Easiest. Upgrades. Ever.

January 18, 2004

In ten or so years of personal computer ownership I have upgraded operating systems, office productivity tools, development environments, and a host of other applications large and small.

I've survived OS/2 Warp and it's 20 plus diskettes, and made the hike up through Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, 2000, and XP Professional. I made detours along the way to play with QNX, BeOS, and some Red Hat Linux distributions.

In all the upgrades, new editions, and "clean" installs I've never not had a problem. The closest I came was with Windows XP Professional that installed with no errors in less than an hour, only to blue screen on the first boot.

This week I upgraded to Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther), upgraded that to 10.3.2, and then installed iLife '04 on two different Macs with not a single hiccup. Insert the disk, click on continue a few times, select an option or two and sit back and relax.

I installed 10.3 on my Powerbook sans backup, I took a leap of faith and trusted that the "archive and install" option provided would be all the safety net I'd need. I was amply rewarded. The upgrade to 10.3.2 and later installation of iLife was a breeze.

My wife who has been subject to the horrors of "a simple install" before was reluctant to upgrade her iMac. Not that it wouldn't be working in the end, but that it would take hours and hours with extreme amounts of frustration. We installed 10.3, upgraded it to 10.3.2, and installed iLife in about 3 hours. Everything works, out of the box, no sweat, no worries.

Years ago I remember running across the term "out of box experience." For my money no one beats Apple's OOBE. Nothing will beat the original OOBE, when we first brought our Macs home, but this software "refresh" comes damn close.

Kudos to Apple.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.