Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.

Rosetta and Lion: Get Over It?

On March 11th I found myself standing in line outside of the local Apple Store, waiting for an opportunity to buy an iPad 2 so I could get to work on a book I was contracted to write about the new iPad. Coincidentally, standing in line behind me was an old friend and colleague I hadn’t seen for some time. As we conversed, talk turned to Apple’s forthcoming Mac OS X Lion release. I mentioned the rumor that Lion would not include Rosetta and said that it bothered me. My friend snorted derisively and said, “Get over it.” His glib remark rankled me then, and it still rankles.

“Get over it.” I’ve seen the same sentiment pop up a lot, recently, and not just regarding Apple’s rumored abandonment of Rosetta. I’ve seen it in posts and comments about privacy issues (“Privacy is dead. Get over it.”). I’ve seen it, too, in political posts and articles (“Your candidate lost. Get over it.”). I’ve seen it on sports pages (“Your favorite player got traded. Get over it.”) and on entertainment sites (“The show was cancelled. Get over it.”). I’ve seen it in all sorts of contexts, about all sorts of transitions. Every time I see it, even when I understand, and even when I agree with the necessity of moving on, I get angry.

I get angry not because I hate change. Change happens. The cheese moves. I know this, and I accept it. I get angry because the remark is not meant as advice. Rather, it’s an order, and one aimed — at least subconsciously — at elevating the speaker’s own self-image and dismissing the recipient’s feelings. It is a way of saying, “I am above those petty concerns that you, if only you were as wise as I am, would agree are petty.” It is glib advice. It is smug advice. And it is, in many cases, bad advice.

Take Rosetta. Rosetta was introduced by Apple as a way to ease the transition from PowerPC-based Macs to Intel-based Macs. It was designed to run, transparently as far as the user was concerned, PowerPC-compatible applications on an Intel processor, a non-trivial feat of magic, given the differences in the processor architectures. Because of Rosetta, Mac users could upgrade to the newer Intel-based Macs without having to throw out all of their existing software. On the Apple Web page that introduced Rosetta, Apple said, “You’ll never see it, you’ll never configure it, you’ll never have to think about it. It’s built into Mac OS X to ensure that most of your existing applications live a long and fruitful life.”

Now, two major versions of Mac OS X later, it appears that Rosetta is going away. And if it does, it will be accompanied by a number of applications that I use frequently. Quicken 2007. Photoshop CS1. FileMaker Pro 8. Microsoft Word 2004. Among many others.

According to my friend, I should just “get over it.” At a basic level, he’s right: if Apple does indeed drop Rosetta in Lion, I’ll have no recourse but either to abandon these applications (and at least some of the data I produced using these applications), or to spend many hundreds of dollars, in addition to whatever Lion costs, to replace these applications with their current Intel-native versions. In that sense, I’ll have no choice but to get over it.

But in another sense, I won’t be able to get over it, and there is no reason that I should. Coping with a change does not mean wholeheartedly embracing that change — not when that change has real, unpleasant consequences. The loss of Rosetta has just such consequences. In my case, they are financial (it will cost a lot to replace that software), logistical (I’ll have to devote a good deal of time and energy finding replacement software and, in many cases, converting data and work processes), and emotional (Apple’s promise about Rosetta — “you’ll never have to think about it” — has been broken, and with it goes some part of the trust I have in Apple’s claims for the future). The emotional consequences are no more trivial than the financial or logistical ones. To glibly advise me to just “get over it” denies the validity and the reality of what I feel. It denies me as a person.

I may spend my days using computers, but I am not one. I am a human being. My relationship with technology is both intellectual and emotional. All humans have an emotional relationship with the products they use, whether or not they admit it. When the creators of those products make changes, even for sound engineering or business reasons, we users have to deal with both the practical and emotional consequences of those changes.

So I’ll deal with losing Rosetta, if that is what I have to do if I want to upgrade to Lion or buy a new Mac that can only run Lion. But part of that dealing will be my viewing each marketing statement that comes from Apple in the future with a more cynical, more jaundiced eye. And another part of dealing will be changing what I say when people ask me what computer to buy. I will still likely recommend Apple products, but there will be more caveats and more on-the-other-hands than I might have offered formerly.

Yes, change happens, but no, I won’t just get over it.

[Editor’s Note: Folks, before commenting, please think about what Michael is really saying in this article. He’s not complaining about the fact that things change, and he’s perfectly capable of dealing with those changes. He’s pointing out that the “Get over it” response to people who express concern about change is dismissive and unhelpful, and doesn’t acknowledge how people really do feel. And he’s noting that, despite Apple’s public description of Rosetta through late 2010, there has been no official word from Apple about something that — if it’s true — will eventually affect a vast number of Mac users. -Adam]


Backblaze is unlimited, unthrottled backup for Macs at $5/month.
Web access to files means your data is always available. Restore
by Mail allows you to recover files via a hard drive or USB.
Start your 15-day trial today! <>

Comments about Rosetta and Lion: Get Over It?
(Comments are closed.)

Duncan Mok  2011-05-23 07:55
If you want to continue to run Quicken 2007, Photoshop CS1, FileMaker Pro 8, Microsoft Word 2004, or any other PowerPC software, why not just continue to run the version of Mac OS X which you have today? If the new features of Lion are so compelling, then you'll make the choice based on that value to upgrade (and upgrade to newer versions of all those products you are still happy with today). As always it's a value judgement that you, the user, have the power to make. No-one will force you to upgrade to Lion. Given the last PowerPC Mac was released five years ago, I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect Apple to continue to support PowerPC software via Rosetta indefinitely any more than it's reasonable to expect them to continue supporting pre-Mac OS X software forever.

Change is hard, but you don't have to get over it. You can just keep what you've got as long as it meets your needs.
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 08:09
Or until my Mac breaks, and I have to upgrade, and confront the problem then.
Comeonman  2011-05-23 08:22
Assuming your Mac does "break", which is not likely unless you abuse it, you can still buy an older model that does Snow Leopard.
Where's the status in that?
gooddog  2011-12-16 23:55
I'm livid with the loss of Rosetta. I still use Appleworks Paint and Draw with a projector to teach algebra to kids. It's my super-chalkboard. I get smug remarks from poor souls, younger than my socks, who think I have neither heard of nor tried Pages, Numbers, etc.
I have. They don't hold a candle. They are canned "templates" for the thinking impaired. But for extemporaneous annotation, integrated multi-media presentation, on-the-fly; there is absolutely n-o-t-h-i-n-g out there that can hold a candle to AW Paint and Draw. Not even the one you are about to suggest: bet it doesn't even have a selection tool that shrink-wraps around a variable or exponent, like AWP'S lasso. At my school, we can't update the OS on the Macbooks we got because we lose use of the Smartboards that we got them for! Same with tons of other teaching SW like Gradebook Pro: TWENTY-EIGHT years later and AW HAS NO REPLACEMENT ...?!! I know about the AW source code being gone etc. Apple just don't care.
I thought Apple stated Rosetta was temporary, but maybe that was just an assumption I made when they announced it. Either way I am surprised anyone "in the industry" was banking on it (pun intended) to carry them through the long term. If you started the transition with the intro of the Intel Macs, Rosetta helped lessen the impact of both the financial and data implications and allowed you to cut over over a five year (or more depending on when you upgrade) period. Frankly I don't see how this lessens your faith in Apple -- I would be more disappointed if they continued to work on keeping Rosetta running. One of the things I most admire about Apple is their ability to transition and move forward. They bridged the technology for two major releases, now it's time to move forward and save the debug / test cycles for the core of the OS. That said I do really really miss Quicken 2007.
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 08:12
The original wording of Apple's announcement about Rosetta is as I have represented it. Click the link to read it. One COULD infer that Rosetta was temporary, but the wording "you'll never have to think about it" implies the opposite: "never"does not mean "for a while."
Comeonman  2011-05-23 08:24
The "NEVER" refers to the fact that the integration is seamless, not a promise that Rosetta will exist forever. Anyone who's used any kind of technology would and should know that nothing lasts forever.
You can't be serious. This is a ridiculous interpretation of that use of never. It's clear they meant you'll never have to think about it in day to day use, as in when you're actually using it. The header of the page says, "The most amazing software you'll never see." I can interpret that as meaning Apple never even shipped Rosetta! But most people would think I was being intentionally obtuse.
peelman  2011-05-23 07:59
You missed a choice. You can also keep using Snow Leopard, running your ancient applications you're too cheap to upgrade. Your situation is no different than those stuck with PowerPC machines complaining they can't run Snow Leopard. Apple wants to make forward progress and not wind up like Microsoft, using up legions of developers on backwards compatibility.

Their computers still work fine. Yours will continue to do so as well, without Lion. Your old friend is right. Get over it.
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 08:16
I disagree. I can deal with losing Rosetta, but I won't "get over it" and it is presumptuous of you to tell me how to feel. You don't know me. You don't know my financial situation, nor my work-related reasons for running the software that I do and the systems that I do.
Comeonman  2011-05-23 08:24
Whether you get over it or not is ultimately up to you. But if you choose NOT to get over it, it's your life and the lives of those around you that will be made miserable.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 10:21
Cheap is insulting. Quicken 2007 is vastly better than Quicken Essentials and If I have to give up Quicken 2007, I have no good replacement. I don't mind buying the update.
This is true, but the blame for this lies with Intuit and not Apple.
odysseus  2011-05-23 13:16
Quicken 2007 is vastly more feature-complete than QEM, but it's quite a bit better at the same features. Glenn, why don't you try SEE Finance or Moneydance?
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 13:59
I don't have particularly weird requirements, but one of them is that I don't want to lose or re-enter all my history. I have looked at SEE Finance and Moneydance, and I don't see a way to get all of what I need now and to import the data without losing critical financial/historical information.

I'll eventually have to take that hit, maybe running a Snow Leopard machine until next January 1st and then starting with a new bookkeeping package for the 2012 year.
Try iBank. I switched and like it.
The Raven  2011-05-23 17:01
Until, of course, some security problem is found.
Duane Williams  2011-05-23 18:42
iBank isn't even close to as feature rich as Quicken.
Bob Stewart  2011-05-27 06:06
iBank doesn't support paying bills directly from the program as Quicken, even five year old Quicken, does. Major issue for me, as I've been paying bills that way from Quicken since 1992. Otherwise a pretty nice program, I agree.
Charles C Counselman III  2011-05-23 20:29
"Cheap" is insulting but, more important, it is inaccurate. I am neither cheap nor sentimental; but I value my _time_. I am quick to replace software (and hardware) when doing so makes me more productive. I switched from a superior product (Managing Your Money) to Quicken when the advantages of new Mac h/w and the new Mac OS it required outweighed the advantages of MYM. Replacing Quicken 2007 to gain minor advantages from a Mac OS X update does not make sense -- yet. I have tried several potential replacements, including QuickBooks for Windows, but have yet to find a replacement that meets my needs.

