Running 10.7 and 10.8 from the same MacBook Pro

I'm unable to use the latest rev.'s of the software I use as they are written for 64 bit .... was wondering what I need to do exactly to have both 10.7 and 10.8 on the MacBookPro 5,1 ..... simply backup, partition and restore ?
Also, can I install and boot Maverick from an external drive and use programs on the internal ?
thanx,
Chris

Depending on how much space you have on your internal drive, you could indeed create two partitions and install two OS's.
You could also install Mavericks on an external drive but with only USB 2.0 and FW800 connections, performance would be painfully slow. Moreover, since many programs install parts of themselves in various libraries, it'd probably be better to clone your boot drive to the external, then upgrade that to Mavericks.

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