|Photo courtesy of Apple. Read all about OS X Lion on Apple's site|
There are many reasons why this is good--faster operation, fewer bugs, conservation of disk-space, better and more consistent user-interface features, smoother integration--but the one obvious negative is that you might currently have applications on your Mac that rely on Rosetta. That software will have to be upgraded or removed.
Now, you could go through your Applications folder and look at each application's type by command-clicking Get Info. But there's a much better way to do it all-at-once (Hat tip: Cult of Mac).
- Open the Terminal. (If you don't know how to do this, just type "Terminal" in Spotlight and it will show up as an application.)
- Cut the following line from here:
system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType >~/Desktop/MyFileTypes.txt
...and paste it into the Terminal, then hit the Return button on your keyboard.
What will happen now is that a text file entitled MyFileTypes will appear on your desktop. It might take a couple minutes. Go have a cup of tea while your Mac does your work for you.
- When the process is complete, quit the Terminal and double-click the MyFileTypes file on your desktop.
The most common obsolete applications are Microsoft Office 2004 and Quicken. To my chagrin, LabVIEW 8.6 is there, too. (That's a real surprise-- it's so fast, I had no clue it was being run in the emulator.) (UPDATE: It appears the Rosetta issue for LabVIEW 8.6 is limited to drivers, though there is an additional 32-bit issue with kexts.)
Deal with obsolete apps before upgrading to Lion
For one thing, the removal utilities that come with some of them (such as Microsoft Office) are themselves PowerPC-based. Or, you may need the old version to export your files to some new, Rosetta-free application-- and I'm talkin' to you, Quicken-- for which there is no Intel- or Universal-based update. Fortunately, in the case of Quicken there are many alternatives. See this superb list compiled by TUAW after Intuit, Quicken's publisher, sent an infuriating email to its users with lame suggestions on how to work in the post-Lion world. Really, now, Intuit: on pg. 102 of Scott's Big Book of Pithy Pronouncements is: "Competitors are made, not born." Q.E.D.