Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.

Preparing for Lion: Find Your PowerPC Applications

The history of Mac development is not like a plant that grows and branches and produces leaves and flowers. It’s more like a series of rubber bands that get stretched to the breaking point and eventually snap. The 68000 processor was dropped; then the whole 68K processor family was superseded by Macs using PowerPC processors. Snap! When Mac OS X came along, all applications had to be rewritten, except for the lucky ones that could operate correctly inside the Classic emulator. Snap! When Macs started relying on Intel processors, support for Classic was dropped. Snap!

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!

No bad thing will happen to your Mac the day Lion goes final. Your current hardware won’t refuse to boot. Your current system won’t stop working. Your favorite applications will still be your favorite applications. But suppose, just for the sake of argument, that you become interested in upgrading to Lion. And suppose, for the sake of even further argument, that Lion lacks Rosetta. What might the loss of Rosetta mean to you?

To find out, you need to know what PowerPC-only applications you currently depend on. The easiest way to learn that is through System Profiler. This application resides in your /Application/Utilities folder, but there’s a shortcut; choose About This Mac from the Apple menu, and when the dialog appears describing your system and hardware, click the More Info button to launch System Profiler. Even faster, Option-click the Apple menu and choose System Profiler directly.

System Profiler displays its information in three categories, listed in a pane down the right side of its window: Hardware, Network, and Software. For the fullest display of categories, choose View > Full Profile. Now, under Software (click the triangle to open it if necessary), select Applications.

Now go make yourself another espresso from your handy-dandy Pavoni Napolitana, because it could take a while for anything to appear in the window. System Profiler is going to walk through all mounted hard disks looking for applications, and if you’re anything like me, it’s a long walk (a big disk containing a lot of applications). When System Profiler finally finishes, your applications will be listed, along with several columns of information about them. The column you’re most interested in right now is the Kind column (you can drag it to the left to move it next to the Application Name column, if that makes parsing the results easier). It will say one of four things:

  • Classic: These are 68K applications. What are you, some kind of sentimental wacko? These applications may have run under System 7 or as late as Mac OS 9, but under Mac OS X the only way they’ve ever run, if they’ve ever run, is in the Classic environment. If you’re running Snow Leopard, or even Leopard on any Intel-based Mac, there is no Classic. So why do you still have them around? Actually, a few of these applications are occasionally still important to me, and I run them using SheepShaver, as I explained in “SheepShaver Brings Classic Mac OS to Snow Leopard” (23 October 2009). So far be it from me to criticize.

  • Intel: These are Intel-native applications. They’ll probably continue to work reasonably well on Lion, though of course there can be glitches caused by the introduction of a new system. They are probably actively developed, though, so with luck any such glitches will be ironed out by their developers.

  • Universal: These are “universal binaries” that contain both PowerPC code and Intel code, so if you’re running Snow Leopard, which means you must be using an Intel-based Mac, they behave like Intel-native applications as far as you’re concerned.

  • PowerPC: Aha! These are the droids we’re looking for. They contain PowerPC code and no Intel code. So if, as is commonly expected, Lion doesn’t support Rosetta, these applications will be pushing up daisies. They will be pining for the fjords. They will have gone to meet their maker. They are even now crying out, “Ave Caesar! Nos morituri te salutamus!” Which means, roughly (and bearing in mind that I have a PhD in Classics and you probably don’t): “Stab me in the back! Stab me in the head! Farewell, Caesar! Dead dead dead!”

The list of applications presented by System Profiler may be very long and intractable. One way to make it more tractable is to sort the list: click the Kind header at the top of its column. Now your PowerPC applications are listed together in alphabetical order. If you’d like a more conveniently searchable record of this information, you can copy a subset of this list as a text file. With the list sorted by Kind, click the first PowerPC application to select it, then scroll down and Shift-click the last one to select all the PowerPC applications in between. Now click in the description pane at the bottom of the System Profiler window, press Command-A to select all the text, copy, switch to your favorite text editor, and paste.

If you’re like me, you’ll find that the way forward isn’t quite so gloomy as you may have anticipated. I have lots and lots of PowerPC applications, but most of them I haven’t used in years. Here’s a quick survey of my situation:

  • I’ll miss Alco Blom’s URL Manager Pro, but in anticipation of Rosetta’s loss I’ve already moved that data into Safari itself, which turns out to be quite a good bookmark manager in its own right. Similarly, I’ve moved my data out of Alco’s Web Confidential, confiding the exported data to Panorama.

  • I’ve already explained how I’ve replaced Remember? with iCal; see “Freeware Coolness Crushes iCal Shortcoming” (4 August 2010).