Whining and blaming Intuit or Apple is not helpful. Making the best of the available choices is.
Daniel  2011-05-28 07:15
Try MoneyWell - it is awesome, and is so much better than Quicken ever was.
Bob Stewart  2011-05-27 05:59
"Too cheap to upgrade?" I have over 10 years of financial records in Quicken. Every six months I check to see if there's an upgrade that I'd gladly pay for. Nada. While Intuit sees fit to upgrade the Windows version regularly, they haven't upgraded Quicken for five years now. It's an essential program for my household as is Photoshop which I regularly upgrade at absurd prices and will have to continue to do so, especially when newer operating systems come out which will make Photoshop CS5 obsolete. Quicken isn't the only program that I use regularly that isn't supported by upgrades any longer. Clearly Apple is forcing me into the undesirable position of either buying a completely new machine so that I can continue to run essential but unsupported programs on the old one or to send some money MIcrosoft's way to add Windows 7 to my Parallels desktop so that I can continue with programs like Quicken. Guess which one I'll be chosing, Apple?
Comeonman  2011-05-23 08:15
I agree with your opinion on what people really mean when they suggest others to "get over it". However, WHY they do it is most likely because they are tired of people complaining and whining about things that are simply not relevant to them.

With that said, many people complain about new software and/or hardware not supporting old technologies. However, something most people don't consider is that in almost all cases, no one is putting a gun to their heads to force them to upgrade. If what you have now is working fine, don't upgrade. Simple isn't it?
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 08:24
One thing I didn't touch upon in my article, but is a very real problem, is people who actually don't know that Rosetta is what made it possible to upgrade their Macs years ago without buying lots of new software.

There are lot of such people. Smart people, but not steeped in the lore of OS and CPU architecture. They had something that works, and that will suddenly and surprisingly stop working when they upgrade to the new OS. Remember, Apple has said NOTHING to date about the passing of Rosetta, but plenty about all the nifty features of Lion.
Comeonman  2011-05-23 08:27
I don't know if Apple has mentioned anything about dropping Rosetta. But people should always know the details of everything in their life instead of expecting others to be responsible for them.

These people CHOSE to use Macs and they CHOSE to use the software they use and therefore they should know and understand the situation they are in.
Lots of people see computers simply as tools to accomplish a task, not a hobby. There's no reason to restrict the use of computers to people who want to learn about their underpinnings and how it all works. It will be a rude awakening for such people if they are persuaded to upgrade their OS and then find that a bunch of apps they used stop running.
Bryan Pietrzak  2011-05-23 17:08
Generally speaking, these people that had something that works, still do. And likely are still running Leopard. And it's unlikely these people are going to to upgrade to Lion.

There's a group of people running old software that they never update.
There's a group of people that upgrade the OS.
The intersection of these two groups is fairly small.

By dropping Rosetta Apple can continue to streamline the OS, continue to tighten security, continue to cleanup and streamline code, deliver OS updates that are slimmer, Internally they can stop building and testing the powerpc frameworks behind Rosetta. Those resources are better used elsewhere.

The needs of the few do not outweigh the needs of the many :)
William Smith  2011-05-23 08:20
I'm sorry but I can't sympathize with you.

You're a teacher, a book author and TidBITS writer about computers. The personal computer market has been part of our lives the past 30 years and we've had plenty of time to see how quickly it evolves.

By now you should know that hardware and software have a dependency on each other and to get some of the "new" you have to give up some of the "old", especially with Apple. They're not doing something new here that they haven't done before.

Hardware and software products have support "life cycles" of about five years. The software you mentioned is well beyond their support life cycles. You may not like it (I'm not saying I do either) but I've learned to expect it.

Folks need to stop thinking about their computers and software as "appliances". A toaster may work 20 years for you but if you want the new one that cooks the egg then you need to buy a new toaster. And you need to accept that it will have three prongs on the plug instead of two.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 08:43
Did I ask you to sympathize with me? I only asked you, and others, not to presume to tell me how to FEEL. I know about transitions (and I said so), and I know how to deal with them (I said that, too).
Comeonman  2011-05-23 09:02
As an adult, you should by now be used to people telling you how to feel. But when people tell you how to feel, it doesn't mean you have to listen. So... get over it ;)
Adults (if they are in fact true adults... meaning they have a mature intellect) don't tell others how to feel.

Telling someone to "get over it" is the smarmy, (thinks they) know-it-all attitude of an immature mind.

Who's a bigger pain? A person who complains about some particular situation, or someone who whines about people who complain?
James M Bleifus  2011-05-23 08:22
As Duncan says, we always have the option of not upgrading. In my case, Lion will break several apps that I own. But instead of just replacing them, I've decided to consider substitutes. I don't need Word anymore so I'll use Pages, etc., etc. OTOH, some apps don't have corollaries so I'll have to upgrade.

Although I understand your frustration, it does seem like a lot to ask Apple to support Rosetta indefinitely. Five years is a good run.

And no, you shouldn't be told to "get over it."

Cheers, James
Comeonman  2011-05-23 08:29
He shouldn't be told to "get over it" any more than he shouldn't complain. It's called free speech.
Scott Rose  2011-05-23 08:26
I just wrote a great article on this very topic today. This is definitely a bigger problem for Quicken users than it is for other software, because all the other software can be updated. Quicken cannot. Check out the article here:

"Why does Intuit hate Mac users? (And why doesn’t Apple save us?)"
Steve K  2011-05-23 08:27
Rosetta was introduced by Apple as a way to ease the transition from PowerPC-based Macs to Intel-based Macs. Yes, it was. The transition has been over since 2006. Rosetta was never a long term solution.

Adobe is now on CS5.5 . Microsoft is on Word 2011. Yes, if you WANT to run Lion, you really do have to "get over it" and upgrade your software. Other wise, stay on what you have if it is working for you. I mean, if you want to continue to use old software, then continue to use the old OS as well. It won't cost you a dime.

If you WANT to move to Lion, you could also try some other software if you don't want to spend lots of money. Pixelmator is only $60, Photoshop Express is free. Open Office is free or try Google Docs. You do have options if you want to move to Lion.

We still don't know how much Lion itself will cost. I would imagine anywhere from Snow Leopard's $29 to Leopard's $129. So remember to add that number to your upgrade total if you do it.
Jim Stead  2011-05-23 08:36
Apple in its history has never been a company afraid to drop legacy technologies; in fact it has been eager. While a downside for some, that is also why Apple leads.
Andreas Frick  2011-05-23 08:41
I need rosetta, because there is no full replacement for AppleWorks. I have a lot of database and draw documents which I can no longer open then. Very bad situation.
Steve K  2011-05-23 08:43
Are you sure? I thought Pages and Numbers could open all of the old Apple Works documents?
I believe it can open the word processing and spreadsheet documents, not the database and drawing docs.
Pierce R. Butler  2011-05-23 17:57
Pages can open _some_ of my A'works WP documents, but as it lacks functional outlining features, that doesn't do me much good.

From which I must conclude that it was a mistake to use an Apple program for important documents, and one that I intend never to repeat. (Are you listening, Apple? [hah!])

Andreas Frick: EazyDraw can open AW draw documents (and even old MacDraw files!) - *and* it's from a company that seems to care about its customers.
Comeonman  2011-05-23 09:03
Then stick with Snow Leopard. Problem solved! :)
Duane Williams  2011-05-23 18:50
Sticking with SL is only a solution if SL is going to be supported into the distant future. There's no reason to believe that, given what's happening with Rosetta.
Peter Giessel  2011-05-24 12:49
Run Snow Leopard in Virtualization. I'm running OS X.4 in virtualization on X.6 because I'm trying to program something for my old Apple TV (which runs X.4). Use VirtualBox or some such program and run whichever version of Mac OS X you need for your old programs in virtualization
Mark Fuller  2011-05-23 09:52
You really need to move on. Convert your data and go. AW is dead, and dead for a long time.
comccoy  2011-05-23 08:42
You bought in to a closed system running closed software sold by corporations who will only support "legacy" as long as there is measurable profit to be made. Open alternatives have been available for 2 decades. It was your choice and that is why you should "get over it". Sincerely, another Mac user who would miss Rosetta but "got over it" and uses open source as much as possible. 
Ah yes, because OSS never, ever dies and is supported for eternity.
Comeonman  2011-05-23 09:05
Duh, open source > closed source. Down with the establishment man!
Alberto Ripanucci  2011-05-23 08:45
I'm with you on this.
I still use Excel X and don't want to upgrade to Office 2011.
Lisa Spangenberg  2011-05-23 08:55
As Michael points out, many users don't even know that they have and are using Rosetta. This is particularly true of home users, and schools. Increasingly schools don't have a full time technologist but rely on teachers and volunteers.

Apple needs to do a better job of communicating the status of Rosetta.

Also? Telling someone to "get over it" is linguistic marker for self-absorbed entitlement and privilege. You mostly hear from the same kinds of smug people who say "I got mine."
Yes, using "get over it" is sometimes a marker for self-absorbed entitlement.

But sometimes it's the only way to really tell someone who is self-absorbed and has a sense of entitlement to "get over it".

Expecting multiple companies to support your special needs forever and whining about it is a marker of entitlement. Nobody is forcing the upgrade.
Cameron Hayne  2011-05-23 08:59
Your phrasing about loss of faith in Apple leads me to believe that you think they dropped support for Rosetta capriciously.
I have no insider knowledge but it seems extremely likely that this decision was an engineering tradeoff. I.e. that keeping Rosetta going in Lion would require significant engineering effort and so the decision was made that Apple's finite resources would be better spent elsewhere.
Honest question. Your whole article is basically about how being told to upgrade software before you're ready hurts your feelings. What exactly would you suggest Apple do instead? How long and through how many software/hardware transitions should they support a legacy translation layer? Instead of just complaining, what do you think Apple should do?
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 09:22
No, my article is about a) the presumption of telling other people how they should feel and b) a promise seemingly broken and without any actual warning (has Apple said anything yet? Has it offered any upgrade advice to long-time users?)
In this case I would imagine that you are taking "get over it" way more personally than your friend intended it. To each their own. Obviously I don't know either of you, but when dealing with technology versus a more serious personal issue, I think it's more shorthand for, "You knew this was coming. It's time to deal with it."

As for your "promise seemingly broken", that's ridiculous. As I said in my other comment above, your interpretation of never is clearly incorrect.

Can you answer my question? How long should Apple support you using old software on each newer OS? 10 years? 20 years?
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 09:34
It's not clearly incorrect. I have friends and relatives who assume that things will continue to "just work" because of what they were told. The vast majority of folk are not as tech savvy as TidBITS readers.

What should Apple do? Provide some guidance well in advance of such a disruptive transition, for starters. Change is inevitable; disappointing surprise is not.
Ok, I do definitely agree that Apple should provide a heads up and some guidance for dropping Rosetta support in Lion. As a writer for TidBITS though, why don't you take this chance to constructively educate people on the transition rather than complaining that it's some surprising transition.

I'm sorry, but your interpretation of Apple's original Rosetta page to include a "promise" that Rosetta would last forever is 100% incorrect and self-serving. Nowhere does it say that Rosetta will work in every future OS version. Painting it that way makes Apple out to be a bad guy when it is standard behavior for transitional software. And again, nobody is being forced to upgrade. If that were the case, this would be a much bigger problem.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 10:10
I have no concrete assurance (read my article again) that Rosetta WILL be dropped. That it will be dropped is the rumor from people who have (illicitly) leaked information from the developer previews of Lion. Constructive education, therefore, is dicey.

