Upgrade OS on old Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bajajg, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. bajajg macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2004
    Hello All,

    Im a freshly minted brand new mac user and I just starting working on some development efforts for getting an application compatible on a mac. :)

    Well, Im a bit confused and just to scope things out, the minimum requirements for this application is to get it working on mac os x - because some dependent components wont run on older versions.

    Anyways, I brought this up in a tech meeting in my company and the reaction was - "well you know there are many many computers still out there that are running on macs that have older versions of the software. And I belive you cant upgrade these systems (if they are imacs) to the latest version. So we got to be compatible with older versions period."

    So is this true? Are there upgrade limitations to imacs that have an older version of the OS running on it (older than X)? What if the iMac does not have a cd rom drive? can it be upgraded via the network? Does apple provide tools to upgrade many of these computers easily and simultaneously? We want to run this application in an educational setting - and many schools have old versions of the OS.

    Thanks guys. If these computers can be upgraded- then I can go back with more ammo in the next meeting.

  2. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
  3. bajajg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2004
    All I was told that they are imacs with Mac OS 9 without cdrom drives.
  4. elgruga macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2001
    Apple did not make an iMac without a cd-rom. Perhaps these are in an educational environment and the cd-rom's have been removed.....?!
    That seems unlikely - each machine would have to be taken apart and put back together.....and its a lot of work, believe me.

    All iMacs run OSX - so no need to worry about different operating systems.
    They may need to have OSX installed, however.

    The main thing is that they should have at least 128 ram, preferably at least 256. Thats not an expensive upgrade.

    You really dont have a problem if things are as you say.

    Upgrades and installs can be done over the network - all iMacs have ethernet built-in.

    Check again about cd-rom in these machines, sounds wrong to me.
  5. bajajg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2004
    This gives me less to worry about for sure. Thanks.

    Could you pse point me to the applications that would be able to do this upgrade over the network?

    One last thing - what are there versions of macs (not just imacs) that cannot be upgraded to Mac OS X?

  6. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    All iMacs have CD-ROM drive. All iMacs will run OS X provided you give them additional RAM.

    Do not develop for classic Mac operating systems unless your product demands it. Right now there are a lot of people using older OSes but the present and future are in OS X. Schools, however, still largely run on OS 9 and earlier--and they will until their hardware gets replaced. So if that's your market you might do well to go that way.

    Pretty much every Mac with a G3 (and newer) processor will run OS X. That means most everything from 1998 on--even some built in 97. You could coerce OS X into installing on older machines than that, but I don't know anybody who does it.
  7. boskie macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2001
    North Side Of Itchy Town
    A thought...

    Mac OSX 10.3 Server
    This would give you the ability to network install OSX or any application from a network sharepoint, or network boot into user accounts with pre-defined applications from. Good intergration into existing Windows networks, especially active directory. Plus much more. You'd also gain the stability of OSX and the option of Classic for any legacy apps that need OS9.

    Maybe an idea would be to offer the educational institute a grand package of your software, the OSX upgrades inc the server and a large maintence contract after taking one of the Apple Server & Administration certifications. As it sounds that your company is comfortable with the OSX environment as a platform to release your software on and with a good background of NT/2003 Server which it probably already has, learning the toolsets of OSX Server shouldn't be that difficult.

    Possibily a good idea for a raise and new revenue for your company? :D

    Mactracker is a great app for finding out what software/hardware capabilities/specifications any Macintosh, and nearly everything Apple has produced.

    OS9 is best replaced I say.
    I hope this helps
  8. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    A more time consuming but cheaper alternative to Mac OS X.3 Server would be to purchase a USB CD-Rom drive and install OS X using it on every system or You could just buy CD-Roms for the systems. Sonnett also make a G4 upgrade
    for the tray loading iMacs. Have fun.
  9. elgruga macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2001
    Yeah, Spock is right.

    A simple USB cd drive.
    OSX server is a good solution too, but might be a problem financially with schools.

    I think you will find that OS9 will be on the iMacs, and that there will be room on the HD for an OSX install.

    I also think that there will be cd-roms in the iMacs - maybe they have just sealed them with duct tape or something - schools are weird that way.

    You can then use either X or 9, depending on what you guys are doing.

    As already mentioned, developing for 9 is a dead-end, but sometimes thats where we have to go for a while...!

    Good luck!
  10. Rincewind42 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    Keep in mind also that versions of Mac OS X prior to 10.2 are relatively rare in the world at large, and likely to get even rarer by the time your project ships (as 10.4 is likely to be out in a year or less). There are also a considerable number of new technologies available in newer versions of Mac OS X, so you should be considering what technologies you are depending on.

    All G3 Macs (save the original PowerBook G3) can run Mac OS X 10.2 or less. All Macs with built-in USB can run Mac OS X 10.3 (which rules out the original beige G3 Macs and a I think another rev of the PowerBook G3). Either way, Macs that can't run Mac OS X are very old (most over 7 years old) and may not even have enough processing power to run the application you are designing. And an application designed to run on Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X prior to 10.2 can be a royal PIA that I wouldn't wish on anyone.
  11. bajajg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2004
    amazing guys. thanks for all the info. really appreciate it. I think I have enough to build my case. :)


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