Upgrading to Yosemite (OS X 10.10)


Using prior experience as a guide, I figured that that at least one program or hardware device would stop working if I upgraded my Mac operating system to Yosemite 10.10. Consequently, I didn’t instantly switch from Mavericks 10.9 right when Apple released its latest OS. I was proven correct in my prognosis, as a couple of favored applications ceased to work after I completed the system upgrade.

Before I upgrade my computer’s operating system, I make a habit to complete two basic tasks: I first repair permissions using Disk Utility and then clone my existing OS onto a bootable backup device in case something unexpected happens and I need to revert back to what I had before. There are several programs available to create a cloned system. Under Mavericks, my cloning tool of choice had been Carbon Copy Cloner that’s developed by Bombich Software.

MY UPGRADE EXPERIENCE

Yosemite Install Splash Screen

I felt my upgrade experience was typical of most users, taking a couple of hours to complete after I agreed to do the upgrade from the App Store. Along the way, I let the installer download all the software updates and upgrade the printer driver and recovery drive partition.

Installing Software Updates

One application that I use extensively to create bitmap graphics is Adobe Photoshop CS3. Yes, I know I’m still working in the ‘dark ages’ when it comes to Photoshop. However, I have yet to see a compelling need to upgrade to the Creative Cloud version, for Photoshop CS3 enables me to do what I need it to do. When I opened Photoshop CS3 in Yosemite for the first time, I was required to download and install files associated with the legacy Java SE 6 runtime (see screenshot below). After doing so, Photoshop opened normally.

Java SE 6 Runtime

Another software tool that I rely on heavily is Final Cut Pro 7 and its suite of apps (Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Compressor, LiveType, and Motion). I opened them one-by-one in Yosemite and all of them started up fine EXCEPT for Motion, which I use to create animated title screens for my video projects. In order to run Motion, I had to figure out a way to boot into a pre-Yosemite version of OS X. The way I saw my situation, I was faced with three possibilities: install the Final Cut suite into a Parallels virtual machine; create a separate Mavericks partition on my startup drive; or run 10.9 off an external hard drive.

I already had Mountain Lion 10.8 configured in a Parallels virtual machine, so I attempted to install Motion into that OS and failed. The installer responded that my system setup failed to meet three requirements: it said my Mac didn’t have at least 128 mb of VRAM (even though I had set this up with this specification in Parallels); that my screen resolution was set too low, and that my graphics driver wasn’t Quartz Extreme capable.

Install Final Cut Pro alert window

Researching the problem further, I found a web page that offered a backdoor method of installing Motion into a Parallels virtual machine. However, even though I was finally able to install this Pro App into Parallels, the software program refused to open, responding with the same popup error message as before. I learned that this restriction also affects VMware Fusion users, and that other Quartz Extreme-sensitive applications like Pages, Keynote, Logic Studio, and Avid Studio won’t run in a virtual environment. In other words, you need to run those programs inside a “real” Mac system, not a virtual one.

Because I don’t have an excessive amount of free space on my startup drive, I dismissed the idea of creating a dual-boot system consisting of Mavericks and Yosemite. That left me with one option: running Motion off a bootable external drive that’s formatted to run either Mavericks or Mountain Lion.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I make it a habit to clone the contents of my computer hard drive prior to taking on a system upgrade. That Mavericks-formatted hard drive has the whole Final Cut Pro suite installed, so it will enable me to run my motion graphics software whenever I need it in the future.

SWITCHING FROM CARBON COPY CLONER TO SUPERDUPER

When I opened up Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5.7 in Yosemite, I was greeted by a popup window that took me to the developer’s web page that told me I would have to upgrade to version 4 in order to run the software. Because I had obtained my Carbon Copy Cloner license prior to June 2, 2014, I was ineligible for a free upgrade.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5.7 message in Yosemite

Disappointed but undaunted, I decided to see whether I could open my other standalone backup program, SuperDuper. Sure enough, I didn’t run into any restriction opening SuperDuper 2.7.5. Logging onto the developer’s website, I was relieved to learn that the latest release of SuperDuper was compatible with Yosemite.

FINAL NOTES
When running Yosemite, make sure your application and system files are booting off a 7200 rpm hard drive or better. If you can afford an SSD drive, by all means, use it to run this Mac OS. As a test, I tried booting a Yosemite configuration that I cloned onto an external 5400 rpm drive and it invariably took several minutes to bring up the Finder window and open applications from the Dock. In comparison, booting Yosemite off an SSD drive usually takes no more than 15-20 seconds.

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