Nonetheless, if you read around the site you'll notice that some of our writers have begun writing constructively about this possible transition. See Matt Neuberg's piece, for example, "Preparing for Lion: Find Your PowerPC Applications," 6 May 2011:
LAPHAM  2011-05-23 16:22
Again this was more an article about human feelings than about technology. I also think too many, including you, assume what your friend was thinking when he said "Get over it". Maybe it was a resignation that he can't change it and neither can you. Maybe it was he can't understand why it is significant anymore and thus doesn't understand its significance to you.

Its liken it to "Have a good day". It is a generic response where the person really doesn't want an involved, in-depth discussion.

Regarding Apple not letting people know about the change. If Apple isn't sure whether to kill Rosetta or keep it going what would you have them do? Apple really can't say anything until they know. Maybe the leak was to see how much outcry there would be and then they could decide. If there isn't any then maybe it has run its course.
I think that may be a question of timing. Apple doesn't talk about products before release, so we should expect to see this kind of guidance near the time of release.
Bryan Pietrzak  2011-05-23 17:13
It will continue to work. Upgrade nothing and it'll work for years and years to come.

Clearly you don't need Lion. So don't get it. Problem solved. So much teeth gnashing for nothing.
Duane Williams  2011-05-23 18:56
What realistic guidance can Apple offer Quicken 2007 users, given that there is no comparable Mac alternative? I guess Apple could provide instructions for porting Quicken for Mac databases to Quicken for Windows. :)
William Stanley  2011-05-24 00:03
This is a valid complaint. I'm a family therapist, and often what irritates a spouse most is when a partner says the spouse should "get over it" (the marital infraction) because the partner has "moved on." I hear: "Moved on?! Great for you!" Doesn't get us anywhere. it's really negating the spouse's feelings over the matter, not helpful. Usually said by the person (or the company) in charge and declaring the advantage.
Johnny  2011-05-23 09:29
I can identify with this article. I'm still running Leopard instead of Snow Leopard in order to still use my appletalk personal laserwriter, and to avoid a $700 upgrade to my CAD software.

There are real costs to that $29 upgrade. Friends have lost printer function (Epson 740) and some of them say Snow Leopard is less stable.

Everyone's milage varies.
Outside of the software upgrade costs, don't be afraid of Snow Leopard. I manage about 30 Macs, all upgraded to 10.6, and kernel panics and crashes are almost non-existent. My 2010 iMac hasn't had a single kernel panic in almost a year. It's definitely more stable than Leopard.
Sharon Zardetto  2011-05-23 09:30
I, too, lament the dropping of Rosetta. Word 2008 and 2011 are entirely unstable, corrupting embedded graphics, crashing with large documents, etc. I finally bumped back to 2004 to get a... you guessed it.. Lion ebook finished on time. Pages? Puh-leeze! No macros, no keyboard-based style assignments, lack of other power-user stuff slows me down unbelievably.
I understand Apple's need to move the technology forward. Getting over losing, say, 20% of my productivity, is going to take a long time. It'll be at my fingertips every day (at least until Microsoft cleans up it's act... like that's gonna happen).
Mark Fuller  2011-05-23 09:51
My biggest concern is Quicken. I realize that Intuit isn't the greatest of Mac developers, but I still use Quicken 2007 a lot and the newest version is a poor stepchild.
Scott Rose  2011-05-23 11:57
See Finance is the best replacement that we have at this point. I discuss this on my blog at
Michael Bradley  2011-05-23 10:02
Am I naive in thinking that since the Rosetta code already exists in a fully mature form, why in the world is it necessary to drop it from Lion? Would it not be a kindness to long-time Mac users - at no cost in any way to Apple - to continue to include (or make it possible to add) Rosetta code?

I, for one, won't be able to "upgrade" to Lion if it won't contain (or permit) Rosetta: my one vital PPC app, for which there is no alternative app (Mac or Windows), is Now Contact.
Jon Bloom  2011-05-23 10:27
It's not as though "Rosetta code" were a stand-alone app. To support PPC code requires that the various system libraries (at least, those available up through 10.5) include PPC binaries. That bloats the files, but more important, it complicates the development cycle, requiring more coding and regression testing when changes/fixes are made and thus leads to a longer cycle between releases. It wasn't that long ago that people were complaining about how long it took Apple to get from one release to the next. Keeping that additional backward compatibility in place has a cost; it's not just a throw-in.

Along with others, I do agree that Apple's communications could be better, a complaint that isn't limited to this issue by any means.
There have been big behind the scenes changes in OS X from 10.5 on, so it's pretty safe to assume that continuing to make Rosetta work is not just a freebie for Apple. It's a translation layer, so to make it work seamlessly the way it does now would require remapping of old code to new or updated system APIs. The farther we move away from the Intel transition, the more difficult it will be to maintain.

Regarding your critical PPC app, it's probably a good idea to find an alternative considering the company closed its doors over a year ago. Here's a thread on some options:,908996,909423
Khurt L Williams  2011-05-23 10:31
Yes, you may not be naive but you are ignorant of how software development works. Each time a piece of software is changed, in this case a major OS upgrade, test will be done to ensure that things function as they should. To include Rosetta code, Apple developers would have to ensure that it continues to work with any code changes made in Lion. That could be trivial or complicated. It takes resources. A change in one routine for a bug fix or new feature could break have a dependency that breaks code elsewhere. It all comes down to a financia question: How much resources should be dedicated to continuing to enable a feature that a majority of customers may never use? Should my new Harmony remote control support the VCR I bought 11 years ago?
Michael Bradley  2011-05-23 11:07
Hello Adam,

Thanks for the link, but, truly, there is no comparable program, no other contact manager (I think I've checked them all, Mac and Windows!!) that lets you create a database of keywords, assign appropriate ones to a contact, and search on selected keywords. I'm a salesman, and that's an essential function for me.

So, if no Rosetta in Lion, I'll stay with Snow Leopard (not a hardship - I stayed with 10.3.9 on a PowerBook in order to run Quark 3.32 'til I got a new MacBook and installed InDesign. Maybe Apple will wind up selling me a second MacBook as a spare :-)
Duane Bemister  2011-05-23 11:33
You could use WebSonar, only $10.00 on the Apple App Store if you move up to 10.6 or 10.7.
I can appreciate your perspective to a point, but it seems pretty drastic to tie your entire possible upgrade path to a single app from a defunct company. Now Contact is a dead end that you will eventually need to replace. As with Mr. Cohen, it's probably a good idea to find a replacement workflow using apps that are currently being developed and supported. While there are frictional costs to conversion, there is almost no app that is irreplaceable.
How many keywords are you talking about?
Michael Bradley  2011-05-23 14:47
125 keywords. I could use more, but that's the limit.

And Frant, I would switch now, I'd have switched long ago, but, truly, there is no other contact manager with a similar keyword database and search capability (that I know of, and I've looked!). And as long as I've got a functioning MacBook (with Rosetta), I won't, I suppose, have to hire a FileMaker programmer :-)

It was said in olden days that folks bought Macs just so they could run Now Contact (and Now Up-to-Date).
John Muir  2011-05-23 18:22
Michael, I'm no salesman, but I'd consider dropping the dead app as a priority – especially as it has an arbitrary tag limit you've already hit.

How about a dead simple, real quick, pervasively searchable note system like Notational Velocity? Free, works with Simplenote on iOS, handles cloud backup if you like, and so lightweight I have stacks of notes I search through all the time even on my old PowerBook G4 without a hitch.

I like my data in plain-text, where it will be portable and safe from lock-in forever. A contact database you tag and search a lot sounds, to my ears, a good candidate for the Keep It Simple approach. NV certainly brings the immediate speed of search (it keeps a live search on all text in all notes) and has a very slick feel for creating new ones: if your query draws a blank, just hit enter and there's your ready-titled note.
Michael Bradley  2011-05-23 18:56
Thanks, very much, John Muir. NV seems a slick, quick note app, but it's just not a contact manager, a PIM. I need searchable fields for names, addresses, company names, multiple phone numbers, notes, etc. And I need to search on multiple keywords to find all the contacts that match all those keywords.

Now Contact was, and is, unique. Without it I'd be relying on pencil and paper.
Bryan Vines  2011-05-25 07:54

You can use Address Book; in the Notes field for any given contact, add "keywords" at the top, such as _Widget, _Buyer, _2010.

You can then search for things such as "_Widget" to find all contacts with that tag in their notes field. You can also create Smart Groups which look for tags in the Notes field, to create dynamic groups for "_Widget", for example.

It's not a direct replacement in that you don't define the keywords in one place, but if these are keywords you are used to seeing, typing them shouldn't be too much of a pain. If it is, you could use something like TextExpander to create expansion shortcuts for standardization. Maybe type _wid and have it expand to _Widgets.
Michael Bradley  2011-05-25 20:24
Thanks, Brian, for your suggestion. However - and I don't know how I missed it before - but Daylite will do what I need (and more). I'd be happier without the "more," but now I know I can keep up with Apple and, I hope, with life!

Again, thanks to all who pitched in with suggestions!
Adam Bell  2011-05-23 10:02
As an owner of VMware Fusion, I'll probably just install Leopard (or Snow Leopard) on a virtual machine.
Is this possible for non-server OSes? I thought the OS X license prohibited virtualization of the client versions of the OS.
bunk3m  2011-05-23 18:03
Perhaps Apple should "get over it" and let us run older OSX versions in a VM!
I too hate the use of "Get over it" dismiss any and all concerns. It's rude, smug, thuggish and very often cruel.
Khurt L Williams  2011-05-23 10:14
I can see that those comments from your "friend" bother you. I agree, his remarks can seem glib.

However, I think you have misattributed your friennd's glib remark to "Just get over" it to Apple. I have found no statement from Apple suggesting you "Just get over it".

We in the technology field know that change is a permanent feature of the industry. We may not always know when it will come but we expect it.

As others have pointed out there are alternatives available to you - keep the existing OS X - and I hope you can appraise yourself of them. But I think don't think you can blame Apple for your friend's remarks.
GLwalker  2011-05-23 10:40
The guy who wrote this article can't be a grown man, I can't believe this is a serious individual whining about a piece of software that will not be supported. You always have a choice and that is to just keep using what you are using and buy a refurbished or use machine if your's malfunctions. Why are you not going after the software companies to give you free upgrades to intel versions of their software.
This guy has to man up and act like a mature adult.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 11:18
Ah, an argumentum ad hominem! I was wondering when that rhetorical fallacy would crop up here!

Lisa Spangenberg  2011-05-23 12:46
"Man up"--Dude ! I have no desire, ever, to "man up," nor does sexist ad hominem support an argument.
Chap Harrison  2011-05-23 20:48
I'm going with the minority here. I lurk in a mailing list called, which is supposedly a place for rank Perl beginners to get help from "experts" who are eager to promote Perl. With some regularity, flame wars break out among the participants, who fight to the death to win at being Right about some esoteric point that's of no interest to the newbie.

Often, though, what REALLY appears to underlie and fuel the debate is the rudeness and arrogance that people exhibit toward each other. When this comes to light, the crusty old experts suggest that the "whiners" toughen up, as they will never survive the Pro world of code reviews or Doctoral defenses. Or they simply play dumb: "I was 'curt', perhaps, but not rude."

