Tripped into the dark side...Mac-Help

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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I've enjoyed playing with it, but can't use it as a daily because the OS is old and unsupported and vulnerable.
And that slows you down how?

"Support" is too often a marketing concept designed to keep you following the herd as opposed to something you really need or can effectively take advantage of.

I've watched the progression of Mac commercial software over the years and it has often left users wanting. First the 68K Macs fell of the RADAR and some of those companies didn't make the PowerPC transition. The PowerPC didn't bring many new publishers as it came and went and by the time that the Intel machines came out, much of the spark was gone.

I think everyone looks at the tasks on their "daily driver" differently and if you're only going to have one computer, it had better be able to do most everything you need it to do. My "daily driver" does my Internet stuff (most of it except web apps that don't run on Linux) and I use it for programming, database projects and Arduino tinkering. I'm generally opposed to using popular commercial software like Microsoft Office or the iWork Suite because I find I'm always having to do battle with formats otherwise. I use LibreOffice that can deal with many different formats and sometimes deals with Windows and Mac documents better than the products that created them. I refuse to visit Google Apps on principle just as I'm not a fan of web/cloud based tax and bookkeeping software that often seems to end up holding data hostage.

I usually upgrade my secondary (but much more powerful) "homework computer" about the time that they stop making H&R Block Tax software for it (I used the Commodore 64 version for quite a few years). I keep a Windows (currently v7 64 bit) computer around to run commercial and shareware titles as well as software to support various bits of automation and weather station software I use. It is also home to my flatbed scanner and color printer.

My needs are pretty common but how I deal with them is surely unique. I don't want to step down or back just because I'm frustrated with the path that Microsoft or Apple (or the developers who surround them) is taking.
 
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rvvaquero

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I'd advise you create a non-privileged account for your day-to-day activities. There are plenty of exploits for the older versions of Safari and OS X that Apple won't be patching as Snow Leopard is past support. The last thing you should be doing is accessing the Internet with the account you use to install software and change settings.
And that slows you down how?

"Support" is too often a marketing concept designed to keep you following the herd as opposed to something you really need or can effectively take advantage of.
It slows me down because it's an OS which hasn't had a security update in over five years. The two browsers I've found which will run on it are older versions which are no longer supported by security updates. I'm perfectly happy surfing the net anonymously on the machine and learning how to use it.

I don't claim to be an IT person, but there's no way I'm going to log into my various internet accounts and do my banking and making purchases over a computer with old security technology. I could be wrong, but doing so would be going against all the advice I've ever received from anyone, on the internet or otherwise.

I've never been one to "follow the herd", but I'm also not going to run head on into it just to prove that I can. :)
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
I don't claim to be an IT person, but there's no way I'm going to log into my various internet accounts and do my banking and making purchases over a computer with old security technology.
TLS 1.2 isn't ancient security technology. The only Microsoft product that supports TLS 1.3 is the brand new Chrome-based Edge browser (released in the last few months). TLS 1.2 is far and away the most popular technology to insure that your transactions are uniquely between you and who you're doing business with.

If you look at the recent bug zapping efforts of both Microsoft and Apple, there are patches that go after issues that have been around since Windows XP (Microsoft issued XP and Vista patches in May 2019). Many of the bugs that were there years ago are still there today and will be there until after the company identifies a fix. Both companies are fairly tight-lipped about vulnerabilities but Microsoft is perhaps forced to be more forthcoming as there are so many more interests watching. Apple almost always denies vulnerabilities exist while Microsoft tries but isn't granted that privilege. Both companies have allowed bugs to resurface as well.

That Chrome took over with the list of vulnerabilities that it takes a database to maintain gives me pause but apparently people aren't all that concerned. Safari (and anything else based on Webkit) isn't a whole lot better. OTOH, there are more than a few that believe that having a Gmail account or a Facebook account is a sure-fire way to call down the black hat thunder.

The Linux approach is perhaps better in that they don't wait to release patches for a predetermined date on a calendar and the patches don't require bumping some version number of anything other than the module patched. If there's only one issue to be patched, a patch is released.

Then there's the underlying hardware that has its own bug set. AMD hardware wasn't vulnerable to the recent Intel bugs and only the Gen 8 CPUs have built-in safeguards.
 

rvvaquero

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Mar 3, 2012
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TLS 1.2 isn't ancient security technology. The only Microsoft product that supports TLS 1.3 is the brand new Chrome-based Edge browser (released in the last few months). TLS 1.2 is far and away the most popular technology to insure that your transactions are uniquely between you and who you're doing business with.

If you look at the recent bug zapping efforts of both Microsoft and Apple, there are patches that go after issues that have been around since Windows XP (Microsoft issued XP and Vista patches in May 2019). Many of the bugs that were there years ago are still there today and will be there until after the company identifies a fix. Both companies are fairly tight-lipped about vulnerabilities but Microsoft is perhaps forced to be more forthcoming as there are so many more interests watching. Apple almost always denies vulnerabilities exist while Microsoft tries but isn't granted that privilege. Both companies have allowed bugs to resurface as well.

