicken Essentials for Mac, doesn't have the same features as the much older version. I don't know why Intuit is so slow to upgrade the Mac version to match the Windows version but they haven't. Here's a good article about Quicken Essentials and some of its shortcomings.
That's just one bad example. Most of my day to day applications just needed an upgrade and they are Lion ready. I did loose some of my old games but that's life when you hang onto a game that's over 15 years old. Here's a quick look as some of the major players that are PPC:
- FileMaker 6
- FileMaker 8
- Older Adobe software
- Photoshop CS1, CS2 etc
- Creative Suite older versions
- Microsoft Office 2004
After you weed through and delete your old data and applications, you check for PPC applications and upgrade or replace them, and you do a backup, you should be ready to update your computer to Lion. I'll review that upgrade process next.
My plan is to offer up some tips and insight on Lion over the next few weeks. But that may get stretched out since the weather here in Seattle is finally improving and the weatherman says the temperature might actually reach 80°!!! After living in perpetual fall-like drizzling rain and cloudy days for the past 11 months it's tough to spend time in front of a computer.