  • Solitaire Till Dawn is a big worry. It’s a perennial favorite here at TidBITS and among our readers. You might like to look at developer Rick Holzgrafe’s blog post on its history and his plans; it presents an even longer list of snapped rubber bands (he calls them dead horses).

Those are the only serious problems on my machine. Most of the other PowerPC applications on my machine have names I don’t even recognize. A few of them are games that I remember enjoying at one time, but I suppose I can live without; those sorts of games play better on the iPad anyway.

The story will, of course, be different for different users. Microsoft Office 2004 is likely to be a serious stumbling block for many folks, who will reason that to move to Office 2008 will mean loss of Visual Basic, and that to move to Office 2011 will mean loss of good old-fashioned usability. (I’ve already told how I migrated out of Office as a mail program; see “Escape from Outlook 2011!,” 26 October 2010.)

I expect that this article will be just one in a series, as various TidBITS editors chime in with tales of their preparations for Lion compatibility. As we wait for the fateful day, I comfort myself with the thought that, if I really need it, I have an Intel-based Mac that can boot into Snow Leopard, a PowerPC-based Mac that can boot into Leopard and use Classic, and a couple of really old machines that can even boot into Mac OS 9 (not to mention SheepShaver). Lion’s roar can’t scare me!


Try productivity tools from Smile that will make your job easier!
PDFpen: PDF toolkit for busy pros on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
TextExpander: Your shortcut to accurate writing on Mac, Windows,
and iOS. Free trials and friendly support. <>

Comments about Preparing for Lion: Find Your PowerPC Applications
(Comments are closed.)

Hunter  2011-05-06 00:43
Carbonized apps didn't run in Classic. Classic was for MacOS 9 apps.

Carbonized referred to apps that were built on MacOS 9 APIs that were brought forward in the Carbon framework on OS X. Carbon was a subset of the Classic Mac APIs and thus apps required changes but typically not as many.

Popular Carbon apps include Photoshop and MS Word. The Carbon framework ships with Lion but will never support 64-bit, thus Carbon apps that want a future need to move to Cocoa.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 00:52
Well spotted. I did mean *something*, though, because some applications ran if you booted into Mac OS 9 but didn't run in Classic. Perhaps I should just put "updated" instead of "Carbonized". And you've also pointed out another snapping rubber band!
Guy Plunkett III  2011-05-06 00:51
*Sigh* the final death knell for Eudora, and still no replacement in sight that "just works" ... time to retire?
Doug Grinbergs  2011-05-06 16:54
A few old-timers like us wishing QUALCOMM would recompile the 6.2.4 code for Intel very likely won't make it so. (;-) Seems like the Eudora classic era is rapidly drawing to a close. (:-(
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 18:29
Unfortunately, I think there's a lot more than a recompile involved... :-(
Andrew Edsor  2011-05-28 06:39
Nop, stay with Snow Leopard! I've still been unable to persuade myself that Eudora OSE is a worthy replacement despite the ancient creaky nature of Eudora 6.
Michael Bradley  2011-05-06 05:20
I'm running 10.6.7, and I've largely migrated from Now Up-to-Date to iCal. But I can find no program that in any way can replace my one indispensable PPC program: Now Contact.

I think I've peeked at every Intel Mac (and Windows) contact manager, and none measure up. Act, as I remember, doesn't include the use of keywords, something I must have (I'm a salesman).

If anyone has suggestions, I'll be exceedingly appreciative.

So, as it is, no Lion for me. I hope I'll have retired by the time 10.6.7 is no longer usable :-)
Jim Reardon  2011-05-06 01:15
How will we run ShufflePuck?
Peter N Lewis  2011-05-06 01:49
The killer for me is going to be Quicken 2006.

