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  • overseer - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Allow me if I look ignorant, but does Mountian Lion have genuine TRIM support? Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Lion already comes with TRIM support. Albeit it is only enabled for Apple certified SSDs. There was an article on how to enable TRIM for all SSDs Reply
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Problem is that it can cause beach balling on some SSDs (it did on my OCZ Vertex 3), which is why it isn't enabled for all drives. I don't think Apple tested it on 3rd party SSDs that well. Reply
  • djc208 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Umm, it's Apple, since when did they ever support 3rd party anything if they offered their own version. If it doesn't work with your SSD that's because you should have been using an Apple SSD. Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    I think the beachballing with 2281s is from the the way SF's do TRIM. Reply
  • Henk Poley - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Someone (apparently) copied the requirements: Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Just updated the article before I saw this. Thanks for the heads-up! Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Don't you just love how Apple just cuts off old products? Those first-run Macpros (with that terrible FB-DIMM tech) were expensive, and are now obsolete according to Apple. Sure, you can stick to 10.6 or 10.7, but pretty much any PC from 2007 will be able to run Win8, so long as you give it enough RAM. Apple just gets away with doing whatever they want, all while making billions. I just don't get it. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    I see WHY they do it (cutting out old hardware both to force upgrades and to lessen their headaches from supporting older stuff), but they're definitely not doing it because they have to. Any machine booting the 32-bit kernel now could be made to boot the 64-bit kernel via driver and EFI updates (we saw it in Lion, where some of the early aluminum iMacs and some other machines couldn't boot EFI64 in Snow Leopard but became supported by Lion), but the benefit to users apparently isn't enough to justify the effort on Apple's part.

    The worst thing about this is how unclear and arbitrary the whole 64-bit kernel thing has always been. At least dropping PPC/Core Duo support was a clear line in the sand with a clear technological justification. This cutoff is going to be a weird one to explain to the layperson (though I submit that the number of people running Macs this old who are ALSO fastidious about updating to the latest OS X is probably a small subsection of the user base).

    I also worry that we'll see more Macs left behind more quickly by this new rapid update process - traditional CPU/GPU development has slowed enough that computers can easily be useful for 4-5 years even for more demanding users (as opposed to the much more rapid improvements in performance that we see on the ARM/SoC side of the fence), and I'd hate to see expensive Mac hardware treated as if it were as disposable as iOS devices that cost half as much (or less).
  • KPOM - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    Perhaps this is another reason why they are pushing the App Store model. I can see a future where the App Store knows exactly which apps are compatible with your device and shows only those devices that operate. Reply
  • KamikaZeeFu - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    [trollface]You want to use your apple product for more than one year? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA [/trollface] Reply
  • PlanetFinder - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Apple certainly has managed the expectations of their customer base. By moving the trailing edge up faster it allows them to make faster changes at the leading edge and get an extra margin for the new stuff. This appeals to their core customer base otherwise they wouldn't be able to sustain it. The idea that they do it that way simply because it makes more money is almost but not quite right. In light of current, past, and future technologies they decide what their customer base would have a positive response to in a price range that they can deliver and they stick to it. They don't view computers as commodities but rather more as evolving tools i.e. a future orientation rather than current or backward looking orientation to products and services. It happens to be a choice that makes them a lot money and obviously it isn't for everyone but then that isn't their focus. They provide what they provide and if the customer base and margin is there to support it then they keep going with limited regard for the percentage of the total market that they get. Depending on what you do with your computers it can be good or bad. If the strategy is to run the computer until it just can't cut it anymore then Apple's product and service philosophy isn't the one you want but Linux is a huge win. Of course there are serious downsides to using a machine that way under Windows or OS X for professional use. I believe that Microsoft makes it a point to use both more processing power and more memory with each new Windows version. They leave the decision about hardware upgrade much more with the user but it leaves Microsoft with a lot less control of the user experience and of their ability to introduce new technology. Sometime back Bill Gates made a strong appeal to establish minimum hardware standards but the appeal was ignored for exactly the reasons that you might think. Apple's strategy is to manage support of older hardware as one more way of ensuring the user experience they want to offer. It is true that it sells new machines and they consider that but it's not quite right to think that this is their only motive. Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Those billions are from mobile gadgets and not from macs to be specific. Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    More RAM? Dont think so. Win 8 will happily run on 512MB. It runs better than Win 7 on this amount, and it's alteast as good as XP on old hardware. I've tried it myself on a couple of 7+ year old laptops.

