Something stripy this way comes

Woot! I’ve had my dispatch notification from Apple. Tiger is on it’s way! With a major OS release like this, I have a tried and tested strategy for upgrading:

I maintain two partitions on my “main” hard-drive (I have another physical hard-drive that I use for all my work files). One partition (called “Boot”) holds the operating system, user folders, local mirrors of my web sites, etc. The other partition (called “Storage” – I’m all for exciting volume names) is used for all my downloads; installers, guides, reference material, media files (mp3s, movies, photos, etc). I have already copied all the media from “Storage” to my external Firewire HD (which continues my exciting naming convention and is called “Archive”), using the Terminal and the “ditto” command (it’s faster than using the Finder). When the Tiger DVD arrives, I can erase “Storage” (using Terminal again) and install Tiger on to a nice blank partition. Over the following few evenings (or over the weekend if the package arrives tomorrow), I can then start installing all the drivers for critical stuff like my Wacom tablet, SCSI scanner, printer, etc. Once I’m sure they all run okay, I can start loading on all the applications and copying critical files from my Panther Home folder to the Tiger installation. This will allow me to carry on working from Panther during the day, then switch to Tiger full time once everything is running as it should. Then I can erase the old Panther volume and copy back the media files from the external drive.

This might seem like a complicated way to go about it, but it has a couple of advantages. It means that I get a pristine Tiger installation, with only the applications and files that I really need (none of the crap I’ve accumulated in the last year will make the transition). It means I can carry on working as normal, uninterrupted by potential wonky settings and broken apps that sometimes result from a normal upgrade. It also means I can easily cherry-pick documents, preferences and config files from Panther and copy them straight to the new OS as I need them. One last additional advantage is that Spotlight, the new system level content indexing feature, will only need to index the files that I actually need, rather than having to churn through all the rubbish that has built up in dark corners of the hard drive.

I’m also going to give my hard drive partitions slightly more exciting names this time round. At the moment I’m favouring using character names from my favourite Sega Saturn game, Panzer Dragoon Saga.

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