General musings from the MacVector team about sequence analysis, molecular biology, the Mac in general and of course your favorite sequence analysis app for the Mac!

Running old versions of MacVector on Lion.

Only MacVector 9.5 and later versions will run on OS X 7 Lion.

Apple started transitioning their processor architecture from PowerPC (PPC) to Intel’s x86 in 2006. The Macbook Pro and the iMac being the first Intel Macs. When they did so they gave Xcode (the OSX development environment) the ability to create Universal Binary application. These contain native executables for both PPC and x86 CPUs. So giving these applications the ability to run natively on both types of Mac.

However, to support earlier applications that had only been available as PPC executables they included a PPC Emulator called Rosetta (named after the Rosetta Stone). This allowed PPC only applications to run on Intel x86 Macs.

OS X 10.5 Leopard was the last release of OS X that was distributed as a Universal Binary OS. With OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard being a x86 only release. That is it will not run on PPC Macs. Even so they kept Rosetta as an optional install (previously it was installed by default). However, OS X 10.7 Lion does not include Rosetta and you cannot install earlier versions. This means that PPC applications will no longer run on Lion. In reality this is only applications that are over six years old.

MacVector 9.5 (released in 2006) was the first Universal Binary version of MacVector. Previous versions are PPC only and will not run on Lion.

If you are running such an old version of MacVector then your options are limited to either upgrading MacVector or not upgrading to Lion. You can still upgrade such an old version of MacVector at a significant discount. Contact Sales to request a quote or visit the website. There’s many other reasons to upgrade as well. The interface has changed substantially since MacVector 9.5 being more powerful and easier to use. There’s also many new tools with enhancements to older ones. The latest release is MacVector 12.5 and this release has improvements to sequence assembly (support for NGS reference assemblies using Bowtie) and extra options for multiple sequence alignment with Muscle and T-Coffee added.

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