OS X Mountain Lion Due Out Tomorrow – Prep Your Mac Today

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

During their quarterly earnings call today, Apple announced that OS X Mountain Lion would be available Wednesday, July 25 in the Apple Mac App Store for $19.99.  But before you get Mountain Lion for your Mac, you should make sure it’s ready.  Here’s a few tips as to how…

1.  Make sure your computer will be compatible.  As we mentioned here, not all Macs will be able to take the Mountain Lion upgrade.  With every move down the path, some models are inevitably left behind.  Since Mountain Lion is a 64-bit OS, all 32 bit computers are out of luck, even if they’re Intel platforms.  So before you lay down your $19.99, make sure your Mac is one of these:

Mac (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
Xserve (Early 2009)

To verify, click on the Apple Logo in the upper left hand corner and select “About this Mac,” then “More info.” You’ll see right away.

2.  Backup your data. Now that you’ve verified that your Mac will be able to accept the OS X Mountain Lion upgrade, it’s a wise idea to back up the data on your current MAC, just in case.  As filmmakers, we should follow the technique recommended by Peter Krogh at DPBestFlow.org.  Krogh recommends a 3-2-1 backup strategy of three backups, on two different media, with one off site.  This guards against Murphy’s Law.  Off site options can include something as easy as burning onto DVDs and mailing them to your mom, or using a cloud based solution like Carbonite or Mozy.  I know a guy who has a pair of external hard drives and swaps them out every other week, then takes the hard drive to work.  Some even put them in a safe deposit box.  But if you don’t think you need to have a consistent off site backup option, then I recommend watching this video from Pixar:

Another good idea is to make that backup bootable, meaning you can plug the backup in, restart the machine and the boot right up to it like nothing has happened.  That can be done with backup software like EaseUS or Super Duper, which make your backup act as a boot drive.   This way, if you’re under deadline and something goes wrong, you can just reboot and choose the backup option and then try again later.  Once you have the backup done, reboot and select it to be sure it comes up without incident.

3.  Check with third party driver makers for updates.  As with leaving behind older Macs, often times drivers get broken with updates.  My camera driver broke with OS X when I moved from OS 9.1 and I had to sell it and get a new one (poor me) because my camera manufacturer had no plans to update it.  This is not only true for hardware, but software as well.  Knowing if you’re going to have any potential down times while you wait for them to update their drivers may be key to the timing of performing your Mountain Lion Update.  You can also go into OS X to verify this.  Click on the Apple logo again and then press the Option Key. “About this Mac” will change to “System Profiler.”  Select that and then go down to Software, and then Applications.  You’ll see a complete list of your Apps.  If they are listed as Intel or Universal under the Kind label, you’re good to go.   If they say PowerPC or Classic, you’ll be looking to buy a new version.

4.   Get ready to buy in.  Now that you’re done all the pregame, you’re ready to lay down your plastic, input your AppleID at the OS X App Store and buy OS X Mountain Lion.  And the great thing is, with the purchase, you’ll be able to update up to five compatible Macs with the same license!  But there’s a few things to keep in mind.  A) The Mountain Lion update is HUGE.  On the order of 4GB.  So be patient, especially if your download speed isn’t all that fast.  But being that huge, you don’t want to also be watching Netflix at the same time.   Also, you’ll need to have OS X 10.6.8 or later to download it online.

Lastly, if you bought your Mac within the last few months, you have a free upgrade coming.  Apple will

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.