Virginia, a Small Dog customer since 2002, responded to last week’s Tech Tails introduction, and she made some excellent points. I’m sure many of you will agree when you hear what she has to say.

“I am dying to upgrade to Leopard because of Time Machine (although OS 8-9 had almost the equivalent, where you could search for ‘erased’ files and pull out files that in OS X are zapped forever). But the problem is that I, like probably a few other users, don’t just use the Mac for its own programs but run a lot of other programs on it. And to do an OS upgrade is to invite a big expense in upgrading Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark XPress, Office, etc. etc.

Let’s call it ‘App Lag’—where the non-Mac software is slow to accommodate a new OS, or has tried to accommodate it but at too early a point to make their software work well. This is why I am still on OS 10.4.1, stuck with ancient Safari (which I used to love) and Office 2004 and Quark XPress 6.5, because when I tried to upgrade to OS 10.4.5 or something 3 years ago, the printer and scanner drivers hadn’t caught up yet and some of the applications hadn’t either. So I had to go back to 10.4.1.

The up side is that I can still use Fontographer and Freehand (which I’ll probably never see again unless I keep an old computer around just for them). The down side is that I’m missing all the new stuff.

This isn’t necessarily Apple’s fault, which the company tried to address with Classic; it’s Adobe’s and Microsoft’s as well. But you shouldn’t think that people resist switching to a new OS just because of the current state of the economy (which is no doubt true). It’s also because they know they will lose some functionality and productivity. Those of us who use our Macs for work don’t really have time to fiddle.

If I were Apple (hah!), I’d make an OS that could mount every version of every program for the last 10 years (a whole nother kind of Time Machine). Then we could update those apps on an as-needed basis, instead of being forced to by a new OS.”

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