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Switching to Tiger

May 2nd, 2005

Friday night and over the weekend, I switched most of my Macs to Tiger. All but one computer upgraded nicely. My main Mac (2GHz DP G5) had a corrupt drive. I had to backup everything off the drive, wipe it, then restore.

I installed Tiger on a small partition that I’d been using for beta-testing, and booted from that. First, I tried copying everything back, but Carbon Copy Cloner fails under Tiger, and there were some bad blocks on the backup firewire drive that kept Disk Utility from copying it. I used “cp”, now that it copies resource forks, but the result had damaged permissions and owners. Installing Tiger on top of that produced an obviously messed-up system.

So, I wiped the drive again, installed Tiger from scratch, and then Finder-copied the files back to the main drive. This took the better part of two days, since I was carefully merging directories, trying to avoid overwriting anything that might have changed under Tiger.

Fortunately, the result works! I’m pretty much back to where I was. I needed to reinstall some apps that didn’t work, like Virtual PC, the Wacom tablet driver, and Filemaker Pro 6 (the damaged app).

The result was worth it. Tiger feels significantly faster than Panther, particularly in Finder operations. I’m elated that Apple fixed my biggest annoyance with the Finder in OS X – files changed over AppleShare didn’t update on the remote machine until you clicked in their window (or on the desktop). Now, if I delete a file on a remote machine, the file disappears immediately. No more clicking on non-existent files! This also affects existing files re-saved to the desktop, which used to move to the upper-right corner, but now stay where they were. It’s these little things that I’ve missed from OS 9 that count. I’m still waiting for my spring-loaded folder drawers to return.

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