The University Record, August 12, 2002

 

Sites move to Mac OS X

By Kim Cobb

ITCS

The University’s Campus Computing and ResComp sites will begin a move to Apple’s new Mac OS X operating today (Aug. 12).

As a result of Apple’s decision to discontinue development of Mac OS 9, sites will upgrade in order to stay up-to-date with the latest operating system technology. Mac OS X is built on UNIX, which introduces more security, stability and power to its applications than its Mac OS 9 predecessor.

The shift raises some operational concerns. Not all software currently in use in the OS 9 environment will continue to work in OS X because of its Unix-based system. Programs may behave unpredictably, disrupt other programs or lose functionality.

Mac OS X includes technology called Classic which allows some old applications to run in a modified OS 9 environment. However, the dual operating systems can create problems for lab environments, such as the Campus Computing Sites.

Faculty planning to use course software that was written for Classic OS or earlier versions need to check in advance for compatibility with Mac OS X. This is especially true if the software is more than a year old.

Computing Sites staff will work with faculty planning to submit Mac course software to test compatibility. All course software submissions must be designed with the same efficiency as would be expected to run under OS 9, and Sites will continue its policy of not deploying software that has some functionality removed.

More information about Campus Computing Sites’ migration plan to Mac OS X is available online at www.umich.edu/~sites/instrtech/news. Faculty with questions or concerns should e-mail sites.mac@umich.edu or call (734) 647-4837.