View Full Version : Mac cast-offs and minor irritations rant

January 12th, 2015, 04:49 PM
When Lori gets a new computer, I always get her cast-offs. When she bought a new MacBook, like seven years ago, I got her old PowerBook. When she got a MacBook Air in 2013, I got her old MacBook. Unfortunately, owning an "old" (ancient by computer standards) computer comes with it's own share of problems, especially a Mac. It happened with the PowerBook and it's happening with the MacBook. Little things like: I got a message from Skype today saying something to the effect of, "We noticed you log in to Skype using OS 10.5. Yeah, we're disabling Skype for your computer. Sorry! Get a new computer idiot."

I'm kind of annoyed that Skype is actively disabling functionality of their own software. Why and to what end, I don't know. Rob accused me of being a luddite once. I think of it as not fixing what ain't broke. I am simply not a typical consumer. I'm old-fashioned and use stuff until said stuff doesn't work any more. (High-five, George!) I guess I just have a problem with a company actively making the product that I use stop working, even if nothing was wrong with it. Maybe the more tech savvy folks can enlighten me as to why this would be. The conspiracy theorist in me says control, data mining, tracking, listening in, advertising, which is probably all part of it.

That's just an example of minor shit that happens when you have a "legacy" machine. We have other computers here that are much newer, so really, it's barely an inconvenience. I only use the thing for web browsing and Skype. I did some cursory reading about upgrading the OS, and it seems it's not even worth the effort to upgrade, especially for what I use it for. I can't even install Mavericks because the machine is too old. Alas, now if I want to A/V chat with my family again, I have to borrow one of the wife's newer Macs or buy a camera/mic for my PC.

She's got a MacBook Air, a 27" iMac, an iPad, an iPhone and an iPod! She is a consumer. Apple has somehow convinced Mac fans that you can't just own one Apple device. You have to own all the devices Apple makes and buy new ones every year.

So yeah, blah, blah, blah. PCs 4 lyfe, yo!

Feel free to be an assclown below in whatever way you deem appropriate.

January 12th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Support is the answer. It is VERY difficult to test software on every platform ever made, and even more difficult to write good code that works on every platform ever made. Periodically, often in combination with new features, bug fixes, or security concerns, support for old stuff is removed from the code base and then voila, something that did work no longer works. In the old days you could simply decide not to update, but with connected services like Skype you don't get that option. And that's good, because if you and George are running old, flawed software you could be the gateway for nefarious types into Skype's network or you could be causing apparent instability for other people. They obviously can't have that, so until you update you're excommunicated. Same reason I don't let Power Macs and Windows XP on business networks. It's not safe for anyone.

This has nothing to do with PC vs Mac, PC support gets dropped too. What is maybe a little different is that Apple tends to drop support for old stuff after 4-6 years (as you found with Mavericks), and in PC land you may get 7-10 - although that's changing. You just can't have good, secure, large scale software that doesn't evolve with the demand for new features and improved usability while vigilantly addressing security issues. It has pretty much nothing to do with consumerism or data mining, and everything to do safety and stability.

January 13th, 2015, 04:21 AM

January 13th, 2015, 05:25 AM
Rolling release 4 LYFE (https://www.archlinux.org/)

January 15th, 2015, 03:27 AM
Apple is the bad guy because Skype (Microsoft) disabled their program on your machine?

Can you go back to an old version of Skype, or did they update something in their web services that required a newer program, and thus older programs got disabled?

Also, you may be able to install Windows on your MacBook via BootCamp, so that you can use the operating system of your choice :up: