By Greg Pak
Challenge: I wanted to upgrade my Final Cut Pro digital editing system from Mac OS 8.6 to OS 9.04
Discoveries: I also had to upgrade from FCP 1.01 to 1.25 and from Quicktime 4.01 to 4.1.2.
Upshot: After the trials and travails of upgrading, things run better, thank you very much.
The Gory Details
I’ve been using Final Cut Pro 1.01 on a 350 MHz G3 Blue & White Power Mac running OS 8.6, a nearly top of the line system — last year.
I decided to upgrade, having heard that the program runs more smoothly with OS 9. So I coughed up a hundred dollars to buy OS 9.04, the latest fully working version of the Macintosh operating system, and installed it. All went well until I tried to digitize new material — the computer gave me an error message saying it could not initialize my deck, that a “required resource” of some kind was missing.
I figured that the problem was that FCP 1.01 probably isn’t entirely compatible with OS 9.04. So I searched the Apple site and found that I could download the FCP 1.25 upgrade — for free! A half hour later, I’d downloaded the upgrade onto my Powerbook, then transferred the installer to my desktop via zip disk and installed it.
But now I was unable to open the FCP program — a dialogue box told me I needed the latest version of Quicktime, 4.1.2. So I went back to my laptop and downloaded what looked like a remarkably tiny Quicktime installer — only 380k or so. Upon transferring the document to my desktop, I learned that what appeared to be an installer was actually a small program which would download Quicktime off the web. (Strange, huh? You have to download an installer to download the installer.)
This presented new problems. As recommended by Promax (the company from which I bought my FCP system), I’ve kept the disk partition dedicated to FCP — without ever using it to access the internet. But in order to install Quicktime, I had to set up the partition for internet access. I copied my Earthlink access number, username, and password to the Remote Access panel, then had to go into the Modem control panel and select the Powermac internal modem.
Finally I was set. I signed onto the internet, fired up the pre-installer program, and began the process of downloading Quicktime. The installer then automatically required me to restart my computer.
And finally my FCP system was working again — and working much better. Specifically, the program used to lock up from time to time at the beginning of batch digitizing sessions — everything would stop and my mouse would freeze for a long minute or two before the digitizing would begin. I no longer have that problem (wheeee!).
My renderings of dissolves also seems to go faster than before, although that might have more to do with the fact that I recently upgraded the processor to 466 MHz than with the OS 9.04 and FCP 1.25 upgrades.
My final verdict: An upgrade worth the hassle and the hundred dollar pricetag of the OS 9.04.
By Greg Pak