I don't know how far this attitude extends beyond the geek culture. I strongly suspect it's traditional guy behavior. Congrats on having the guts to call out the lazy phrase-droppers. They're not really as dumb as they act.
As a first day adopter of OSX releases since the beta 0, when I heard that Rosetta was likely history in Lion I was definitely thinking "get over it". That was until I did an inventory of how many PPC programs I have on my system. I was supprised that there were 120. This number is exaggerated because many are little utilities that I don't really care about like TurboTax. However when I boil down the list and "get over" all the old games that I'd kind of like to keep using, I'm still left with Photoshop CS2, Illustrator 10 and a smattering of small really useful hard to replace utilities. The Adobe programs are admittedly old but still work very well. My usage is way down from the days when I purchased them so I've never been able to justify spending the hundreds of dollars it would cost to upgrade them. So I'm siding with Michael's view that "get over it" is a bit harsh. I'm also wondering if Apple really wants to start down that slippery slope that Microsoft is still on with XP. We could be approaching a divide where SnowLeopard becomes Apple's XP and the rest move to Lion and beyond.
Timothy King  2011-06-14 17:20
I'm in the same position vis-a-vis CS2, except that I'd be looking at 2 copies. My wife & I both use the various apps sporadically, but not so often that it wouldn't be very hard to justify the $2000+ it would take to upgrade.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the iCloud transition in all this, as it's my sense that that is going to be pretty dependent on Lion for full functionality. And we both have MobileMe accounts with iOS devices that rely on the syncing.

"Get over it" is easier said than done, esp. when money doesn't flow like water...
Dennis Cohen  2011-05-23 10:54
While Apple's communication skills are often deficient, and are here as well, dropping Rosetta should not come as a surprise. In Snow Leopard, anyone who had need of it had to make a positive move to install it, so the allegation that users are unaware of its presence is somewhat overstated (there are probably some, but not a significant percentage of those using Snow Leopard).

As to "getting over it", you probably should. This response is only reasonable if it is an attempt to stop someone from carrying on incessantly after you've made it clear that you've heard all you want to hear on a subject.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 13:05
I disagree with your first assertion. In Snow Leopard, the only positive action you had to take was that first time you launched a PowerPC app and had to click OK in a dialog that asked if you wanted Rosetta installed. I'd say that a large majority of Mac users won't remember a dialog that they interacted with several years ago.

As I said, I'll *deal* with losing Rosetta, but getting over it, in the sense of not being angered at the loss of time and energy that losing it entails? No, I'll remember it. I won't dwell upon it; I won't let it gnaw at me; I won't let it consume my every waking moment. But I will remember it.
Paul Fox  2011-05-23 12:11
From me to Steve Jobs:

May 1, 2011

Dear Steve,

I hope you are feeling well.

I also hope you can help tens of thousands of scientists (like me) who depend on excellent illustration software. According to some rumors, OS X 10.7 will not keep Rosetta. Many of us depend on the ancient Canvas X (developed by Deneba, now abandoned by ACD) for our livelihood. This wonderful program is a combination of MacPaint and MacDraw on steroids. There is not a substitute available, particularly the very clumsy and expensive Adobe Creative Suite.

Any chance you can find a way for us to continue to use Rosetta? Even better, can you purchase Canvas from ACD (they abandoned it 3 years ago for the Windows-only version) and update it? At $199-$299 a copy on the Mac App store this program would cause major harm to sales of Adobe’s Suite.

Best wishes from a Mac user since the Mac Plus,


Paul L. Fox, Ph.D.
The Robert Canova Professor of Inflammation Research &
Professor of Molecular Medicine
Department of Cell Biology
Lerner Research Institute
Cleveland Clinic

Steve Job's reply:
Nope. Sorry.
Sent from my iPhone
Could you run Lion and 10.6 (or whatever older version you use) under VirtualBox? I don't know if it would work, but if it does problem solved.
Harvey Marcus  2011-05-23 12:11
Saying "Get over it" is not telling you how to feel. It is advising you NOT to dwell (i.e. spend mental energy) on an issue you have no control over. Where in that advise is "feelings"? Nowhere, that's where. Any feelings inside you after receiving that advice are generated by you. Will you think I'm telling you how to feel if I advise you to "Don't take my comments so seriously"? I'm not, but then again, I have no control over what goes on inside your head.
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 12:34
And the difference between "mental energy" and emotions is what, exactly? Or are emotions NOT mental states?

Seriously, there is an enormous difference between saying, "Sorry you feel that way but there's nothing you can do so I suggest you get over it" and a simple, curt, "Get over it!" One shows respect for another's feelings and concerns, and one does not.
Harvey Marcus  2011-05-23 15:03
Logic (plans, actions, decisions) versus Emotion (anger, pain, regret). Is "Get over it" a blunt message? Yes. Does it show respect? Depends on your relationship with the deliverer. I'd take it in good spirit from my best friend, a lot worse from a stranger. But it would be me processing the message. The words themselves don't force you to feel any particular way. The feelings you write about are ones that you generate inside yourself. They are not transmitted along with the three words. Your reaction to the words happens inside you. You're responsible for making the emotional judgment. I believe you're in error by putting anything but bad manners on the messenger.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 15:20
I would agree, except that I believe I characterized the remark as being "snorted derisively." It wasn't just the words; it was tone and attitude that accompanied the words.

Not all of us live Spock-like lives in which we perform logical analysis on every utterance we hear. Emotional judgements by their very nature are not emotionlessly arrived it.

I didn't, at the time, strike back at my friend in an equally derisive fashion. That would have been rude as well. And that's what this article is all about, really: pointing out that such glib reductions are rude. They are, as you put it, bad manners.
It's not Spock-like and not necessary to perform some cold logic. All he's saying is that ultimately, you are responsible for your reactions to others and the feelings derived afterward.

This is just an odd article and seems unrelated to the mission of the site. Your friend said something in the course of a Mac-related conversation and your feelings were hurt. Instead of writing constructively about the nature of technology upgrades and deprecation and how best to handle these facts of life, you write about your feelings being hurt. If your friend had said, "Sorry you feel that way but there's nothing you can do so I suggest you get over it", would you have posted this at all?

Above you say, "But I will remember it", as if you'll remember that Apple wronged you or something. But there have been no broken promises or misleading claims here as you suggest - you don't have to upgrade. You should remember it, but given your position, you should know it would/will happen. It's your job.
Harvey hits the nail on the head!
Michael Wenyon  2011-05-23 12:34
I think it is a cultural thing. Apple is a Yankee. It is no accident that SheepShaver was written by, and is maintained by, Europeans, who know that your history is the only thing that gives your present life meaning.
Patrick  2011-05-23 12:41
I view data and functionality loss due to system upgrades the same way I view data loss due to failed hard drives. Both (system upgrades and hard drive failures) are inevitable.

The key is to prepare for it. For hard drive failures, it's commonly accepted that you need to spend some money on backups (Time Machine, separate hard drives, cloud based backups). I'm guessing Michael has a backup strategy.

Michael should have a similar strategy for system upgrades. They're coming! Complaining about lost functionality due to system upgrades strikes me as the same a complaining about lost data due to a hard drive crash.

Whether the end times arrive as a hard drive failure or a system upgrade, prepare yourself!
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 12:57
May I once again point out that I'm not complaining about the possible end of Rosetta per se. I'm complaining about a cavalier response to my (or anyone's) feelings about that kind of unannounced and disruptive change.

A simple system upgrade does not usually disable a significant portion of applications, so when it does, it causes a good deal of discomfort and stress. Whether I have a plan in place or not (and, yes, I do, in fact, have a plan in place), the disruption that the change causes is disheartening. That is an emotional response, true, but certainly a reasonable one to have when my time and my finances are so affected.

A blithe "Get over it" is both disrepectful and unhelpful. All it does is add insult to injury.
John K  2011-05-23 12:50
SheepShaver for Mac OS X, no more problems...
Margit Kristiansen  2011-05-23 13:08
Perhaps you could just "get over it" by taking advantage of Mac OS X's ability to boot into various versions. I always keep a small partition with the previous OS version and any software that isn't expected to work on the new version. Sure, it's inconvenient to have to boot into a different partition to run some programs, but perhaps you are also planning to buy a new Mac to run Lion? In that case, dazzle your friends with your two-Mac setup, one with Snow Leopard, the other with Lion. That also allows you to use any legacy peripherals that may not work with Lion.
Michael Eusey  2011-05-23 13:19
I realize this may not be the optimum solution for some but it has worked well for me for many years:

I use external bootable drives with the extra OS(s) I need. I have an iMac Core 2 Duo (Late 2006) and the last model of the iMac G5. Both have multiple bootable external drives with various versions of OS X optimized for various functions or applications (or WIN 7).

FW400 is a little pokey as a system disc but quite servicible at 25 to 30 MB per sec. FW800 is quite decent at around 40 to 50 MB per sec (at least with my LaCie drives). Many of the more recent Macs allow for external SATA drives which should run at nearly the same speed as the built-in drive. My 60 GB SSD in a FW800 case runs right at the theoretical max I/O but is a little too pricey for me as a boot drive.

There is a minor nuisance value to restarting from drive to drive but I feel the flexibility more than compensates. You also need to decide which drive handles communications and important personal documents.
I like the idea of partitioning or using external boot drives to access an older OS when needed. My concern is that I am looking forward to purchasing a new MacBook AIr when the new model supposedly is likely to appear in the next couple of months... and I imagine it may not boot with anything older than Lion, so I'll have no way at all to access the older apps.

Maybe a third-party will come out with an emulation system, a la sheepshaver. It would be nice, if Apple didn't want to support this kind of thing themselves, if they would release and open-source the old Rosetta code so developers would have a base to work from.
Timothy King  2011-06-14 17:23
I'm considering getting a Express Card SSD drive just so I can run both Snow Leopard & Lion (which one goes where TBD)...
Johannes  2011-05-23 14:20
If your feelings are hurt by your friend, why don't you confront him with that instead of blogging about it?

It was very clear that Apple would discontinue Rosetta because it wasn't even included in snow leopard.

If you run a ppc app for the first time Rosetta is automatically downloaded.

Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 14:23
The fact that Rosetta was automatically downloaded by one attempting to run a PowerPC app in Snow Leopard means that it was a part of Snow Leopard: after all, it was Snow Leopard that downloaded it.

As for why I didn't confront my friend: how do you know I didn't? This post, by the way, was originally intended for my personal blog: it showed up here only because other TidBITS editors felt that it was worth posting here.
Johannes  2011-05-24 05:08
The previous release had Rosetta included, the current hasn't (only as a download). Apple has done this several times in the past and it indicated that a specific technology is phased out. Maybe you're not aware of that?

As to confronting your friend: I didn't say you didn't, didn't you see the question mark at the end of the sentence?

Rosetta was in fact a part of Snow Leopard. It was just not installed as part of the default installation. You could enable it, or as was stated, install it the first time a PPC app was run. Always a good idea to check your facts before posting.
Johannes  2011-05-24 05:58
I thought I knew it for a fact, so checking wasn't a sensible option. I should have said that Rossetta isn't installed by default.

