I'm a semi-technical ditz. You should know that right away.
I can, at the same time, do a lot. And not much. I use my computer
mostly for emails, and writing projects that involve viewing
.pdf files. I'm starting to learn PhotoShop, slowly. Want to
learn how to retouch and manipulate photos. Mosty mine.

I read somewhere, Apple is putting a new chip into the computers
next year. I think, not sure, but think it's an Intel chip. Which means
more changes, surely. And new software for the new computer, and
and and... maybe a whole new industry for Apple, like when they
introduced OSX and Panther?

My question is - I want to buy a new Mac laptop and I feel I have
to wait because who wants to spend Mac's prices on a new laptop
to find it outdated by the end of next year?

I am very happy with my G4 desktop, upgraded to Panther,
more memory, etc. from an antique - purchased end of 2000!

Also, I have old programs I run - like a very old address book,
older versions of Apple and MS and even MacWrite Pro, on which
I have too much data to convert so do use sometimes. I don't
know if I'll be able to run those old programs with the new chip.

Shall I wait? I know laptops will probably come down in price as
we near next year, but I don't want another antique in no time flat.

Thank you.

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This brings up a very important question, and I am researching it. If others have some thoughts, feel free to post.

Looking historically, the new chips should support the older operating systems, but this is a much larger shift than Apple successfully worked in the past. More to follow.


Thanks, Christian.

Maybe the laptops won't have the new chip at
the beginning?

Any answers or thoughts would be appreciated. I may? have an emergency
on my hands and need to borrow an old laptop if I should wait to buy
a new laptop for a whole year. That will be another whole set of questions - and problems!


Don't wait. The PPC platfom will remain supported for years -- developers won't just suddenly abandon a chip when 99% of users are still using it. Also, it's not as if creating cross-processor software will be that difficult -- Apple has been doing this with an entire operating system, after all. So even as developers begin making apps that run on Intel, they'll still be available for PPC.

Look back at the 68k-PPC transition.

Thanks, RF.
But I am remembering what it was like when I was on OS9 - and OSX came
out. Suddenly, I couldn't upgrade this and that and found I couldn't open this
and that, some things important. It was very frustrating. I kept putting off
changing because this was a big change. Then, I had to change. And it was
the nightmare I expected because I couldn't make a clean change with all
the old programs and being a semi-technical ditz.

However, I do take your point. I'll have to think about it. Because I know
this is biz and I remember the industry that arrived with the OSX - everyone
made lots of $!

Well, someone asked the same question in The New York Times today
(Circuits Q&A, Thursday, August 11) and I got some answers. None too pleasing.

Seems "to help with the transition, Apple has developed a program called Rosetta that allows many programs written for its old Power PC-chips to run on its new Intel-based processors." These old programs may run slower but, worse, "if you regularly use Mac OS 9 versions of programs on your current computer and need to keep using them, the Intel-based Macs is not intended to run those older programs." I have a lot of old research and programs I still use constantly on old OS 9 programs, which I can use now with Classic. The future sounds grim for those of us who want to get
a new-Intel computer but also need to run old OS 9 programs.

There was much more to the article - one thing being "that
processor-intensive programs like software for 3-D rendering and
graphics-laden games may not work at all with it." Doesn't affect me,
but it might some of you. They do say that "buying a new machine now could save you a year's worth of frustration, and it would most
likely suffice for most standard tasks for years." Most likely are the
key words there, I think. I'm not holding my breath having been
thru the shall I/ should I/must I transition from OS9 to OS 10.3 and
then literally having to.

They recommend that - "if your current computer is meeting all your
current needs and you can get by on it for another year, waiting may not be a bad idea. Moving to a new processor will have its bumps, but will keep obsolescence that much farther in the future."

Do any of you guys have any further thoughts on this?

Excerpts from - QandA@nytimes.com

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