    This new OSX is clearly a response to Win 8, which is going to vastly superior to anything Apple have.
  • KPOM - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    Tim Cook told the WSJ that nothing Microsoft is doing is particularly concerning to them right now.

    I think this would have gone out regardless of Windows 8. Steve Jobs himself said at the Lion preview that they foresaw future convergence between iOS and OS X, and Lion was a first step. Lion merged the OS to a full 64-bit kernel, dropped Rosetta, and introduced many UI features. Mountain Lion is more about adding applications. I think the $29 annual update model is one that appeals to Apple, much more so than Microsoft's less frequent model of pricier updates. I still see enterprises running Windows XP, and my own employer is still on Vista. Most consumers update their Microsoft OS when they get a new PC.
  • MySchizoBuddy - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    I'm out. Mine is late 2006 Reply
  • cfaalm - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    Yeah me too. GMA950. Is there a way to get W8 on my MacBook? Do you need a driver pack like we did with XP? Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    What's interesting with Game Center coming to Mac is whether Apple will release a Game Center SDK for Windows so it can be used as the multiplayer solution in PC games too? With the hundreds of millions of Apple IDs in the wild due to the popularity of iTunes and iOS, user familiarity with Apple IDs should ensure quick adoption by gamers. Steam doesn't yet reach into mobile devices and solutions like Origin are tied to one game developer. There is definitely an opening for an ubiquitous player profile that is cross-platform. Reply
  • nicklad - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    TYPO: You've not you're...

    "If you're got a white iMac"

    I would also change card to chip re: ATI's X1600.


    Prima facie, this is all to do with graphics...

    They've dropped support for Intel's GMA 950 and GMA X3100 as there are no 64-bit KEXTs and Intel no longer support or develop drivers for them.

    Drivers/support for ATI's X1600 are no longer maintained by AMD, so that has gone too.

    NVIDIA, however, are maintaining driver support for the 8600M and there is already a 64-bit KEXT that supports them in Lion.
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    64-bit kext for the GMA X3100 was actually added in 10.6.2.

    One observation about this cut-off is that all remaining GPUs are OpenGL 3.2 Core profile capable. OS X has long used GPU acceleration extensively for it's UI. It's quite possible that the UI has been reimplemented in OpenGL 3.x preventing support for older GPUs.
  • nicklad - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    It was unstable and unfinished, no? Reply
  • macuser2134 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    I've been living in complete ignorance of this whole problem. So no proper x84_64 kexts ever existed for the GMA 950. Madness eh?

    Recently figured out how to modify the Lion 10.7.3 installer to install onto these old Core Duo -> Core2Duo upgraded systems. I witnessed Lion install cleanly and boot up just fine. But apparently you're saying that this must have been into forced into 32-bit kernel mode? Never bothered to check up on this while it was running. Because I was under an impression that the Retail distributions of Lion had already completely ditched 32-bit kernel support. So they kept 32-bit in Lion for those few overlapping computers (eg 2008 era Core2Duo with GMA3100 ?) Its a genuine question.

    Just tried forcing my Snow Leopard to boot into 64-bit Kernel and it point blank refused to do so. Tried both methods 1. and 3. recommended by the Apple KB Article. No luck whatsoever it just boots into 32-bit all the time.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Correct - the 32-bit kernel was supported in Lion specifically for the Core 2 Duo machines that are being dropped by Mountain Lion. There's actually a screenshot on this page of our Lion review taken on one of the very same 2008 MacBooks that you mention:

    That page also outlines in depth what a Mac needs to boot with the 64-bit kernel. Tl;dr version: 64-bit EFT, 64-bit CPU, 64-bit graphics drivers.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    EFI* Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Hopefully that also means people will be quick in finding ways to get ML on Core 2 Duo machines whos only fault is lack of driver support. Some of the dropped ones are just above 3 years old, I'd be pretty mad if I was in that situation. Reply
  • hubrob - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    After having several Skype calls during the day from my Mac, I installed the iMessage Beta s/w linked to in the above article. Subsequently, I can't make a call to my contacts or even to the Skype Call Test number.

