Apple needs to watch its back on the OS 9 app crowd

Apple needs to watch its back on the OS 9 app crowd

Summary: An accelerated move to Intel may tend to spook, rather than evoke shivers of joy in OS 9 shops.

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TOPICS: Intel
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With Apple's accelerated delivery roadmap now unveiled for the screaming Intel Duo dual-core chip-based iMac and MacBook Pro models, there comes a burning question: What about the OS 9 graphics and customized niche apps crowd?

Apple's core constituencies through thick and thin, those architects and graphical designers et al, still have a ton of investment in OS 9 applications -- native to the PowerPC architecture. They will want to continue to run those applications for some time, so an accelerated move to Intel may tend to spook, rather than evoke shivers of joy.

Apple says Rosetta will make the translation seemless from Power to Intel, but not for OS 8 and OS 9 users, who have no new apparent hardware roadmap once Apple ends Power-based box production this year.

Already Mac resellers tell me they've seen some runs on Power-based Macs by OS 9/Classic shops. If these core users and administrators can't gain the hardware support they need, they will be forced to port or begin application development (or commercial software purchases) anew. Will they stay with OS X? Will they find commerical software on OS X? Or will they base their new app dev on Intel of a different color: gray.

I suppose one key indicator of how well the conversion of the OS 9/Classic street is going to OS X on Intel is to watch on eBay how older Power-based Macs sell once the well of new Power-based hardware dries up.

For those of you speed-demons rushing to swap out your older Macs (beginning next month!) to the screaming new Intel Macs, hold on to your Power-based hardware. A graphics artist somewhere may pay you well for it in 2007 on eBay.

Topic: Intel

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15 comments
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  • Oh please

    We were extremely slow adopters of OSX (publishing house) and
    we moved off of our last OS9 machine a long time ago. Macs
    haven't been able to boot into OS9 for ages now, and Classic
    support was always a bit hit or miss (particularly for programs
    like Quark).

    If you're that far behind the times, your machines and your
    software is that old, then you weren't going to buy a new Intel
    Mac anyway (or a new machine at all, really).

    As for the run on PowerPC Macs, many of us have bought them
    because we realize that it's gonna take at least a year to get the
    kinks out of the Mactels, and at least that long before all the
    high end software will be converted, and we don't want to run
    under emulation for a year (particularly after struggling through
    Classic). So that run may not be what you think it is...
    tic swayback
    • Actually

      We still use a lot of Classic apps, including Quark 4. We have
      had absolutely no problems running any under Classic. While
      we have switched to Indesign for virtually all page layout work,
      we still get any number of Quark 4 docs sent to us. Q4 is rather
      vital to us because of this. We also rely on Dreamweaver 4 for
      web design. We do far less of this type work than we did in the
      past due to dropping profitablity. We have Golive CS but
      everybody vastly prefers Dreamweaver.

      We just (meaning they arrived yesterday and are still in boxes)
      brought in some 20 inch Imac refurbs with an extra gig of RAM
      and Applecare for $1400 each. We want to make sure that we
      can run classic apps for some time.

      We also still use some original iMacs, for photo editing in
      Photoshop 5. We also use eMacs for this - using older versions
      on Photoshop under Classic.
      j.m.galvin
    • Some Truth, Though!

      We were early adopters of OS X here in our printing facility, but have one problem that I know is not limited to just our shop: hardware support.

      To be specific, we've got several pieces of equipment which we invested many $100's of thousands in which are driven by software which runs only on OS 9. There isn't even a question of updating to OS X versions... they don't exist. And the vendors who should've been providing us with an upgrade path? No longer supporting this hardware.

      So the choice for us is simple: nurse our OS 9 installations as long as possible before we're forced by an antiquated OS to abandon perfectly good graphics & printing hardware.

      Do I blame Apple? Not at all. I blame the vendors who will support our hardware so long as we pay expensive support contracts... but will not update the software.
      bischofftep
      • I don't see a real problem here....

        We still use OS9 here and we buy USED or rebuilt. I stay away from
        the dual processor Mac's when buying used however for a very
        reasonable price you can get an original G4 tower and I don't see
        that changing anytime soon.

        Pagan jim
        Laff
  • Mac OS crowd

    As a Mac OS 9 user who still has a couple of the dinosaurs
    lumbering around in the corners of our office and in our
    basemant at home, their time is most certainly drawing to a
    close. I will silently mourn the passing of a few old apps but
    the newer OS and machines are just literally light years
    ahead of the older machine and OS 9 that it ain't even a
    contest. OS 8? C'mooooonnnnnnnnnn! Give me a break!
    These are the same people that are still bitching about
    system 6. Give - it- up, dude! If you run fast they will nip at
    your heels. If you stop, they will swallow you whole!
    silverscanner
  • seemless?

    seamless?
    tonyw@...
  • PRO SHOPS

    If you are a pro shop you should have already switched to OSX to
    stay competitive in the market.
    brantcollins
    • Congratulations

      ...and I suppose you bill the overhead to your clients (new hardware, new apps, time spent developing new workflows...).

      Way to stay competitive!
      dsmithzdn
      • Well let's be fair here.......

