One of the nicest pieces of writing I've come across in a long time is Joe Kissell's introduction to his new book Take Control of Upgrading to Tiger for (Take Control Publishers).
"Upgrading your Mac's operating system is a bit like removing your house's existing foundation to add a new garage underneath -- something that happens frequently here in San Francisco," he begins, and goes on to describe the processes.
This works well for most home owners (and Mac owners) but can, on occasion, go wrong. Kissell, who says he installed Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger 44 times while developing the book, promises his readers "a fanatastic experience" upgrading their own computers. "This ebook is your anti-anxiety guide to every step of the process," he says.
I used Kissell's earlier Take Control of Upgrading to Panther while upgrading my iMac and PowerBook to 10.3 (Panther). When 10.4 came out, I worked without a net, simply making a bootable copy of the iMac hard drive and installing Tiger using only the disk's guidance. However, I'm approaching the upgrade of the PowerBook a good deal more cautiously, and am going to study Joe's ebook before clicking any irrevocable buttons. And, of course, I made a bootable copy of the existing 10.3.9 PowerBook hard drive. Should it turn out that any essential apps on the PowerBook don't work in Tiger, I can always hook up the hard drive and boot into 10.3.9.
FireWire external hard drives. Backup software. Don't leave home without them.