Friday, May 6, 2011 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Dropping Rosetta and Classic

Matt Neuburg:

Now it was PowerPC that was emulated, using Rosetta. In Snow Leopard, the first Intel-only version of Mac OS X, Rosetta wasn’t installed by default; it would be downloaded and installed automatically the first time a PowerPC application launched, but the hand was already writing its ominous message on the wall. The rumor, which has become as loud as a roar, is that Mac OS X Lion will not support Rosetta. Snap!

As of this afternoon, PowerPC-only software that I had installed was:

AppleWorks
I don’t use it anymore, but I have lots of AppleWorks documents, as well as files from ClarisWorks 4, 5, and 6. From what I’ve read, it’s not a good idea to rely on Pages and Numbers to read the word processing and spreadsheet files, so I should probably convert these to Word and Excel format while I can still run AppleWorks. The data from AppleWorks databases can probably be saved as CSV, but I guess there’s no way to use it short of recreating the layouts in another database program.
Copilot
Presumably, FogCreek will have an update for this before Lion ships.
Eudora
I only have this for testing with SpamSieve. The plug-in will likely not be updated again, and in fact it was built with CodeWarrior, which I no longer have installed.
FrameMaker and FrameMaker+SGML
These only run in Classic, and unfortunately there are no other applications that understand their files. I suppose I should try to fire up Acrobat Distiller to convert the documents to PDF while my PowerBook still works.
Internet Explorer
It’s been a long time since I even used this to test pages.
RealOne Player
I can’t remember the last time I used this.
Web Confidential
I converted my files to 1Password a while ago. I do have one file with unknown contents and an unknown passphrase; at this point, I have no real need for it and will probably never get it open.
wget
This was easily updated by recompiling the source.

I suppose it goes without saying that the most future-proof old documents that I have are in Microsoft Office, LaTeX, and plain text formats. Annoyingly, Office 2011 warns about opening files with type/creator codes but no extension, making me get at them through the Open dialog instead of by double-clicking or drag and drop.

Update (2011-05-2): I found that, Office 2008 is much more reliable than Office 2011 at opening files from Word 5.

7 Comments

Joshua Ochs

One that a fair number of folks will run into is Quicken. It never went Intel in its classic incarnation, and the Quicken Essentials still is missing functionality many need.

"One that a fair number of folks will run into is Quicken. It never went Intel in its classic incarnation, and the Quicken Essentials still is missing functionality many need."

Sure, but that's solved for a few bucks with Windows/Fusion. You can import your old Quicken data into that.

More worrying is the problem of orphaned data files.

I've happily avoided AppleWorks hell by relying on Microsoft Office, OmniGroup, and open formats.

"Annoyingly, Office 2011 warns about opening files with type/creator codes but no extension, making me get at them through the Open dialog instead of by double-clicking or drag and drop."

I haven't gotten around to dealing with this yet, but it seems like something Spotlight and Name Mangler could correct in ten minutes, no?

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My only worry is that I've got lots of old AppleScript apps in PPC format. I'm obviously not using them currently, but I use AppleScript by referring to old examples, and I worry that Script Editor in Lion won't open them if I ever want to base something on old code...

And, of course, it's pricey, but if you ever find yourself with no more boxes that'll boot 10.6.7 off an external drive, you can always buy a copy of Snow Leopard Server and run it in Fusion, which would allow you to continue to keep using PPC apps for a few years until Apple abandons Intel chips.

As long as QuickTime Player 7 works in Lion, I'm OK with the abandonment of Rosetta, although more that six months notice would've been nice...

I actually used FileMaker's Bento to import databases from the last version of AppleWorks for a client... it worked perfectly, at least from a data point of view.

Pages will open the latest Apple Works docs, I don't recall how well Numbers worked.

@Chucky Renaming the files is not sufficient to silence the warning.

@Brian I had forgotten about Bento. Thanks.

Regarding AppleWorks, you didn't mention having any Drawing files, but for anyone looking for a replacement drawing program, I highly recommend Intaglio.

Copilot is still PowerPC-only, and according to a customer support e-mail, Fog Creek hasn’t yet figured out their plans for Lion.

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