Microsoft announcing plans to drop support for Mac Office 2008 demonstrates once more that unless you have tons of money to throw at current hardware and software, you are best served by utilizing solutions outside the Microsoft and Apple ecospheres.
Personally, I’m not tied to using any Microsoft products on my Mac. But that doesn’t mean I don’t use them if I need to—I’m not anti-Microsoft or Apple, I use what makes the most sense to me operationally- and economically-speaking.
Prior to broadband Internet service, we couldn’t easily seek out free and/or low-cost software solutions to run on our PowerPC Macs. We were at the mercy of electronics store shelves or setting our machines to laboriously download software and updates overnight.
Those with only PowerPC Macs as their main production machines sometimes feel slighted, but really shouldn’t.
Apple is just more notorious when it comes to lack of support. And Microsoft just follows suit when it comes to supporting their Mac compatible versions of its software.
Understanding all this really helps with anxiety over whether our machines are viable, work well enough or are being left behind. What I am suggesting is that our overall concern with older computers—whether they are PowerPC Macs, Pentium 4 Compaq’s or AMD eMachines towers, not get the best of us.
All computers get left behind…eventually. Therein lies the crux of how our thinking should be when we consider whether our computers are no longer useful.
One example comes to mind…
Let’s say, you have your own photography business. Ask yourself whether or not you need to go out and buy the latest update to Adobe’s Creative Suite or can you get by just fine with the version you’re already running (not that far behind the curve) for awhile longer?
The point in all this pondering is that what we should do regarding prospective technology purchases is really more about our mindsets. As technical as computers can be, I prefer making it more of a practical, philosophical decision and not one driven by marketing forces.
Why let yourself be motivated to do what the likes of Apple and Microsoft would have you?
People with PowerPC processors are always reading in the technology press that Apple has abandoned them long ago (in a far away world). Those with Intel rigs regularly, cruelly and unfairly mock and disparage them in comments below tech stories and blogs.
The word abandoned is a harsh-sounding word. No one wants to be abandoned, whether it’s by their computer manufacturer or by someone important in their lives.
Apple and Microsoft’s marketing departments know this all too well and employ this particular brand of fear-based psychology into their marketing so that we may purchase as many of their unnecessary products, services, peripherals, upgrades and devices as possible—and before we have anything resembling an actual need for them.
“Oh my God! Oh my God! You don’t have an Intel Core i7 processor in your Mac? How will you ever possibly survive! You can’t be serious!” taunt Apple uber-consumers the world over.
“Useful” is one of the key words we should remember about our production machines– especially those of us with beloved PowerPC chips (running inside our Macs).
Microsoft has displayed support for Windows XP way longer than Apple has for any of its operating systems.
Marketers need not threaten us with words like abandonment in order to get us off our PowerPC machines. The worldwide PowerPC community is not as miniscule as mainstream Apple fans would have you believe.
Authorized Apple resellers and the Apple Store Genius Bar do not make any money repairing older Macs.
That is why you should be healthily suspicious of being told your Mac is not worth repairing and you should put the money you’d spend on its repair towards the purchase of a new machine.
Avoid being coerced with words like “cost-effective,” too.
Seek out a second opinion from an independent computer technician and possibly save yourself some new purchase regret: just because Apple says your machine is obsolete, end of life, or “vintage,” doesn’t necessarily mean you should part with it.