That Chrome took over with the list of vulnerabilities that it takes a database to maintain gives me pause but apparently people aren't all that concerned. Safari (and anything else based on Webkit) isn't a whole lot better. OTOH, there are more than a few that believe that having a Gmail account or a Facebook account is a sure-fire way to call down the black hat thunder.

The Linux approach is perhaps better in that they don't wait to release patches for a predetermined date on a calendar and the patches don't require bumping some version number of anything other than the module patched. If there's only one issue to be patched, a patch is released.

Then there's the underlying hardware that has its own bug set. AMD hardware wasn't vulnerable to the recent Intel bugs and only the Gen 8 CPUs have built-in safeguards.
You're talking way over my head harshness. So, you're saying that it's perfectly okay to use an OS which hasn't had any patches or security updates in over five years? Then, what is the purpose of all those patches and security updates if they're not needed?
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
You're talking way over my head harshness.
I may be using terminology that you don't understand but it isn't over anyone's head. TLS is the security envelope that is used to make sure nobody is eavesdropping on your web and e-mail connections. If you're tools support TLS 1.2, you have the protection that most are using today.
So, you're saying that it's perfectly okay to use an OS which hasn't had any patches or security updates in over five years?
It isn't perfectly OK, but it is practically OK.
Then, what is the purpose of all those patches and security updates if they're not needed?
Modern operating systems have a whole lot of stuff in them that nobody ever intentionally uses yet it all has to be maintained. That something is buggy with a feature related to dial-up modem (or some similarly obscure hardware) doesn't impact very many but it does count in the total. Many of the patches are created to add (or remove) flexibility in certain operating system features or replace undesirable defaults and those can be applied at any time without an formal update.

The threat of losing access to patches is perhaps as much a tool to get people to spend money on upgrades as it is a practical necessity. If you don't use the bundled browsers and software, you're probably avoiding half or more of the issues that may need to be patched.
 
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Foxbat

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This seemed an appropriate thread to post this regarding macOS and how Apple goes that little extra distance. I was having issues synching my photos to my iPhone using iTunes and in the past it's been fixed by running a Repair on my Photos Library. So I fired it off and it's been running for 30 minutes now. When I checked the progress screen, I see this:
Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 10.05.16 .png

Things that make me go "Hmmm…" ;)
 
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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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Guys, I've spent the entire long weekend researching and reading up on Macs. I'm not afraid of learning something new. I'm just trying to absorb it all. For example, you guys talk about the "Intel" macs like they just started. Isn't that all they've used for at least 13 or 14 years? Anything built before that is pretty much useless nowadays anyway. I know all the iMacs, Mac Minis, and Macbooks I've looked at were Intel.

As far as hard drives go, they fail all the time. Apple uses the same drives as everyone else, they're no more immune than any other OS. I just was trying to understand how to go about replacing one and restoring the OS on a Mac. No particular apprehension involved.

My 2006 iMac core 2 duo is 64 bit, or at least About my Mac says it is. I've enjoyed playing with it, but can't use it as a daily because the OS is old and unsupported and vulnerable.

Thanks for all the comments and help.
Yup. The mac folks sure are dedicated. I've been doing all aspects computer related for eons it seems.
Mostly Windows/Linux flavors. Upgrades, builds. All that.
So when a Mac guy comes up one day with a toasted Nvidia card, no biggie. Run down to the computer supply and pick up a replacement. Right? On a Saturday evening.
No dice. Mac Nvidia is not the same as one used in your regular everyday "real" computer.
So hunt, search, find out why. Download and flash firmware into the card (on a Windows pc) to make it work. Jesus! Why?
Graphics card down the street...35 bucks. Same card for a mac ordered and delivered...add a leading 1.
I'm guessing it's because they (Apple) want to keep you in their belt loop. Okay, wallet.

Not being that familiar with Apple products I found out you could put macOS on an old Windows pc. "Hackintosh".
Drivers in the form of "kexts" and pretty good support sites. But just installing Intel osX on a plain old Intel PC?
Fuhgeddaboutit!
Did it just to become familiar and to be prepped to say "sure I can" when someone asked if I worked on Mac's.
Bla. macOS (something) sets on a separate drive waiting for F8 on boot.
Mac's (from what I see) make you buy anything that does anything usable. Just like their iOS line of products.
But their "owners" are dedicated. It blows your file management skills all here and gone.
Push a button and it's there (where exactly?) and push a button and it's back. And the cloud. What if I don't want it on the cloud?
Yeah I know....it's in the settings.
It's a different way to an old hard core like me. Would I buy one? Nah. But they do a great job at being obsolete resistant.
Then again there are many flavors of Linux out there that will make that old Pentium 4 purr too. Keeping your pockets heavy.
 
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