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PostPosted: Mon Jan 1, 2007 10:01 AM 
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We are a mixed household, and need to start thinking about how to best upgrade our Mac software.

I have a 3 year-old PowerBook G4, 1.25 GHz, with a teeny RAM of 512 MB. I am still running 10.3.9.

Rex (hubby) has a 1 year-old iMacG5, 2.1 GHz, with 1.5 GB of RAM. He has 10.4.8 installed. I think he has a pretty old version of iLife, though I'm not sure -- the first one that came out, if I'm not mistaken.

:roll: Here are the issues:

I'd like to upgrade my OS, but am pretty sure I'd have to buy my own copy of 10.4, and cannot just install Rex's 10.4. $ to consider on that one. And, with only 512 MB of RAM, am I kidding myself, even to upgrade to 10.4?

I see there is a new OS coming out. I figure I'd never be able to install Leopard on my PowerBook ... and am even wondering about Rex, because he doesn't have the Core 2 Duo. Got his right before those came out (of course!).

We would both like to have at least iLife 06. BUT, we assume an 07 version will be coming out, and (as confirmed by the Apple guy at the last meeting) unlikely will there be an upgrade path. I'm pretty sure I cannot even install iLife 06 unless I upgrade to 10.4 ... is this correct?

I've been dabbling with .mac -- the 60-day free trial. It's compelling, but it seems to require iLife 06 to do a lot of the nifty stuff. And my fear is, if we should decide to do the .mac thing, as soon as iLife 07 comes out, we won't even be able to make just use of .mac unless we were to get the 07 version (whenever it might even be available). Oh! And then there's that part that we (or at least I) may not even be able to RUN iLife 07 if/when it comes out.

And we need to keep in mind when we can benefit from a "family" price, now that it seems we cannot really share Apple software between our two computers. (Or can we share between a desktop and a laptop, without having to buy a family package?)

SOOOO many questions! But it's really getting kind of nuts. And Apple is really starting to p*** me off -- more like Microsoft every day, in terms of their upgrading and pricing policies! Grrrrr. OK OK, I still would rather fight than switch. But it really is annoying. :twisted:

What to do, what to do? Will so appreciate any guidance and practical ideas about what to do!

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Suzanne
Fishers, IN


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 1, 2007 2:13 PM 
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Suzanne,

Let me see if I can help you out a bit. I'll try to tackle your questions one by one.

Legally, I know that unless you buy the family pack, you are only allowed to install OS X on one machine at a time. There is no exception for sharing between a desktop and a laptop computer. Even for those companies that have such an exception (Adobe, for one), it only applies to a single individual who owns both a desktop and a laptop. It doesn't apply to a family.

From a system requirement standpoint, 512 MB of RAM is fine for running Tiger (10.4). Obviously, buying more memory is better if you can afford it. No one knows what the exact system requirements for Leopard (10.5) will be yet. I'm hoping these will be disclosed at Steve Jobs' Macworld keynote presentation on January 9th (though I don't expect Leopard to ship at that time).

Since Apple has already committed to PowerPC Leopard support, I'll be shocked if either of your Macs isn't able to run Leopard. Depending on the system requirements, your PowerBook might end up needing more memory to run Leopard effectively, but right now that's purely a guess.

While I don't expect Leopard to be released next week at Macworld, we may (or may not) get a better idea of when it will ship. Since Apple has already said Leopard would ship in "the first half of 2007", you'd be waiting six months more at most. If you've lived this long with Panther, it probably makes sense to wait for Leopard and buy the family pack for Rex and yourself.

The real question will be what features are there to entice the PowerPC user to buy Leopard. Some features (like Boot Camp) will only be available to Intel Mac users. I'm waiting to hear what these "secret" features are. Those features will probably make the decision for a lot of people of whether it's worth paying for an upgrade to Leopard.

As you surmised from last month's meeting, there will be an iLife '07 upgrade announced at Macworld '07. They've announced a new version every year. Hopefully, the price will stay at $79. The family pack (the only legal way for more than one user to run iLife) is currently $99. Hopefully, that price will stay the same as well. As you found out last month, there's no iLife upgrade path. You pay the same $79 every year.

