There’s been a brief lull in work for the past few days, so with that last invoice sent out I finally got a chance to upgarde my primary workstation to OS X 10.4.
I’m still amazed at how simple (comparativly) it is to wipe a system clean and restore your applications from backup using a Mac. Carbon Copy Cloner will create a duplicate image of your disk on an external Firewire drive, and then once you’ve reinstalled it’s as simple as copying over your applications and their support/preferences files from your Library. Some applications require a little bit of massaging, but if you compare it to the Windows experience (where ,for all intents and purposes, the above is impossible impossible) we’re still light years ahead.
To your right is a little unexpected bonus, provided by DragThing. DragThing was one of the first programs I restored, and since it displays a little red “hey, I can’t find this” icon on top of applications it can’t find, it makes a nice little checklist of “applications I need to restore”.
The only problem I’ve run into so far is my old Keychain. It looks like the format or encryption changed between 10.3 and 10.4, because I can’t get the damned thing to come over, which means manually inputting my passwords (or spending some time with Google and support forums; so far it’s been the former).
10.4 is running smoothly so far…faster, in fact, than 10.3. This is probably the last OS X upgrade you’ll be able to say that for (and indeed, for many people this is already a thing of the past). We’ll see if this holds up as I start to abuse the system.
Another interesting little discovery was the fact I own 20 pieces of commercial software, as in legitimately paid for it (although i got the Adobe/Macromedia apps at a “fire sale”). I always go through all my backups and serial numbers prior to an overhaul like this as a precaution, and was surprised at my not-so-little library. All you Rich Independent Mac Developers™ should show me some love.