A question for Mac owners regarding old/obsolete peripherals...

A question for Mac owners regarding old/obsolete peripherals...

17 posts
2 June 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
I'm getting increasing annoyed with PC based hardware becoming obsolete with each subsequent release of Windows.  I've got printers, scanners, calibrators etc. that will not function with several of the newer OS and the only solution is to buy them again, only to become obsolete with the next Windows (apparently it's due to each version having a complete re-write of its driver system).  It's sad, annoying, and utterly wasteful when I have perfectly good hardware that's effectively destined for the scrapheap.

Is this the same with Macs when each subsequent Mac OS comes out?

Ideally I'd like to hear from people who've used Macs for 10-15 years and have upgraded to newer OS several times.
Posted 2 June 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
California law apparently states that a company has to support hardware for a minimum of 7 years. (unless the company goes broke). I believe this is the only place in the world with such laws.

However to be fair to manufacturers it is the interfacing that changes eg serial to USB, or vga to digital, scart to hdmi etc - and it is change that generates income so it is unavoidable.

I understand the original Apple phones are no longer supported as they are now 7 years old. So I don't think it is just Microsoft.

Posted 2 June 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
I've had a quick gander and my scanner (compatible up to Vista) & colour calibrator (compatible up to Win 7) are both still supported under Mac OS X. Both are USB so it's not as if it's a change of interface. I can't remember the model numbers of my printers at the minute but I'll check them later.

I recall some years ago that my two-year old HP printer wouldn't be supported under Vista when it came out (HP's stance was that they only support devices during a current OS lifecycle, this happened when Vista came out and seems to have been policy ever since).

Posted 2 June 2014
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
I've had a Mac laptop for about 7 years now and a MacPro desktop for about 6 years (although now using a 2010 model) and have never had any problems. Biggest issue was when Mac changed processor type from RISC to Intel a few years back, but even that wasn't too disastrous.

Dave

Posted 2 June 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Windows 8 actually includes basic drivers for many printers and scanners.
My 2002 epson scanner works fine on windows 8 using windows included driver.
And there is always vuescan which even claims to support scsi scanners going back to my old (20 years ?) Agfa Arcus II on windows, mac and linux. It certainly works well with my Minolta Elite II film scanner (which seems to date from around 2002) on Windows 7.

Posted 2 June 2014
Edited by stolenfaces 2 June 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
A lot of printers are supported using the "generic" driver. Certainly Windows 7 a lot of scanners were not supported - but again Im not sure this was not just the other manufacturers not wanting to re write drivers for older hardware - so you can buy newer ones! Interesting a lot of hi-fi companies are moving over to digital only systems so older "phono" inputs are not directly supported. New TVs no longer come with Scart connectors so older video recorders etc will not be supported. Its progress (some would say!)
Posted 2 June 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Plymjack

Interesting a lot of hi-fi companies are moving over to digital only systems so older "phono" inputs are not directly supported.


Tell me about it.

I've got a superb Yamaha 7.1 amplifier (with 1080i/720P component input/output) but it was bought just before HDMI became a thing and it's becoming increasingly difficult to get connections to it for the surround sound although a newly purchased HDMI switchbox with SPDIF output has recently saved the day.

Even flagship players from the likes of Denon, Marantz, Onkyo and Yamaha are lacking in analogue output and it's now seemingly impossible to output high resolution audio (say from BR or SACD) unless you're using DRM-enabled HDMI connections to the amplifiers.

On the plus side though... cable manufacturers can no longer sell snake oil with digital interconnects being cheap, certified and have error-correction technology built in.
Posted 2 June 2014
Edited by RedChecker 2 June 2014
Nick_Edinburgh
Photographer
Nick_Edinbur..
As a general rule, Mac stuff goes obsolete much less. I'm still using peripherals from more than a decade ago, and in over twenty years I've yet to have to upgrade any physical technology due to OS changes.

Posted 2 June 2014
Chandos
Photographer
Chandos
I sometimes get people complaining of printers and scanners not working because the computer is upgraded from XP to Windows 7. Most of the times I get them to work even though the manufacturer has not released a driver for Windows 7. Takes some handcrafting that comes with experience.

