Four Hours Burying the Cat

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Date: Wednesday, May 8th, 2002, 00:00
Category: Archive


Not unlike the Monty Python sketch where Mrs. Premise spends four hours burying the cat – because it’s not dead yet – Steve Jobs is busy burying OS 9 in order to move Macintosh developers along with the tide he has created. When Apple introduced iPhoto as an OS X only application, that was significant. When Microsoft chose to develop only for X, the folks at Apple must have been thrilled. I suspect that decision actually hurt Microsoft in the short term, because they were expecting a larger installed base by the time of the release, counting on more Apple OS X adopters who would have to buy the upgrade to avoid running Office 2001 under Classic. Adobe on the other hand was late to the party, especially since they hedged their bets with a Carbonized release that can run under 9.2. Such a strategy gives them a larger potential audience because of the opportunity to sell to those who are not ready to move to OS X.

I moved to X a bit earlier then planned. I had to find a replacement for Personal Backup, my long standing backup software. Their plans to introduce a version for X in the first half of 2003 may just be too late to win me back. My mainstay, PowerCADD drafting software has no announced plans to develop a version for X. I hope they change their minds, because I will need to spend US$1,000 to replace it. An update to Starry Night astronomy software is due in the summer and I have found no equal. These programs are pretty much the only reason I run Classic. The other reason, is to be able to print to my Epson 1200. [Vindigo, music software and Real player are my last holdouts -Ed]

The worst thing to do about these types of issues is to get emotional. It is important to remember that these are just business decisions on the part of Apple, it’s developers and hardware manufacturers. I resent the fact that Epson is not supporting my perfectly good printer, but I find their photo printers to be superior and the recently announced 2200 sounds fantastic. I will probably replace my 1200 with one, because I can get over my resentment and make a rational choice. If I learn a new CAD program I will have little incentive to move back.

The next big step will be to sever all links to the Classic Environment. It’s just a matter of time before Apple announces a revision to X without the ability to run OS 9 in emulation. I am getting ready to install X on the TiBook of a friend who is an honest-to-goodness Windows convert. Everything she needs will run under X except for End Note bibliography software which just entered beta, so I am suggesting that we not even install 9. It makes no sense for her to learn both operating systems ? better to become a beta tester.

Flood waters only a foot or so deep can sweep away a driver who does not perceive the physics of the situation. Any developer who fails to heed this latest warning will be left behind. In fact, it may be too late for many, considering the wealth of great shareware that is pouring in to fill the voids. Apple’s customers were given a clear exemption by Jobs in his keynote. Users are not under the gun to move. If the investment in a new Mac, new peripherals or software upgrades don’t make sense, just consider the lack of development for 9 as forced savings, since there will be no software upgrades to buy.

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