Originally Posted by palegolas
He he.. Makes me wonder.. Are iOS versions named after birds?
Good question. I wonder what code names Apple uses for iOS releases. I've always thought they should use small cats (tabby, calico, persian, etc.), since it is OS X running on a smaller hardware platform.
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky
I wonder what the limitations are that prevent the older Macs from running ML?? Does ML require THAT much horsepower just to haul it around?
As I understand it, the big issue is the presence of 32-bit EFI firmware. Since ML isn't shipping a 32-bit kernel, it can't be booted from 32-bit firmware. At least not without changing their boot loader mechanism.
Of course, they could fix this in any number of ways if they wanted to. They could issue EFI updates to put 64-bit firmware on those Macs. They could create a 2-stage boot loader (a-la what Grub does to boot 64-bit Linux on PCs with 32-bit firmware.)
Some pundits are pointing out that there are also GPU capability requirements.
But ultimately, the reason is that Apple doesn't want to support those older machines, for whatever their reason may be.
Originally Posted by markbyrn
Forced to upgrade? You mean Apple is holding a gun to your head or your 5+ year old Mac will suffer a seizure and stop working on the day ML comes out?
No, but as Apple stops releasing security updates and app developers drop their support, it becomes increasingly risky to connect old systems to the internet.
My 2002-era PowerMac G4 and 2005-era iBook G4 are both still fast enough to be useful to me, but with no security updates available for Mac OS, Java, Flash, Safari and Firefox, there are a lot of security holes that have already been exploited. I wouldn't want to rely on the fact that PPC systems are rare these days and hope that malware authors don't bother porting their stuff to the platform.
I will admit that the modern systems I replaced them with are much much more faster and much much more fun to use, but I really would have preferred to upgrade on my own schedule (when the hardware actually dies or I run across a must-have app that I can't run) instead of because Apple and others decided to drop support.
Originally Posted by jragosta
The security argument is a red herring. Since there has never been a self-propogating virus for OS X in the wild, it's not going to hurt anything to continue to use the older machine.
There's plenty malware can do without self-propagating. Security holes in web browsers can allow all kinds of stuff to auto-install and run, even if it can only be contracted from a compromised web server.
Originally Posted by Elijahg
According to "du -h /mach_kernel", the Lion kernel is 15mb, with 32 bit support. Not exactly massive...
It's not the size of the shipping code that's the big cost. It's the support costs.
If you ship two kernels, then you need compile them both, you need to test them both, and you need to provide ongoing support (including security patches and bug fixes) for both. These costs are far far greater than the cost to put an extra 15MB in the installation image.
Apple's got (I assume) customer usage demographics. They've probably concluded that a large enough percentage of customers have systems capable of booting the 64-bit kernel that it's no longer worth the expense of continuing to maintain the 32-bit one. You and I may disagree about their decision, but I'm sure it wasn't simply for the purpose of screwing over customers.