Goodbye PowerPC, some of us will miss you


If a PowerPC Mac were a chicken, this would be the announcement of Christmas
If a PowerPC Mac were a turkey, this would be the first mention of Christmas

Having installed iLife ’09 on my Apple Mac G5, I launched Garageband, eagerly awaiting my first experience of the much hyped music lessons included within.

What transpired was both surprising and teeth-scrapingly frustrating. You see, while Apple will allow you to install their latest consumer software suite on your old PowerPC-based Mac, they will quite happily deny you access to one of its main features. Because you don’t have an intel chip, like.

Alarm bells started to ring.

iLife ’09 was joined by Google Chrome and, perhaps most disconcertingly, Snow Leopard. None would entertain my sad old G5.

I’m sure there are plenty of other instances of similar intel-only programs, but the three above signaled the final nail in the coffin for my studio workhorse.

Frustratingly, my G5 would be perfectly capable of running these pieces of software (and Apple’s new operating system, no doubt). Apple have simply closed their doors to what was once hailed as the most powerful consumer computing platform around. And they can. They have the power to do this when their entire hardware platform is proprietary. What they say, goes, and there’s only so long you can hold on before succumbing to the inevitable.

I now sit typing this on my new MacBook Pro. Everything suddenly works. There are no restrictions. I just have a somewhat lighter wallet…

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