    Anybody else having this problem?
  • name99 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    "whether it will drop support for some older machines (which has historically happened with new OS X releases - see this page of our Lion review for in-depth information on what got dropped from the support list and why)"

    Oh come on --- why do you have to spoil a reasonable post with an outright stupid comment.

    Lion is a 64-bit OS --- it doesn't run on 32-bit Intel Macs. Simple as that.
    Snow Leopard was an Intel-only OS. It doesn't run on PPC Macs. Simple as that.

    Apple has a long tradition of throwing away the past when it thinks that doing so improves the customer experience. If you are obsessed with the idea of being able to run the latest OS on your fifteen year old computer, don't buy Apple --- it's simple as that.

    To insinuate more than that, to suggest that Apple will just drop support for older machines "for the hell of it" is unreasonable --- the sort of thing said by idiots, not by adults.
    What ARE the next fault-lines likely to be? (Bearing in mind that historically these are distinctions of real engineering merit, not random BS.)

    - A >2GB RAM cutoff is problematic because Apple has sold so many machines in the recent past with 2GB RAM.
    - Likewise any sort of cutoff that requires an especially high level of graphics card.
    - A wild card MIGHT be a requirement for the virtualization extensions --- I don't know, it's possible that both all Apple's recent machines have these extensions, and some interesting new idea for how to architect the OS requirement them?

    But honestly I can't see an obvious cutoff for a few years --- nothing that both so simplifies the OS that it's worth making the cutoff, and that is part of every machine sold in the past few years.

    The one cutoff I DO see coming soon (perhaps as soon as Mountain Lion) is tossing the 32-bit Intel runtime environment and so requiring all code on Mountain Lion --- drivers, plugins, apps, command-line, etc --- to be 64-bit only. Once again --- part of simplifying the world so that Apple doesn't have to waste time in duplicating effort. At that point Apple will be supporting only two OS's --- 32-bit iOS and 64-bit OSX --- for the first time in a long time, which should free up some talent to run a little faster. (Of course, VERY soon that talent will be engaged in moving iOS to 64-bit and handling that transition!)
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Thanks for coming here, calling someone who provides you with completely free news and expertise a name, and then ignoring half of the article and the linked resources by posting a comment that completely disregards our very thorough, detailed, and objective grasp on the technical information at hand.

    I said that new OS X releases tend to drop support for older machines (true) and linked to a clearly written analysis of what Lion dropped and why. I then went on to describe the machines dropped by 10.8 in a clearly written addendum. None of these facts as reported assign any blame or suggest that Apple does these things for no reason - just that Apple *has* done them in the past and will likely continue doing them in the future.

    I usually don't like to roll around in the mud with commenters who waste my time by ignoring what I've worked to report, but this one really got to me for some reason. If the relaying of facts (enhanced by relevant contextual details) by third parties strikes you as "stupid," maybe you should just stick to reading press releases.

    Thanks for reading! Come back real soon.
  • tim851 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    I'm running Windows 7 on my desktop and Snow Leopard (10.6) on my Macbook Air.

    Nothing I've seen in Windows 8 and (Mountain) Lion previous seems relevant.

    Windows 8 is just Windows 7 with the metro interface, which would probably mean something to me, if I had a windows tablet. I don't. And OSX is just implementing more and more useless stuff from iOS.

    Is it me, or did MS and Apple run out of ideas what to do with PCs?
    Is the PC a dying concept? Have desktop OSes reached their peak?