Posted 2 June 2014
Edited by Chandos 2 June 2014
Hugh
Photographer
Hugh
Mac OS upgrades don't always work too well with expensive Epson printers

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4994361?tstart=0

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=56095.0

Posted 2 June 2014
snapper47
Photographer
snapper47
My Epson Perfection scanner stopped working, tried the lid to base lead without success and, some time later visited Epson's web site to find service centre and saw a note about Mac OS Mavericks, and new software download! Now it works again. However my current MacBook Pro is not as good for me as the previous model for two reasons. You can not change batteries and software is no longer available on dvd! When I was constantly travelling to remote places on assignment these two factors would have been killers! Now I see the latest MacBook Pro's have no dvd/cd drawer, yes you can buy one and plug it in but from my personal perspective, some aspects are moving backwards. On a visit to a Mac Store I raised these issues. The very helpful guy said telephone support will solve any software issues while travelling! "From a telephone box in Sierra Leone" I asked? He replied "good point." He also said the battery could be replaced if necessary but yes, it would invalidate the warranty.The change in chips to Intel a few years back only caused me loss of a few very old games! As a piece of kit, its been almost flawless, an internal lead needed replacing earlier this year after 4 years very hard use, but the Mac Store identified and replaced the same day. As a piece of kit its fine, its reliable, works well as I am sure many others do, I really don't care much who made what, as long as it does what it says on the tin I'm happy.


Posted 2 June 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
It's all a bit of a conundrum... in the next year or two I envisage I'll want a new machine which I estimate will be in the region of £2-3k just for the machine. While it's sounding promising though that a Mac would make these older devices work, the cost differential is difficult to justify especially for a desktop machine where the Mac would cost around double for a similar-ish spec for my needs and that extra cost would buy all new replacement peripherals again (none of them are astronomically expensive or specialised but as I said, I hate waste and it seems a shame to chuck them out when there's the potential for them to be used somehow).

If I go for a laptop the cost differential isn't so great (the Lenovo I want is around the same cost of the equivalent Macbook Pro) but I've always said I never want to go down the Mac route unless I absolutely have to (and after finally using Windows 8 at work this is looking more likely, it's utterly horrid).

Posted 3 June 2014
Nick_Edinburgh
Photographer
Nick_Edinbur..
It's certainly not a simple comparison, because it's usually apples vs pears.

In fact just yesterday I bought a cheap pc box to run a Linux OS with almost invariably free programs on it, and for that need that solution was far cheaper than any available Mac.

On the other hand, at the high end, I've seen the new Mac Pro described as you paying for a couple of graphics cards and the rest of the hardware is thrown in free. In other words, it's a fabulous bargain compared to building a PC of the same spec.

In the mid market, a Mac often looks comparatively pricy, until you factor in all the other stuff you have to pay for on top with PCs, which includes OS upgrades and pre-installed programs, which makes it much more finely balanced. Not to mention the savings of being virus-free.

But in the end for me it's always been about usability. I hate having to remember code, and I love the fact that I rarely have to figure out how to make anything work. And the time saving alone is worth a fortune to me.

I bought my first Mac back in the early 90s, long before the hate wars began, and have always reckoned it's a matter of horses for courses. But I'd suggest considering the whole lifetime cost for your own usage pattern at least, rather than just the ticket price.

Posted 3 June 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
The problem with the Mac Pro (desktop), although it does have some wonderful hardware built-in with the video cards, I don't need them as I'm not generally going to be editing the likes of 4K video with multiple effects etc. but would be forced to buy them anyway (it's only going to be a Photoshop machine so even modest speed is enough but I need lots of memory). At least with a PC I can more easily tune my spending on how I want the machine to perform (eg. lots more memory & storage vs raw speed). There's also other hardware & software I'd have to consider. At least with a PC my copies of Photoshop, Vegas & other office software, along with all the plugins I've bought would still work, as well as other current hardware that's still OK with Win 8. Going the Mac route would be effectively starting from scratch again and ultimately would be too expensive but I'm keeping my options open (and I'm an amateur who only shoots for a hobby so usage speed/costs don't really factor and I've also got no outward image to preserve which seems to be very important to a lot of photographic pros who insist Macs are the ONLY machine you should ever use).
Posted 3 June 2014
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
Outward image is of no interest to me but the reason I went down the Mac route was simply that they work - rarely (if ever) suffer from viruses, rarely (if ever) crash, OS upgrades are easy to install, peripherals are generally the same as you would buy for a Windows pc so no additional cost there.

I'm not a Mac addict but quite simply - they work.

Dave

Posted 3 June 2014
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