The other two big cases are going to be AppleWorks and StuffIt Expander - I use both rarely, but still have an endless supply of legacy documents which I don't want to entirely lose access to. And I still use AppleWorks' database for some simply databases which I'll need to find a replacement for.
John Melby  2011-05-06 13:40
You can download a free copy of the current version of StuffIt Expander, which is a universal binary, from Smith Micro.
Doodpants  2011-05-07 15:33
You can also get Stuffit Expander through the Mac App store!
dpolzine  2011-05-10 17:38
Sounds like you may have an older version of StuffIt Expander. Its been Intel native/Universal for a while now.
Peter N Lewis  2011-06-21 06:55
OK, StuffIt Expander is ok for now. My last AppleWorks document has been converted to Numbers, Pages, pdf or txt or something else (man, that was a lot of work, and a lot of funky Keyboard Maestro mangling and perl scripting!). So that just leaves Quicken - my solution now is to run Quicken on Snow Leopard under VMware. Ugly, but at least it removes the ugency to find a resolution.
Scott Rose  2011-05-06 01:58
Quicken is going to be the big problem for Mac users. There is no native Intel version of Quicken, and Quicken Essentials can't do 99% of what Quicken 2007 can do.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 02:50
I'm with you. I may have to keep an old Snow Leopard system running just to have Quicken 2007 available. I can't find a replacement that's 10% as good, and Quicken 2007 has a lot of flaws. I would have thought there would have been a superior replacement.
sstevemaccom  2011-05-09 17:55
Quicken 2007 will also keep me from upgrading to Lion if it doesn't include Rosetta. My thread of hope is that since Quicken's Chairman is on Apple's Board, he'll have the clout to keep Quicken 2007 running under Lion.
Kelvin Smith  2011-05-10 02:05
I also am concerned about Quicken 2006. I have tried Quicken Essentials which is Intel based - but it drives me nuts with its interface.
Burt Johnson  2011-05-10 04:29
Yep, Quicken 2007 is the killer for me. No quicken, no Lion. simple as that... :(
Andrew Edsor  2011-05-28 06:33
I'm a fully paid up member of the 'No Quicken 2007, No Lion' club. Intuit themselves say that Quicken Essentials is no replacement for Quicken 2007 for those with an investment portfolio. I agree 100%
Patrick  2011-05-06 02:35
The easier way? Ignore the last 15 paragraphs, upgrade to Lion, replace any apps that don't work. Done.

Let the past go. Deep breaths. Don't spend your time and energy worrying about Lion. You have no apps that you can't live without. Let 'em go. Move on with your life.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 03:37
It's not the apps - it's the data. For me, the time to get my data out of Remember?, Web Confidential, and URL Manager Pro is *now*. They keep their data in a private format, but they can also export their data - *if* I can run them. Under Lion, I won't be able to. So planning ahead makes sense; the day after you upgrade to Lion is *not* the day to discover that something you need is unrecoverable. Blindly upgrading isn't "moving on"; it's folly.
Sven Lutkemeier  2011-05-06 04:37
Could you please elaborate on replacing Web Confidential? I'm still using it and am looking for a replacement.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 18:57
Web Confidential has an export command, so at least you can extract your data in some standard text-based format. Now hand it to some other program. With some munging, I was able to get it into Clipperz, but for ease of searching and editing you can't beat Panorama or Panorama Sheets; I've reviewed all those in TidBITS.
I used Web Confidential for years going back to OS 8. I can wholeheartedly recommend 1Password. It allows you to pretty painlessly import data from Web Confidential as well as a variety of other apps.
Chris Pepper  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 02:56
Subtle tip: If you hold Option, the About This Mac menu item changes to System Profiler. The menus are live, so you can press and release Option to see which commands change -- check out the other menus too.

That said, I go through About rather than remember to use Option... ;)
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 13:39
Good tip - I've added it to the article.
artMonster  2011-05-06 03:03
I guess this will finally free me of MS Office 2004 (or Word anyway, as that is the only part I still have installed). Odd though, it does say PPC in System Profiler, but Get Info for the program itself does not have a check button to open in Rosetta. Is it the installer that needs Rosetta, or just parts of Office? Will Word still run?

Guess Pages and Preview will do in any event.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-06 03:28
> Get Info for the program itself does not have a check button to open in Rosetta

Because there's no choice - a PPC program can *only* open in Rosetta, so that checkbox would be pointless. Only a Universal Binary offers that choice.
inuvik  2011-05-06 03:43
I second the comment on Eudora. Still nothing better out there. It's ability to handle 10's of thousands of emails and search them almost instantaneously is unmatched by any other program yet.
I can't live without Eudora. I have yet to find an acceptable alternative. Any thoughts?
Peter N Lewis  2011-05-07 13:12
Give up and convert to Mail. I did it a few years ago, and while it was painful (and my wife still hasn't forgiven me), there really isn't a lot of other choices. Mail's integration with the rest of the OS make it the fairly obvious choice, and it does handle all my email going back to 1990.

But yes, searching sucks rocks - its almost completely useless. No booleans, and half the time it can't even find the message I'm looking at with the word I'm searching for plainly in view. Ridiculous.

