The Adventures of Systems Boy!

Confessions of a Mac SysAdmin...

Final Cut Studio 2 Installer

This is not a particularly glamorous topic, I realize. But some SysAdmins might be happy to see that the Final Cut Studio 2 installer contains some additional screens, as well as some additional smarts and freedoms not seen in previous versions. So far, I'm pretty pleased, and I haven't even launched any of the apps yet.

First off, if you're installing on slower-than-recommended hardware, you get this alert:

Final Cut Studio 2 Installer: Alert
(click image for larger view)

This is excellent for two reasons: for one, it's extremely detailed and tells you exactly what you have versus what Apple recommends; and for two, you are not prevented from going ahead and installing the software against Apple's recommendation if you so desire (which I do). Contrast this with previous versions, which simply would disallow you installation of the software, citing a reason like, "Hardware does not meet the necessary requirements for installation of this software." I'm glad Apple is letting me, the SysAdmin, make that call, and glad for the extra info as well. Nice job.

Next, the Installer lets you decide whether or not to install and activate distributed processing on your system. Another nice touch:

Final Cut Studio 2 Installer: Distributed Processing
(click image for larger view)

Then Apple has included another screen which is just text, but it's text that's actually useful. It's text that tells you what's about to happen, and gives you some information about your upcoming options:

Final Cut Studio 2 Installer: Information
(click image for larger view)

This actually answers a lot of questions about the install process that I had when using the previous version's Installer. It's nice to see Apple being very clear about what's going on with the install process rather than making us intuit it every step of the way.

Finally, we get this:

Final Cut Studio 2 Installer: Choices
(click image for larger view)

This screen was available in pretty much the exact same way in the previous version. But what I'm most happy to see this time around is the option to install or not install NTSC or PAL versions of the DVD Studio Pro templates. Those templates, as you can see, take up a lot of space, and I always ended up having to go in and clean out the PAL versions by hand, which was a drag. Nice to see that I can opt out during the install process, which has the extra added benefit of making the install process that much speedier now that I'm not installing 4 gigs of stuff I don't need.

I'm always happy to see attention paid to little things like installers. It shows someone's thinking about the SysAdmins, which doesn't happen too often in the world of software installers. Whoever's responsible for these little changes, thanks! I appreciate it.

One thing I forgot to mention. Previously, Final Cut Studio applications were all on separate discs, but now all the application files reside on a single DVD, while all the content is on the other DVDs. This greatly simplifies installation if all I ever want to do is install the suite of apps on my 30 machines (which is usually what I want). I now only have to cart around one DVD, not five. And in theory this could all be done over the network via Apple Remote Desktop (though I haven't tested this, and it would probably be tremendously, painfully slow). Nice!


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11:36 AM

Dear Systems Boy,

Maybe you can help me out. I'm trying to do a clean install of the Final Cut Studio 2, but every time I think I've gotten rid of everything and anything associated w/ the multiple apps that get loaded from the install disc, when I get to the window where you can check which items you want to install, it still says "upgrade" on some and "install" on others. Help me Obi-wan, you're my only hope.

at if you need to email me directly.    

7:11 PM

There are 2 things I can suggest, and I'm happy to do so since you referred to me as Obi-Wan.

(It's a pleasant first!)

1) You can view literally everything that gets installed by a Mac OS X package (.pkg) in the Installer application by running the installer and choosing the "Show Files" from the File menu (or just hitting command-i). This will present a list, which you can save as a text file, to consult as you look for FCP files to delete.
2) Don't forget to check for receipts in the /Library/Receipts folder (and, yes, I can spell receipts without a dictionary because I am that good). Chances are, if you've updated FCP at some point, there will be FCP-related receipts left hanging around after the update. It's safe to remove these. They'll get recreated the next time you update.

Between these two tips, you should be able to clean out your FCP install pretty thoroughly. Let me know how it works out.

And, of course, may The Force be with you.


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