First, I made a complete and bootable duplication of my PowerBook on a recently assembled 300 gigabyte external FireWire drive. In the past, I’ve used Carbon Copy Cloner for this task, but due in part to the fact that it hasn’t yet been updated for Tiger, I opted for Shirt Pocket’s elegantly simple SuperDuper! — I now happen to prefer it over Carbon Copy Cloner, anyway.
Having grown more and more paranoid about backing up as I get older, I then created a second contingency: I manually distributed my documents, music, pictures etc. across two 20 gigaybte external FireWire drives that I’ve had for years. This was an insurance against the unlikely possibility that my first backup would go south on me before I had a chance to copy my documents back over — as you can see, I’m a bit of worry wart, but it made me feel a lot better.
Wipe the Slate Clean
That consumed most of the few hours I had to dedicate to the upgrade yesterday. When I had finished, it was time to leave the apartment and spend the rest of the evening with my girlfriend and her family. Before doing so, I popped in the Tiger installation disk and initiated an Erase & Install process. As I mentioned recently, my Panther installation had become fairly creaky, showing signs of wear and tear after about seventeen months of impulsive software installations and tweaks. Tiger’s release made for a logical opportunity for me to start over definitively, not just simply upgrading the OS or installing a new version over what was already there, but wiping everything and starting over from scratch.
Right now, I’m only a third of a way through the process of loading up my PowerBook with the seemingly endless list of applications upon which I’ve come to rely. But it’s not a process I mind at all, especially when I know I’m effectively investing in greater long-term stability. It somehow feels very empowering to be working from a clean and stable system again, and nearly as empowering as having access to all of Tiger’s new toys. Which, by the way, kick ass.