I have 40 computers running MacOs 9 and am having trouble finding new computers that support 9. Do I need to upgrade all my computers to 10 or can I do this in steps. Also do I have to upgrade my servers. Do I also have to upgrade Quark,Photo Shop, Pagrmaker, and any other software that we run.
We run Baseview Software for our classifieds in a small daily newspaper am I going to have to upgrade this software too. - HELP


Your computers running OS 9 will likely continue to do so until the year 2032, when Apple's time codes will no longer function. You have at least 25 years to update the software, assuming the hardware remains viable and useful.

To upgrade, you need to consider the following:

* USER TRAINING: OS 9 is a lot different than OS X, and your users will revolt if you do not properly train them with the new operating system, and how it works. Get them together BEFORE the conversion, so that they have a taste on what the new system will have to offer. Be sure to leave a few computers around with OS X on them so they can practice and feel the new OS. They will also need to have some downtime so that they settle into their new machines. The one that got me the worst is that OS 9 screen prints are .pict and in OS X 10.2 they are .pdf

* SERVERS: I assume you have these computers networked. On OS 9, the default network is still AppleTalk, although IP is right there too. In OS X, the default moves to IP. If you have AppleShare servers with just AppleShare enabled, then each OS X workstation will need to have AppleTalk enabled. If your AppleShare servers were AppleShare IP, then OS X will work fine with no adjustments. Windows -- OS X 10.2 or better can work with smb protocol out of the box, so no problem getting onto the domain/workgroup. Novell -- have to go talk to Prosoft Engineering, or have the Novell servers listening for Microsoft-like connections. Linux -- netatalk 1.6.3 works well with OS X clients, and so does samba.

*CLASSIC: When you install OS X, you have the option of enabling an environment called Classic, which is basically OS X running a special OS 9 to work with OS 9 applications. You need RAM to do this, as well as an OS 9 System Folder to get it started. There will be a slight performance hit when you run applications in Classic mode, but they will function just fine. A couple weird ones might not transfer properly, but I have yet to see one personally. You can copy a system 9 folder to a server, and then bring it back within OS X to enable the classic mode. Just be careful to not mix system folders for different model numbers or configurations. I got around this by having 2 partitions on my hard drive... one OS X, the other OS 9. That way all my classic things stayed with me. You will want to upgrade to OS X versions of software soon though.

*PRINTING: OS X will use new print drivers, and if you want to print with decent speed, you need to be running OS X 10.2 or better. 10.1 had printing issues. Very slow. And if you are printing from OS 9 and classic mode, those drivers need to be setup independantly of OS X.

*QUARK: My days with Quark ended around 4.1.1 I think Quark 6 is out there, and if memory serves, it is not a friendly beast. I hear of new licensing schemes that are driving administrators nuts. You might want to stay with older versions of Quark, and run them in Classic. Need to test to make sure any QuickKeys that you setup still work.

*Pagemaker: Adobe phased this program out in favor of InDesign. Personally, I like software called RAGTIME from a company in Germany. Really works well. Love it, and it is free for personal use.

*HARDWARE: Make sure your computers have enough strength for OS X. 256 MB of RAM is necessary. More if you have it. Yes it will run on only 128 MB, but you are a publishing warehouse (it sounds like!) and you need to have some space in there. Yes, you can, under OS X, calibrate monitors like you did with QuickTime.

*OTHER HARDWARE: SCSI Devices might cause you a problem... I know my Powerbook G3 Lombardi (bronze keyboard) is the last of the SCSI laptops, and while I can burn CD-ROMS with Toast under OS 9, I cannot under OS X. I have to reboot to OS 9 to use the CD-ROM burner (it is an external), and also to use the SCSI Scanner (Scanmaker E3 -- era 1993). Your computer's support of SCSI will vary. If you are USB or FIREWIRE, I think you will be fine.

Migrating from OS 9 to OS X is similar to what the Windows people had to do between WIN 3.1 and WIN 95. It was a very large change. As mentioned above, there is no hurry to convert from the OS viewpoint; your software vendors might be discontinuing support for OS 9 stuff, but from Apple's viewpoint, the OS will still work. Yeah, they would like you to upgrade, but the OS was not engineered to self destruct.

Hope this helps.