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Within the next few weeks we should be seeing the release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. I, for one, am looking forward to these releases. Apple has been slowly and steadily working toward making the interchange between iOS devices and full computers seamless. While I haven’t had the chance to work with the coming iOS 8, I have been working with Yosemite on my MacBook Air, and so far it has been a pleasant experience. I can only speak for my own set up (2011 11” Air with 256 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM), but I’ve seen a noticeable improvement in overall speed. 

Like with any major upgrade, the biggest worry is about software compatibility. I try to keep all of my utility software up to date, but I don’t always do it with my design and productivity software. 1. – I can’t always justify the high cost of some upgrades, and 2. – if it’s doing what I need, I hate learning how to use the new/changed features/controls.

There were a couple of biggies that I worried about with Yosemite. I maintain a website and produce an 8-page monthly newsletter for a local non-profit. I use iWeb (I know it went EOL a long time ago) for the website which is parked on their Dropbox account. For the newsletter I use Adobe InDesign CS5 and Acrobat Pro. With the modest honorarium I receive for this work, I can’t justify the cost of upgrading to newer software.

I was very pleased to find that CS 5 and iWeb still function perfectly in Yosemite. In fact, everything that was working for me in Mavericks still works in Yosemite — with the exception of one piece of proprietary software. Lytro Desktop 3.

18 months ago, the first Lytro light field cameras started shipping. Now, I grew up with a camera junkie. Dad had me working with the enlarger in his darkroom before I started school. I could burn and dodge better than my mother. In the 1940s my family didn’t shoot 8 mm movies like others. We had 16 mm. We had one of the first Polaroid cameras. We had a Sawyer camera to produce our own ViewMaster reels. (And yes, I still have the special film cutter that it required.) When I saw the specs on the Lytro camera, I had to have it. It’s not practical, but it has been fun. It’s no longer fun.

For whatever reason, Lytro Desktop 3 crashes in Yosemite. I contacted their tech support, and they promised that Desktop 4 would be out by the time Yosemite ships. Well, Desktop 4 is out, but it requires the graphics cards in 2012 or newer computers. They ‘might’ consider working to make the software compatible with older computers if enough people request it. As it stands, I have 3 choices. I can stay with Mavericks and the older software, or I can upgrade and keep copy of Mavericks in something like Parallels, or I can see if one of my Windows friends would like an 18 month old Lytro camera. I can’t let a single piece of hobby hardware keep me from moving forward, so unless Lytro relents and does something about their software, I’ll take the third option.

What I’m trying to say is, when you get ready to upgrade to Yosemite and iOS 8, don’t just look at software compatibility. Look at your hardware, too, even if it’s something you only used occasionally. And if the hardware requires proprietary software, look twice as hard. Create a bootable clone backup of your system before you upgrade and don’t overwrite it until you are absolutely positive that you won’t have to revert to that backup. And the next time you hear someone complain that Apple no longer supports the original iPad or iPhone or older various iPods, remember that they are not the only company to drop support for something.

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