Upgraded to Tiger
June 20, 2005
Well, upgrading to Tiger (Mac OS 10.4) was a lot less painful than it could have been, at least so far.
I repaired permissions, backed everything up, unhooked my external firewire drives (important safety tip—ALWAYS unhook your external firewire drives when upgrading a Mac) and then did an archive install.
All that went swimmingly. I found one left-over startup app from some stuff I used to run that didn’t like Tiger, and wouldn’t shut down cleanly, but it was easily removed. I did that, and then ran Software Update until it ran out of stuff to upgrade.
Then came the long and fairly painstaking process of upgrading stuff that I hadn’t gotten around to upgrading beforehand.
Some of it was problematic—the old version of uControl that I used to remap the option and command keys on the Microsoft keyboard I use at my desktop doesn’t work under Tiger, and the developer has quit updating it. Since I only want them remapped on the external keyboard (otherwise I could do it in keyboard and mouse preferences), that left me at the tender mercies of Microsoft’s “Intelitype”. It works, and hopefully I won’t regret it overly.
The biggest pain was finding all of the little things that I don’t ordinarily think of, yet glue the OS X experience together for me, and upgrading them. An example would be Sizzling Keys for iTunes. I think I’ve got most of them found at this point, and any stragglers can be updated as I run into them.
The only marginal disaster was with Missing Sync, which I use to sync my Treo 650. I’d upgraded it last week, when I installed the new firmware for Sprint Treo 650s.
As luck would have it, the 650 hard reset this morning (apparently some application or another didn’t like the firmware upgrade), and lost everything. Normally not a big deal (with Palm devices, anyway) as the next sync would restore all of the backed-up applications.
Unfortunately, when I went to fire up Missing Sync (post the Tiger upgrade), it told me that it was installed incorrectly, and I had to reinstall it. Once I did, it was happy to sync, but not restore my old backup.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take very long to install the core applications I use on the 650, and the rest of them can wait until another day.
So, I’m upgraded to Tiger.
Now, I know there must have been all kinds of magic new features that I really wanted to use, but for the life of me, none of this seems like all that big a deal.
The only visual differences are the Searchlight icon in the right side of the menu bar, and the Dashboard icon in the dock.
I don’t really want to search for anything at the moment, and I was never a Konfabulator fan, and at the moment, I don’t see much use for the dashboard either. I went in and shut off a couple of redundant widgets (clock, calendar, and weather—I have them all on my menu bar, thanks anyway), but that’s it.
To be fair, I’ll probably find some nice uses for Automator, and somebody might even come up with a handy dashboard widget or two, but for the most part, this is all pretty ho-hum.
It was something I’d have to do sometime anyway, and today was a good time to do it.
If you’re contemplating doing the upgrade, the good news is that it seems relatively benign at this point (now that the mothership in Cupertino has put out a couple of updates).
On the other hand, if you’ve not got any sort of pressing need to run Tiger, I don’t see any point in hurrying right now. Plan a date when you’ve got time to backup, and do all of the fiddly upgrade stuff, and wait to do it then.