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ATPM 17.06
June 2011




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by Mark Tennent,

New Vistas on Lion

Terry Seabrook e-mailed me today, about his new CD and concert dates. Don’t know who he is (I hear you say)? Terry is just a cool Brighton-based jazz man. His new Web site is here. I’m not usually a fan of jazz, but Terry’s previous band, Cubana Bop, and his latest, Milestones, give you a jazz which is very light and listenable.

As I looked through Terry’s back catalogue, I tried to remember which were the CD covers I designed, from an era when my studio was in Brighton and I traded design of their poster/cover/whatever in exchange for a copy of their latest music as CD and MP3s. Brighton is the birthplace of so many bands and musicians. I made sure my music library grew exponentially by working for as many as possible. Most of the CDs remain sealed in their wrappers, in case in years to come I can take them to the Antiques Roadshow.

The chances of running the software I used to produce Terry’s covers diminish as rapidly as Apple switches allegiance in its choice of CPU suppliers. The switch from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X was expensive in some ways, as scanners and some printers were left for dust, but software still ran. Apple introduced their Classic emulator, which I found ran old software quicker and more reliably than under native Mac OS 9.

I still have some of those old packages and welcome anyone creating a new Classic emulator so that I can get to my old barcoders, Adobe Streamline, and various graphics applications. Then Apple switched from IBM to Intel as their CPU supplier. That change was again, helped by Rosetta, the PowerPC emulation software which has kept all my older Mac OS X applications running.

It is the switch to Lion which is going to hurt the most, because this time there will be no emulator to keep PowerPC applications alive. They will wither away to nothing as soon as I switch, and this will include some of the heavyweight software I cannot find alternatives for. This includes every Adobe application I own, the Microsoft Office suite, as well as old faithfuls such as VisualHub, SilverFast scanning software, and others.

Losing Microsoft Office will be the least painful; I never wanted to upgrade from Word 5 and definitely not to the latest Word with the dreadful ribbon. For the rest of broken applications, I just hope they get updates pretty darned quick. Some, such as Epson’s drivers, are all PowerPC. Others, such as SilverFast, will probably be a paid-for upgrade.

This next Mac OS X is the first where I shall really examine whether it is worth the hassle to use. For me to say that, I think Apple might be on the verge of making the same mistake as Microsoft did with Vista.

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Reader Comments (4)

Biff · June 2, 2011 - 13:35 EST #1
Take a look at the open source SheepShaver. It emulates a PowerPC, and it lets you run MacOS 7.5.3 through 9.0.4 on a bunch of systems, including Snow Leopard and even Windows and Linux. It's not perfect, installing it is a little bit quirky, and I don't know if your bar code scanners will work, but it does a lot of things well. Definitely worth a try. Installation instructions are at
Lynn R · June 2, 2011 - 16:23 EST #2
You mean that Apple will continue to add patches to bloat ware and keep old legacy code like Microsoft did with Vista.

I don't think so.
pete surckla · June 3, 2011 - 13:46 EST #3
"Corporate greed?
Sometimes successful companies, people and politicians forget where they come from and us, ... the great unwashed.
... Did Apple forget?
Avery Ray Colter · June 18, 2011 - 01:12 EST #4
Ahhh, the old "How much do I need this" question. I haven't yet gone beyond 10.4.11, partly because my main desktop machine, a sturdy used G4 AGP, has just refused to die.

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