The Times They Are A Changing - So Keep Up.

| Computing with Bifocals

OK, my friends. It’s time for some plain speaking among the bifocals crowd. We have to get with the program. Too many of us are holding back, getting set in our ways, becoming down right intractable. It’s not good for our image. Let’s not encourage the fuddy-duddy word. 

If you are still using Panther because you can’t afford to upgrade or get a new (or newer) Mac, that’s one thing. But I don’t want to hear “I can’t give up Panther because my favorite game only works on Panther.” This statement is usually followed by a complaint that no one teaches, writes about, or offers help with Panther. 

Those who fit this description need to ask themselves why they are not upgrading. It can’t really be one game can it? There are a bazillion games available for the Mac now. A similar game to the one you love can be found and if it is on a more advanced OS, it will probably have more options and be more fun. And how much are our operating systems costing today? US$29? 

I use Panther as an example because I know four or five people who still use Panther because of games, but the same can be said for the operating systems that followed Panther. A game is not a legitimate reason to not upgrade your Mac. 

Out of date, out of style, out of time

Fear of learning a new operating system is not a legitimate reason not to upgrade your Mac. Unless you live somewhere where you are the only Mac user in the known universe, you are going to have other Mac users who will help you. In fact, get involved with your local Mac User Group and you’ll meet all kinds of people who will be happy to help you. It’s the Mac way.

If you do live somewhere where you are the only Mac user in the known universe, search the Net for training videos. By now there are dozens available for all the Mac operating systems. 

Here is another one I hear all the time. “I’ve always used XYZ application to accomplish this task and it is the only thing that works. It won’t run on (Snow Leopard, Lion, etc.)”

You are most likely correct—it won’t run on the new operating systems. In the cases with which I am familiar the software is no longer made or supported. So find something else that will accomplish the same task.

I don’t know anything you can do on a Mac that doesn’t have several application options available. Download trial versions and see what works best for you. If your “old stuff” doesn’t transfer because you waited too long to address this issue, then suck it up and save it the best way you can and just move forward. Chances are, if the old stuff is really valuable, you can find a professional who can help you transition. 

Don’t turn that expensive, lovely Mac into a typewriter, or something you use for email. There are so many options available to those of us fortunate enough to have Macs. And remember, bear the standard for those of us in the bifocals crowd. We can do as much or more than those kids who never had to survive with one party-line phone in the hallway. They don’t know what tough is.

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Comments

geoduck

Well said. I have a relative still using Windows ME on one of her systems. That’s a pain to fix. I do try to stay fairly current with my own systems. I usually upgrade within a week or at most a month after big updates come out. That was the case with Snow Leopard.

That said, I’m still on Snow Leopard. Lion has had a fair number of issues that really bothered me. Network flakiness, NAS drives not being reachable, there’s been a number of articles on TMO about How To Work Around XXX Being Hidden/Removed/
Terminal in Lion”. That sort of thing has me a bit spooked. I will be replacing one of my systems in the next month or two and it will come with Lion and go to Mountain Lion shortly thereafter. At that point I may upgrade the rest to ML but it will be a fairly cautious process.

CatCow

Sorry, that doesn’t fly. Games not working in the next OS is indeed a valid reason to not update. And this whole “similar game” thing is obscene, because there were “similar” games on the previous OS too - and they are usually skipped for a reason. I keep updating anyway, but I have lost so many favorite games that it drives me crazy. This happens on both Mac and Windows sides as well - and I would say the vast majority(once you get past the truly ancient stuff, I still have a 400k bootable floppy with Frogger on it for my old toaster Macs in the basement) are due to architecture changes, and that goes far beyond an OS upgrade. Apple’s Intel switch did in quite a few. Windows has quite a few issues if you are running a 64-bit version(although some of my favorite games only run in DOS - Commander Keen, anyone?). And then there are programmers who have either stopped programming, died, or been legally threatened(like so many Tetris clones that have been threatened by that Russian scammer) - those programs are forever stuck in some (sometimes buggy) version that will never be updated.

So yes, keep your old version of MacOS or Windows running on whatever hardware you can. Because those games will never be updated, and if you don’t have them safely archived away you will never find them again to download. Keep playing.

Lancashire-Witch

After years of imposing upgrades and changes on SWMBO; she has learned that change (any change) is bad. Full stop. It is always accompanied by disruption at the worst possible moment in the day, week, month or year.  I’ve tried saying - ‘don’t worry it will be fine when -
a) the next release comes out
b) you’ve reloaded all your files.
c) you get used to it
or (the worst one) d) you buy a new machine.’

