Arriving in my inbox was a note from a colleague, essentially asking what to do about this issue:
Firefox no longer works with Mac OS X 10.5
Firefox 16 is the last version of Firefox that works with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Newer versions of Firefox will require Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or above. To stay safe online, we recommend upgrading your computer or operating system. This article covers your options.
Of course, my favorite line in the article appears in Option 2 because it hits close to home. My 2007 Macbook currently runs Snow Leopard (dual-boot to LubuntuLinux):
If you can’t get switch to a newer computer, you should upgrade the operating system on your existing computer, if it is possible to do so. If you can’t upgrade to Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), newer versions of Firefox will also work on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Apple still supports these older operating systems, although it’s likely that it will drop support for 10.6 (Snow Leopard) soon.
I shouldn’t cry about it, right? My 2007 Macbook has done a great job holding up over the years, and the hard drive has held up well. In fact, most of what I did on that Macbook–except run Linux, setup Moodle servers for workshops and stuff like that–I now do on my iPad. I still remember the shock I experienced when going to a keynote earlier this summer (Denton ISD’s Lonestar TIA), and driving off and leaving my Macbook in the hotel room…I had my iPad, what did I need my Macbook for?
Still, I cling to it like a security blanket. This Macbook, sitting on the desk beside me as I write this, has been with me since February-March, 2007. That was only a few months after my Dad passed away in October, 2006. It was a few months before I visited New Zealand. And, for many keynotes and workshops, it served me well.
Now, in a school setting, what to do about these Macbooks? Should we invest in the money to upgrade them to Snow Leopard, knowing that they’ll soon be out anyways? Or, should we take the plunge, saving money and load LubuntuLinux?
I suppose if the choice was mine alone, I might do it. But there’s a whole ecology of interconnected support systems that will be impacted by the choices made. In the end, perhaps the easiest question to ask is, What will keep this equipment usable for the longest possible time so that staff and students can use it?