Initial Intel Mac thoughts

Intel Core DuoWe finally got an Intel iMac in at work, and I’ve had a little time to work with it this week.

I started by building a radmind loadset for the OS install. Here’s how I did that: I booted from the OS Install disc, and did an erase and install of just the OS – no additional apps, no iLife, etc. I ran Software Update to bring the OS up to 10.4.5 and installed the iTunes update. I did some site-specific configuration, like creating our standard admin account. I then downloaded the Radmind Assistant and installed the radmind tools. I made a command file on the server that had only my current Tiger negative transcript.

On the Intel Mac, I ran
/usr/local/bin/ktcheck -h radmindservername
to download the command file and the negative transcript. I then used the Radmind Assistant to generate the initial OS transcript, which I called “10.4.5_Intel.T”
This proceeded very quickly – a combination of the fast drive and the CoreDuo processors. I wonder how fast radmind will be when it’s native x86 code!

I did some post-processing of the transcript using the Transcript Editor – things like removing non-English.lproj directories, and then uploaded it to the server. I then added p 10.4.5_Intel.T to the command file for the iMac.

After running radmind a few times, I got pretty reckless and added all the standard items that I add to our PPC Macs – all our configuration scripts and tweaks, and all our standard third-party apps and utilities.

Again, radmind installed these very fast on this machine. And with one exception, everything worked as I expected. Office ran, FileMaker Pro launched, Citrix connected to Metaframe servers, even Internet Explorer 5 explored! I was surprised to see Timbuktu 8.1 run just fine. Everything (again with the one exception) so far seems to just work.

The one exception was Norton AntiVirus. I had updated NAV to 10.1.0 several weeks ago, and “Intel Mac compatibilty” was one of the features listed for that version. But I kept being greeted with the message “Norton AutoProtect could not continue. Please run LiveUpdate or reinstall Norton AntiVirus.” Live Update did not fix matters, so I used radmind to install NAV 10.0.2, and then used Live Update to bring it back up to 10.1.0. Now it was happy on Intel, and after creating a radmind transcript for the “new” 10.1.0, I verified it was happy on PPC as well.

So I have an Intel iMac with all our standard software and configuration. It acts just like any other Mac. Almost none of the third-party apps are Universal Binaries, but that will change over time.

Next big task: build a NetRestore image and get NetBoot working with both Intel and PPC Macs.

Initial Intel Mac thoughts