But the essence of my remark is that Rosetta is demoted by Apple and that hasn't changed even if rosetta was part of the distribution.

Jon the Heretic  2011-05-23 14:21
In no way does Apple dropping Rosetta make my life better? Now I am told I should upgrade a bunch of software that I was perfectly happy with and at great cost. And why I wonder -- was this really necessary? I am pretty sure it falls into the "Because" line of reasons.

The smuggies who oh-so-wisely inform us we don't have to upgrade have obviously never been forced to upgrade to the latest MacOS release just to sync their iPhone, iPod or iPad, as I have. I have a huge library of multimedia and apps on my iOS devices, and whereas Apple still supports XP for iTunes syncing, they are pretty cut throat on forcing upgrades with Mac users.

As a trend, it is very punitive to consumers and if it makes my life worse, I will look for better alternatives. Right now I am considering just keeping Snow Leopard and using Windows 7 (BootCamp) as my iOS Hub. This will save me a boat load of money, money I'd rather spend on my kids. Lion is the first release that offers less than it takes away.
Cut throat? I have the latest version of iTunes running on an 8 year old Powerbook G4. You shouldn't expect companies to support hardware/software much longer than that.
I can understand (but barely) the "get over it" for every day work. The problem for me (university prof) is that I have material from research done 10-15 years ago that I may need again, but that is now 2-3 generations old, software wise, and that new versions of the software (even if they exist) won't open any more. I don't have time or resources to keep up to date thousands of plots, PowerPoint slides, pages of text, in the event that I may need 10 or 20 of them. There should always be a reliable emulation/virtualization path, no matter how slow or inefficient. I should be able to open that old MacDraw or PowerPoint 3.0 file, even if it takes me ten minutes per file, and maybe pay $100 extra for the emulation layers. *Then*, for my every day work I'll upgrade without whining to whatever Steve wants me to upgrade.
William Mckelvain  2011-05-23 15:28
Beware the promises of the powerful, because they have no reason to keep them. Your psychological analysis "... at elevating the speaker’s own self-image and dismissing the recipient’s feelings." is right on. I would add that it is probably an example of 'identification with the aggressor' in Freudian terms. Thanks for the concern for human feeling in the midst of a technology blog.
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 15:29
You're welcome. ☺
Douglas Furby  2011-05-23 16:00
Most of the commentary seems to have missed the wider point - 'get over it' is a form of intellectual imperialism that has been practised by large corporations, noticeably Microsoft, for many years. Faceless software developers who assume that what is convenient for them is good for us. At least Michael doesn't live where I do - where this intellectual imperialism is reinforced by cultural imperialism. While technology might be going forward (and that is arguable), respect for individual preference is disappearing.
I have one program that requires rosetta, and that is some crappy driver for a belkin network USB hub which I'll be ditching soon for a time capsule anyway.
Aaron Kopman  2011-05-23 16:46
The "get over it crowd" misses an important point. The issue to me is productivity. I much prefer Word, Excel, Powerpoint circa 2004 to the latest glitzy version of Office. And yes, I have both versions installed. Why should I have to spend hours (probably days) relearning what I already know how to do. The issue is NOT money, its my sanity.

I guess I will NOT be buying the new iMac I had planned to acquire this summer.
Carl Witthoft  2011-06-19 14:42
Exactly. What he said. I have played with vsns of Office which use the Ribbon, and they are absolutely painful to work with. Not to mention being horribly non-customizable. The day I can't run Office 2004 (the last non-ribbon Office, but PPC only) is the day I convert 100% to LibreOffice.
Eolake Stobblehouse  2011-05-23 16:25
It's a real issue for me. I have to find replacement for three of the apps I use the most.

Any votes for replacements on:
Tex-Edit Plus
iView MediaPro (for making web thumbnails pages)
John Chapman  2011-07-22 09:26
Golive->Dreamweaver or RapidWeaver?
Tex-EditPlus -> BBEdit or TextWrangler
Obi-Wandreas  2011-05-23 16:25
The software for the (lousy) math curriculum that I am required to teach is PowerPC only, and has pretty much been abandoned by the textbook publisher. There will be no update.

In addition, the gradebook software I depend on, Easy Grade Pro, is PowerPC only. They claim to have an update coming soon, but they've been saying "3-4 Weeks" for about 7 months. An email to their support was not responded to. I have yet to find a program which works nearly as well.

Snow Leopard may not cease to work, but if history is any indication, it will quickly be left behind by software updates to other apps. Parallels or the like should work for running a copy of Snow Leopard (at least until Apple releases new hardware for which drivers are lacking), or I could run Windows on them. Either way, I'm looking at a royal PITA.
Paul Howson  2011-05-23 16:25
Providing you can afford the cost of upgrading software, then that's not an issue. It's the time and energy cost (the logistics factor) which is unwelcome yet unavoidable. Paying the money to get the software upgrade takes only a few minutes, but converting data or databases to new formats can take hours or days.
You express far too much charity to those who sling 'get over it' at their targets. This phrase is not intended as advice to help you move on with your life. It, and its cousin, 'Man up', used above, is an assault by the self-perceived strong against those seen as weak. It is a 'F*** you' directed by 'winners' toward 'losers'. It is of a piece with throwing the useless off the lifeboat, voting the unpopular off the island, obliterating the defenceless with remote-controlled death from the skies. It is yet another step in the gradual descent into barbarism brought about by unfettered capitalism and its concomitant contempt for one's fellow human beings.

It is not a statement made by anyone with compassion or empathy. It is a statement in support of social Darwinism, made by those who care only for unrestricted 'progress' without regard for those left behind.
Al Pawlowski  2011-05-23 16:44
Just what is the problem APPLE is trying to get around by not leaving it as an add-in module to an install? I doubt the Intel cpu code has not changed that much yet - different cpu planned?

There will have to be some really good new OS features for me to give up APPLE Works.
John Chapman  2011-07-22 09:33
Leaving in support for Rosetta had nothing to do with the Intel/logic board support and everything to do with the system libraries, APIs and calls. Rosetta and all of the PPC code libraries required a HUGE system profile, leaving both a ton of code bloat and a ton of programming interfaces.

Not only would it be increasingly more difficult/costly/labor intensive to maintain support for those additional legacy interfaces, but it would also have prevented Apple from doing some of the really critical security enhancements in Lion such as system-wide Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and additional sandboxing. These security enhancements would have been difficult or impossible to implement if they had to provide backwards compatibility for Rosetta/PPC/Carbon support.
Finally, of course, there is the issue of code bloat and security. The larger the code profile and # of APIs/libraries/interfaces, the more likely an attacker will find a successful vector.
Charlie Hartley  2011-05-23 16:49
While change is inevitable, and we often have to face it, we don't have to like it. I still miss my Apple //e. I can understand being offended by someone telling me, in effect, to quit whining about being disappointed. Having said that, we need to be careful not to burden others with our disappointments to the point where we become annoying. Finally, has Apple actually given any indication that Rosetta is disappearing, or is this all speculation?
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 17:36
Apple has said nothing officially one way or the other. According to published reports from those who have seen the Developer Previews (I have not, and would not be legally free to comment if I had), Rosetta is missing.
jimsanders1  2011-05-23 17:05
I see a good deal of consensus here that Intuit is the big villain here, with no migration path at all for a faithful user-base. No excuse for that. Bad Doggy!
I strongly agree. If you want to manage investments and download account data with-in your financial program unfortunately there is no viable substitute as yet - at any price. Additionally Intuit seem to have little interest in updating it. So basically any Mac user that has complex home finances to manage will be left hanging out to dry if Rosetta is dropped. Managing home finances is a primary reason for many to buy a computer in the first place. Hopefully the Ostrich's at Apple and Intuit will get their heads out of the sand and prevent this from happening - or hopefully someone else will step up to the plate. Quicken 2007 may be horrible but the alternatives are worse.
Mitchell Model  2011-05-23 17:23
I agree with your analysis of the phrase "Get over it". It infuriates me every time I hear it in a way nothing else does. It is a most demeaning phrase, despite its apparent light-hearted sound. It trivializes not just what people care about, but the fact that they care at all. It is a profound attack on the validity of meaning, commitment, and personal attachments. It also harnesses the glee or disregard of one community against not just another community of shared concerns, but against each of its individuals, adding to the force of the insult experienced by those individuals. The phrase was cute when it first used, but now it is just deeply offensive. Unfortunately people who use it don't seem to understand the damage they cause.
Robert A Carpenter  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2011-05-23 17:37
I do agree with Michael's comment on "get over it". His "friend" certainly could've said "This won't impact me, but I'm sorry that you're affected by it" and dropped the subject.

My only comments are simply that I didn't read the Rosetta quote the way that Michael did. I always thought Rosetta was only there until enough developers created Universal apps that Apple could dump it.

With that said, it doesn't make Michael's (or many other people's) situation any better. There's absolutely no excuse for Apple keeping silent on the issue. A two word answer ("Nope, sorry"), if legitimately from Steve Jobs, doesn't cut it at all.

I say this as someone who has already done the research and knows I won't be much affected by the dropping of Rosetta. However, it's unacceptable that people will load Lion and find their programs don't work.

I would only disagree with Michael on the emotional relationship with technology. I have no more of a connection with my Mac than my toaster.
Michael Cohen  2011-05-23 17:44
Interesting. I don't think I've ever met anyone who has never sworn at, or, at least, muttered imprecations at a car that refused to start, or who never smiled when a piece of software performed a seemingly complex task quickly and smoothly.

I'm not denying, mind you, that you don't have any emotional relationship with technology; I'm just saying that, in my experience, it's pretty darn rare.
Another thing regarding software and software upgrades that no one has commented here on yet that could also be problematic for people "Getting over it" is upgrading from older software when you have to do the re-install clean.

Many software programs require the previous version to be installed first before an upgrade can be applied. If your original version is PPC-based and you need to re-install the program and update it in Lion, and there is no Rosetta, how will you be able to accomplish that? Do you now have to spend the full price for a new copy of a program for which you currently have a valid current license? This will be an issue in the future that companies like Apple and Adobe will have to respond to.
Johannes  2011-05-24 06:13
Suggestion: install the update on your licensed machine (with Snow Leopard) and copy the program to the machine running Lion. (Or if you have only one machine: copy the program to a backup disk, install Lion and restore the program to the application folder.)

Pierce R. Butler  2011-05-23 18:06
As a long-time Mac user, I recall a phrase that used to occur so frequently it was a cliché, but which tellingly does not appear (as I write) anywhere in this discussion.

The term is, or should I say was, "user-friendly".

Those were the days.
Mike Cohen  2011-05-23 18:12
I'm glad Rosetta is going away. I made sure I never installed it on my MacBook Air because I don't want its bloat. Good riddance.
I'm surprised you're surprised.

What you write is precisely how I felt when, as a Mac User since the 512K and the 20MB HD, MacWrite was replaced with MacWrite II. When that went away, I got WriteNow. I felt the transition from OS 9 to OS X unnecessarily "in your face".

In 2004 I finally "bit the bullet" and made the transition to "boot and live" in OSX. HATED IT! Lost the use of WriteNow, my Helix icon-based programming language, and my email program Outlook Express.