The latest goes something like - “you’ll need to spend some time looking at all your stuff in iWeb and loading it to this fantastic new thing called Journals - but that’s after you upgrade from SL to Lion - oh, and you’ve only got till the end of June… and I think you might have to do it on an iPad because I’m not sure you’ll ever be able to do it in iPhoto on your Mac… “

mjkphoto

Getting with the program does not mean abandoning one’s workflow because Apple has decided it knows a better way to do things. As a creative professional, I’ve chosen to stay with Snow Leopard because of several reasons: 1) Snow Leopard is stable; 2)  I am able to better customize my working experience, including how I save my work (rather than being forced to rely on Lion’s Auto Save feature, which can be problematic for photographers and graphic artists); 3) I have a few programs that still rely on Rosetta, among them components of Adobe CS 5.5 Design Premium (that is the latest version released and while most are reporting it working fine under Lion, there have also been documented problems); 4) with the upcoming release of Mountain Lion, my 2008 MacBook Pro will be obsolete (on that OS).

Apple is forcing users to upgrade or be left behind. Yet Lion, in some ways, marks a step backwards. It has been well documented. Look it up!

Why should I impede my workflow and productivity just because Apple insists that I upgrade to the newest operating system? Snow Leopard is not and will not be compatible with iCloud, leaving us out of the loop. I’d love to get an iPhone, but without the ability to sync with my Macs, why bother.

Apple is neglecting the creative pro (and pro user) community in favor of the “consumer-friendly” product. It makes sense from a business standpoint, but for a company that prides itself on the motto “think different,” one can only wonder why they can’t cater to both groups ? the general consumer who wants Apple to do everything for them and the sophisticated or “pro” user who wants to customize the tools to best meet their needs.

Yes, people should move up from Panther. But Apple’s new policy to release a new OS every year spells trouble.

geoduck

But Apple?s new policy to release a new OS every year spells trouble.

With Windows I’ve been following a Star Trek Movie strategy. I only recommend every other one. 7 is not bad, Vista was terrible, XP was OK, 2k was not ready for prime time, 98 was pretty good, 95 was not really complete yet. It saves my clients a lot of heartache.

I wonder if I’ll be adopting that strategy for OS-X?

iJack

You know, if you have some game, or other irreplaceable software and its files on your Mac, there is a compromise.

Create a small partition on your hard drive, with just your current OS and those irreplaceable apps on it.  On the remaining (larger) partition, install the latest OS and all your other apps and files.  At least that way, you can find replacement apps, and test-drive then on the newest OS.

An alternative would be to buy a smallish cheap hard drive.  You can install your Panther or Tiger or whatever on it and add those golden-oldie apps.

russell

You know, if you have some game, or other irreplaceable software and its files on your Mac, there is a compromise.

Create a small partition on your hard drive, with just your current OS and those irreplaceable apps on it.? On the remaining (larger) partition, install the latest OS and all your other apps and files.? At least that way, you can find replacement apps, and test-drive then on the newest OS.

An alternative would be to buy a smallish cheap hard drive.? You can install your Panther or Tiger or whatever on it and add those golden-oldie apps.

Parallels software isn’t all that expensive either.  Run your entire Panther machine under parallels.

===

If you really don’t like how Apple does things, then please feel free to buy any other brand, lots of choice in operating systems available now with Windoze, Android, lots of different Linuxes, and more.  And, when you start up your own computer manufacturing and software company you will be able to do it just how you like wink

geoduck

Parallels software isn?t all that expensive either.  Run your entire Panther machine under parallels.

And VirtualBox is free. Though I have to admit I haven’t tried to run OS-X under Virtualization.

There is a difference between people that just hang onto their old machine/system/game/software, and refuse to upgrade because they don’t want to change and those that keep an old system/OS/software package running for a good logical reason. Sticking with SnowLeopard because AutoSave causes problems or Adobe CS requires Rosetts is logical. Keeping Panther so you can play Tetris off of a floppy is old fogy-ism which is not a good thing. The latter was the subject of Nancy’s article.

Vitor

  1331851081 said:

  But Apple?s new policy to release a new OS every year spells trouble.

With Windows I?ve been following a Star Trek Movie strategy. I only recommend every other one. 7 is not bad, Vista was terrible, XP was OK, 2k was not ready for prime time, 98 was pretty good, 95 was not really complete yet. It saves my clients a lot of heartache.

I wonder if I?ll be adopting that strategy for OS-X?

I also seen this same pattern with Windows. One version is released to introduce new technology and then next version perfects it.