Use Eudora Mailbox Cleaner to convert your Eudora mailbox over to Mail - and send a donation!
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-07 14:56
I cannot stand Mail, and I've tried several times. I'm using Mailsmith (as IMAP isn't important to me), and Rich Siegel continues to update it as a side project. I sort of love it. It has some Eudora-ish features, but has always been its own particular animal.
gastropod  2011-05-10 00:28
My Eudora must-have features, if anyone can recommend -one- mail client that has them all, I'll consider switching:

gathering - option click on any field
blah blah button
fixed-width font button
edit displayed subject line (by hand or filter)
edit body text (repair broken urls)
edit From: line to any address
super fast and flexible search
easy color labels, and lots of them
mbox format
--corruption resistant, straight text, easily processed by scripts
32000 messages in a mail box, 75MB mailboxes, no problem
nearly invisible interface
filter report
doesn't filter entire inbox, but only genuine new incoming
multiple settings files/mailbox trees
--mail folders can live anywhere incl. on a usb key
settings, tons of settings

Only thing I've seen that comes close so far is Mulberry, which is intel, but has been unsupported since 2007.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-09 13:34
I'm happy using Gmail's Web interface through Mailplane because it's utterly unlike Eudora, whereas all the traditional email clients feel like takeoffs of Eudora. See my full series here, if you haven't already.
ScienceMan  2011-05-06 03:53
I have a PPC-based G5 that my wife won't let me upgrade past Tiger because we can't figure out how to get the old classic Starbound game to run. She loves that game. Someone do us at this house a favor and get the source code for that and port it to the iOS platform so we can finally enter this century in our Mac hardware!
Alex Stevens  2011-05-06 09:51
Actually I do have a PhD in Classics, but I'm not going to quibble with your translation ...

For me the great *benefit* will be that I will no longer be able to even contemplate booting up Microsoft Office, since I've steadfastly refused to upgrade from 2004. Thankfully Pages and Numbers are now doing OK
Andreas Frick  2011-05-06 12:17
This will also kill AppleWorks. Although there is iWork, it provides no drawing and no database program. I'm still using it, because I have a lot of old documents. I think, continuing PPC support would be not a a serious problem.
Doodpants  2011-05-07 16:08
I abandoned AppleWorks long ago. For a replacement drawing application, I highly recommend Intaglio. IIRC, it can't import AppleWorks drawing documents directly, so I converted them by simply copying and pasting all the drawing objects from an AppleWorks document window into a new blank Intaglio document window. Worked like a charm. (Another option might be to save the AppleWorks files as PICT.)

For database documents, I have no idea, since I never used them. Actually, that's not true. I had one database document, which wasn't anything important, and I converted it to a NeoOffice database document. The NeoOffice/OpenOffice database module is a usability nightmare, and I wouldn't recommend it.
joecab  2011-05-06 14:45
Anyone looking to replace Stuffit Expander should download The Unarchiver, which can decompress many different formats.

I too am stuck with an old copy of Quicken. I can't for the life of me understand why Intuit still hasn't seen the light to give us a normal Mac version. Isn't it now obvious how many of us will upgrade? And they're still sitting on Apple's board for goodness sake. I don't get that at all.
wwilson083  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2011-05-06 17:59
When I click on Applications under Software in System Profiler, nothing happens, not even the spinning gear that shows up when I click other categories. Am I doing something wrong?
Charlie  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2011-05-06 19:01
Well, I have lots of Classic apps but they all seem to be from Apple and reside in my System folder so presumably Apple will replace or merge any functionality in these programs into Lion.

Regarding the Quicken conundrum, I'm embarrassed to admit it but about a year ago I tired of the instability of Quicken 2007 and decided to abandon it for Quicken 2010 for Windows. I run it using either Crossover or Parallels and it mostly works well. I made this distasteful choice because I felt I needed the budget and investment functionality that seems to be lacking in the Mac finance programs I tired. Having said all this, I'd abandon it in a heartbeat if I could find something as capable for the Mac.
Charlie  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2011-05-06 19:09
After I posted this it hit me (late as always) – Why are there Classic *Apple* Apps in my Snow Leopard 10.6.7 system folder?

Has anyone else got problems running Sys Prof and trying to list Applications? Mine crashes constantly ONLY when using it to list the applications. Google tells me others have this issue but no solution yet found. Ideas? Suggestions?

iMac 24" Core 2 Duo
gastropod  2011-05-07 02:16
Note that System Profiler only looks at applications in /Applications. If you keep some elsewhere, System Profiler may leave you with a false sense of security.

Also, some apps are intel, but some of their features are provided as applescripts, and many of those scripts are still ppc. If the application isn't still under active development, or if you can't afford to upgrade, you could lose features.

