Let Down by the App Store   Leave a comment

My main system is a “Late 2008” MacBook. It is the one model that was called just a “MacBook” and made of aluminum (later 13″ models made of this material were called “MacBook Pro”). It is the last model that is officially capable of running the latest version of the Macintosh OS, 10.8, otherwise known as Mountain Lion. It was released Wednesday.

While it technically could run it, my machine did so “not well.” It was very slow. I saw the beach ball more all too often. While I might have been able to browse the web, I would have been frustrated to do much more. I decided to fall back to 10.6, Snow Leopard.

This pleases me, as I like snow leopards more than mountain lions. Still, I like mountain lions better than lions. Proposal for 10.9: fishing cat.

When it comes to something like loading an operating system, I have no fear. Windows, UNIX (which OS X is a official version of), LINUX–I’ve done them all and more. It’s simply a matter of getting your disks, and going to it. I started backing up what I needed to back up.

Then something occurred to me–one of the key applications I use might be an issue. The programming I use for storing, organizing, and editing photographs, Aperture, was purchased through the Mac App store. This meant I had no disks. The App Store will allow you to re-download a purchase, except it only the most recent version. The problem for me is that the current version, 3.3 is not compatible with OS X 10.6–I needed version 3.2.

Before buying software through app stores, this wasn’t a huge deal. You would likely have the disks sitting on a shelf. For example, I have a CD with a 32-bit version of Word 6–I could see the Parker Duofold on the splash screen. Or perhaps the original install file stored on a backup. However, my only choice to reinstall was download from the App Store. But, if they don’t have the version I want?

Ultimately, I figured out how to get the data I needed, using some of the backups I took. In parallel, I had a support request in to Apple.

However, this is a major risk. As much as vendors would like us to be on the latest operating system, there are reasons people won’t. In my case, I’m not ready to upgrade my laptop. In other cases, it is an application that limits this ability. In the world of App Stores and cloud-based software distribution, how does one get an older copy of software to keep a machine working?

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