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The Saga of MacOS 7.5.3


In 1996 Apple introduced a major update to the MacOS operating system, and called the System both "System 7.5 Update 2.0" (meaning the second update to MacOS 7.5) and "System 7.5.3" (since MacOS 7.5, once updated, became System 7.5.3).

Unfortunately, Apple's inconsistent naming scheme (calling it both System 7.5.3 and System 7.5 Update 2.0) greatly confused users. In addition, bugs in Update 2.0 forced Apple to update the update, calling it Revision 2. If this wasn't bad enough, Apple also shipped tens of thousands of machines with an interim version of System 7.5, called 7.5.2, and strongly urged these users to update to Update 2.0 as soon as possible. Some mistakenly thought 7.5.2 must already have Update 2.0 since it ended with a "2."

Finally, hundreds of thousands of other users (perhaps millions) failed to note that this was an update of System 7.5 (and 7.5.1 and 7.5.2), not the earlier System 7 or System 7.1. Update 2.0 is irrelevant to any version of MacOS prior to System 7.5.

The tables below (based on Apple documentation) attempt to offer some clarification of Apple's peculiar naming system, and (via the About This Macintosh window) clues to help you discover what you currently have installed.

If you are running System 7.5 and wish to upgrade to 7.5.3, your ultimate goal should be System 7.5.3, Revision 2. This is also the preferred environment for those working with the latest Apple technology, such as OpenDoc and Open Transport.

Requirements, All Systems

InstallerRequires System Software for InstallerUpdates to Version
System 7.5 Update 2.07.5, 7.5.1, or 7.5.2System 7.5.3
System 7.5 Revision 27.5.3System 7.5.3 Rev. 2
System 7.5 version 7.5.3Full installerSystem 7.5.3 Rev. 2

PowerBook 190, 2300 and 5300

InstallerRequires System Software for InstallerUpdates to Version
PB 5300 System Software Update7.5.2 enabler 1.1.1 or earlier7.5.2 enabler 1.2.1
Sys. 7.5.3 Revision 27.5.2 enabler 1.2.17.5.2 enabler 1.2.4

"About This Macintosh" window

In About This Macintosh windowHow To Get To This Level Of System Software
System 7.5Retail product, preinstalled on many Macintosh computers
System 7.5.1System 7.5 plus System 7.5 Update 1.0
System 7.5.2Shipped on first PCI desktop Macintosh computers and PowerBook 190, 5300, & Duo 2300 series
System 7.5.3Shipped on some desktop Macintosh computers
System 7.5.3
System 7.5 Update 2.0
Upgrading any of the above using System 7.5 Update 2.0
System 7.5.3
Updated to Revision 2
Install System 7.5.3 Revision 2
System 7.5.3 Revision 2System 7.5 version 7.5.3 (retail package) or pre-installed on some Macintosh computers

For more information see Apple's Technical Info Library at http://www.support.apple.com/

Important note: Apple's top management has promised never to allow such a confusing naming system out the door again. But stay tuned; a new update (7.5.4) is due before the end of 1996.

Addendum: the update was entitled 7.5.5; 7.5.4 was withdrawn. MacOS 7.6 is due in January or February 1997.


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Jan. 10, 1997 lic