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Microphone Month 4

Upgrade problems and issues

Upgrade nightmares continue.

“I never upgraded my Mac OS from 8.0. Big mistake… since my ProTools upgrade from 4.3 to 5.0 requires Mac OS 8.6, which I can’t find anywhere. I’m still running MOTU Digital Performer 2.4, and my Waves Key Utility is 1.92. We won’t even mention Mezzo or the several other manufacturers / TDM that may need new authorizations…

“I’ve heard nightmare stories about OS 9.0 and software incompatibility (including OMS!), loss of authorizations, blah blah, blah….Should I continue to look for Mac OS 8.6, or try the 9.0 and venture into the “nightmare zone”? I’ve spent hours trying to get to the manufacturers on the phone, with little success to get answers to some of these problems. I know ProTools will run, but what about all the others? Also, I don’t have a MAC modem to get Internet downloads.”

This is quite a quandary, and we’ve seen quite a few customers suffer with this dilemma. First we’ll talk about OS9. We’ve already done one or two Tech Tips on the pros and cons of upgrading in general. OS9 is a big change, but for the most part we’ve been very impressed with its overall stability (far better than 8.6 in our opinion). Pro Tools 5.0 is also a vast improvement over 4.3 and it would be great for you to be able to use it. Since you know you are going to eventually end up at OS9 (or beyond) it may be prudent to bite the bullet now and do it. It’s been out long enough that anyone who doesn’t have their heads buried in the sand should be well underway developing for it. I know it’s tough for some of the smaller companies to do this development quickly, but it has been out many months now. As for how to get in touch with them all to confirm their progress, your guess is as good as mine. All I can say is that if you bought your equipment from Sweetwater you can call our Technical Support department and they’ll help you through it all. We often have special numbers we can call to get real answers on things like this (in addition to knowing it from dealing with it every day).

If you really want to try 8.6 for a while your best bet is to track down companies that sell used Mac hardware. One would think you would be able to find a new or used copy of 8.6 at a place that sells used computers. I am hesitant to make any specific recommendations because I haven’t personally been in touch with any recently, and I know some of these companies can be a bit “shady” at times (everyone please resist the temptation to send in your personal recommendations – they will not be printed).

Finally, without a modem on your Mac it is difficult to get updates, which are almost all available on the Internet now. You really should get a modem connected so you don’t have to transfer the updates from another computer or wait for them to send you a disk. You can probably find a used 28.8 modem for $10 somewhere. It will be slow and painful on big downloads, but as little as you will use it you can get by. Just start a download and go have dinner or something.

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