hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley

It comes in many forms

Intuit gives pre 64 bit Snow Leopard users yet another reason to stay put

English: A Late 2006 model 17" MacBook Pr...

English: A Late 2006 model 17″ MacBook Pro running Mac OS X version 10.6 (Snow Leopard), showing one of the default backgrounds, The Blue Marble. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s tax season and many of you are venturing out to purchase TurboTax to do your taxes, while others are downloading TurboTax and installing it for use that way.
Some of you are opting for the cloud and doing your taxes online in the comfort of your own browser.
For Mac users that are running 32 bit versions of Snow Leopard and pre Snow Leopard versions of Mac OS X on both Intel and PowerPC machines, doing your taxes online is the only way to avoid getting shut out from using TurboTax this year.
Intuit says they had to make the tough decision to move on and abandon some users of older Intel and PowerPC Macs.
We all understand time waits for no one.
But for Mac users, software manufacturers who develop for a Windows-centric world have always hastened the road to obsolescence and ire.
Most cross-platform software comes out for PC before Mac. Only Apple can release more full-featured versions of its software that work better on a Mac than a PC (read iTunes).
Windows XP users can still do their taxes with this year’s version of TurboTax: so much for needing to move on from older hardware and operating systems, Intuit.
But, I suppose I would do the same thing in terms of shutting out a lot of Mac users. It especially makes sense when you consider how small a market segment “lesser” Macs are.
Mac Graveyard

Mac Graveyard (Photo credit: nowhereman)

I am one of those people with a lesser Mac—until recently.
My lesser Mac is not so less(er) any more.
I recently acquired a Sonnet 1.8 GHz processor for my trusty old PowerPC G4 Frankenmac Sawtooth tower running OS X 10.5.8 Leopard (I installed OS X 10.4 Tiger back in the day, bought a 1 GHz Sonnet Processor Upgrade Card and installed Leopard on top of Tiger, and that’s where I’ve stood at the end of the PowerPC Mac OS road).
I must admit, I am smiling as I can smell the rubber burning as I work on my Mac again.
I have a dual boot Linux/WIN box and the Mac sharing a keyboard, monitor and mouse via a KVM switch. My use of the Mac had been dwindling, as the old 1GHz processor was no longer spry on the web or anything else for that matter.
Connectix Virtual PC version 3 in Mac OS 9, ru...

Connectix Virtual PC version 3 in Mac OS 9, running a Brazilian Portuguese edition of Windows 95 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 1.8 GHz Sonnet processor allows me to do everything in a lively manner again. I know Apple would like you to believe if you need a PC you can just run Windows on your Intel Mac. Back in the day, I had Virtual PC working on my PowerPC Macs (when the software was owned by Connectix–remember Speed Doubler and Ram Doubler?). Once Connectix sold out to Microsoft, Virtual PC became virtually worthless and unsupported.
If you need a PC to do work on, just get a used one. They can be had inexpensively and will free up your Mac to just do everything else you’re not already using the PC for. There are just enough compatibility issues when trying to run either Boot Camp or Parallels, that I would best advise you to stay away from running Windows on your Mac. Why have a Mac at all if you’re going to do that?
If you’re still scratching out a web presence via a PowerPC machine running OS X 10.5.8 Leopard, and you want to do your taxes with TurboTax online this year (since you’ve been shut out of the regular TurboTax product), some of the available browsers you can try are (not necessarily in order of preference and your mileage may vary): Camino 2.1.2, TenFourFox 17.0.2, OmniWeb 5.11.2, Safari 5.0.6, Webkit (more modern build of Safari—either r89812 or 536.26.14-Leopard-PowerPC build) and Opera Version 10.70, build 9034—the last build (to my knowledge) that will run on a 10.5.8 PowerPC Mac.
Software makers will only support those machines and customers that afford the most profit.
Deep down, we all know that, though we get irritated when, like this year, Intuit shuts some of us old Mac machine users out of the TurboTax equation.
With just a little bit of creativity and a modest purchase (used Sonnet processor upgrade off eBay—to be clear, Sonnet no longer makes these products), you can still use your older PowerPC Mac for practically everything again. This way, what was once old, has now been made new again.


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  1. My G4 Mac is just waiting to be reborn.

    • It is my most venerable pride and joy for sure. I have been modding it on and off for years, and today my Edimax wireless N USB wi-fi stick should arrive, making wireless surfing that much faster (losing the old, but faithful Netgear WG111 v2). Happy G4 rebirthing, Denise, let me know if you’d like any suggestions, and thank you ever so much for the comment, follow and likes, too.

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