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The Disaster-Free Upgrade to Mac OS X -- Part 2

by Derrick Story

If you approach operating system upgrades like I do, then you've thought long and hard about the move to Mac OS X. That's good, because I think we need to be discriminating about what we load onto our computers and why we're doing it.

When people ask my advice about switching to new software, my first answer is usually: it depends. It depends on your computing needs, hardware, budget, and the amount of time you have for testing.

If you're still not sure that the time is right to upgrade your PowerBook or your iBook, then I think you should consider reading, or re-reading Disaster-Free, Part One. The article is designed to help you come to the right decision for your particular situation.

That being said, if you are ready to upgrade, and you follow the steps in this article, I feel confident that you will have a smooth transition to Mac OS X. In part, this is made possible by Classic's ability to competently handle your existing applications.

Quite honestly, without Classic's backward compatibility, I would have a hard time recommending the Mac OS X upgrade for most people. Fortunately, Classic is a well thought-out transitional environment that eliminates most of the risk of switching to an entirely new operating system. In fact, some of my existing OS 9 apps actually run better in Classic.

Before we get started, however, I have a little housekeeping. Since I published Disaster-Free, Part One last week, a couple of positive things have happened:

Comment on this article Mac OS X seems particularly appealing to laptop users because of its networking flexibility and fast start from sleep. If you've taken the leap to Mac OS X on a laptop, what tips do you have for others considering this migration?.

  • The new iBook was released with a starting price of $1,299 US. This lowers the price of getting a state-of-the-art Apple laptop that's well-suited to Mac OS X.
  • Two new Mac OS X updates were announced, 10.0.2 and 10.0.3, that you can download with Software Update. I'm happy to see the improvements are coming quickly and seem to be solid. Some users have already reported better finder performance with 10.0.3.
  • I've received some great tips from folks who have gone before us on the journey to upgrading the OS. I will incorporate their hints into my existing disaster-free procedure. One tip in particular -- how to get around purchasing a separate FireWire drive -- helps keep the expenditures to a minimum. (Always a good thing!)

So, now that the house is cleaned up, let's get to the upgrade!

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