    I will agree that both 7 and 10.6 are pretty sweet. Except for the quirks (minor bugs and annoyances) that have been around for ages and that just seem to be to uncool to be fixed.
  • addicted4444 - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I think at least the following in Mountain Lion are tremendously useful features:
    1) Messages (now you can send Text Messages to phones)
    2) Notification Center (Growl supported by nearly every Mac App....need I say more?)
    3) Gatekeeper (assuming Apple doesn't go to the MAS only route, which I really doubt, Gatekeeper if widely used will be one of the most significant advances in preventing mass virus like situations, IMO)
    4) Airplay (this is what a true "Home Media Center" should have been)
    5) iCloud (access to all your documents, across all your Apple devices...what is missing now is support for non-Apple devices)

    In general, however, the biggest issue with a lot of Apple features are that they are sharing features, however, they are largely limited to Apple devices only. Since the mac is gaining on Windows without any help, and is anyways a much smaller future market for them than iDevices, Apple might be enticed to devote significant resources towards building Windows versions of FaceTime, iMessage, iCloud, iWork, iLife.

    I don't think it will hurt Mac sales at all (maybe slightly, but I doubt it) but more importantly, it will make the iOS ecosystem extremely strong allowing Apple to fend off Android and WP7 far more easily.
  • damianrobertjones - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    "Nothing I've seen in Windows 8 ..." Was that from using the 'not even' alpha version? Reply
  • Kodongo - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    Andrew, it seems now that Windows is being updated every 2-3 years and Ubuntu has Long Term Support versions which are updated biennially. OS X is not in the blossoming stage of its existence (like iOS) so major advances in the desktop OS are less likely and a lot of the changes in Lion seem either geared to funnelling people towards their iServices (e.g. iCloud, iTunes et cetera) or generic changes which were more about aesthetics than efficacy (flashy animations, Calendar colours, all grey icons). Can OS X really justify a yearly cadence for releases, especially if a lot of the changes are just going to be minor refinements?

    And for name99 above:

    "...the sort of thing said by idiots, not by adults"

    Firstly, have a modicum of respect for the people who take the time to prepare these free articles for us to read and discuss.

    Secondly, being an idiot and an adult is not mutually exclusive. Draw a Venn diagram of the two groups and you will find a rather large intersection. All that's left is for you to identify which group you belong in.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the kind words. I know plenty of adult idiots, myself. :-)

    I definitely agree that a lot of the major additions to Lion and Mountain Lion serve the most purpose if you've got a lot of Apple products in your life, but with every version it seems like there's at least a couple of new features (full disk FileVault is definitely a Lion addition I couldn't live without) that justify the lowered price of entry.

    In software development now, you see a trend of shorter product cycles that add fewer new features with each release, but that get new features out to users as soon as they're ready (rather than having one or two large changes hold up a bunch of smaller ones). This is especially true of browsers, but as you mentioned OSes also seem to be moving to this more incremental schedule. Transitions like the one between XP and Vista (or OS 9 to OS X) are becoming the exception rather than the rule. Some people (especially IT admins, who got awful comfortable supporting XP while Windows Vista and 7 gestated) hate this new change, but tech these days is more consumer-driven, so we'll have to put up with it for better or worse.

    So, I guess to answer your question, I'd say it's less about Apple adding a whole OS's worth of features every year, and more about changing our expectations of what constitutes a new OS. For $29 (a price which applies whether you own one Mac at home or ten), I think Apple has found a decent balance between price and features. Does that make sense?
  • solipsism - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    I think it was the last event Jobs spoke that he said the Mac was "just another device." I could see Apple changing the accounting for Macs that would make yearly updates free of charge.

    This could end up being more profitable for Apple as it could...

    1) Increase Mac ownership since free yearly OS updates would be considered value added.

    2) Lower the cost of the support since more users would be getting the latest OS updates since no cost is being applied.

    3) Eventually shorten the timeframe in which older Macs are supported to something more akin to the 3 years for iOS-based devices instead of going back 5 to 6 years for most machines.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Re: your third point, I don't see the support timeframe getting much shorter than it is now - Macs are at least twice as expensive as iOS devices (and the difference can be much more than double in a lot of cases), and desktop/laptop silicon is improving a lot less between generations than ARM-based SoCs are at present. Macs are bigger purchases than iOS devices, so I'd hope to continue to see the 5-6 year average support window stay open.

