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Part VI: Appendixes > Getting Ready to Install

A.1. Getting Ready to Install

For starters, verify that you and your Mac have what it takes to handle Mac OS X—specifically this:

  • A Macintosh that came with a G3 or G4 processor. In other words, a Power Mac G3, Power Mac G4, iMac, eMac, iBook, PowerBook G4, or PowerBook G3 (except the very first model, the one bearing a six-color Apple logo). See Installing Mac OS X on Forbidden Macs, however. (According to Apple, Macs with G3 or G4 upgrade cards don't qualify.)

    As you'd probably guess, older Macs run Mac OS X slowly. The newer gear is much more fun.

  • Plenty of free hard disk space. You need 1.9 GB free to install Mac OS X.

  • A lot of memory. Remember that when you use Mac OS X, you'll often be running Mac OS 9 (in the form of the Classic simulator) simultaneously. One modern operating system takes a lot of RAM; two of them require even more. Apple recommends at least 128 MB of memory, but Mac OS X absolutely loves memory. For the greatest speed, install 256 megs, 384 megs, or more if you can afford it (and these days, you probably can).

  • The latest version of Mac OS 9. Once again, Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 will be coexisting on the same computer. You'll have the best luck if you upgrade your copy of Mac OS 9 (version 9.2.2 or later) before installing Mac OS X.

  • The latest firmware. Firmware describes the hard-coded, burned-in software that controls the actual circuitry of your Mac. Every now and then, Apple updates it for certain Mac models, and it's very important that your Mac has the absolute latest. The Software Update control panel of Mac OS 9 is supposed to alert you automatically when such updates become available, but the Utilities→Firmware Updates folder on your Mac OS X CD also contains a set of the very latest. Open the folder bearing your Mac model's name and run the updater inside before diving into Mac OS X. (These updaters are also available for download from the Support area of the Apple Web site, of course.)



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