I am perhaps a little overly susceptible to end-of-the-world scenarios, despite having lived through a few that came to nothing. But I’m a little freaked out about this, and hope that someone knows more than I do.
My laptop went dysfunctional from a rare condition two weeks ago – the screen simply went blank and would no longer transmit light, though happily the hard drive, logic board, and desktop remain operational. When I considered the possibility of buying a new laptop (the ill one is less than two years old), I was warned that I would have to get a Mac with OS 10.7 or 10.8, namely (if not respectively) Lion or Mountain Lion. Two computer repairmen, one of whom I’ve been going to for many years, told me that many people (including even accountants) buy a Lion or Mountain Lion Mac, and then find that virtually none of their software works on it. Apparently much of the professional software used by specialists in various disciplines is not updatable, or not being updated, for these operating systems, which, following the lowest common denominator, are being designed only for the most generic programs. I know this particularly affects my microtonal software such as Li’l Miss Scale Oven, which forms the basis of much of my career. My trusty computer guy told me, “I’m afraid we may be coming to the end of the personal computer as we know it, and that what we’re going to have instead is an appliance.” Boy, did he say that word with a sneer. The other guy told me that if anyone suggests 10.7 or 10.8, “Look them in the eye and respond: ‘Over. My. Dead. Body.’”
Is anyone on this? It became apparent that, no matter what my laptop repairs cost, I have to keep that machine alive for as many years as possible. Buying a new computer may no longer be an option. Both computer guys tell me they spend a lot of time reinstalling Snow Leopard for people who tried the higher OS’s and lost everything. Is this mainly a Mac problem? Is there a counter movement in place anywhere? Are we all doomed, doomed, I tell you?