What a fascinating range of comments from my report on how Leopard on my PowerBook G4 running at 1 GHz with 1GB of RAM slowed things down (mostly networking) and my disappointment at Apple’s decision to block iMovie 08 from running on a G4 system. As usual when I say something about a Macintosh, the reports run the gamut of calling me an idiot (for lack of Mac appreciation) to agreeing with me (four comments). It didn’t help that I mistakenly called my PowerBook a MacBook, which dozens of people pointed out, some while calling me a double idiot.
“Marcusgee” pointed me to a Web site that shows how to hack iMovie 08 to run on a G4 system like mine. Yes, the iMovie 08 specs call for an Intel chip or certain G5 systems. But the core architecture on G4s and G5s are, as far as I can research, quite similar. Technical reasons aren’t why iMovie 08 can’t run on my PowerBook. That responsibility goes to Apple executives. Marcusgee’s reference shows iMovie 08 can run on a G4 for at least one user.
A few pointed out that Apple is protecting me from myself by limiting the more resource-hungry iMovie 08 from running on my G4, when iMovie 06 runs acceptably well for my purposes. Yes, it will be slower. However, when I turn on my Macintosh, it’s the fifth computer I control from my desk. I run two Windows XP systems, and two Linux systems, all through a KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) appliance from Avocent. So if I want to let my woeful G4 churn for an hour on what would take 15 minutes on a new Intel MacBook, it doesn’t stop me from working. Shouldn’t I get to make that choice? It’s a tough decision for every vendor, and I fell on the wrong side of the dividing line this time.
I will disagree with Matt who said “You’re surprised that a new OS with more glitz and glamour is slow- well, that glitz and glamour don’t come free! You didn’t spend the money to get a faster OS. You spent money to get a more secure OS, with integrated backup, with updated versions of many core features– that runs slow on an old consumer level laptop.”
Recent hacking contests have shown Leopard isn’t the most secure system out there, and my friends in the security biz say Apple has yet to fix some bugs in the underlying Unix code that’s the foundation of OS X. And few if any small business people I know want more “glitz and glamour” in their OS. They want security (oops), and they want reliability. Glitz they can live without. Why do you think everyone makes fun of Vista’s Aero Glass interface and the performance penalty it brings?