For those that don’t know, my main computer is a Power Macintosh G5. It’s a great machine, the only downside being that it uses more electricity than your average computer, to power its gimongous processors (and in turn, gives off a bit more heat—although admittedly, that could be a lot worse).
Anyway, this wonderful machine—on which I am typing, right now—has been my main workhorse for the last six years, and it’s still doing great! It’s been less than a week since it finally couldn’t run the current version of Mac OS (Mac OS X v.10.6 Snow Leopard came out last Friday, in case you’ve been in a cave since, let’s say, July), and it still does pretty much everything I need it to, at a very acceptable speed—certainly much better than you’d expect, from a six-year-old computer.
So here’s the problem:
As tends to be the case (knock wood), I’m currently working on a database for a client. As part of this database, I decided to use a particular interface technique that I’ve seen others do, but have never tackled, myself. This technique is fairly complex, but I set to it and figured out how to do it—and it works! The only problem: it’s s-l-o-w. We’re talking “click a button, wait five seconds”—literally. So obviously, this is unacceptable (the rule of thumb for the maximum time a user will wait for feedback, without getting ticked off, is one second), so I’ve been banging my head against the wall, trying to get it down to under a second, like I’ve seen others do. And then it hits me: an idea so crazy, it just might work.
I go downstairs, open our two-year-old MacBook, and copy the necessary files over to the desktop. I pop open the main file and, after finally reminding myself of what the full-access password is, for each of the files (I just use Keychain, on the G5), I get to the main screen and click the button.
<1 second to completion.
So here’s what I’m thinking: I love my old computer. She’s been with me for six years now, and we’re still a great team. But I think the writing is on the wall: Snow Leopard is out, and Anila (our G5) can’t run it. My biggest clients use FileMaker, the developer of which—FileMaker, Inc.—is a subsidiary of Apple, Inc.. In my estimation, that means a version of FileMaker that won’t run on my G5 can’t be far behind. It’s been six years, and a wonderful run at that; but the time is not far distant that I’m going to have to upgrade. So the question, then, becomes: what do I get?
I’ll post more later, about this quandary. Unfortunately, It’s not a straightforward as it might seem.