OSX Lion broke my...

Lion has only been out of its cage for a few hours but already what is destined to become a long list of snags with hardware and software compatibility is starting to grow.

Perhaps the biggest bugbear in the new OS, and one which is bound to cause a vat of vitriol from Macolytes the world over, is the fact that apps originally written for PowerPC architecture will not run in OSX 10.7 no matter how hard you try.

When Apple switched from IBM to Intel in 2006*, it eased the passage by releasing Rosetta, a lightweight dynamic translator which emulated the PowerPC architecture allowing legacy apps to run.

Although the previous iteration of OSX - Snow Leopard - did not include Rosetta as part of the installer, it could be bolted on at a later stage and users where prompted to do so whenever a long-in-the-tooth app reared its ageing head.

Lion, however, has forever turned it back on its PowerPC past banishing Rosetta and the apps it helped to hang on perhaps longer than they should have been welcome to the digital dustbin of tech history.

We haven't had long enough to work through all of our dusty collection of old faithfuls but Photoshop CS2 has gone to meet its maker which means we'll have to put our hands in our pocket and hand some cash over to the folks at Adobe.

Whilst we have the image and video manipulation outfit in mind, it's worth mentioning that Apple has further stirred the pot marked 'Steve Jobs vs Adobe' by removing support for hardware acceleration in Flash Player from OSX Lion.

Java is also no longer included as part of the Lion install but in this case applications which need a Java Runtime, including most of Adobe's current Creative Suite offerings, will go and fetch it. Adobe is currently recommending that early adopters of Lion should install Java as a matter of course because there may be some versions of the software which don't work as expected.

Other victims of Rosetta's demise include Appleworks (replaced by iWorks), File Maker Pro version 8 and earlier, anything with Macromedia in its name, Microsoft Office versions before 2004 and finance package Quicken.

Any classic games you happen to have kicking about, including Diablo II and the original Starcraft will also be winging their way towards the dustbin in short order.

We've also seen reports that iTunes alternative Sonos Controller is experiencing some compatibility issues when files are stored on the host computer rather than a NAS drive, but the team behind the application is currently working on a fix.

If you want to know which of your installed applications will work at a glance, hit 'About This Mac' under the 'Apple Menu', then click on 'More Info', then the 'Applications' tab.

Anything shown as 'PowerPC' under the 'Kind' column is pretty much broken. We can kiss goodbye to this lot, for instance.

Bear in mind that the system profiler will only weed out apps actually installed in your official Applications folder on the system drive, so any older software you have stored on other drives will not be included.

We're sure that over the coming days Apple's onward march will put more than a few noses out of joint, but that's the nature of the beast.

Progress isn't always comfortable, especially for those of us set in our ways, but nobody is forcing you to install OSX Lion.

Not yet, at least.

We'll be offering our first impressions of Lion tomorrow with a full review once we have had time to get right to the bottom of the last of the big cats.

* Our commenter below is correct so we made the correction. However, Snow Leopard was the first Intel-only OS from Apple and that was released in 2009.