This is not a particularly glamorous topic, I realize. But some SysAdmins might be happy to see that the Final Cut Studio 2 installer contains some additional screens, as well as some additional smarts and freedoms not seen in previous versions. So far, I'm pretty pleased, and I haven't even launched any of the apps yet.
First off, if you're installing on slower-than-recommended hardware, you get this alert:
This is excellent for two reasons: for one, it's extremely detailed and tells you exactly what you have versus what Apple recommends; and for two, you are not prevented from going ahead and installing the software against Apple's recommendation if you so desire (which I do). Contrast this with previous versions, which simply would disallow you installation of the software, citing a reason like, "Hardware does not meet the necessary requirements for installation of this software." I'm glad Apple is letting me, the SysAdmin, make that call, and glad for the extra info as well. Nice job.
Next, the Installer lets you decide whether or not to install and activate distributed processing on your system. Another nice touch:
Then Apple has included another screen which is just text, but it's text that's actually useful. It's text that tells you what's about to happen, and gives you some information about your upcoming options:
This actually answers a lot of questions about the install process that I had when using the previous version's Installer. It's nice to see Apple being very clear about what's going on with the install process rather than making us intuit it every step of the way.
Finally, we get this:
This screen was available in pretty much the exact same way in the previous version. But what I'm most happy to see this time around is the option to install or not install NTSC or PAL versions of the DVD Studio Pro templates. Those templates, as you can see, take up a lot of space, and I always ended up having to go in and clean out the PAL versions by hand, which was a drag. Nice to see that I can opt out during the install process, which has the extra added benefit of making the install process that much speedier now that I'm not installing 4 gigs of stuff I don't need.
I'm always happy to see attention paid to little things like installers. It shows someone's thinking about the SysAdmins, which doesn't happen too often in the world of software installers. Whoever's responsible for these little changes, thanks! I appreciate it.
One thing I forgot to mention. Previously, Final Cut Studio applications were all on separate discs, but now all the application files reside on a single DVD, while all the content is on the other DVDs. This greatly simplifies installation if all I ever want to do is install the suite of apps on my 30 machines (which is usually what I want). I now only have to cart around one DVD, not five. And in theory this could all be done over the network via Apple Remote Desktop (though I haven't tested this, and it would probably be tremendously, painfully slow). Nice!