        If you have not expensed out your old hardware/software by this
        time...what are you waiting for? You SHOULD have re-couped your
        costs by now if not you have done something wrong.

        Pagan jim
        Laff
        • Well here's the funny thing

          ... I've been enjoying the performance advantages of x86 processors for the past 6 years.

          Welcome to the club!

          er, when you can finally get your hands on a "Macintel".

          It's been a long wait, eh? I use 98, NT4 and 2K daily. Oh, and OS9 and OS X too. In many ways, OS9 really is a better GUI than X. Apart from aesthetic considerations though, they're all pretty much the same thing, with more or less eye candy (I prefer less).

          Incidentally, saw a funny post on a mac board yesterday, to the effect that, after the latest OS X update, it now runs *almost* as fast as OS9.

          :))))))))
          dsmithzdn
  • Get Real

    I was using OS 9 in 2002, and even at that time I thought it was
    antiquated. I suppose all of those people that had the origional
    Macs with the 9" square screens are going to be upset too.
    Some people, unbelievable article, to call it backwards would be
    a major compliment. If you can't get with the program get off
    the media.

    I fully agree with the following author, langastinos', comments
    from an apple board.

    "not thinking about us the faithful"

    I'm not sure how you've come to decide that your niche needs
    should be regarded as representative of "us, the faithful", but
    count me out.

    Would you rather Jobs had left Apple marooned on PPC? You act
    as though Apple stopped selling PPC Macs as of yesterday. They
    did not. You'll be able to buy PPC Macs just the same as if Apple
    hadn't hooked up with Intel. Probably for at least another year.

    Nobody's going to force you to buy a new Intel machine. But for
    you to suggest you think the rest of us should be held back and
    strapped down to obsolescence to accomodate your peculiar
    niche software needs is ridiculous. Your problem isn't Apple.
    Your problem and your wishes for change should be directed at
    that software company. 6 years after OS X and they haven't
    developed for it?

    I'm sorry, but 6 years is more than generous of Apple to have
    carried people. Believe me, I sympathize with people who are
    dependent on OS 9 boot or OS 9 apps who will need to work on
    2005+ class equipment, but that's not exactly like being thrown
    in the lions pit. It just means Apple couldn't find a way to give
    the overwhelming majority of us the best that it could -- and I
    might add, what we deserve -- while still carrying you. If a
    choice had to be made, that many of the faithful would be cut
    off or a very few would be cut off, which would you rather have
    had Apple do?
    bernoulli
  • "Microsoft needs to watch its back on the OS 98 app crowd"

    that might be a headline when "vista" is released later this year too. some people tahat still use win98 might be feeling deserted(as in the case of msft's latest wmf patch), if not already now, as win98 is no longer supported. there are a lot of people that still refuse to change. they feel comfortable with their os and no matter what you may tell them, they'll probably use win98 till they die.

    yes, I'm a slow adapter too in some ways as I usually go by the saying, "don't upgrade just to do so but when there's an advantage to doing so."

    gnu/linux...giving choice to the neX(11)t generation.
    Arm A. Geddon
  • The Opposite is True

    This article tries to make it sound like the majority of Apple apps
    are languishing in OS 9 land. Which simply is not true. If a
    major graphics house hasn't upgraded to OS X, they're not that
    major, or as someone else on this thread stated, "they're doing
    something wrong". If they can't afford the upgrade to OS X and
    new hardware, they certainly can't afford the upgrade to similar
    hardware on WINTEL and get the latest Windows versions of thier
    apps. If the author proposes that customers can't afford to
    upgrade hardware, that would apply to both platforms.

    The only exception would be those who have a serious
    investment in Quark software, but more and more publishing
    houses are switching to InDesign. Not so much that it's better,
    but because Quark has let the product go stale and the OS X
    version is flaky at best.

    Hold outs for OS 9 software will have to choose. I support a few
    in my current job and we've found replacements for ALL the
    applications they have a death grip on in OS 9. It will come a
    day when they'll want the souped up latest hardware but find
    that they'll have to choose between holding on to the past, or
    joining the new century.

    As far as booting time? My window 98se box on a Intel 350 MHz
    boots faster than my Windows XP on a 2.1 GHz AMD. Right now
    my dual 2.0 G5 boots OS X much faster than my 8100/80
    (80Mhz) running OS 9, not to mention my G3 iMac (500Mhz)
    running 10.3.9. Hmm...
    chcandle@...
  • When is the next DOS release from MS?

    I am still steaming that I can't get full DOS forward compatibility with NT nor XP. This is an outrage.

    Also, what the heck do I do with all those floppy disks ? I will NOT spend the money on 3 1/2" disks when 8" disks work fine.
    Prognosticator
  • The glory of OS9

    Being a small time computer user as a sideline and working with Macs since their inception, I can see that this thread has not addressed the navigation issue. The glory of OS9 is in its ability to keep information on track in its hardware hierarchy, thus speeding up the "saving as" process. When I use my high speed PC for graphics, I spend alot of time navigating back through folders. This is irritating at best! The time spent booting up pales in comparison to the time spent navigating around in a windows based environment!
    ruthblack