My must-not-lose ppc apps include

Eudora no equivalent
FileMaker Pro 6 $300 upgrade, onerous drm, loses web server
AppleWorks 6 no equivalent
URL Manager Pro no equivalent
Practica Musica no equivalent
Canon photo software upgrade loses access to 20D raw
OmniGraffle 3 $120 to upgrade
Amadeus II 3.84 features not yet in pro version
Bookends UB, but not all scripts
Intaglio UB, but not all scripts
iSiloX no equivalent

My current strategy is to buy new hardware in the next week or two so I can avoid the Lion issue for at least the next 4 years or so. If that means no new software, well, what I have already meets my needs well, and I could use some help beating my software addiction anyway. So far there's not a single change in Lion that I actively like, and lots that I don't, such as the iThingification, and the pervasive store growing though its innards like a cancer. I'm not unique--I've had a rash of users spontaneously upgrading to snow leopard this month while they can still buy the installer, and several asking about which macs to buy.

[If the computer world gets too ridiculous, I have a house full of books, plus a yard full of delightful creepy crawlies and enough optics to watch them with. I could say "get off my lawn" but I abhor lawns, so "get out of my bug habitat" :-)]
gastropod  2011-05-07 02:24
Cuoldn't edit: my System Profiler on 10.5.8 was unable to find apps outside of /Applications, even on the boot drive, or in my home folder (not on the boot drive). I had to copy them into /Applications to check them. YMMV.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-07 03:01
Most of my applications are *not* in my /Applications folder, and System Profiler finds them all (and has always done so, as far as I know). I can't explain this difference in our experiences.
gastropod  2011-05-07 07:19
Just tried on my oldish intel mini, 10.5.8, with the same results, /Applications only. So maybe it's a leopard thing. Or maybe it's because I put my user directories on a different partition, though that doesn't make any sense. More experimentation is in order, but not tonight.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-09 18:10
Maybe it's a permissions thing? Perhaps you have to be an admin user? Just guessing wildly here.
gastropod  2011-05-10 00:13
The plot thickens. I just tried on my work imac with 10.6.6. It found apps in other places--but not -all- other places. It found the apps in /Applications, my User partition, and a drive I use for user backups, but it didn't find my personally owned applications on a different partition of the internal drive. No difference between running as normal user and admin user.

Internal drive
--System partition.....found apps
--User partition.......found apps
--Personal partition...did not find apps
--Scratch partition....found apps
External drive
--only one partition...found apps

Permissions don't seem to be the issue: /Volumes shows all partitions to be the same, and folder permissions all the way down to the not-found apps are staff & everyone = read only, which is more permissive than my user folder (staff=write only, everyone=no access).
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-10 13:12
I've been following this too, and I definitely saw applications in my list that were on my second hard disk, so it's not limited even to a single disk.

I wonder if System Profiler might be relying on the Spotlight index for the search, and could thus be fooled by a corrupted index.
gastropod  2011-05-11 00:20
That's it! My personal partition at work is excluded from spotlight, and at home, just about everything is excluded from spotlight because spotlight hangs as it indexes, and I haven't cared enough to track down the problem. I just let spotlight index my private partition, and now Profiler sees those apps.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-07 03:10
I'd argue you could wait a few months and then buy new, unopened last-generation Snow Leopard gear for hundreds less!
gastropod  2011-05-07 05:37
I would, except that I get the educational price, which typically is about the same as discounted new old models, and there's no edu discount for those.

(plus, 'a week or two' doesn't account for likely procrastination and dithering that could cause me to frantically look for what I want at a little past the last minute, sigh.)

The other thing I'm looking into is running leo or snowie non-server in vmware. I've heard it's possible, though haven't had time to track down details or do any experimenting, and I may not get the time before L-day, so I'm not counting on it.
Dr Dream  2011-05-07 04:04
I am leaning to creating a partition to run 10.6 so I will still be able to run the legacy applications as required. I wonder if the ssd drive can be partitioned? Still trying to learn. Should run them pretty fast with i7 chipset.
I've been using a OWC 40gb mercury extreme pro connected to my mini via USB as a boot disk. I have not partitioned it- but should be no problem using disk utility. I'm running 10.6.7 on a 2ghz intel core duo mini with 4gb memory. BTW I'm still using Eudora 6.2.4. I hear that there is a beta version of a major update /revision designed to work on linux, etc but have not chased it down yet
Mr Zen  2011-05-07 05:20
Another one: PowerKey made by Sophisticated Circuits. The PowerKey is a six-outlet power strip that lets you turn any of its outlets on or off from a desktop app and also control them during sleep/power modes. The app and b/g daemon are both PowerPC only. Too bad because it's a great device but whoever is behind the company has completely given up supporting their products. The current version 4.3.2b1 has been in beta since October, 2007!
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-07 06:07
My Applications list is empty! Choosing Refresh just has it tell me it's empty again. I've kept my apps in the /Applications directory. I wonder what went awry.
Rick DeNatale  2011-05-08 11:48
While MS Office 2008 is comprised of Universal apps, I recently had to reformat my MBPs disk and reinstall Snow Leopard from scratch.

