The last roll of Kodak Kodachrome film was produced earlier this year and given to a famous photographer to shoot with. In addition, the last place you can even have Kodachrome processed will stop at the end of the year. For anyone still wondering – film photography is dead. Can you buy other brands? Sure, but just as the song Kodachrome says "I can read the writing on the wall."
It doesn't matter if you think film photography is better than digital photography – the battle is over, and digital has won. Just like Beta is still available – to professionals with high-end cameras only – because VHS won that battle. For a while you could buy blank tapes, but that dried up pretty quickly. And now VHS is going away as well, replaced by Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). Technology marches on, and unless you don't want to move forward with it, you need to change with the times too.
What's this have to do with Macs? Mozilla is hinting that the next version of Firefox, now in beta, won't run on PowerPC (PPC) Macs. Now, I know a lot of people are still using PPC machines, and they're doing a great job for them. But If you continue to hold out on buying an Intel Mac, you're going to slip further and further behind. The latest and greatest software from Adobe is for Intel only, not just Creative Suite 5, but Lightroom and other software. The latest Mac OS only runs on Intel machines.
Update: Today's Apple event, about iPods, music (and maybe video) will be streamed live – but only if you have an iPhone, iPad, Ipod Touch, or Intel Mac (as OS 10.6's QuickTime X is required). PPC Macs and Windows machines have a clunky workaround though.
So am I saying run out today and by an Intel box? Nope. What I am saying is that if you haven't already, now is the time to take stock of exactly what you are doing and determine if you need to upgrade. If you are doing professional work, and have to interchange files with others, you will probably need to start saving your nickels for a new machine (and probably some of the new software). If you want to surf web sites with the latest and greatest frills, you soon might not have a modern browser to do it with (Apple will probably drop PPC support for Safari at some point next year I'm guessing).
That said, there are many perfectly good reasons not to upgrade. I have a PPC Cube with an upgraded processor that is my answering machine. The current version of the software does everything I need it to do, the hardware is more than capable, and I like the way it looks, since this machine sits in my family room. I have another upgraded Cube running as my backup internal DNS server (yes, I run my own DNS servers rather than use my ISPs – it's a geek thing…). Again, this machine does the job just fine, and Leopard Server is fine for something like that.
If you're happy with running your current programs, you should at least start checking which ones never made the transition (and if they're OS 9, won't run on Intel) and plan for the day your machine dies. You may be forced into an Intel at that point (even on the used market, as more and more PPC machines will be disappearing). Better to have a transition plan that to have to do it in a hurry.