I definitely wouldn't buy iLife until you see what's in iLife '07 and whether it will run on your current OS. It will certainly run for Rex. Since Leopard probably won't be released at Macworld, I'll be surprised if Panther (10.3.9) support is removed. However, I could be wrong about that.

The current version of iLife (iLife '06) will run on your PowerBook assuming you have a DVD drive. I don't think any PowerBook that recent would have anything less than a Combo drive (and it's probably a SuperDrive). If that's the case, you could definitely run iLife '06. I'd definitely wait to see what iLife '07 looks like first. iLife '07 will probably be available sometime in January if it works out like it has in the past.

As far as .Mac goes, what do you mean by "requiring iLife '06 to do a lot of the nifty stuff"? If you mean creating podcasts and webpages, the main advantage that .Mac gives you is a "one-click" simplicity. You can use other ways to post your website or podcast without using .Mac. It just involves a few more steps.

If you bought iLife '06 and .Mac, I don't expect that iLife '07 would prevent .Mac from working with iLife '06. It would just mean that you would only be able to do what iLife '06 allowed you to do and you wouldn't be able to use the new features of iLife '07 (whatever they may be).

Based on the fact that money seems to be a constraint, I'd really consider why you want to use .Mac. If you still have your Comcast account, you get free E-mail addresses and web space from them. The main advantage I've seen to .Mac is the ability to sync data to different computers. I just haven't been willing to pay $99/year for that feature. .Mac does also make things simpler. However, for $99/year, I'm willing to deal with a little complexity. :-)

Since I've had to beg Microsoft to let me use my legally purchased copy of Windows XP simply because I moved it to too many computers (while only having one PC loaded with it at one time), I would say that Apple hasn't really gone down the Microsoft path yet (thank goodness!).

I do realize that paying $79/year for each new version of iLife can be a bit much for some people. For those people, I'd recommend taking a hard look at each year's new features and decide if they're worth buying. It might make sense to look at iLife upgrades the way that a lot of people look at Quicken upgrades: buy every second or third upgrade.

Hope this helps.


Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 1, 2007 10:35 PM 
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Bob -- really helpful stuff! Thanks (as always) for your thorough and considered reply to my "lotsa" questions.

Ahh, but I have another now. As I mentioned, Rex is currently running Tiger. I am still using Panther, as you know. Am I able to get, from Apple, some kind of family "upgrade" deal to get Tiger on my PowerBook? Or is that only something one can do at the time of purchase. I guess I'm hoping that as a family, and to keep legal, we wouldn't have to pay full boat for two :shock: individual sets of Tiger -- and that somehow I could just pay the difference it would cost for us to own a family version. Somehow I imagine I'm dreaming this could be the case. I'd upgrade in a second if I thought this were available.

Actually, I think that Tiger came installed in his iMac, so it wasn't even a choice. I figure we'll both want to let Leopard work out its kinks before jumping on that wagon anyway, even if it is out relatively soon.

As for .mac ... it's sort of slick and fun, but not all that useful. Am glad to know most of the stuff do-able with iLife doesn't require .mac -- other than to save a few steps. I'll futz around with it for the (now) 41 days I have left on my free trial -- but am pretty sure I'll end up figuring it's not worth it.

Thanks again for your help!

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Suzanne
Fishers, IN


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 1, 2007 11:40 PM 
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Suzanne,

I'm 99% sure that you can only get the family pack at the time you first purchase Tiger. Since Rex's Tiger was bundled with his iMac, I'm sure there's no upgrade that would cover your PowerBook.

Until Leopard comes out, I don't Tiger to be much cheaper than the $129 list price. I've seen a few cheaper prices on the 'Net (MegaMacs), but I don't know how much cheaper it'll be when you factor in the shipping cost.

I certainly understand waiting for the Leopard kinks to be worked out (I'm sure there will be a few). I just didn't want you buying Tiger now without knowing that a new OS X version is expected by the end of June (at the very latest). Honestly, I'm betting on March or April for a release date. However, I'm just guessing. I certainly don't have a direct line to Cupertino. :D


Bob C


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