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Cleaning up my Mac

2679 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 27, 2010 9:37 AM by rccharles RSS
Peyton Todd Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 26, 2010 6:44 AM
(The solution to the present post may help clear up my issue with Protools discussed in a different post, but this is a broader topic, best treated separately.)

My Mac it the product of three Macs merged into one: (1) a G3 I bought secondhand; and when that Mac died, (2) a G4 I bought secondhand, and to which I attached the hard drives(s) from the first Mac; and when that G4 died, (3) another G4 I bought secondhand, and to which I attached all the hard drives accumulated so far. As a result, my current Mac contains the boot drives from the two earlier Macs.

Mac (1)'s drive has lots of OS 9 applications on it; Mac (2)'s drive has one folder for OS 10 apps and a separate folder for OS 9 apps; and the main boot drive of Mac (3) of course contains its own OS 10 apps. [The OS 10 apps on (2) do not complain when I load them; however the OS 9 apps on either hard disk do complain and require me to choose which System Folder I want]

I therefore have multiple copies of the following (often different versions):

Microsoft Office
Acrobat Reader
Quicktime
Netscape Communicator
Internet Explorer
Fetch
Safari

I would like to clean up this situation, but how?

I have been told that (unlike the PC) with its registry and ubiquitous uninstall programs, on the Mac one can usually simply move an app to the trash to get rid of it. I have also been told that this not true for some apps (painful recent experience shows that it is not true for Protools, for example). But I know of no way to know which is which. I would like to keep a number of the above-listed apps. How do I proceed?

After all, each hard drive has its own System Folder and Extensions (and who knows what other stuff in other places, some of which are doubtless required by one or more of the apps on the respective drive...

Thanks in advance for your help!
G4 Power PC, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2010 10:30 AM (in response to Peyton Todd)
    I'm not big on clean up. Too many people appear here & complain I deleted a bunch of stuff & now may computer will not work!

    ------

    However, you have a good case. Get what you like, and create a backup copy. Your HD's are getting old & prone to failure.

    however the OS 9 apps on either hard disk do complain and require me to choose which System Folder I want

    *I'd start by renaming all but one system folder so you do not get this error message.*

    I therefore have multiple copies of the following (often different versions):


    Microsoft Office -- The older versions run faster. I'd go with the newest version that run fast enough on your computer.
    Acrobat Reader -- might as well use an Mac OS X version.
    Quicktime
    Netscape Communicator -- I use the Mac OS X version to keep my standard forum replies.
    Internet Explorer -- Doesn't work with latest web pages.
    Fetch -- Keep. Hard to find as a free version.
    Safari -- I'd go with the latest version

    Robert
    iMac G3 600, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2010 6:05 PM (in response to Peyton Todd)
    but isn't it likely there'll be something in the renamed folder that one of the apps will need?


    Yes, that was my thought, you'll have to open your OS9 "System Folder"s and manually check the Preferences, Extension, & Control Panel folders for what may be missing from one or the other, then drag copy them over.

    As a general principle, does the Mac really care what disc an app resides on as long as it can find the extensions (and similar subsidiary stuff) that it will need?


    Sort of, a few apps keep track of where they were installed though.

    Part of my problem is I don't really understand what's meant by concepts like library, extension, and system folder.


    Are you talking of OS9 or OSX?
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2010 6:53 PM (in response to Peyton Todd)
    Yes they're quite different, be sure not to confuse OS9's system folder called "System Folder" with OSX's system folder called "System"... never the twain should meet.

    OSX has at least 3 Library folders...

    /Library/

    /System/Library/

    And one for each user at...

    /Users/YourUserName/Library/

    OS9 does not have a Library folder.
  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2010 9:37 AM (in response to Peyton Todd)
    Peyton Todd wrote:
    That may be a good suggestion to rename one of the OS 9 System Folders, but isn't it likely there'll be something in the renamed folder that one of the apps will need?


    Your going to have to try things. I am not that familiar with Mac OS 9.

    There is a classic forum:
    http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=667

    The goal would be to get all the OS 9 apps in the same place, no? And how? Just drag them? (I suppose I could always try it and see if they work.)

    I pick on system folder as your golden one. Make backup copies. Unmounting all other drives when testing. Start with small programs. Office will be difficult. Pick the system folder with the copy of office you like. You can get a cheap copy of office for Mac OS X on ebay. I have 2004.

    I must say I have mixed feelings about the Mac vs. PC approach to this issue: it's great to be able to just move an app to the trash or drag it elsewhere instead of having to deal with an uninstall program, but if that's not possible for all apps, how does one know which apps it's safe with and which it's not?

    Well, if you got the installation discs, delete old & re-install.

    As a general principle, does the Mac really care what disc an app resides on as long as it can find the extensions

    Mac OS 9 was a little more relaxed about where thing went.
    The biggest offender was MS Office. It still is.
    (and similar subsidiary stuff) that it will need? If it doesn't find those things on the disc where it resides, will it automatically look elsewhere?

    Part of my problem is I don't really understand what's meant by concepts like library, extension, and system folder. (My guess as to the latter is that it would refer to the operating system and only that, hence NOTHING that's specific to a given app. But what about the other two?


    There isn't a requirement to merge things. There isn't a rush. Do things slowly. Get a backup of things you really want. I have a working Mac OS 8.1 machine. I had saved a bunch of programs & backup many up. I had a nasty crash on Mac OS 8.1. I got tired & 8.1. Mac OS x is a better work environment.

    Robert
    iMac G3 600, Mac OS X (10.4.11)

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