When I reinstalled Office 2008 from the DVD, I needed to install Rosetta, because the INSTALLER is a PowerPC app.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-09 19:30
I just looked into this and on my Office 2008 DVD, there's an Office Installer.mpkg, but that's actually a document (really a package, which is a fancy folder) and when double-clicked, it runs Apple's Installer application located in /System/Library/Core Services. And that application is Universal.

So I'm not sure what you're seeing, but if other DVDs are like mine and rely on the Installer on the hard disk, it shouldn't be a problem. I couldn't find an Installer application on my Office 2008 DVD.
Michael Paine  2011-05-09 12:32
Hmmm .. I use DOSBox to run a couple of ancient DOS programs that are still useful for business purposes. Not sure how I check if DOSBox will run under Lion.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-09 12:33
Wow - I'd never heard of DOSBox before this. Not that I need to run any ancient DOS software, but it's nice to know that it's possible, and we should be mentioning it in briefly in "Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac." Thanks!

From reading the DOSBox Web site, it seems that the current version is a universal binary, so it should be fine under Lion.
Guy Plunkett III  2011-05-13 20:40
DOSBox is great -- I use it for some old qbasic apps that won't run under my Win7 (VMware Fusion). And Sheepshaver works for a couple of Classic apps -- tons of old data in WriteNow, MacWrite, MacDraw, MacDraft.
dave_bull  2011-05-09 22:44
CS2 is also done for, it seems. This is a big one for me, because my publishing workflow is to use InDesign through InBooklet (which was removed in CS4).

And as mentioned upthread, Appleworks (at last). I have many thousands of 'ClarisWorks' files here, accessed as their information is needed. Exporting them all, one by one, to some kind of readable format is going to be a huge chore ... any suggestions for scripting this?
Patsy Price  2011-05-09 23:42
On my dual-boot G4/450 with Tiger and OS 9.2, I see Power PC, Universal, and "Native (Preferred) or Classic." What does Native mean in this context? No real problem. I've been a Mac user since my original Mac II, but don't expect to ever upgrade again. I'll reluctantly switch to my partner's Windows machine for whatever can't run on my Mac. And keep playing Solitaire till Dawn here.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-10 00:15
Native means it's better to boot into OS 9.2 than to run it through Classic. Also, for you, "Universal" has a completely different meaning than in this article. But since your machine will never run Lion, Snow Leopard, or even Leopard, you've got no problem as long as you can keep it working!
sb4thpwr  2011-05-10 02:00
Does anyone else rue the day you realize it pays to keep 2 or 3 older laptops hanging around to run older software and preserve data access? Yes, I run Quicken 2007, and this will be a mess if true. Quicken Essentials is something of a costly check register joke by comparison. Major concerns regarding data destruction seem to rise to the top much faster for Mac users than PC's. Nevermind the MS Entourage 2008 to Outlook 2011 debacle. Somehow, it's gotta be simpler going forward, not present hurdle after hurdle. Umph...where's hope for the future?
I run VueScan via Rosetta because the driver for my aging HP scanjet 4600 is PowerPC-based. Is there any way to inventory other low-level dependencies like this?
I'm a bit dismayed after reading thru this article. I have given up a few very endeared apps over the years due to upgrades. Not sure I want to give up anymore and/or spend more money for new ones. OY that's all I have to say right now.I'm happy with quicken 07, MS office 04 and others. What is Lion really going to do for us?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-10 12:44
Well, that's a real question, and based on what Apple has shown so far, I'd say that Lion may not offer the long-standing Mac user a huge amount. Most of the major features shown so far make Mac OS X more like iOS, which is a help for someone who is new to the Mac but has used the iPhone, but doesn't do nearly as much for those of us who know how to launch apps and switch among them.

But we won't know until it's out, and you'll certainly have time to consider the upgrade even after it ships.
Gary Gibson  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2011-05-10 04:20
Strangely enough, several things in the Adobe Illustrator CS5 localized scripting folder
are listed as PowerPC applications...