To restore a comfortable “look and feel”, had to learn to tweak desktop colors, icons, etc. Had to learn Mail, Pages, Classic. I estimate an ultimate loss of 3-4 months productive time no one paid me for. Did gain iTunes and iPhoto.

Fast forward to the PPC-Intel shuffle, and the loss of Classic (which I found WAY more useful than Rosetta). My feelings of loyalty towards Apple are long lost.

Apple believes “if you’re the only girl in town you don’t need deodorant". So far they seem to be right.
David Lewis  2011-05-23 18:28
I think you have to balance, as Apple does, the benefits of being able to run older software against the benefits of not carrying the legacy code in the OS that would require. One of the (many) reasons that Windows, at least through XP, is so clunky is that they chose to keep support for ancient technologies like the BIOS and FAT32 file system, which has costs in size, speed, and stability, in addition to locking you out of the benefits of newer technology.
Maurice Weitman  2011-05-23 18:30
Gee, Michael, the way I read your article, "an old friend and colleague" told you to "get over it." So why do you come whining to us? And why does Adam feel the need to interpret your comments so as to blunt the response? Yikes!!!

Your complaint should have been directed to your "old friend" immediately, or later if you didn't feel your outrage until later.

As to the substance of your issue with Apple possibly dumping Rosetta... well, yeah, it will be inconvenient for many of us. Hell, I'm still running Eudora (since v.1.0), among many other apps.

But Rosetta was and remains a stepping stone to help us get to a more modern technology, not a prosthesis to be used until you die.

As others have said, you don't need to upgrade to Lion. You also don't need to run legacy apps. You apparently don't own enough Apple stock (or hold enough techie sway) to influence their development philosophy.

So, I won't tell you how to feel, just that you should get over it.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 18:44
Gee, Maurice. I'm so sorry to have wasted your time with my whining. You are, of course, completely right, and I was very, very wrong to have voiced my discontent. I'm so ashamed.

Feel better now? Good. Have a nice day. ☺
A technologist complaining about possibly in the future not being able to run 7+ year old software (at this point) should consider getting over his decision to be a technologist. Perhaps consider collecting matchbooks.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 19:03
Have you ever stopped to consider that new ≠ better? That a technologist evaluates technology not just on its age but on its utility and efficiency?
Peter Hillman  2011-05-23 19:22
You don't understand the concept that sometimes older software is better. How many people prefer Office 2011 over any prior version? Adobe also doesn't have a good track record with new software releases, often breaking features that people preferred. Office 2008 broke features, and people stuck with Office 2004. Not many are fond of 2011, and still prefer 2004. However, 2004 won't run under Lion because Apple removed a 2MB piece of software. Many people LOVE AppleWorks, but despise Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. It isn't like the old days when the OS still had bits of 680x0 code with PowerPC code. Rosetta is a simple translation program that doesn't affect the performance of the OS or Intel code. There really isn't any compelling reason to remove Rosetta from Lion. Apple should leave it as an optional install for people that need it. I still use Photoshop 8 because it does everything I want. I don't want the bloated CS5 or the hassle of software activation forced by Adobe
Bryan Pietrzak  2011-05-24 23:16
2MB piece of software?

simple translation program that doesn't affect the performance of the OS?

isn't any compelling reason to remove Rosetta?

Someone has no idea how Rosetta works or the impact it has on the entire OS.
Peter Hillman  2011-05-23 19:05
It is amazing how many people didn't understand the article. The point was not about Rosetta, it was the obnoxious snide comment made by the friend. The author makes a valid point. How many of you rush out to buy every version of software released? I don't. I don't have the money right now to do so, nor do I find the new features compelling. Many users are not as "tech-savvy" and won't realize that Rosetta is gone, and Apple won't advertise that "feature". So they may be enticed to buy Lion, not knowing some of their software will break. Not everyone needs the "latest and greatest" software versions. @Mike Cohen, do you know that the Rosetta translation software is less than 2MB in size? How is that considered bloat? it is only used when running a PowerPC app. Maybe you should do research before you comment.
I'm glad you're pointing out how insensitive the phrase "Get over it" is. I don't like it, either.
Walt French  2011-05-23 19:52
@Michael, if you were not any more articulate with your friend than you have been here, you set him up to be The Insensitive Jerk.

Do you believe that Apple has treated you badly — perhaps, by breaking an implied warranty? Do you feel the victim of a conspiracy between Apple, Adobe, Intuit and Microsoft? That your friend was just acting superior in general?

Even without clarity from Apple (and as Adobe can tell you, even important, explicit promises such as 64-bit carbon support are mutable when the shit hits the fan), the Rosetta/Lion rumor leads to a simple calculus: users who want to upgrade the OS (why?) will leave their PPC apps behind. Basic arithmetic. Your friend made the observation, saw nothing interesting about it, and said so.

Let us know why you're upset with this transition, and people here can help you put the issues into context.

PS: as a user since the early '80s, I suppose I will ALSO be replacing/abandoning a couple dozen apps. Just one more thing, a few bucks.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-23 20:44
Sorry, but you are misreading what I wrote. My point is simple: "Get over it!" is not a useful nor helpful response. That's all.

By the way: the actual conversation I had with my friend was not just about my personal dissatisfaction with the possible loss of Rosetta. It was about how unwise it was to drop the feature without telling anyone that it was going to happen, and that Apple could expect a lot of support calls from dismayed purchasers of Lion if Apple didn't make very clear that Lion without Rosetta would cause some of their software to stop working. He (like you, apparently) only heard that I didn't want Rosetta to go away, and glibly responded with "Get over it!" He neither addressed the points on their merits nor offered any other solution; instead, he sought merely to win easy points in an argument that, in fact, was not taking place.
Ponter  2011-05-23 19:56
Only in the world of computers would a three or four-year-old product be considered unsupportable. Apparently, no one at Apple has got a clue that we are living in a world of rapidly diminishing resources. Neither computers not software should be considered "consumables," to be used for a while then thrown away for the next cool thing. But that's not how Jobs thinks. Software should be viable as long as it continues to serve. The constant obsoleting of processors and operating systems results in needless obsoleting of hardware and software, making Apple an unreliable partner, IMO. Worse, it leads to needless waste.

Another interpretation of "get over it" is that one should just shut up and do what you're told -- by Apple. And they deny it's a cult. Hah!
NAS Users  2011-05-23 20:04
I feel your pain and is also in a state of anxiety over the upcoming demise of Quicken 2007. Given the importance of financial data, either I'll have to lock down an alternative or stay locked in OS X 10.6. Not a good situation to be in.
Herb Bowie  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2011-05-23 20:12
I agree that, while change is sometimes inevitable, it does have real consequences. I often find that telling someone to "get over it" is a way to assert one's Jobsian superiority over those who have a hard time detaching themselves from technology that is a click behind the leading edge.
Stuart Hertzog  2011-05-23 20:28
This has to be one of the longest and most interesting threads on TidBits! Interesting how many commentors missed the point and starting attacking you, Michael.

For shame! -- but it happens a lot on the Internet.

Telling someone to "get over it" is a double-whammy. It denies the person's feelings about something that affects him or her personally, and at the same time asserts the speaker's superiority and dominance.

Sure, technology moves on, and equipment manufacturers have to find a way to encourage sales. Auto-makers used to use chrome and fins; now it's efficiency, horsepower, and built-in technology.

It's the same in computing: a new OS means more ecosystem software sales, which may not be a good thing if the replacement is no improvement. I still think that the best Word ever was 5.1a. And as for Quicken...
Derek Currie  2011-05-23 20:39
I find the obituary for Rosetta to be premature, amounting to paranoia. There is no indication that it has actually gone and died. We're talking about BETA versions of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion where the point is to test NEW technologies, NEW code, to be certain it all works as intended.

Rosetta ALREADY works as intended. It doesn't need further testing. Therefore, that Rosetta is not part of the beta testing makes total sense.

I hope everyone recalls the paranoia and misinformation about QuickTime in Snow Leopard. Was QuickTime X Player all we were going to get? That lame, unfinished 64-bit cute but not totally competent application? NO! Apple included and has since updated 32-bit QuickTime 7.6.x. while they have left crummy QuickTime X Player to languish.

IOW: I suggest waiting for the actual finished product and treating the betas as what they are: Merely betas.
On Macintouch, someone said he'd emailed Steve Jobs asking Apple to retain Rosetta, and he said Jobs replied with one of his famously short emails: "Nope. Sorry." Which seems to imply that it's a done deal, not premature/paranoia.
I thought it was an excellent article, and I'd go further than the author: I think anyone who tells someone to "get over it," in *any* context, is a jerk. Telling someone they "probably need to move on" means about the same thing, but without the obtuse insensitivity and macho pseudo-toughness.

On the specific issue at hand... it's tempting to say "just stay with the old operating system," but there are many, many reasons why that's often impossible... not just broken Macs, but (for example) interactions with clients sending you files in format flavors that simply can't be opened on older versions of software. And the newer software that can open those files often requires a recent OS.
John Baxter  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2011-05-23 20:45
I have small to no need for Rosetta. I did need it for my former printer--I don't think I do for my current printer.

Note that Rosetta was an optional install in Leopard (I'm pretty sure that's when the option appeared in opt-in form). I didn't install it until the first thing I printed--then I gave up. I had been hoping to be Rosetta-less longer than that.

For other reasons, though, I've considered "warehousing" a Mac Mini from just before the first one that comes with Lion. I remain unconvinced that Lion will work for me. And I don't have a spare machine on which to run the developer preview to find out.

Apple changed those thoughts with Thunderbolt. Buying a machine without Thunderbolt now seems unreasonable. And there may not be a Thunderbolt-equipped Mini that doesn't require Lion.

And Mike, you're entirely right that "Just get over it" said or written in the tone is often used is non-helpful and insulting.
Derek Currie  2011-05-23 21:06
As an aside: I enjoy having litmus tests that provide direct information about people. They are rare, but when they happen I appreciate them.

One of these litmus tests is the use of the phrase "Change is good!" No. Good change is good. Bad change is NOT good. The use of this bizarro phrase indicates an important degree of incoherence on the part of the speaker.

Another of my favorite litmus tests is the phrase "Everything happens for reason!" On this planet? What exactly is this bizarro phrase implying? That lightening striking a church, burning it down killing all the people inside has a reason to it? I hope such people stay out of casinos. This phrase amounts to superstition, rarely a good approach to reality.

If Rosetta is killed off by Apple, it will IMHO be a BAD change. Despite the paranoiac aspect of this fear, if it does happen I know I will NOT appreciate it nor have much respect for the 'get over it' point of view, to which I would reply "Deal with it!" ;-)
Bregalad  2011-05-23 22:22
The disappearance of Rosetta means I won't be upgrading to Lion this year. It's the simplest and cheapest solution.

