PPC is left out in the cold…

Sorry for the ‘cold’ pun, but I couldn’t help it.

So, ‘Snow Leopard’, (the next iteration of the Mac OS), is going to be Intel-only. The Power-PC, which has had a love-hate relationship with Apple over the years, is finally going to be discarded, sometime in 2009.

A lot of the PC-press is trying to stir up a sh*t-storm over this, citing Apple as abandoning their users, and forcing them to upgrade.

Well, I’m here to say that I think Apple is doing the right thing.

The department that I run has over half-a-dozen Mac’s and a couple of PC’s, and everyone of these Mac’s runs Tiger.

Not Leopard, but Tiger.

“Aha!” I here all the Windows-apologists scream, “Leopard is full of bugs! Here’s a Mac-loving ‘power-user’ and even he doesn’t even recommend it!”

Well, calm down, there are reasons why my department runs Tiger, and not Leopard (apart from a little iBook for testing).

Firstly, this is software – a lot of software. On top of the OS, I have about a dozen applications that I rely on being compatible, all the time.

Secondly, software has bugs. Mac software doesn’t have as many bugs as Windows software, but there are bugs. InDesign CS2 has 2 reproducible bugs that I can do right now – that cause a crash.

Thirdly, and talking of InDesign – it’s Adobe. CS3 (including 2) and Leopard don’t play well together – at all. Now I don’t care whose fault this is, it’s probably both Apple’s & Adobe’s, but I’m not installing Leopard on any production Mac until it ‘just works’.

However those half-a-dozen Mac’s are also all PPC. There’s not one Intel Mac in my department, so Leopard is a no-no until Adobe pulls its finger out, and therefore Snow Leopard is a bit of a non-starter for me as well.

Is that likely to change? Maybe, maybe not. The oldest Mac in my department is a 700mhz G4 – nearly 7 years old, and (touch wood), it’s still a production machine.

I do have the chance to bring Intel in however, I’m about to purchase another large format printer, and I need a Mac to run it on, but I’m stuck between buying a 2nd-hand G5, or a new MacPro.

Now most people would go with the MacPro, but as well as the hardware, there’s the software issue as well – all my software is PPC, not Universal.

So, it looks like I’m stuck for now, until one of the Mac’s die (7 years and counting), and I have to by Intel, and go cap-in-hand to finance to upgrade the software as well.

But my finance department is as tight as a ‘gnat’s chuff’ (English colloquialism, look it up), so I’ll be sticking with a PPC-based department for now.



One comment

  1. quetwo

    While I complely understand your issues, you also have to ask yourself… Is it in the best interest for Apple (or really, any other computer maker) to support devices that are already 5+ years old? While Microsoft removes support for legacy hardware by upping the RAM and disc space requirements, Apple does it through just the OS requirements. After all, if they don’t force their users to upgrade, who will?

    Supporting equipment that is well over a decade old is what got Microsoft in trouble so many times. I mean, would a user with a 486/66 and 1GB of RAM really run Vista? Nawhl.

    But as you said, you lab is working just great with your older hardware. In your eyes, there isn’t a reason to upgrade yet. If you don’t need the latest, then don’t :)

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