OS X-tative
April 7, 2005 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Help me convince my boss to upgrade to OS X...

I have a G4 that's been running OS 9.2 for years now, and because of budget cutbacks, we've held off upgrading it to OS X. I'd like to do a clean install instead of running it with Classic, but I feel I haven't come up with enough good reasons to convince him yet, or they are not work-related enough. I'm a web-developer and sometime print designer. So far I've got 1) the machine is limited to old versions of IE and Netscape, so it's impossible to check web pages in other/newer browsers, 2) IE sucks and 3) that, well, it just runs smoother/faster. Can you think of other reasons?
posted by hellbient to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
1. Safari.
2. Stability.
3. There is no Notational Velocity for legacy Mac OS.
4. Stability
5. Did someone say "web developer?" Well, then: MAMP!
6. Stability, by the way.
7. Some performance improvements due to the fact that OSX doesn't SUCK.

Budget cutbacks are no excuse. The OS is a hundred bucks. Offer to take a couple of hours off to help pay for it, if times are really that tight.
posted by majick at 9:56 AM on April 7, 2005

OS X features much better networking than previous versions, and is much more plug-and-play compatible with digital cameras / scanners and the like, but the access to newer builds of IE/FireFox/Netscape/Opera is by far the most important thing. I can't imagine designing a site with only older browsers at my disposal, ick.

In terms of convincing him, you could wait a month or so until OS X Tiger comes out and explain how much benefit you can get out of the OS if you buy it at the very beginning of the product cycle (as opposed to Panther which will soon seem outdated).
posted by themadjuggler at 10:00 AM on April 7, 2005

The money spent on the upgrage will be made up in a matter of months, or even weeks, by eliminating downtime and delays involved in using what is now a completely obsolete OS. You can't get new software for it. You can't really do legitimate web development since you'll net be able to check modern browsers.

On preview, yeah, what they said.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:01 AM on April 7, 2005

Print to PDF. I don't know how I lived without it.

Also, if they'd get you Virtual PC, you'd be able to test your html in pretty much every browser that exists.

Really, OS X is a huge bargain just in terms of the time savings from fewer crashes (ie. almost none).
posted by teg at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2005

IE is frozen at version 5.2 even in OS X, so I wouldn't hit that one too hard if your boss knows anything about browsers.

How fast is your processor and video card? You might not want to make the change regardless. We have one older G4 that really only supports os 10.1 which kind of sucked. If you machine will support up to at least 10.2, then the change might make sense, but you should be prepared for it to be a lot slower, and your productivity may take time to catch up.

What's your development environment like? How often to you have to share files with PCs? The improved networking, more advanced software (though with budget cutbacks those may be closed to you anyway, and as mentioned above stability are the primary reasons to consider a shift.
posted by willnot at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2005

I'll second majick all the way. Plus print to PDF rocks.

You might consider getting a new HD and putting your current OS9 HD in a firewire case (or just adding the 2nd drive.) That way, you would still have your OS9 system excatly as it was, and could even boot from it in a pinch. I did this for my system & still have the same workflow from Quark 4.

How much memory do you currently have? A good time to dump as much additional memory into the machine as you can afford.
posted by omnidrew at 10:07 AM on April 7, 2005

Majick is spot on. Depending on your relationship with your boss you should bug him/her about it every day. The squeaky wheel. etc., etc. Also, definitely wait for Tiger. You don't want to get Panther now only to pay for a Tiger upgrade in 1-2 months.
posted by quadog at 10:10 AM on April 7, 2005

I failed to mention that upgrading the $oftware suite is their main concern. Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, Office, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Acrobat, Toast, maybe a couple others.
I work with a PC everyday as well as the Mac (the main network is XP).
The G4 has 512mb RAM, 533MHz processor, with 60gig HD.
posted by hellbient at 10:52 AM on April 7, 2005

Network interoperability is probably your best sell then. If you're going to get PhostShop and Illustrator, go with CS which will included InDesign. InDesign is better than Quark in countless ways, so you can save that expense at least.

The upgrade price for CS is less than $200 on Amazon. I'm not sure what the MacroMedia stuff will cost you.

