Mac Lab Report

Problems Upgrading to 10.1 to Jaguar

- 2002.11.11

I've been experimenting with OS X ever since 10.1 came out. If SASIxp would run in Classic properly, we could switch over right now at school. We have hundreds of OS X installers sitting around not being used because of that single fact.

Being cautious, I formatted an iBook 500 hard drive last year with two partitions. The partitions were supposed to keep the dual boot OSes I was using (9 and 10.1) separate from each other. I installed OS X in a small partition (2 GB) and kept most of my work files on the larger partition.

I've reported elsewhere on my mostly positive success with OS X, and in a nutshell I like it so much that as soon as I can afford to switch over all my mission critical software (in particular Network Assistant), I plan to go all OS X. I found OS 9 comfortable and familiar, but OS X 10.1.5, while far from perfect, is interesting and exciting to work with. Round 1 of my adventure was pretty much a draw, based on my desire to switch to OS X but my practical requirements to stay in OS 9.

This summer I bought a brand-new CRT iMac for my sons, and along with it I got an OS X up-to-date certificate that I used to purchase a Jaguar upgrade disk for $20. Since my sons' computer is going to be running OS 9 for some time, I decided to install the Jaguar update on my laptop.

The installer required 1.2 GB of hard drive space. I deleted all the apps, preserving only some settings files and my iPhoto libraries on the main partition. I deleted the user I created when experimenting with IRAF, a Unix-based image processing program. I deleted all my user documents after copying them. I deleted everything I could, and I still needed hundreds of more megs free.

I finally decided to delete the system folder itself, since everything else was gone. Blank, my 2 GB partition only showed 1.6 GB free, meaning there must be many invisible files still taking up space. Initializing the partition took care of that.

Then I found out why they call it an upgrade disk - you have to have OS X installed first.

I suspect if I do a minimal install of OS X on the partition, there won't be enough hard drive space left to install Jaguar on top of it. If you're going to upgrade, make sure you have at least 1.2 extra GB free and clear before beginning. I would recommend 2-3 GB free as an absolute minimum if you can swing it, due to the way those extra invisible files seem to be multiplying.

In the meantime, it's OS 9, 2; Jaguar, 1. If I'm going to do this, I may have to reformat the drive and reset it to one partition. You know what they say . . . nothing is ever as simple as it ought to be.

More on Thursday.

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is a longtime Mac user. He was using digital sensors on Apple II computers in the 1980's and has networked computers in his classroom since before the internet existed. In 2006 he was selected at the California Computer Using Educator's teacher of the year. His students have used NASA space probes and regularly participate in piloting new materials for NASA. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and scientific papers. He currently teaches astronomy and physics in California, where he lives with his twin sons, Jony and Ben.< And there's still a Mac G3 in his classroom which finds occasional use.

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