I may buy a new Mac with Lion next year when there are real Thunderbolt peripherals, native USB 3.0 support, and hopefully a MacBook Air style blade SSD in every Mac as a startup volume beside a traditional HD for storage. I'm also hoping for an iMac display that isn't quite as reflective.
Philip E  2011-05-23 23:39
First off, I did not snort. Secondly, the snort that I didn't do wasn't derisive. I thought it was more tongue-in-cheek. Anyway, you got a lot of milage out of the comment.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-24 10:25
Ha! I certainly did! Thanks for dropping by. ☺
Pam Niedermayer  2011-05-24 02:32
"Get over it" is a very harsh statement, and totally insensitive. The first person I remember saying it in such callousness was Judge Scalia when commenting about those of us who took seriously his selection of the president in 2000; and I have never gotten over it, I will never forget.
J.Massa  2011-05-24 05:51
I understand your concern, Mister Cohen, cause i'm still sad today about the loss of HyperCard...

(I guess the most of you will think it's funny or pathetic, well, I'll get over it :) )
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-24 06:45
Honestly, although we've of course all moved on from HyperCard, it continues to hold a fond place in our hearts. It's a good example of Michael's point about how we react to technology emotionally.
William Hadley   2011-05-24 06:03
Now you know how I felt when Jobs himself said it after removing Flash from the iPhone. For the record I did, a year and a half later I bought an Android. Flash works wonderfully on it by the way, and none of the quirky signal degradation issues associated with iOS4 either.
MacRob  2011-05-24 06:35
Well, I welcome the statement "Get over it"! I think it's a statement of our society being sick of worrying about everyones FEELINGS. It started in the 80"s, got really heavy in the 90's, and was out of control in the 00's. Being politically correct all the time and worrying about everyones feelings is too stressfull, and has not taught our kids to accept change. But to whine about it until they get attention and someone tells them that everything will be ok. So either upgrade to Lion and go without, or don't upgrade, and keep using what you have, but GET OVER IT!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-24 06:48
Much as political correctness is generally a pejorative, I don't believe consideration, kindness, or manners have ever been inappropriate. :-)
nicky y schleider  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2011-05-24 07:19
i'm with you, michael. i don't like people telling me what to feel either. i sort of solved the problem by not discussing things with people. i'm debating whether or not to upgrade. i have no intention of replacing msft word. i rarely use it, so wonder if i can get along without it. i did get ibank. it will serve my needs. i also need to go through and transfer things out of software, like appleworks. thought i had already done that but found a document in appleworks.
Steve NYC  2011-05-24 08:00
I am still not over losing Classic after 10.4.

Still burns me... since my check-writing program was not updated beyond OS 9. I've been using it for twenty years, still the best.

Dennis B. Swaney  2011-05-24 10:27
One of the reasons I keep my G4 iMac. I can boot it up into System 9.2.2!
Chris Pepper  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-24 08:03
Michael, I agree that Apple is (apparently, but I don't doubt it) about to cause problems for many Mac users who will see ads, buy & install Lion, and then discover some of their apps suddenly don't work. Especially because Apple/Jobs never really talk about downsides. There will be a note on about Rosetta, but Apple is not about to warn people away from buying the new hotness.

I agree that "Get over it" is callous and a bit rude, but the strength of your reaction to a friend's rudeness surprises me.

But I don't understand your feelings of betrayal by Apple. Yes, the word 'never' did technically mean Rosetta would always be available, but that was never a reasonable knowledgable technical person's interpretation. You at least, should have understood that behind the marketing, Rosetta -- like everything else Apple creates -- has a limited lifespan. ~5 years seems pretty reasonable to me.

Sorry for your trouble. Thanks for warning Dad, who uses Quicken 2007!
Brian S.  2011-05-24 09:51
Agreed. A Mac technical writer that would interpret Apple's statement as unending Rosetta support is unbelievable.
My own approach to computer software is to be proactive and try to anticipate issues before they impact me and my work. The future demise of Rosetta ( whether in Lion or some other time ) is inevitable and I've been working since 2006 on that premise. As a result, all my former PowerPC apps have been replaced by universal binaries. Developers have known about this transition for 5 years ( June 2006 ), so I blame them for any apps that won't run natively on Intel Macs.
Brian S.  2011-05-24 09:53
Michael insists his anger is about the comment "get over it" and not about the technical hurdle of losing Rosetta in Lion. My response is two-fold:

(1) If the article is not really technical or technically related, why is it in Tidbits which is clearly an Apple journal. Discussion of how people react to "get over it" might be worthwhile but another venue seems more appropriate.

(2) My friends and brothers use this term ( and I with them ) without any hurt feelings. If they didn't use this term and instead resorted to something less confrontational, I'd be concerned their bodies/minds had been taken over by aliens. Women ( at least the ones I know ) tend to soften verbal blows and don't resort to "get over it" as much ( or at all --although I've heard at least one of my sister-in-laws use it but with caveats/explanations )
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-24 09:47
"which is clearly a Apple journal": True, but we like to tap into larger issues, too. In this case, we obviously tapped a richer vein than anyone suspected to judge by the variety and intensity of columns.

To my mind, the perfect piece outside of our regular news coverage and reviews is one that explores Apple technology and services in a mind-expanding context. My mind on this subject? Expanded!
Richard Lennox   2011-05-24 10:11
Oops, saw myself in the comment... I want to say "sorry, if I offended you, but i want to save you some of my own grief..., I know, too blunt, but that is me"
About 12 years ago I walked into a User Group meeting with 8 graybeards discussing how they kept their 11Ci's running, cobbling together parts and suzzy cables all to keep their machines running. (But I had just bought a new iMac, and had to kiss a lot of the old goodbye... no floppy drive, even) At some point, I just wanted a bonfire to consume my old stuff so I could move on from my old habits and ways of doing things... let out a grand wail of woe and then be eager for a new folly again. (I still miss FreeHand, and although I learned Illustrator well enough to teach it, it still feels awkward)... Change is always painful... the trick is ... how do you make it less so? It seems to me: to toss the old as much as possible... and embrace the new as an opportunity for a fresh start... like a divorce (if without children) or a death
Dennis B. Swaney  2011-05-24 10:23
I agree with you 100%, Michael, which is why I still use G4 & G4 iMacs. I see no reason to waste good money by throwing them out, and wasting MORE good money buying Intel crap. If I wanted Intel, I'd be using Windoze instead of Mac OS.

As for Apple breaking their promise, vis-a-vis Rosetta, that is par for the course. Apple has a track record of lying to their customers. Remember "Apple II Forever!"?
Apple never made any promise that Rosetta would last forever. They just said that while using it, you would "never" see it or have to think about it; that it was seamless. It is and always was a transitional technology. Interpreting their marketing page otherwise betrays a misunderstanding of English.
Richard Lennox   2011-05-24 10:28
Ahem... to finish... Life is about confronting death(s), in all sorts: whether personal, or technical, there is always an emotional component. I had told the 11ci graybeards to "get over it" and lost some friends for it... but I gained new ones too. Watershed events in life or technology must be acknowledged (osx vs classic, G# vs intel, rosetta vs Lion) "never" is not "Forever" and it seems the 'easiest' to burn the old as soon as acknowledged... and "move on, & get over it". Cry a bit, & hoist a pint to the future. But that is just me.
phoenix  2011-05-24 12:21
Dismissive statements like "get over it" aren't just opinions that someone else's observations lack merit. "Get over it" is a rhetorical device to distance the speaker from any obligation to provide a reason for the dismissive remark.
Padre Cohen  2011-05-24 13:15
To those who say "get over it," I ask them to pay the thousands of dollars to replace my expensive applications and ask Intuit to update Quicken (a household necessity) to actually do its job properly. I don't have the discretionary cash the get-over-it people must have.
Your quote - (Apple’s promise about Rosetta — “you’ll never have to think about it” — has been broken, and with it goes some part of the trust I have in Apple’s claims for the future) - doesn't say anything about an "eternal" life for Rosetta, it only says that the user doesn't have to think if an app requires Rosetta or not.
bguion  2011-05-24 17:01

Have you considered starting a "write-in" campaign to see if the market place (us Quicken users) can convince Intuit not to abandon its Macintosh community and to update Quicken to an Intel or Universal application?

If I knew to whom to write an email, I'd be happy to do so, an would, I'm sure, a number of other Tidbits readers. Maybe if Intuit understood the passion of the Quicken Mac user community, they would reconsider.

-----===== Bill =====-----
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-24 17:14
As I understand it (and I am likely not remembering this with complete accuracy), the Mac Quicken team (responsible for Quicken 2007 and earlier versions) was disbanded a few years ago. Then, in an about-face, Intuit created a new Mac team, who were charged with creating an Intel/Cocoa version of Quicken. That's the genesis of Quicken Essentials.

So Intuit has not abandoned the Mac. But they are probably not going to resurrect Quicken 2007 in Intel form: the Cocoa-based Quicken Essentials is what they will be refining and expanding going forward.
it "denies you as a person"? seriously? I think what your friend truly meant was "get over yourself" and I can't think of a more suitable application of the sentiment. I smell a pattern of dealing with life (whiny) that will bring you a lot of grief.
Riley P Richardson  2011-05-24 21:24
Amen, brother.
One of the reasons I purchased a new iMac now is that I had been playing with a copy of Lion and did not like it much at all. In addition to the removal of Rosetta, Apple have made a number of UI changes that are strange. So, I bought the latest version of the iMac to get one with Snow Leopard on.
Daniel  2011-05-25 07:49
I know how you feel. I had an iPhone 3G since it first came out, and for 2 years was hoping that multitasking would finally come, especially since that should be a basic ability of any smartphone.

However when it finally came, the iPhone 3G was excluded, and that infuriated me because it was simply unfair. Also, I could not afford to simply get a newer iPhone, and felt insulted that I was forced to do so in order to get the multitasking I had so patiently waited for.

But in the end I've just had to accept that is the way Apple works, and that if I want to enjoy their products, I'll have to put up with this sort of thing.

It's the same with Lion. My 2008 macbook is not supported, so SL will be the last version it sees. It's only 3 years old but I'll just have to accept this.

That's the way Apple works, and as others have said, it does mean progress, which ultimately benefits us all.
I’m a long time Mac user that has been “getting over it” for too long. Each incremental OS or computer model change has brought some pain. Program or application loss occurred with the change from OS 9 to OS X, but I could still dual boot. Then we lost that capability but still had “Classic”. Then we lost that but have Rosseta. Now it appears to be the end of the line. I’m an Appleworks user. There is no real good replacement for it.
I just wonder what the outcry would be if Microsoft suddenly abandoned Office and all future computers would be unable to run any version of Office. If Apple would allow a new computer the capability to be downgraded to a prior OS, my concerns would be less. Looks like I have unfortunately purchased my last new Mac. Hope my old machines last longer than me.
rabsparks  2011-05-25 09:16
I just bought a new iMac. And I bought it because I didn't want to lose my PPC applications, which included Quicken. I needed the iMac to replace an ancient G4. However I wouldn't have bought the iMac except for Apple's rumor that Rosetta wouldn't be furnished with Lion.

So in my humble opinion, Michael Cohen was spot on right with his take on the situation.
Ray Meyers  2011-05-25 12:08
The comment "get over it" seems insensitive, but the essence of it is wisdom as old as time. I read, recently, a collection of Buddhist sayings, one of which was, "Complaining is silly. Act or forget." That would be how the Dalai Lama says, "Get over it."
abridge  2011-05-26 10:44
Apple made their migration tool too easy to use so everyone forgot about it. Cheap/lazy developers relied on it.