    OS X usually drops computers for technical reasons - dropping support for the G3, PPC, 32-bit processors, and now the 32-bit kernel were all done (ostensibly) to get rid of old code and keep the platform streamlined.
  • Penti - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I think they should support the older versions a bit longer and bring the new features over there too (it's just a matter of packing up a few binaries). I.e. backport and maintain security updates, workstation users would love it, it takes time to move over major applications to rather large releases/updates as Apple does. Apple does some larger changes and pretty much brakes everything in the process, binary compatibility aren't high on the list. It's not like XP was the same OS in 2008 (SP3) as in 2001 either way. Their you pretty much had the same amount of difference as between OS X 10.0 and 10.4 at least. Microsoft does add new features in the service packs, in the server releases the R2 is actually a whole new OS from a licensing perspective.

    Apple should bring changes to both the new bleeding edge and the older OS so that people can opt in, opt out, do testing and change over in a timely matter, machines that can't be updated because of applications shouldn't be totally left out. That should at least happen under that 18 month period it is supported. 0.1 releases even happen less often now when the focuses has changed somewhat. So maybe it should be more focus on apps/system updates rather then large releases when it comes to Apple.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    That sort of thing would introduce some extra complexity to the system that Apple usually avoids. The first reason is financial: why offer a new OS X version for money but backport most of its features for free? The second is support: under the current system, a support person (either from Apple or otherwise) can tell some key things about a system just by finding out what OS version it runs.

    Lastly, old versions of OS X *do* tend to be supported for awhile before they're completely dropped, both with security patches as well as new features that come in with Safari and iTunes upgrades. It's not documented anywhere, but Apple usually supports two versions of OS X at once - the current version and the version immediately preceding it. Your old system isn't completely cut off just because it doesn't support the latest OS X.

    And, about point updates, the timing has actually stayed remarkably consistent between versions:

    10.5.0: Oct 26, 2007
    10.5.1: Nov 15, 2007
    10.5.2: Feb 11, 2008
    10.5.3: May 28, 2008 (7 months after 10.5.0)

    10.6.0: Aug 28, 2009
    10.6.1: Sept 10, 2009
    10.6.2: Nov 9, 2009
    10.6.3: March 29, 2010 (7 months after 10.6.0)

    10.7.0: July 20, 2011
    10.7.1: Aug 16, 2011
    10.7.2: Oct 12, 2011
    10.7.3: Feb 1, 2012 (about 7 months after 10.7.0)
  • Penti - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Airplay mirroring sounds like a great feature that has been missing since airplay pretty much. Much like Intel's WiDi so you can share your whole screen. It has been a missing feature as we are moving away from cables and simple airplay/DLNA streaming of video files. Moving away from fat HTPC's costing 1000 dollars too, as well as desktops.

    It's becoming a bit schizophrenic though as they are moving closer to integrating with Microsoft and enterprises, dropping their proprietary server stuff, integrating their software with Active Directory and Exchange and at the same time keeps developing their proprietary apps and services that's certainly not cross-platform and ever more closed off. It's developing a huge divide between consumer and enterprise as well as prosumer. Sure companies can use Mail and Calendar against Exchange, use Active Directory to store users and contacts, but add Sharepoint, Office etc and the divide between iCloud/Pages/Mac App Store alternatives becomes pretty huge. Still at the back end you will pretty much end up with Microsoft at a mac shop. You will not be able to fully make the mac an appliance, not if you still want it to make inroads as a workstation and enterprise desktop. Appliance-ification won't really work on a computer platform and Microsoft will feel that too. It works on the app level not OS/system level in the same way. With their own schizophrenia with WinRT, Metro style and updated Ribbon look and UI. Major projects their will just as always be stuck with older tools, libraries and such. Corporations and desktop users won't really sit there with iCloud, Skydrive and such. Yet everything goes into different directions that aren't really connected.

    Dropping 32-bit support in Lion has pretty much been bullshit any app is still 32-bit pretty much, Lion supports some machines booting 32-bit kernel and running 64-bit programs and you can modify it to run on 32-bit only machines still, universal binaries means like all the apps except the new finder is still startable in 32-bit mode, most drivers still need to be available in both. Major releases of the OS as means of update starts to look bad too, it has been pretty ok though. I guess moving over developers to iOS will generate some pain soon too.

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