The MacValley blog


Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.


Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

Editor: Tom Briant


Click here to email Tom

Click here for Tom's profile



To search the blog posts please use the box below

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Everything old is new again and other thoughts


And Everything Old is New Again…


Welcome to the era of 64-bit Apple computing, starting in 2018. According to 9to5 Mac, Apple will tell developers they must submit 64-bit versions of their software to the App Store. Even more ominously, the news is that macOS 10.13 will be the last version to unreservedly run 32-bit software such as Microsoft Office 2008 and 2011.

So Apple moves forward like a shark, leaving the carcasses of past systems in its wake. I now have at home a G4 eMac, a 32-bit 2006 MacBook, a late 2011 Mac Mini which is 64-bit, and a 2014 MacBook Air. So I can cover the gamut of Apple’s operating systems for the 21st Century.

What can you do to avoid the shock of realizing you can’t run that old piece of software you depended upon? Well, for starters, don’t throw out your previous Mac. Of course, a lot of us have closets and cabinets full of old Macs. I’ve even seen the original 128K Mac at a friend’s house!

But what do you do if you don’t have an older Mac anymore? You should consider the virtualization route. Parallels, makers of the full-fledged Parallels Desktop virtualization app which I used for Windows 10, recently introduced without a lot of notice, Parallels Desktop Lite. It’s free, you have to go through the Mac App Store, and it’s not intended for Windows, only Mac and Linux and other Intel x86 operating systems.

I’ve tried it with an old Windows XP Pro SP2 DVD that I have and it put up a warning banner that PD Lite would only run Windows for 10 days for free. PD Lite then requires the purchase of a license. So if you want to virtualize Windows on your desktop for free, try Virtual Box. I use it with that old Windows XP Pro DVD to run an old version of WordPerfect 11 that won’t run under Windows 10. Otherwise, break down and spend the money for a full version of Parallels Desktop or VMWare.

Getting back to PD Lite, I find it perfect for running versions of OS X 10.8 and up. I have 10.10 Yosemite and 10.12 Sierra running with virtual machines on my Mac Mini. So I’ll always be able to run a version of OS X that can run 32-bit versions of necessary software.

As for the old PowerPC OS X software needing 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6 on Intel hardware, get thee to PowerMax to get an old MacBook or iMac that runs those versions! You can look on eBay as well, but be careful!

If you need to reinstall your original operating system, you can use the Internet Recovery Mode. Hold down Command+Option+R after you reboot and hear the start-up “bong” Read the article I just linked to in the above sentence for full illustrated instructions.

Will Monitors start getting heavy again after years of featherweight LCD monitors?

Apple announced it would include support for external Graphic Processing Units in 10.13. Of course, enthusiasts have figured out how to run these external Graphic Processing Units in 10.13 in 10.12 and before with various bits of Terminal wizardry. See this article for details.

So what constitutes an external Graphics Processing Unit? It refers to those massive, very expensive graphics cards used primarily by Windows gamers to play realistic games at very high frame rates. They often require their own connection to the computer’s power supply and they require their own set of software drivers. So you can buy a box with its own power supply and some circuitry to connect the graphics card from its PCI-e interface to a Thunderbolt 3 cable and back to the Mac. Apple will start selling developers a complete kit to start developing Virtual Reality for the highest-end Macs.

I have read article which suggest that monitor makers should move the graphics card into the monitor case with just a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 cable running to the computer. That increases the monitor’s weight. I remember the days of 70 pound 17” CRT monitors that gave me back pain from just unpacking the darn things! I hope that’s not coming back as the standard!


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog




No comments:

Post a Comment



Blog Archive