Get your Mac ready for Mountain Lion

The better shape your Mac is in before 10.8 arrives, the better your installation will go

By Dan Frakes, Macworld |  Operating Systems, Macs, Mountain Lion

Snow Leopard users only: A bigger issue may be older Mac software that hasn't been updated recently--you may
find that it doesn't work at all under Mountain Lion. Specifically, PowerPC programs--software that was never
updated to run natively on Macs with Intel processors--won't work at all under Lion or Mountain Lion. Under
previous versions of Mac OS X, Apple provided software called Rosetta that allowed PowerPC code to run on Intel
Macs. In Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6), Rosetta was no longer installed by default, but the OS would offer to download
and install Rosetta if you tried to run a PowerPC program. However, Apple killed Rosetta completely when Lion was
released, and it remains unavailable in Mountain Lion. If you've got important PowerPC programs (for example, older
versions of Quicken for Mac are still surprisingly popular), you'll want to update those programs to
Intel-processor versions, if available, before upgrading to Mountain Lion. If such updates aren't available, you
should find acceptable alternatives, whether those are modern Mac alternatives or, if need be, Windows versions
that you can run under Boot Camp or virtualization software such as Parallels or Fusion. (See my colleague
Christopher Breen's series of articles on Lion and PowerPC software.)
Alternatively, you could keep an old Mac on hand to run those apps when needed.

How can you tell which of your applications are PowerPC programs? The easiest way is to launch System Profiler
(in /Applications/Utilities), select Applications (under Software in the sidebar), and then click the Kind column
header, which sorts the list of applications by processor type. Any programs listed as PowerPC will not work under
Lion or Mountain Lion. (If you've got any listed as Classic, well, that ship sailed long ago.)


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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