My main problem is going to be Office 2004. I guess I'll finally have to move up to 2011
(or switch to OpenOffice). *sigh*

I guess it's time for the emulator community to start an osx 10.4/ppc project to go along
with sheepshaver, basilisk, and mini vmac. (PearPC anyone?).
Giuseppe Balacco  2011-05-10 05:57
Looking farther into the future, what about 32-bits only applications? How long can we rely on them for?
Daniel Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2011-05-10 06:37
A few one-trick programs show up as PPC only, for instance one of the Default Folder Extras. I've found that all of these that I have are actually Applescripts saved as applications. They can be made universal by opening the package contents, then opening the script using AppleScript Editor and resaving as an application.
Iain Boyd  2011-05-10 09:33
Most of my old apps I can replace or live without. In principle I like restricting myself to a small set of modern integrated apps.

However I am very concerned if not able to open old documents. I'm already finding that the latest Excel won't open many old spreadsheets.

Increasingly there are many letters, page layout files etc. which cannot be opened easily because the original app is no longer installed. For a long time I have had a copy of MacLinkPlus Deluxe installed, which does a good job of opening old early MacWrite Pro, Excel files etc. So I felt I could, if pressed, open most items. However MacLinkPlus Deluxe and its helper apps are all PowerPC and so will themselves become unusable.

What then?

There is an argument for keeping all documents as text (Can YOU open that unfinished novel you started in Appleworks?) and finished layout items as PDFs. Keeping and archiving files is no problem, but how will your grandchildren and biographers study your output in 100 years?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-10 12:45
For actual preservation, I think you'd want paper.

For continued access, you'd want to archive hardware and software that can guaranteeably open the applications and documents in question. Anything else is lossy. :-(
Graham Allsopp  2011-05-10 09:55
Eudora does live on in Eudora OSE - Thunderbird wearing a fancy Qualcomm coat:

Our organisation is migrating to Google Mail and I had a big machine crash, so late last year seemed a good time to make that change to a modern mail client. It isn't an entirely painless journey, many of the more esoteric tweeks you could make to Classic Eudora don't exist - but I'm 95% happy which is good enough for me. It's far better than either Thunderbird or Gmail in my working environment.

I do have to agree with the poster who said "upgrade and just let it go". Hard to do at first, but ultimately cathartic.

And it helps avoid those "long time user" jokes when you have to take a Mac to the Genius Bar...
Minus van Baalen  2011-05-12 13:47
I'd be happy to try Eudora OSE if only... I gave it a try, and it seemed to work reasonably well. But I haven't been able to test it as I would like to: when it converted my 1GB mail folder (>15 yrs worth of email and actually a few things that I may need in the future) it gobbled up the 5 GB that I had left on my MacBook Air (a bit tight with disk space) and then things went haywire... So if you want to convert, and have little disk space, beware. Me, I'll wait until I have a bigger machine and won't update for the moment.
Betty Fellows  2011-05-10 18:19
A big problem for me is Quicken 2007. Quicken Essentials (the current version) doesn't have many of the features of Quicken 2007 which is PowerPc. This is a huge issue.
Michael Prete  2011-05-11 07:25
Although SheepShaver was recommended to run some older applications, it seems to be for Intel machines, not PPC. I have a G5 iMac with OS 10.5.8, so what can I do to run some older games like Myst I, II, III, IV & V or Marathon or Duke Nukem?
I did a search for "Rosetta" and found nothing, should I have?
Doodpants  2011-05-11 13:50
Rosetta is for running PPC apps on an Intel Mac. Since you have a PPC Mac, you have no need nor use for Rosetta.

I don't know what you'd need to run those older games; hopefully someone else has an answer.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-11 17:23
I don't understand the claim that SheepShaver is "for Intel machines, not PPC". It's a Universal app so it should run on both.
John E. Payne  2011-05-11 17:11
Matt says, "If you’d like a more conveniently searchable record of this information [PPC apps in System Profiler], you can copy a subset of this list as a text file."

Sorry, but that doesn't work on my system, Leopard 10.5.8. "Copy" in the Edit menu is grayed out when the PPC apps are selected, and Cmd-C fails too.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-11 17:18
But you have to read the sentences that come after that in order to find out *how* to copy the subset.
Nathalie Sato  2011-05-12 02:39
At the beginning of this year I switched internet providers and went with Verizon MiFi 2200, a 3G wireless connection (there is limited selection of internet providers; no cable no DSL). In the process I had to install Rosetta to set up Verizon manager. In the system profile, Verizon Manager is listed as Universal. I wonder what Lion will do to my internet connection, or whether Verizon will upgrade its manager.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-12 12:35
My guess is that Verizon upgraded its software at some point after your installation to move from a PowerPC version to a Universal version.
David Ryeburn  2011-05-13 02:32
I've used System Profiler in the past, clicking on Applications under Software, and noted that, after a while, all applications were listed, along with whether they were PowerPC or not. I've done this both on my current mid-2010 27 inch iMac (running Mac OS 10.6.7) and on other earlier Macs.