I’m new to the Mac. My first Mac was Lion and it was a big disappointment in terms of the reputation of the Mac. It would crash almost every month doing simple things like opening a PDF from a CD, or opening Safari. I moved to Snow Leopard afterwards and performance and stability is improved, but Aiport is still a nuicance. I have to turn it off and on often to access the internet.

I preferred working on Lion, although I didn’t want to be bothered by the issues I was having, so I did some research. I look at the how many updates each OS X release got and the time interval between them, and looked for evidence of issues with each version upon release.

It seems that the last few OS X releases had issues upon release. I found some evidence on the internet that at least one person had issues going back to Leopard. This suggests that fresh releases from Apple will always contain the most bugs and should be avoided temporarily.

The Mac OS X gets an average of 8 updates throughout the life of each release. The amount of bugs existing in a fresh release may be the reason why half of the those updates usually appear within the first year. This leads me to think that the safest plan to keep updated with OS X releases is to wait until update 4 of each release.

To test my theory, I’m waiting for update 10.7.4 to return to OS X Lion. This can be compared to waiting for Service Pack 1 for Windows. Of course this won’t solve all problems: I’m using 10.6.8 and I have connection issues. However, I think it will get the dangerous ones out of the way.

Ken Collins

I’m not a member of the bifocal crowd, so I believe in upgrading the OS whenever I have a chance. As for games, I think it’s better to go outdoors to play. If an application only works on the OS that’s two versions back, or if the only version of it requires Rosetta, it’s time to ditch it. The developers aren’t serious about their work and they don’t care about their customers. Quicken 2007 coming out in 2012 is a case in point.

The times are changing, and I believe in keeping up. When a new version of OS X comes out, I upgrade right away.

I am not one of those people who are computing with bifocals.

I wear trifocals.

john

I have always depended on the kindness of organizational dumpsters nownow more than ever. I am way beyond the trifocal stage with near total blindness in one eye and 10% in t’other. Kinda hard buying the latest bauble with 3 total dependents at 80 years old with Social Security fleshed out with part time academic salary. So I “see” my depende ce on a dual G4 as illusory.

John Clarke Ph.D The Johns Hopkins University = Don’t cry for me Argentina Mac certainly won’t.

Bregalad

With Windows I?ve been following a Star Trek Movie strategy. I only recommend every other one. 7 is not bad, Vista was terrible, XP was OK, 2k was not ready for prime time, 98 was pretty good, 95 was not really complete yet. It saves my clients a lot of heartache.

I wonder if I?ll be adopting that strategy for OS-X?

Windows 2000 was an excellent OS, better than any that preceded it. Internally it’s Windows NT version 5.0. XP is version 5.1. It’s essentially the 2000 core with a new UI and consumer oriented features like better game support.

I’m still on Snow Leopard both at home and work. Many of us who have been given the choice at work have stuck with the older OS because of all the flakiness we’ve seen around us with Lion.

Our IT department hates Lion Server so much they’re actually thinking about moving everything to Windows.

Mountain Lion promises to fix some of the issues with Lion, but will break my most important tool. I have an old system-wide macro application called Spark that allows me to launch/switch applications with hot keys. I typically have 20 different apps running at work and switch hundreds of times per day. In Mountain Lion apps are not allowed to talk to other apps except through a specific set of APIs that developers may or may not make available. There simply cannot be an app launching/switching tool like Spark for Mountain Lion. If Apple decides to provide system-wide hotkeys then I’ll be happy, but I haven’t seen any signs of it.

john

Just a bit of negativity as to comments. I am reaching 80 years canonical time. It is a struggle to raise carfare let alone 29.99 $ u.s. for a game. As a computer concierge and deapite my JHU Ph.D and ensuing tenure denials I have had the great good luck to rummage about the dumpsters of a major University. So a G4 dual 1Go ekes out my final days.I well remember the days of thermionic computers and one bit per 6SL7. I am at 6s and 7s to understand the fascination with games. E-Mails, Newspapers, I-Tunes (especially <<Radio>>),e-bay, Hulu and streaming videos more than fill my days. I would not attempt to go mano a mano with the Chess Game domiciled in my G4 dual.With one eye gone I find the more than ten year old Apple Display more than adequate. In fact,the housing is pleasing to the eye and I wonder why the MOMA refrains from an acquisition.

The above is from a soon to be silent key. CW as transcontinental contact was the way to go in my youth.
I suppose thet it is needless to say that I abide as a New Deal Democrat and once again await the revolution. : “Oh! The Horror of a Homespun Egalitarian Society!

EX-W3hub

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