I run Mac OSX 10.3.9 on my Powerbook, but the system is getting a little old. The computer works fine in itself. The problem is that 10.3.9 does not support the newest browsers which means that my current browser does not support all the scripting code on the websites I go to which again means that the computer tends to hang more and more often on a website.

Isn’t it a great idea to keep updating the software with no apparent improvement in functionality so as to sell new things in a cascading fashion.

Okay, so like that has never been done before.

No seriously, neophilia is one of the great annoyances of computing. I say if you can do it just as well with the old method, do not use the new method. Backwards compatibility is good!

Maybe this is a sign I’m getting old?! 😛

Anyway, my hardware is compatible with 10.4 and 10.5 so I have been thinking of just upgrading the operating system as the hardware works just fine. Yes, I got 6 year old hardware which is hard to believe given the decreasing quality(*) of technology.

(*) My first computer bought in 1987 weighed a ton and was still working after 2 decades but everything after that has been short affairs of a few years.

What I am trying to find out is whether it is a good idea or a really bad idea to buy the OS used? I am particularly concerned about licensing problems e.g. when installing it will tell me this copy is already being used by some other person and therefore it is void.

[To put things in perspective, new retail versions are about $160 and used versions are about $50.]

What do you guys say?

The reason I bought a Mac was twofold. First, I needed a unix platform and Mac OSX is BSD based which is close enough for government work. Second, I did not want to deal with locating and patching device drivers which was pretty much the rule with linux systems back then—it certainly was with laptops—unless the hardware was “server-quality”. On linux I tend to run “stable” but even then there will eventually be a battle of resolving dependencies. The extra price of a Mac, where this is NEVER the case, because the same company does both hardware and software, is worth it to me.

Originally posted 2010-03-24 08:35:22.