But when I do this now, almost instantly the response is "No information found". By contrast, clicking on Extensions soon produces a lot of information. (All of them were Intel or Universal, by the way.)

I have two partitions on this iMac, a large one for ordinary use and a very small one with repair utilities. When no information appeared, I re-booted to the repair partition and tried there, with the same result.

It used to work. What's wrong? (I have other ways of finding PowerPC applications, but it bothers me that this should work and no longer does.) DiskWarrior is happy. And the technique still works on my other Leopard and Tiger Macs.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-13 13:11
I'm guessing you have a corrupted Spotlight index. @gastropod above had a similar situation.

Googling should give you the steps for resetting Spotlight.
David Ryeburn  2011-05-14 22:57
No, not corrupted, just told not to index either partition on the hard drive. An answer suggesting that Spotlight being turned off could explain it appeared in comp.sys.mac.system, and telling Spotlight no longer to ignore these two partitions fixed it.

David, much preferring Find Any File and EasyFind to Spotlight
Tonya Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-06-16 13:59
This problem happened to me. I didn't have a corrupted index, but I had told Spotlight to stop indexing my entire drive, because it was really bogging things down.

Michael Bradley  2011-05-13 23:19
And I have a perhaps naive question. Since the Rosetta code already exists in a fully mature form, why in the world drop it from Lion? Would it not be a kindness to long-time Mac users - at no cost in any way to Apple - to continue to include (or make it possible to add) Rosetta code?
Lawrence Rhodes  2011-06-16 08:59
My guess is that Rosetta requires 32-bit frameworks and Lion is all 64-bit (won't run on 32-bit machines).

Rosetta is not an emulator, it's a translator, at application-level granularity. I wish there was a way to save the Intel code it outputs and run that already translated application, which is Intel-native and thus has a chance of working in Lion. I've never heard of this being hacked, though, so I may have this all wrong.
Phyllis Thoren  2011-05-16 16:18
Alco Blom does indeed plan to update both URL Manager Pro and Web Confidential to be compatible with Lion! Both should be ready in time for the release of Lion.
rabsparks  2011-05-17 18:15
I just ordered a new iMac because I didn't want to deal with the Lion/no Rosetta impacts on my system. I've been thinking about a new iMac for close to a year. But the prospective loss of Quicken, et al is unacceptable.

As it is, my printer/scanner may not run on 10.6. I will have to buy a new telco modem to replace the built in modem on my G4, I'm not certain about my Turbo Mouse running on 10.6, etc.

Of course the positive points are: my system will run faster, and let me see what else...There has to be other benefits on the side of the upgrade.
Irving Silver  2011-05-19 11:47
I think Quicken Essentials is getting a bum rap. I have been using it for several months and find that it is quite adequate for keeping track of personal accounts. I don't use it for downloading data from bank or brokerage accounts, but I never bothered with that with my previous versions of Quicken, since the potential saving in time seemed minimal. Essentials will grow in capabilities, given its Quicken's huge user base.
Geoff Lambert  2011-05-22 02:54
I have a lot of archived letters in AppleWorks. Most of them I will never need to look at again. But occasionally I will need to open one. So they all need to remain available, but to convert them all would be onerous. I have found Pages is capable of opening AppleWorks word processing files so that will be my salvation if I upgrade to Lion.
M. Perry  2011-05-25 20:47
Wow at the comments! I've never see this many of Tidbits before.

My one remaining PowerPC is FileMaker 5.5, which I've kept because it does all I need a database to do. Fortunately, anyone who has a copy of Bento (I do) can upgrade to FM 11 for half-price, $149, until June 7. Others might want to take advantage of that.
Andrew Edsor  2011-05-31 02:32
If I buy new hardware post-Lion, can I replace Lion with Snow Leopard?
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-31 08:25
Most unlikely. Apple usual does Secret Stuff to their hardware that prevents it from being used with a system from before the hardware's release.
Pete K  2011-06-21 06:01
In System Profiler, I have a lot of applications that show up with the "Kind" field blank. Any ideas how to interpret this?

Update: Just tried running one of them, and in Activity Monitor, it comes up as Intel 64-bit! So not sure why System Profiler doesn't pick it up (it even shows 64-bit as "No").