Upgrading to 10.2

Posted by Giles Turnbull

Well, that went better than I expected. I've just finished the upgrade from Mac OS X 10.1.5 to 10.2, and it took perhaps an hour to complete.

Crucially, I made use of the option to "Archive and install" rather than wipe the hard disk and start afresh. This effectively merges all the existing set-up with the new OS, and creates a folder under root called "Previous Systems", where it sticks all the stuff that didn't get merged.

I've had a good rummage through this "Previous Systems" folder and cannot find anything that looks particularly vital, so I assume I can delete it. That will be useful, because it takes up just over a gigabyte of hard disk space.

To my surprise, at the end of the install my computer was exactly as it had been at the start, but with a newer OS. The files I had left on my desktop were still there, the Dock remained where I like it (on the right, aligned to the top), and everything inside my User folder was as it had been.

Since I install all third-party apps inside my User directory, they have all been faithfully retored in the new set-up. Even the Bluetooth files, and the Bluetooth menubar icon, are still there (they were the one thing I suspected might disappear).

So I am very impressed with the upgrade proceedure. Pretty much painless.

What about the new stuff? Well, I've got very little interest in the new iApps. iChat really doesn't interest me, because it doesn't do IRC, and I don't have a .Mac or an AIM identity to use it with. And anyway, everything I've seen of the interface makes me shudder. iCal is also not my cup of tea, as I still use Palm Desktop for all my PIM needs.

The new Sherlock is even more useless than the previous version, for people outside the US. It refuses to even start if you're not connected to the internet.

But I wasn't upgrading for the new apps. My sole reason was to get the speed hike that Apple promised, and I must say that they seem to have delivered. Most system activities - including Finder browsing, opening applications, dragging windows around - are noticeably zippier under 10.2. The Aqua interface has been calmed down slightly, with buttons and widgets looking less like sweeties and more like buttons. It's an improvement.

I got my copy of Jaguar for free because I'm a computer journo and Apple's PR people send me stuff like this. But is it worth 99 quid? Probably, yes, just about. While the new apps don't interest me much, I can see that they will all be of use to many other users (except Sherlock, which is so pointless for people in the UK that I really can't see any reason not to delete it completely). Improved system performance is very welcome, although you can't blame people for moaning that this is what they were expecting from the *last* version, which they also paid money for.

For real Unix geeks, there's more potential trouble you might encounter because the re-install messes up loads of stuff plenty of gubbins behind the scenes, stuff that non-Unix users won't even notice has changed. More about this in Dan Hon's article, linked below.

If you're thinking of upgrading to 10.2, here's a couple of other pages worth reading:

http://www.danhon.com/ec/mtarchives/000191.shtml ("Jagwireness", by Dan Hon)

http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=06925 ("Interesting bits of Jaguar" by Adam C Engst at Tidbits)

Posted to the luvly mailing list on Mon, 21 Oct 2002 13:54:48 -0700 . Contact: giles at gorjuss dot com.