What you need to know.
Yes, most older Mac OS applications are compatible with Snow Leopard. But perhaps not the way Snow Leopard is normally installed. It might need Rosetta.
Simply put, Rosetta is a special part of Mac OS that enables older software to run on newer Macs with Snow Leopard. Trouble is, Rosetta isn’t installed as part of a standard Mac OS installation. Instead, your Mac offers to install it for you the first time you need it.
So today, when I opened Quicken 2007 for the first time after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, I saw the following dialog:
The options are pretty straightforward:
- Not Now doesn’t install Rosetta. That means you can’t open the program that needed it — in my case, Quicken.
- Install uses your Internet connection (you do have one, don’t you?) to download Rosetta from Apple’s server. It then installs Rosetta on your Mac. You’ll see a dialog like this while it works:
Once Rosetta is installed, try opening the application again. It should work.
I can’t think of any reason not to install Rosetta.
I can think of plenty of reasons to keep your software updated. The first reason is that you can avoid having to install additional software like Rosetta for compatibility. Unfortunately, a newer version of Quicken simply isn’t available. Yet.
If you know you need to install Rosetta, you can avoid this whole process by installing it when installing Snow Leopard. You do this by customizing the installation; no Internet connection is required:
It’s in the Book!
You can find more information about installing Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, including how to customize an installation in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide.
Installing Mac OS X 10.6 is covered on pages 2-5.