On July 20, 2011, Mac OS 10.7 Lion became available for $29 as a huge (3.79 GB) install from the App Store. Many have rejoiced at over 250 major and minor improvements over its 10.6 Snow Leopard predecessor, but others have cried over the loss of legacy programs.
A number of previous features not only won’t be updated, they’re being dropped entirely. One of the OS X features getting dropped in Lion is Rosetta, Apple’s PowerPC software compatibility layer which originally shipped with OS X 10.5 Leopard. The simple angle here is that Lion will be native 64-bit and Rosetta supported 32-bit Universal and PPC code.
What programs will be affected? AppleWorks stands out first, and other notables like Quicken 7, Contribute, AOL, FilmLoop, Internet Explorer, MacLink Plus, MacTheRipper, OmniWeb, ReadySetGo, Thunderbird and others. For a complete list of the programs on your computer that would not work in Lion, follow these steps:
- Under the Apple at upper left of screen, click on “About This Mac”,
- Click on the “More Info...” button to get the System Profiler,
- In the left sidebar under “Software”, click on “Applications”,
- Wait for the report of application titles (could take several minutes),
- In the “Kind” column, look for “Classic” and “PowerPC” designations . . . these programs will NOT work with Mac OS 10.7 Lion!!!
Once you have upgraded to Lion, it will show you which files no longer work by placing a white “circle slash” over the icon. If you double-click on one of these applications, it will report “You can’t open the application _________ because PowerPC applications are no longer supported.” I’ve grouped all of my old Classic and PowerPC applications into a single “Incompatible” folder for easy identification (and to avoid unnecessary errors).
What to do if you still need these old programs? Some would suggest dividing your hard drive into two partitions, one of which would boot from Snow Leopard, and the other from Lion. Another quick solution is to duplicate your old hard drive using a free program like Carbon Copy Cloner to a new external hard drive from which you could boot whenever needed, then upgrade the internal hard drive to Lion. It is even possible to install Snow Leopard to a bootable USB flash drive as a convenient alternative.
As for AppleWork 6, the word processing files will easily import into Pages, and spreadsheet files into Numbers. The draw files will easily import into EasyDraw 4. AppleWorks database files cannot be imported into anything else which retains their format; the only solution is to export the contents as an ASCII text file, then import into Bento, FileMakerPro, Numbers or something else.
Progress oftentimes comes at a price, so it is best to be prepared before you take the next step. We will discuss this much more at our September 6 meeting when we focus on Lion. We will even do a poll to see if a special class will be needed.