Oh, for the dog days of summer. They seem so wonderful until the thermostat stays above 100 for 5 days in a row! Yuck!! We can only be thankful for air conditioning, and lots of new Apple and Mac stuff to talk about.
The big story this month is MacOS X Lion. Lion is the 8th version of Mac OS X and looks like it will be the shape of things to come from Apple. Lion integrates much of the interface built in iOS for the iPhone and iPad into the Macintosh user experience. Everything from Launchpad to the use of swiping gestures is now incorporated into the computer operating system we know and love. There is lots new to talk about here so appleJAC will be hosting a Mac OS X Lion demo at our regularly scheduled meeting in September. Plan to kick off the fall with a look into Lion.
Lion not only brings us new interface, it also leads us to the new method for software delivery that Apple has in it’s plans. A few years back, Apple introduced the MacBook Air without a DVD drive, and we all thought that was crazy. Everyone needs a DVD drive to install software and play movies. Fast forward to today, and we see ourselves downloading a new version of the operating system and getting movies over the Internet from NetFlix. No DVDs need apply for this gig; it is an online-only world.
Now we see the latest MacBook Air with a fast processor. This time just as fast as a MacBook Pro for all practical sense. And now the Mac Mini looses it’s DVD drive. Get ready folks, my next prediction: DVDs are going the way of the floppy. Some will cry and some will refuse to go, but expect a Mac in your future to be DVD-less.
The other real story in line is the elimination of Rosetta from Lion. Rosetta was an emulation layer that allowed older software written for a PowerPC processor to run on Intel-based Macs. Apple contracted this software from IBM (who sold it the PowerPC processors), but the PowerPC has run it’s course, and even IBM is moving on. SO must Apple. For about 5 years it maintained this emulation to allow software developers time to bring their products forward into natively running on Intel. Unfortunately, some developers did not listen.
But, the vast majority of software you have issues with in Lion falls into two categories:
- Software that has been sunset – this is software the developer chose to end development on; this may be because it was replaced with a new product or it may be the developer just did not want to continue it’s development
- Software that has an upgrade - some of these are as simple as downloading a new version, but many, if not most, of them will be products that have a fee for the upgrade; users may not have been aware of this upgrade or chose not to pay; either way, these products will not run in Lion without the upgrade.
It is funny to watch the complaints on the Internet about these two types of software. Some people believe that, if they purchase a product it should work forever. Others chastise Apple for not maintaining this emulation for 5 more years. Either way, these PowerPC applications join the Mac OS 9 applications that have been orphaned by new technology.
The key thing for a user here is to be sure the applications you need will run before updating to Lion. If you do the update, and the files need to be exported, you may have just lost all those files to the old ‘bit bucket’ in the sky. Don’t let this happen to you. Remember, while Lion adds a lot to the user experience on the Mac, it is NOT a required upgrade. If what you have works for you, then you can still keep using it. Just don’t expect the world to stay behind with you.
The other big story this month is the August appleJAC meeting. This year we are going back to the Yanis Coffee Zone on August 2 at 7:00 pm for a evening of iOS applications. Bring your iOS device (iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad) and learn about great applications for these devices. Just like the last time, the proprietor of the Coffee Zone will be there keeping the coffee on for you to order your favorite coffee drinks and great sweets.
I hope you can make it this month. Be sure to bring your iOS-using friends too. You don’t need to be a member to come see all the fun.