Apple, Tech, and Gaming

Bridging Gaps with New Macs, Old Macs, and iDevices

- 2012.04.06 - Tip Jar

In July 2009, after reading Low End Mac for a number of years (dating back to around 2001), I had spent about 15 years in a retail career that had not left me the kind of fulfillment I got from my true passions in life - writing, gaming, and Apple products. At this point, I had also been fairly new to social networking and expressed interest in writing for Low End Mac and a Sony PlayStation-related gaming site,

Although my time at Project Gamers has been limited, mainly due to my life commitments with my wife and two children, Low End Mac has remained a priority - and so has my quest to become an Apple Certified Support Specialist. With that said, I can see why I wanted to write for Low End Mac and why I continue to do so. Although gaming is still a big hobby of mine, my interest in Macs and getting the most out of your life using Apple products has become my primary interest. I find enjoyment in showing others how to maximize legacy products while reporting the finer points of newer products.

Low End Mac has always been about getting great value out of your Apple products, and someday the newer products I own will one day become low-end. Apple has usually provided great value with its products, and even when support seems to be abruptly dropped for products that are not that old, it doesn't make those products obsolete. As long as the device is high functioning for what you need it to do, the term low-end may not be relevant.

My Best Macs

17" MacBook Pro
17" MacBook Pro

An interesting point on getting high functioning products personally has included the last three months where I have gone through a technology renaissance of sorts. I have acquired both the ultimate OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard portable (in my opinion) and the ultimate OS 9 desktop. The Snow Leopard machine is a 17" February 2011 Core i7 (quad-core) MacBook Pro that has every connection imaginable and ability to use the latest technologies Apple offers while retaining full backwards compatibility to all my legacy OS X applications courtesy of Rosetta. It was the very last of a series of MacBook Pros that shipped with Snow Leopard (although mine happened to ship with OS X 10.7 Lion, but that's another story).

Mirrored Drive Door Power Mac G4
MDD Power Mac G4

The OS 9 machine is on its way courtesy of a friend. It is a dual 1.25 GHz Mirror Door Drive (FireWire 400) Power Mac G4.* This was the fastest G4 capable of booting into both OS 9 and OS X, and it should allow me to do almost anything imaginable with all the legacy files and applications I have. I look at it as a "time machine" of sorts that will allow me to have tons of storage and go back in time to anything I want from the Macs of yesteryear. (I also have a "New" iPad on the way, but more on that in a bit.)

With that said, and with these Macs I have acquired, I can literally test out anything I want from an IT standpoint, while also experimenting with various applications to report back to Low End Mac to show others the best path to getting the most value out of their hardware, applications, and peripherals. This brings me great satisfaction now that I have these capabilities. Low End Mac has inspired me to do that and has inspired me to continue to seek out knowledge to get the most I can out of my Macs and other devices that I can connect to the Mac - even gaming devices such as the PSP and PS3 through various applications including media servers and media managers that the Mac can facilitate.

Macintosh LC II
Macintosh LC II

I've come a long way from the humble days when the only Mac I owned was a Summer 2001 iMac G3. I had the pleasure of using Macs for more than a decade prior to that, thanks to my late father George Bashur being a graphic design artist owning various systems since the LC II (we also had an Apple IIc+ before that). Those experiences have given me the background I have today and allowed me to see how the Mac has changed bit by bit.

Adding iOS

The biggest transformation as of late has been iOS devices and how they bridge your experience on the Mac. I felt threatened for a long time, believing that Apple wanted to replace my beloved Mac with an iOS device, and I balked at the idea of ever owning one. That's another change that has happened for me recently. I have a "New" iPad 16 GB (Retina Display) on the way, and I'm very excited to use it. I have come to a realization after using Lion on and off that Apple doesn't really want to replace the Mac OS; it wants to make new adopters of iOS devices feel at home while letting longtime users feel just as comfortable by allowing you to tweak those features to make your Mac feel the same as it did before. I use Snow Leopard most of the time due to compatibility of my legacy applications, but with iCloud and the iPad on the way, I'm sure that I will be switching back and forth more often.

Losing Rosetta was a bitter pill to swallow, and no iCloud in Snow Leopard is a bit of a pain, but so was losing the ability to boot into Mac OS 9. Times change, and you have to adapt, but that doesn't stop you from purchasing a used Mac or late model that had the same capabilities and compatibilities that are lost with the newest generation. My advice: Get the Mac that does the job for you. Instead of being upset at the changes Apple makes - as frustrating as they may be (losing OS 9 booting, losing Rosetta, or now the impending shutdown of MobileMe) - find a way around by getting the Mac that can take advantage of a good mix of both old and new features, as I have, and look to third-party support for devices and applications that Apple no longer supports. TenFourFox and iCab have been shining examples of browser support for old Macs.

When the cost to upgrade seems prohibitive when you want the best system with the greatest range of compatibility, there are still ways around that by choosing a slightly lower-end configuration that can still meet your needs with legacy support and new application support. Looking back and looking ahead, at Low End Mac my inspiration has remained the same - sharing stories with others on how to maximize the experience with your Mac and other Apple devices. I now have a fuller arsenal of equipment to experiment with and share those stories with everyone and the future looks bright.

It's been almost three years since my first article (The Last PowerBooks Have Plenty of Life Left), and although that isn't a very long time in the grand scheme of things, I feel like I have provided quite a bit to the Apple community, and I would like to continue doing so writing for Low End Mac as long as the site shall live. A big thanks goes out to Dan Knight and the rest of the Low End Mac staff for helping inspire me over the years, and a bigger thanks goes out to all of the fans here at Low End Mac that read our articles and support our site. I look forward to many great years ahead! LEM

* Publisher's note: This is the same model we use at Low End Mac headquarters to run Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and Classic Mode so we can continue to use ancient Claris Home Page, hands down my favorite WYSIWYG HTML editor despite the fact that it has been abandoned since 1997 - the year I began Low End Mac. With 2 GB of RAM, three internal 7200 rpm hard drives, and a 20" 1600 x 1200 Dell display, it's a workhorse I use daily. I also have a 1 GHz version running OS X 10.5 Leopard, the last version of OS X for PowerPC Macs. dk

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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, 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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