March 27th, 2004 • 3:54 am
I’ve been very busy lately with lots of work, including the process of upgrading about a dozen flat-panel iMacs from Jaguar to Panther. Eventually I will probably have to take the time to explore the possibility of installing the same system on several machines from a disk image on our Xserve — but this is still too new to me, and there are a number of issues that I have to explore first. So for now I am going from machine to machine with the Panther CDs, trying to do two or three of them at the same time. (These “Optimizing” processes at the end of each system update sure take a long time.)
All our iMacs have to be able to run some Java modules developed by our library management software provider, which are not very Mac-friendly and for which the software provider is providing limited support. (We seem to be their only customers with Mac systems.) Officially they only support the modules under Jaguar, but we did some tests in the past few weeks that seemed to indicate that the modules would run just fine under Panther. While things weren’t working right in Panther with the Java 1.4.1 software (the modules’ menus wouldn’t work), they seemed to be working with Java Update 1.4.2 under Mac OS X 10.3.2.
During that time, however, Apple released the Mac OS X 10.3.3 update. Thinking nothing of it, I installed Panther from the original CDs on the first iMac and then immediately applied the Mac OS X 10.3.3 Combined Update on top of it. Then I launched the Java 1.4.2 Update installer.
Much to my surprise, I got an error message saying something to the effect that the Java 1.4.2 update required “Mac OS X 10.3.1 or higher“. Clearly, for some reason, the Java 1.4.2 Update installer was not recognizing Mac OS X 10.3.3 on that machine as a system “higher” than Mac OS X 10.3.1. I tried running the Java modules just in case, but they wouldn’t work properly.
I ended up having to reinstall Mac OS X 10.3 (through an “Archive and Install” process) on top of Mac OS 10.3.3, and then apply the Mac OS X 10.3.2 Combined Update instead. After that, I was able to install the Java 1.4.2 Update, and the Java modules worked just fine.
Now, I’ve just tried installing the Java 1.4.2 Update on my own computer here at home as an experiment, which was already updated to Mac OS X 10.3.3 — and the installer for the Java 1.4.2 Update ran just fine without complaining. (It’s now asking me to restart my machine, of course.)
So I am not sure what’s going on. I took all the usual precautions on the iMac, including repairing the hard drive with DiskWarrior and repairing permissions before installing Panther. So I am not sure what might have caused this.
But this kind of going back and forth between incremental system updates is causing a significant waste of time — i.e. added costs for my employer. It’s rather frustrating.