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Old 01-07-2022, 07:07 AM   #1
woody649
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Default MacOS future ???

I've been operating in the Windows universe since I was forced into the "personal computing" world by my employer back around 1984. I know that Windows 11 has just come out,and that a great many current computers (all of mine included) won't run Windows 11. I have until October 14, 2025, to decide how to respond to that.

I'm writing something about computers and upgrades, and I need to be able to address the Mac world, but I don't know enough to even know what I don't know. The concern is: for future upgradeability (if that's a word), how much of a difference does hardware make? MacOS was named "10.xx" (alongside Apple's cutesy code names) from MacOS X (10.0) in 2001 through MacOS 10.15 in 2019. From 2011 onward the MacOS has seen a version update annually. Starting in 2020 Apple abandoned the "10.xx" nomenclature, calling it MacOS 11 in 2020 and MacOS 12 in 2021.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to get a start with a Mac on a budget? If buying a used Mac, how old can you go and still be assured that the computer will be able to run current and anticipated software and get security updates for at least ... oh, say five years or so?

Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2022, 09:01 AM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
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FWIW, for client work, I've had a Mac around the place since, round numbers, forever. Until a few years ago, I had a Mac Mini, which was convenient. Small and I could share monitors with a desktop PC using a switch.

But then a client I was developing some Windows software for asked "And we'll have the Mac version by the same delivery date, right?" This, of course, was the first time anybody'd mentioned the M word. And they really meant that they needed it right away. Deadline was about 10 days off and I was due to be at a conference for a full week during that time. Basically, the only time I'd have to work on it was during the plane ride to the conference and evenings.

So I trotted out and bought a MacBook Air. No time to get one souped up on special order, so I grabbed the best one they had in stock at the Apple store, so 4gb RAM was the best I could do.

That was in 2014 or so, and I'm still using it. It's no speed demon, but it's been very reliable, and despite what I'd consider to be minimal RAM, I'm able to run a Windows VM in Parallels on it.

Updates to newer versions of MacOS have been utterly pain free.

Installing one's own custom-written software on client Macs is a very different story. MAJOR PITA. But that's not a concern you'll have.

   
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Old 01-07-2022, 09:39 AM   #3
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Thanks, Steve. I was hoping to find someone who actually uses Macs.

So if you bought yours around 2014, it should have started out around version 10.10 of the MacOS. The most current version, as of October 2021, is MacOS 12. What has your machine updated itself to? I don't remember when we bought my late wife's iPhone 4, but it's obsolete. The highest version of iOS it will update to is iOS 7.1.2., which was released in June of 2014. The current version is 15.2 (with 15.3 out as a beta). I have fired it up to test several different apps, and none of them will run under such an old version of iOS.

My dilemma is that I'm trying to write some advice for people who are looking to move into working from home. If they already have a computer, they'd probably keep using it. For those who might be looking to buy a computer (like maybe they've been using an iPad and would want a Mac desktop or laptop for "real" work), how old can they buy and still have some level of comfort that it won't be obsolete tomorrow?
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Old 01-08-2022, 09:32 AM   #4
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Mine's running 11.6 (Big Sur). 12 was announced in June and released in late-ish October 2021. Mine has yet to begin pestering me to update (maybe it's finally gotten to the point where it's too old to update any more?) but if/when it does, I'll stall for six months or more. And certainly until the current project I'm working on is well behind me.

Mine's a 13-inch model, 4gb RAM as mentioned, from early 2014, Big Sur.

I'm not especially patient with slow computers, but if this were the only computer I could use to browse the web, use MS Office (I've got 365 installed on it), do a bit of programming and audio editing, I'd have no real complaints.

It's a far more usable device than a much heftier-spec Lenovo laptop that I updated to Win10, which is dog-slow to start up and is no thrill to run once it's awake. To get even marginal performance out of it, I had to disable all sorts of MStuff.

And at the risk of sounding like an Apple fanboi, I'll also mention that the service at Apple stores and on the phone is superb. You want to call first for an appointment or the wait times can be quite long, but once you're on the list, you'll be well cared for. I've taken advantage of the store once and phone support a few times.

I hear good things about the support at Microsoft stores too, but they all closed down some while back (COVID) and have yet to re-open. MS phone support is legendary. For its awfulness.

There ya go. One (Windows-centric) guy's opinion.

   
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