PC World: Mac OS X holdouts clinging to Mac OS 9.2 are ‘missing out by holding out’

“No one likes migrating to a new operating system, even if it is OS X. Last month I asked you OS X holdouts out there to speak up and tell me why you’re not upgrading–and you did. The reasons you cited range from issues that crop up with any major upgrade, like backward compatibility with old hardware and software, to specific bugs that have cropped up in Panther. Your hesitation is justified, up to a point. OS X has lots of benefits and, with version 10.3, relatively few drawbacks,” Rebecca Freed writes for PC World.

“One major segment of Apple’s market–print production professionals–has been slow to upgrade because Quark (the company that makes the 900-pound gorilla of page layout) was slow to release an OS X-native version. But Quark removed that obstacle last summer with the release of XPress 6.0. So I asked PC World’s creative director, Robert Kanes, why most of the magazine’s designers still use OS 9.2 (yes, PC World is produced on Macs),” Freed writes. “His answer was instructive, and in some ways reflected the same issues that any Mac user faces. An incautious upgrade could throw a wrench into our carefully tuned production workflow. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is a serious commandment when you rely on a computer to get your work out the door. But because it’s important to stay current with the technology, a handful of PC World’s designers have moved to OS X. And as older Macs are replaced, more department members will upgrade their operating systems as well.”

Freed writes, “I heard similar reasons for going slow from many readers: You don’t want to buy new hardware and software until you need to because of the cost (including $129 for the operating system itself) and hassles. You’re also wary of running your old apps in Classic mode because you don’t want to sacrifice performance. You’ve heard about lockups and slowdowns while running Classic mode, and naturally you’d like to avoid that. Some of you are still afraid that your peripherals won’t work, though most of those compatibility problems were resolved with OS X 10.2… Even though the upgrade path may be fraught with hazards, I think the move to OS X 10.3 is worth it for most users. If you can’t afford a little downtime, you probably need to stick with what works. But version 10.3 feels finished to me; it’s a relatively low-risk proposition. And as Apple brings out more programs that work with OS X only (like the ILife [sic] suite), you’re missing out by holding out.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: OS 9 is dead. If you’ve got the hardware to run Mac OS X 10.3, it’s time to screw up your courage, buy Panther, and install it. We promise, as devout Mac users, you’ll never look back except to laugh at yourself for sticking to OS 9 for so long. Give yourself a week or two with OS X and all will be right in your world again. We’re going to go boot into OS 9 now for grins… oh wait, first we have to remember which (if) one of our Macs even has Classic installed.


  1. By careful prodding I have convinced a lot of people at my workplace to run Panther (or Jaguar). None of those has ever regretted the switch. It just takes a little courage to jump into an unknown lake, but afterwards you feel cool and refreshed.

  2. Within the next month, Im looking to get the front end of our ad agency to OS X, whereas the art dept has been on it for about a year. The witch was tough for us because of Quark (Classic) and Inkjet printer difficulties, but let me tell you the difference is huge. Imagine 22 days with any restarts! I suggest 2 people switch who can get the little bugs ironed out and then just switch the whole lot of them. From an IT perspective, the biggest questions I get from the OS X people is “Why is my e-mail so slow?” My answer, “PC viruses like SoBig and MyDoom flood e-mails servers making them slow, but we dont have to worry about them.” with a big grin =)

  3. “(yes, PC World is produced on Macs)”

    Does no one else think this is just hilarious? They actually admitted it. Anyone recall that old original Pentium 1 add from long ago with the Pentium chip swiftly flying through a motherboard and landind in it’s slot? That was produced on a Mac as well.

    BTW, Been using OS X since 10.0, on an iBook dual USB. I intitially would boot into OS 9.2 once in a while to play some games and other non OS X apps. But not, I hardly ever use it, and am probably going to wipe it off my HD sometime after I get a bigger HD.

  4. I’m a designer – and an early adopter of OSX. I was using 9.2, Quark, and Suitcase – and they have performed just about flawlessly for the last couple of years. I say “just about” because the only frustrating thing I have experienced has to do with creating pdf files, and that kink has been worked out. OSX is solid.


  5. i migrated my lawfirm to osx last year and am gradually converting all of the archived wordperfect documents to word. everything is fine and much more stable. however, i really dislike word and apple works isn’t strong enough. i wish to god apple would get out a better productivity suite, by any means necessary. i would pay a premium to have an MS free operation.

  6. I bought the original 10.0 and installed on my iMac 400, but it was just too damn slow for everyday use. It was 10.1.3 that finally convinced me that the time to leave OS9 behind had come. The iMac (and my little 12inch Albook) now both run Panther, and I haven’t booted it into OS9 for months. I can also say that if it wasn’t for OSX I would now only have my iMac, and would have bought a Linux laptop for work.

  7. I’ve been using OS X since 10.0, but even on my newer iMac, I still have several OS 9 art/graphics programs that I like to use, but I don’t use them enough to justify the cost of buying their OS X versions.

    Booting into OS 9 is a whole ‘nother issue. Anyone that can afford the upgrade should go to OS X ASAP.

    I have a close friend that STILL uses a Performa and OS 9. He was a very successful independent graphics artist many years ago, until his family came under financial hard times. I have been trying to find ways to get him an iMac and some of the latest graphics software to help him back into business, and perhaps a second one (eMac?) for his 4 boys and 2 foster boys (he took in the foster kids rather than buying luxuries like a computer), but I too have been struggling financially. I know that many businesses trash perfectly good computers annually just to upgrade their departments. I tried eBay and have been burned twice in a row (lost $600 that could have gone to my friend’s family)! If anyone has any ideas, I’d be glad to read them. Send them directly to gmjm@mac.com Thanks!

  8. I switched to Windows in ’96 because of the stagnation at Apple. I switched back after OS X was released. Consequently, the last Mac OS I fiddled with was around 7.5. If 9.2 is anything like 7.5, then rebooting 10 times a day is SOP. Who wouldn’t want to leave that behind?

  9. I’m afraid I simple don’t understand why one would cling to 9. When 9 was the only game in town, but I’ve been running X since the Beta. It took some growing pains, but there is no way in wich X isn’t superior. I actually find 9 painful in the way I find linux and windows painful. Come, my hesitant brothers and sisters. The water is good.

  10. I’ve been running X for the last year and during that whole time I probably used Classic less than 5 times, so when I upgarded to Panther last week I decided to do a clean install, thereby kissing goodbye to OS9 forever.

    I can understand some people’s reluctance to let go of the familiar, but once you’ve switched you’ll never want to go back.

  11. I’ve been using X since 10.0 and I could never go back. X is so much more productive, especially Panther with Expose. Besides that, the iLife apps have become such a huge part of my life. I can’t believe anyone would want to miss out on those.

    My suggestion is, for anyone still using 9 on a box that will run Panther, install Panther. You can still boot back to 9 to do your work but install Panther and just get to know it. You will fall in love in no time, and not want to go back.

    I booted back to 9 the other day to troubleshoot a networking problem (it turned out to be server-side, no surprise), and it was funny, I couldn’t remember how to do anything in 9 anymore.

  12. I switched to Jaguar when I bought my Tibook in 2002. It took a little getting used to but I dove straight in and only booted up in 9 once or twice at the very beginning. Now I have upgraded to Panther with no problems once again. It was a little painful to have to buy some of the software I use often like Filemaker Pro in OS X native format (I hate having to wait for classic to boot up) but I guess I would have had to buy it anyway at some time to have the latest version.

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