533Mhz is going to feel pretty slow if you move to OSX. OSX is prettier, but 9.2 is a lot faster, and you'll notice it on the lower end machines.

I'd sit down and figure out specifically what all of the costs will be. It may be a lot less than they think. I'd then balance that by saying, but what does it cost us not to upgrade. Build in the value of your time for crash recovery and anything else you can to push that cost up higher than the upgrade cost.
posted by willnot at 11:23 AM on April 7, 2005

Forget convincing your boss. That never works.
You have to convince your boss's accountant.
posted by mischief at 11:27 AM on April 7, 2005

You can get by with running most of the current apps in Classic. Dreamweaver would probably be the 1st one to upgrade.

What font management utility do you use? Might be issues there. MasterJuggler works fine in Classic, but ATM does not.

Budget for at least another 512MB memory...more if possible.
posted by omnidrew at 12:11 PM on April 7, 2005

You can get by with running most of the current apps in Classic.

Acck! I mean, I know what you're saying, but to upgrade to OSX just to run in classic seems a cruel and ironic fate.

Upgrading the software suite, as noted, is the significant expenditure, but you will make it back, and more quickly than you might imagine. I don't know what version of Photoshop you're running, but just things like nested folders for layers has saved me so much time it's amazing. Illustrator CS has some rudimentary 3D tools (and the ability to apply textures/images to those shapes) that are fantastic for quick comping, etc. etc. Seriously, I'd quit if I had to go back to 9.2

Oh, and until about 4 months ago, when I got my G5, I was running OSX 10.3.5 on a 400MHZ G4, so it will run on your machine (though adding memory will help).

As to convincing your boss, I don't know if I could offer much, but there are certainly things that I can literally do in half the time, so I'd really push the productivity angle.
posted by jalexei at 1:57 PM on April 7, 2005

I'd mention that OS X can multi-task, where OS 9 slows to an almost standstill unless you do one... thing... at... a... time.... That can be as simple as going on to the next job while the first is printing.

I'd suggest budgeting some money for RAM. You can get a 512MB stick for well under $100.
posted by letitrain at 3:10 PM on April 7, 2005

Since you do real work with your computer this is a non-trivial upgrade. If you install OS X on your G4 you'll need for fork out hundred$ (maybe alot more) in software upgrades, spend a couple of days installing everything and messing with preferences, drivers, passwords, etc; and spending another week re-learning how to use your computer, since everything will have changed (although for the better).

If you have an extra monitor and keyboard lying around I'd just buy a Mac Mini and run it next to your G4. Upgrade incrementally. It won't take a huge bite out of your week, gives you current apps for testing and playing, and doesn't force you to run Classic.
posted by ldenneau at 3:19 PM on April 7, 2005

From a print standpoint, It's the software costs/license costs and training time and costs (time lost while training and while using it in the beginning--InDesign is not intuitive and has a steep learning curve if you're very used to Quark (even if you've used Photoshop and Illustrator for years). Even things like font management become a pain and require new software. We're switching soon, and each getting G5s to handle all of it, which is thousands in itself, per person. It's an incredibly expensive switch overall.

Costs can be saved tho, if you do more color-correction in-house--saving you prepress costs. It's now more feasible to send files directly to the printer (if you have calibrated scanners/monitors and experienced staff--another cost), cutting prepress out altogether.
posted by amberglow at 3:57 PM on April 7, 2005

Tell your boss that my computer has been running for 13 days, 22 hours, and 34 minutes. It's a G4, 500 Mhz.
posted by alms at 7:26 PM on April 7, 2005

p.s. for those of you who like print-to-pdf, make sure you know about PDF Services. It will change your life.
posted by alms at 7:31 PM on April 7, 2005

If you can't come up with a solid argument to upgrade, maybe you shouldn't upgrade. Don't fix what ain't broke.

The stability argument didn't pan out for me. OS 9 never crashed that much anyway, and I end up force-quitting apps just as often in OS X as I did in OS 9. Any time OS X may have saved me by crashing less often, it has easily made up for with its insanely long startup and shutdown processes.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2005

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