Monday, July 15, 2019

The End Is Here

A little different from our usual fare here...

I'm a Mac user.  Switched from Windows to OS X several years ago and never looked back.  As time has passed, Apple has fallen behind on hardware design.  There's no question that the Microsoft Surface line surpasses the MacBook line in terms of hardware elegance and utility.  But I just can't bring myself to leave a rock solid operating system and run it back to Windows as my main operating system (I run both Windows and Linux VMs for when I absolutely have to do work with either).

I'm not alone in the Oracle ecosystem with my choice of OS X over Windows.  I run into Apple users everyday.  Usually they're more technical types, but I have run into a fair number of functional consultants and business end users on OS X.  Heck, Oracle now even gives their employees the choice of a company-issued MacBook Pro.

For those of us running OS X (whether it relates to use of Oracle products or not), we face a major shift coming later this year.  The end is here for 32-bit apps.  When Apple issues the latest version of OS X, Catalina, 32-bit apps will stop working.  Catalina will come out in September.  Apple sounded the death knell in HighSierra with notices about 32-bit app future incompatibility with "not optimized" warnings:

So it's not like we didn't know it's coming.  But still, like many others, it's arrived faster than I would like.  I still rely on some 32-bit apps:
  • Cisco AnyConnect - I use this VPN client every day in my work; I'm actually in VPN a majority of my work day.
  • Text Wrangler - A wonderful, simple little text editor.  Every week, I write a status report to my management using this app.
  • Skype Meetings - I use this once or twice per week for customer virtual meetings.
I could go on, but the list is pretty extensive.  And, again, I'm sure I'm not alone.  To make things even stickier, many of these 32-bit apps do not have 64-bit replacements.  So I'll have to somewhat change the way I work before up taking Catalina.

For those of you out there running OS X, there are a number of ways you can identify the 32-bit apps you're running.  But the easiest is probably a free application called Go64 from St. Clair Software.  The app scans your hard drive and identifies any 32-bit apps.  Pretty handy - after all, the first step in changing behavior is admitting that you have a problem.  And 32-bit apps on OS X are now a problem.

I can't even imagine the level of hurt for someone taking automatic updates who will wake up some fine morning early this fall and discover that mission-critical 32-bit apps no longer work because their operating system upgraded overnight (and you KNOW this will happen to someone - just don't let that someone be you).  So between now and September, I'll be changing the way I work by moving off all my 32-bit apps.  If you're an OS X user, you should be doing the same.   For 32-bit apps, the end is here.

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