Monthly Archives: October 2012

Waiting for the new Mac Pro

This is a Podcast. To listen to it, please click the link below:
Desperately seeking a new Mac Pro

Alternatively, here’s my script for the Podcast which may not match exactly
what I ended up saying:-

Hello and welcome to this, the very first Andy Clayton Podcast. These podcasts will be infrequent, short and probably very dull. They will, I expect, cover a small range of topics that interest me. I am a web designer by profession and also code for the iPhone and iPad so expect to hear lots of really boring stuff about that. I play the alto saxophone so also expect to hear me whinging on about my complete lack of musical ability. I have 2 energetic dogs and enjoy training them so you should also expect to hear how that goes. Or doesn’t as they case may be.

In actual fact, as I sit here recording this first Podcast in mid October 2012 one of my dogs is curled up on the floor by my desk. It may be because she loves me or it may be more likely that she’s there because I have treats in my desk draw.

However, as I’m a self confessed geek my first podcast will be about our favourite Californian based trend setters. I can only mean one company. Yep, you’re right: Apple.

But before we get to that, let me formally introduce myself. I’m Andy. Pleased to meet you. I live on the south coast of the UK, a short walk from the local beach and an equally short drive from the New Forest. I’m in my early 40’s which I’ve decided in recent months is exceedingly old as bits of me have already stopped working. Bending down is now something I only do in emergencies or to cut my toenails which I have to say isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be. My head has long since parted with anything that may have once resembled hair, my eyesight is deteriorating at an alarming rate meaning that the 30″ Apple Cinema Display I use may actually be too small for me soon. Like many who may have the unfortunate experience of listening to this drivel I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember, with a certain amount of nostalgia, the Chooper, Dallas (the first time around) and chocolate bars that cost less than 10p. However, I digress. I’m sure that the 1980’s is something that we will return to when we meet again in the future.

Some friends would consider me an Apple Fanboy, well I say friends people I once met might be more appropriate as I’m at an age that means that I don’t get out nearly as much as I used to. Apple Fanboy is meant as a derogatory term – a kick in the shins to people who blindly buy anything that’s spewed out by Cuppertino’s most famous company. Although I do confess to liking Apple’s products very much I do so, often, with a certain degree of heathly reluctance. I didn’t get the first iPhone, or the first iPad. The iPhone 3G was my first mobile smartphone. Well, actually that’s no true, but I’ll come back to that in a moment. Skipping the first one, I briefly owned an iPad 2 but now use an iPad 3. Sorry “new” iPad.

Both the iPhone and iPad when they were first announced by the late, great and sadly missed but unfortunately very dead Steve Jobs, weren’t the kind of products I was interested in. It seems almost crazy now. After all, Apple said we wouldn’t be able to live without our iPhones and iPads and, by golly, they were right. They were right… Weren’t they?

My first Apple love, though, are their desktop computers. I switched from PC to Mac long before it became a trendy thing to do. In fact, I was about the only person I knew with a Mac back then although I can’t claim to have jumped to the platform exceedingly early – there are many people who owned Macs long before I did. OS X was at version 3 when I first got a machine (there, I told you it wasn’t really THAT long). OS X Panther was great. So was Tiger, Not that sure about Leopard… But let’s not waffle on about operating systems. I’ll have a whinge about that in a moment.

I first decided to switch to Apple after owning a Windows Mobile smartphone manufactured by Motorola. It was an MPx 200 and was, quite simply, a giant turd mascarading as a phone. It wasn’t so much engineered as vomiited out of the factory. If you set an alarm one day and then turned it off, it would continue to go off every day at the same time even thought it WAS TURNED OFF. And that’s just the start of it. I could go on, but I’m in my 40’s so I have to think about my blood pressure. I already grown to hate Windows and the Windows Phone was just the last straw. I bought a Mac Mini quickly followed by a first generation MacBook and then, when the PowerMac was replaced by the first Intel based Mac Pro I bought one of the cheese graters which, to this day, is the computer I do everything on. Well, not everything obviously but you get the idea.

And this leads me on to what I wanted to whinge about today. My Mac Pro is now 6 years old. Very good for a desktop computer. I doubt very much a Windows machine would last this long and still be capable of running the very latest applications allowing me to do what I do every day. My Pro, beefed up to 11GB of RAM now hasn’t let me down over the long years it’s been in almost constant use. I’ve had a hard drive fail me (thankfully one of two I used for Time Machine) but other than that no dramas. However, with the introduction of Apple’s new OS X recently Mountain Lion I found, for the first time since switching to the platform, that none of my Macs will run the latest version of the OS. My Mac Mini is PowerPC so only went as far as Leopard. My MacBook has a Core 2 Duo processor so only goes as far as Snow Leopard and now my Mac Pro, having a 32-bit EFi will only go as far as Lion. Now, I’m the first to say that you can’t keep supporting old hardware indefinitely. In fact I had no problem when PowerPC support was dropped. Even the laptop only running Snow Leopard is no great problem as the battery is shot on that 6 and half year old laptop anyway but I do feel let down by Apple with my Mac Pro. They took their eye off the ball with their desktops, certainly. OK. The counter argument is that the desktop market is shrinking, however if you don’t update the line then consumers won’t buy because they’ll be waiting for updated hardware. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to buy. Every decreasing circles.

As things stand, on the date of this recording the Mac Mini was last updated 456 days ago, the iMac 534 days ago and the Mac Pro an astonishing 814 days and counting. That’s well over 2 years!

In actual fact, the Mac Pro received a small update in June 2012, however there was such a backlash after this happened that Apple quietly dropped advertising the fact on it’s web site. Us Mac Pro owners were expecting a significant hardware upgrade and didn’t get it. Apple’s Tim Cook did something quite out of character of the company by announcing that the Pro will be updated in 2013. No timeframe, although “late next year” doesn’t fill me with joy. The Pro hardware currently on sale is so out of date that you’d have to be a sandwich short of a picnic to buy one.

There are rumours that the iMac will be updated next week – so not long to wait for that. But as for me, I’ll have to continue watching the spinning beach ball for a few agonising more months yet.

Anyway, quite enough of that. I’ll wrap up. If you’ve stayed awake to the end then please feel free to make a comment about this podcast but I’d ask you to please remove the swearing up front.

Til next time…

The above is a blog item dated according the time it was first published. It was added to this blog when it first launched in its current format in July 2013.