I finally got around to backing up what I should have and thus having the computer reasonably safe to install Mac OS 10.5 Leopard. This was fairly painless, although there was one menu option which I don't think they meant to say old user accounts would be wiped out, but there was enough ambiguity to my mind -- which finds critical ambiguities in E-Z Pass lane signs -- that I used a more complicated installation scheme. But the computer came through intact and critical Mac-type programs were in running order.
It's the Unix side in which I had problems. As always the new operating system wiped out the fortran compiler as well as LaTeX, the powerful and strangely pleasurable typesetting package essential for doing mathematical symbols without going insane. I was fairly sure I kept notes about just what I did last time I went through this, but I don't remember where I put them and in any case the links would probably have rotted away by now. Currently I have a whole new LaTeX distribution installed, and I have at last f77 installed, although none of my old programs quite work with it.
The critical failing in the new system: Photoshop 7.0 stopped working. I thought I was just missing some file somewhere, as Photoshop insists on having files distributed over about 90 percent of the hard drive, but close examination of the installation log indicated I didn't miss anything. It turns out that Photoshop 7.0 just doesn't work at all with Leopard and Adobe's implied response is that you should buy a legitimate copy of the new Photoshop, you cheap software-pirating creep you. Perhaps a fair position for them to take, but the upgrade alone is US$200 and I know I won't get two hundred dollars' use out of it before OS 10.6 Andean Mountain Cat invalidates Photoshop CSX-2.038 FMTX + 2 18.
Trivia: The American Standards Association first formed a committee to establish uniform containerized cargo container sizes in 1958. Source: Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed The World, Brian J Cudahy.
Currently Reading: Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics, Bruce Clarke.