As part of my hard disk replacement, I decided to do a complete reinstall of the operating system for my Mac G4. This is different from the Archive & Install project I undertook last year with the release of Mac OS X Jaguar. In this case I’m taking the most extreme approach, I actually installed Mac OS X 10.2 onto an erased hard disk, created my account from scratch, and have been re-installing all my software, and copying over settings and documents as I need them.
I am specifically not copying over my Users directory entire, because I want to leave behind all the cruft that has built up on my original installation, now more than two years old. I’ve installed so much software, some of which I now consider unsafe (Norton SystemWorks, for example), and some of which has become unnecessary, that it’s impossible to “undo” the changes they’ve wrought. The only way to get away is a completely clean installation, and deliberate installation of tools I actually use or need.
Of course, the downside is I lose much of the hundreds of hours that I’ve put into tweaking my system. Redoing the important stuff is a huge enough task that you have to ask, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
The thing is, some things are broke. I have a downloads folder where all the items jump around in icon view, and the window shifts the scroll positions whenever I unmount a disk image. Weird stuff, that’s more annoying than a real problem. But because it’s unexplainable, and impossible to eliminate (and lord knows I’ve tried), it makes me worry about overall system correctness.
Anyway, I’m taking a similar approach as the one I took when I first migrated from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X: move my e-mail and web browsing to the new system. Everything else will follow.
It’s amazing, but those are my most constant, most important activities. Once those are migrated, there’s no going back, so I may as well head forward. There’s quite a bit still in front of me, so I’m sure I’ll post more on this topic as I run across helpful tips or interesting lessons.