I'm upset that Intuit did a cheap and dirty when they made the new Quicken Essentials for the Mac. It's on the verge of being crap-ware.

The loss of photoshop? Hey, if you use photoshop professionally then keeping it up to date is a part of doing business. That's one you'll have to get over.

What Apple needs to do is TALK TO US about changes that are going to be made. If a feature is going to go away, such as Rosetta, then they should have said back in Leopard days: okay gang, in two major releases this is going away. Would that be so hard? Yes, people would yell and scream and rend their garments but we'd KNOW.

But really, relying on PowerPC code at this point? Very not smart whether you're a developer or a user.
We have cusom developed keyboard driver which requires rosetta.
Nikon viewnx has requirement for Rosetta. All these unknown software will run nto problem
Bob Stewart  2011-05-27 07:16
Let's put this in another context: You're standing at the office coffee machine with another co-worker. That person's wife has died recently and this is the first time you've seen him since. You could say, "Hi, Mike. I was very sad to hear that Sharon died. I hope that you and the kids are doing well and that time will help you get through this." Or you could say, "I hear your wife died. Get over it." Admitedly an extreme example, but all Mr. Cohen seemed to be asking for was some civility. Judging by the many acerbic responses here, civility still seems to be sorely lacking.
I do empathize with your points, Michael. Some Change is good;some is not good at all. I still lament over a music program I used to use that I spent much time on. I spent a lot of money for a new one with tiger & snow leopard;I hardly use it. My older one was easier & better. My older music will not show up on the newer software-so much time wasted. I use MS word 4 which works fine and I hear the newer one isn't great. I like quicken 07. All my data on it is important and I see no reason why I should have to lose it. I don't consider this progress. It's more of an annoyance and detriment to progress. I hope Apple will consider this when making drastic changes. Other software I paid for more than once with upgrades took forever to be upgraded to snow leopard. I don't want to lose these items.Not all of us are made out of time & money. I hope you send these thoughts off to APPLE. I probably won't change right way, however eventually it becomes inevitable.
"If you want to continue to run Quicken 2007, Photoshop CS1, FileMaker Pro 8, Microsoft Word 2004, or any other PowerPC software..."

I would like to see Apple publish a simple list of (common) applications that people will no longer be able to run in LION. That would simplify the choice of whether to upgrade the OS or not.
John Chapman  2011-07-22 10:00
Not from Apple, but:

Very nice resource!
To my mind, things like Rosetta reveal something about the essence of Apple Computer. They make the appearance of being all about building useful tools, and in fact they do. But this is not the main thing. Like most modern corporations, Apple is a brand first and a producer second.

If Rosetta is killed, it won't be because updating it for Lion is difficult, but it would cost them some sales when they release a Mac that "requires" Lion. That new Mac will refuse to run an earlier OS simply to protect the brand from claims that the new OS is slow on old hardware. They take the decision away from the user to serve the brand.

This is the achilles heel of the marketplace. For all the rhetoric about market-based economics and how it inspires innovation, a public company at the head of the pack has incentive to do no better than required to maintain the lead. Any value beyond that is just fat waiting to be trimmed.
Bertrand Morin  2011-06-13 18:12
The comment by Jason is synthetic and, to me, contains the essential.

William Heise  2011-06-14 10:15
Because Michael Cohen's post was about how people can be mean whenever one makes a comment, but a second item which wasn't the point of the original post has become the main topic. That has been the constant change that there is in the hardware/software arena. Because Steve Jobs has a long history of deleting prior tech before it is outdated tech the quick demise of Rosetta is in keeping with his actions that I have come to expect.

Like many here I have a lot of work done in older PPC apps. I have over 15 years of income tax returns done in Excel 2004 that have anywhere from a small amount to a large amount of trouble running in Excel 2011. But since I have had a Mac since the 1984 beginnings I am used to this deal of "get over it." I use a Mac in spite of Steve Jobs & his over tight control of the Mac.

Like many here I will have OS 10.7 installed on a partition the day it comes out, but it will not be my default OS until I find work arounds for my many PPC apps or I replace my Macs
I am running currently two Mac’s (PowerBook G4 and MacBook Pro) through one attached large Monitor. This is because on the PowerBook I am running MS Office 2004, which has some functions the MS Office 2011, I am running on my MacBook, does not have anymore. Now with upcoming Lion and especially the iCloud, I plan to make a good Backup of the Snow-Leopard from my MacBook onto a separate external Hard Drive to enable me to run non-Intel savvy programs (it seems I have a lot of them) when needed. Yes it will be a hassle to restart the MacBook every time I want to use either ones system but surely after a time I will get tired if it and will slowly get the newer programs running with Lion. However, this way I am in control when to switch or when not…
Conceptual, there are always ways to take control of issues and I believe any Mac User should have some creative abilities (that separates Mac Users from PC Users) and find a way most comfortable to them. Just to bitch and scream about something you may do not like, does not change the facts. But be creative and find your own solution is what a Mac is all about. “Think different…”
willisjw  2011-07-12 07:02
Like others here, I groaned at the prospect of not having the Rosetta crutch, but I have since gone through my machine and discovered only three items that needed to be changed. Goodbye to Quicken, Hello iBank - perfectly satisfactory for everything I need after that insulting letter from Intuit. Goodbye to Now-up-to-Date, Hello iCal, a sad transition long after the company gave up on what was arguably the best multi-user calendar program (kudos tidbits for the clue to use Palm Desktop in that transition) to Goodbye Fishpad, Hello some alternative but equally simple way of keeping scraps of information. At this point I am looking forward to seeing what Lion has to offer and I'm glad that Apple keeps moving forward without feeling chained to the past. I long ago gave up needing to run MacPaint on my Mac (though I don't think anyone ever really did MacDraw as well again).
You could try virtualizing an older version of OS X, keep your old stuff in a virtual machine. Dunno if it would work, but it's worth a shot.

That said, while I can see how some people with old software might feel a little burned by this, come on - time pushes onward. Rosetta came out half a decade ago, and it was only a stop-gap measure to ease the transition to Intel chips.

Five years is a long time when it comes to computers, and unlike Microsoft, Apple was never one to cling to legacy code. I fail to see how axing Rosetta would sour anybody's trust in Apple.

Look at Classic mode. It came out alongside OS X Cheetah. Effectively died with the transition to Intel chips, and wasn't even included in the PPC version of Leopard. Life span: roughly half a decade, same as Rosetta.

I won't say "Get over it," although I ought to.

Instead, I'll say this: Get used to it. Apple functions like clockwork, and Rosetta's death was a long time coming. In the end, you sleep in the bed you make.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-07-21 11:44
When Apple killed Classic, they made a VERY public announcement. Rosetta, on the other hand, was lured into a dark alley at midnight and murdered silently. I know a number of smart people who use Macs but who don't read tech news who are astonished to discover that Lion killed their old apps.
John Chapman  2011-07-22 09:45
Yeah - I kinda feel like the Lion upgrade should include a compatibility scanner and a huge Red Letter warning about incompatible apps even before the user is charged in the App Store.
Heck - if Apple wanted to do this in a really user-friendly manner, they'd pop up a list of as many App Store upgrades/replacements/alternatives as possible for the corresponding PPC apps that are going to break.
Get over it.

John K M   2011-07-21 21:28
Both viewpoints are right really, it depends how you look at things. If one has an expensive piece of functioning software and a so-called "advance" kills it, one is bound to have a jaundiced view. On the other hand, computers and software generally have life-cycle of about five to six years, and it is better to think of one's investment as a continuous/annual one, and that software, just like hardware, does age. After all, if you're a professional, you can claim tax depreciation of software over four years, generally.

However, waste is a concern, we do accept a level of redundancy of technology that is worryingly abusive of the world's resources.

I would have thought, though I can't be sure, that Rosetta could have been recompiled for Lion, and Apple are making humungous profits. How much of the decision to let Rosetta lapse was technical and how much merely convenience? If the latter, Apple surely could have been more responsive to their loyal users?

Even though I don’t have many PowerPC only applications, I still empathize with you. Your point and your feelings have been heard and understood.

When someone is dismissive of your feelings, it’s frustrating. When that person is someone close to you, it’s disheartening.

I couldn’t imagine myself using another computing platform, and yet, sometimes, Apple can leave quite a sting on its loyal user base — and I feel it.

I’m still waiting for at least 10.7.1 and a few third party applications to be updated — one of which to Intel (I'm talking to YOU, Epson LFP Remote Panel!)

Good luck with the upgrade and hopefully you’ll find easily implemented solutions for all of your needs.


P.S. I still miss HyperCard. Not kidding.
John Chapman  2011-07-22 09:41
Me too... I had some really amazingly cool stacks with nothing even close to replace them. Heck - I coded a psychology lab experiment using Hypercard ;-)
And the lack of Epson LFP Remote Panel means I'm probably going to need to drop the old scanner and find something else that can handle film strips...
John Chapman  2011-07-22 09:39
My biggest frustration with Apple stripping out support for older apps/code/features (Hypercard/AppleWorks, Classic, Rosetta, etc.) is the lack of apparent support/pressure for a replacement strategy with Mac application vendors.
Far too often, I've seen Mac app developers fail in the market, drop support for Mac and move to Windows or simply fail to come up with a viable replacement program. And I can't help but wonder if part of this isn't Apple's fault for not encouraging developers better.
The loss of Rosetta finally means I have to abandon apps that have no viable upgrade. This includes AppleWorks (Apple definitely at fault for no good Database replacement), Canvas X (ACDSee abandoned Mac development and focused only on Windows), Diablo II and StarCraft/Brood War (Blizzard is great, but focused on their newer games).
If Apple dumped more resources into pressuring developers to provide viable upgrades, the loss of Rosetta wouldn't hurt as much.
Curtis Wilcox  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2011-07-22 15:18
"AppleWorks (Apple definitely at fault for no good Database replacement)"

FileMaker is an Apple subsidiary and offers both the venerable FileMaker Pro and the cheaper, simpler Bento. I would only fault them for not offering an AppleWorks Database import feature of some sort.

StarCraft is over 13 years old and has remained ridiculously popular in part because of Blizzard's continued support of it over time. Nevertheless, there is a viable upgrade for StarCraft, buy StarCraft II. Alternately, buy an old Windows license and run it inside a virtualization program (VirtualBox is free). My understanding is StarCraft serial numbers are not platform specific.
philip  2011-07-22 11:34
No Rosetta. No Lion. Or put another way £20 spent to obsolete >£1000 worth of software that otherwise works fine - do I look stupid? Apple is wrong on this one and it needs to raise its game. There is a more Anglo-Saxon response but kids might be reading.
This TLDR post will no doubt generate lots of hostility from the fanboys...I too was once one, and drunk the kool-aid! I'm disgusted with Apple's behaviour in the last few years, pretty much since the Intel switch. I cannot take the term 'Macintosh' or 'Mac' any more seriously than I can take the term 'PC'.

Sure, OS X was huge culture shock to most long-term users, but there was Classic there to ease the pain. When Tiger was released in 2005, you could run almost any 'Macintosh' application or game made since 1984. That's 21 years of compatibility folks. If we extend the window to the last security update for Tiger (2009), that's a whopping 25 years!

(boo hiss to the stupid 1000 character limit, guess i should get a blog)