28 September 2009

Upgrade :: "Intel-Only" Part 1

Apple shifted gears back in 2006, moving away from IBM "PowerPC" processors to shiny new Intel based chips (read). Many people were upset, how could, after years and years of intel bashing, how could Apple get into bed with the enemy (Does anyone else remember the Intel Slug advertisements)?

It wasn't the first time Apple has done something like this. Their move to IBM PowerPC also confused many who had been told through Apple's own advertising that IBM was the "Big Brother" of the computing industry (see here).

Regardless of the past, all of us who had made substantial investments in G5 workstations felt the small drop in the back of our stomachs. We remembered the pain of upgrading to OS X when Apple dropped "classic." But that was software, this, this was hardware. I looked down at my already aging workstation, knowing my investment had a shelf life.

Apple continued support of the PowerPC for a number of years after 2006, but now in the late summer / fall of 2009, after several operating systems (Tiger, Leopard) Apple has released "Snow Leopard", their first slimed down Intel-Only operating system. The fate of my now six year old workstation was sealed: Apple support and applications are dropping support of the dinosaurian PowerPC, Avid in Media Composer 3.5 stopped supporting PPC, and new video formats such as AVCHD and RED are equally intel only.

Over the next few entries I will follow a real-life-working upgrade path to OS 10.6. There's lots of speculation, conflicting reports and misinformation out there about this seemingly strange and mysterious upgrade, so I hope that fellow editors (picture and sound alike) will find my experiences helpful.

Next up: From G5 workstation to ... iMac ? What Gives?!

Note: This blog is also being posted on www.peterjhaas.com/blog , my first attempts at wordpress!

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