Thursday, June 02, 2011

Preparing for the Loss of Rosetta

All the rumor sites say that the next version of Mac OSX,  ( 10.7 A.K.A Lion) will not have the Rosetta utility that allows the old PowerPC software to run.  While most people won't have any problems with that, I will.  You see, I've been collecting software for a long time, and I still use the old stuff.  For example, my copy of Microsoft Word and Excel are the old 10.1 versions, and those won't work after Lion arrives.  I will also lose the ability to run some of my map generation software, my Topo display, memory card restoration software, drivers for my film and slide scanner, and too many utilities to name.

If you are a Mac user, you can see what software is at risk on your system by running the System Profiler (About this Mac, then click More Info), then in the sidebar, click Software/Applications and in one of the far columns, you will see whether the software is Intel, PowerPC, Universal, Classic, or unnamed.  We've already lost the Classic ones and next week, we'll lose the PowerPC ones.

Now, normal people would just hold off upgrading their computer to the latest version, and that's the advice I'm giving to some people, but I'm addicted to fresh software in spite of my huge list of vintage bits.  So, I'm in the process of creating a separate disk partition with the current 10.6 system, to that when I need the old stuff, I'll have the ability to boot back to a Rosetta capable state.

Unfortunately, I can't find my 10.6 install disk.  My 10.5 install disk is scratched and unusable, and my laptop won't run any of the older versions.  So, many hours have been consumed today (oops, that's yesterday, it's already in the A.M. as I work on this) making a bootable clone of my current system.  Hopefully by the time Lion is made available, I'll have my benchmark system tested and running.  The joys of computer use.

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