OS X Lion and the Post-PC Era: Yay or No Way?, Part 3
No Way, My Current Mac Works Just Fine!
- 2011.07.15 - Tip Jar
OS X 10.7 Lion and Windows 8 obviously won't be the first choice for everyone - or even a possible choice for some. Lion requires a Core 2 Duo processor or greater, abandoning yet another layer of Macs (Core Duo and Core Solo machines introduced in 2006) just as Snow Leopard left PowerPC Macs behind. (I'm not aware of how high the bar will be set for Windows 8, but traditionally Windows has set the bar much lower, so I would not be surprised if a Pentium 4 will run Windows 8. It appears that it will have the same requirements as Windows 7: a 1 GHz x86 CPU, 1 GB of memory, and DirectX 9 graphics support.)
Rosetta made the transition from PowerPC to Intel hardware much less painful by supporting - and in many cases accelerating - the performance of PowerPC applications. Lion is leaving that in the dust, creating a huge divide between longtime Mac users who may still be using PowerPC apps and those who have recently joined the party.
It's All About the Benjamins
Why reinvent the wheel again and take away something that was working perfectly fine? It seems to me that it's all about the Benjamins, as always. By forcing us to upgrade our hardware and software, Apple (and every other software developer) stands to make a mint.
Think about those who purchased a version of Final Cut Pro or Adobe CS on a G5 just a few years ago running while running Leopard, only to find out that it will no longer install or work on a Mac with Lion? I would not like to purchase brand new applications that I already spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on just so they can work with Lion Mac. I don't want to start over completely anew!
An End to Physical Media
Another thing that really disturbs me is Apple's continued push to put an end to physical media. Kiss those fancy retail boxes and professionally designed physical install discs from Apple good-bye. Everything is moving to the Mac App Store - even OS X Lion! It certainly is taking the power away from the owner of the software who may want to resell it on the used market down the road. It's essentially forcing us to all become "licensees" of our software, rather owners.
I don't like this experiment (or change, if it remains permanent)! Sony learned that lesson the hard way with the ill-fated PSP Go. The thought of creating a system where full-scale applications, which cost considerably more than an iTunes song or video, can only be downloaded greatly concerns me (unless prices can be drastically reduced).
What if a problem a problem occurs with data corruption? What happens if my account becomes hacked, compromised, or accidentally deleted? Is there any recourse?
Taking away my physical media takes away my ability to remedy and control the situation - and my own destiny.
The Mac OS: Always Good Enough
As a longtime user of personal computers (obviously mostly Macs), I've always appreciated the sleek clean look of the Mac OS, especially OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard). The simplicity of the Dock and multiple desktops using Exposé and/or Spaces, along with our best friend, the Finder (just to name a few things) gave identity to the Mac. The experiences I had with Systems 7.5 through 9.2 were equally enjoyable, and all versions of the Mac OS have given me the ability to customize the way I utilize my Mac in every way imaginable.
A Mac is purely simple, and yet sophisticated enough for the power user. I don't want or need a cluttered desktop with icons. I don't want every piece of software (especially new versions of the OS) to end up as only downloads, nor do I appreciate the overuse of gestures. If I wanted an iOS device for a computer, I would go out and buy an iPad, but my money can be better spent on a Mac that can do it all more efficiently and give me the flexibility to decide whether or not Lion is for me (more on that later).
I am writing on my 12" 1.5 GHz PowerBook G4 (2005) running Leopard (2007). It is more computing power than I can imagine needing presently or in the near future. My 1.42 GHz eMac G4 (2005) meets my needs for a desktop, although I've considered a G5 tower due to the bargain basement prices these days on eBay (some with dual processors can be had shipped in the sub-$200 range). I don't need extreme processing power, since I'm not doing heavy streaming or production of HD video, or high-end gaming (I leave that up to my PS3). I do plan on purchasing the 3G version of the PS Vita, which will enhance my PS3 experience and will surely provide amazing multimedia capabilities at about half the cost of a 3G iPad.
Who Cares about Lion?
In closing, my G4 machines still get the job done, and with all the applications that are capable of running on them, I don't need to upgrade right now. Even with the age of the Pismo PowerBook (2000) and the limits it can face online, I am quite content using it from time to time with legacy applications. The experience can be quite enjoyable on "outdated" equipment, so I can't help but shrug my shoulders and say, "Who cares about Lion?" As a gamer, I'm quite content with using my PowerPC "Trucks" for computing and my "Cars," such as the PS3, PSP, and eventually a Vita for consumption devices.
I'll move to an Intel Mac someday, but it will be a machine that will give me the flexibility to use it as I see fit, compared to this post-PC era Lion nonsense that is being crammed down our throats when the newest Macs on the horizon will only run Lion or later.
Both the Early 2008 MacBook Pro and Early 2011 MacBook Pro comes to mind as a potential replacements for my 12" PowerBook G4. The former has the form factor of the Aluminum PowerBook G4, and it has a removable battery (another form of control that has been taken away), while the latter has Thunderbolt, but still ships with Snow Leopard instead of Lion.
As for the desktop, a 27" iMac with Thunderbolt comes to mind due to its amazing screen and value. All will take an install of Lion if I want to try it someday, but I'm in no hurry to join the post-PC revolution.
King of the jungle, hmmph!
I rest my case.
Dan Bashur lives in central Ohio with his wife and children. He uses various PowerPC G3 and G4 Macs running Tiger and Leopard. Besides finding new uses for Macs and other tech, Dan enjoys writing (fantasy novel series in the works), is an avid gamer, and a member of Sony's Gamer Advisor Panel. You can read more of Dan Bashur's work on ProjectGamers.com, where he contributes regular articles about the PSP, classic gaming, and ways you can use Sony gaming hardware with your Mac.
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