One of the best things about Apple Mac Computers is that they tend to last a really long time. Paradoxically this is also one of the largest problems. Apple rewards you consistently for buying new systems with features such as Migration assistant, to ease the transition from old to new. To help push this process along, the older the operating system runs, the more issues can crop up!
What issues?
If these systems & software do not get updated regularly to newer available versions, they may face issues ranging from crashing and system failure to incompatibility with things like Java and Flash which may stop websites from working including bank websites, and they also create numerous complications when it is time to transition to a new computer, since utilities like Migration Assistant will no longer work and Time Machine backups can no longer be used for quick migration when doing the initial set up of the new system.
Technical talk
These issues that can arise from older model Macs which are running any OS X version prior to 10.7.5 (Lion) and older Mac software (PowerPC apps, Office for Mac 2004 or 2008, Entourage, Appleworks, etc.). This would also relate to older versions of Parallels/VMWare, especially those using Bootcamp partitions for their Virtual Machines instead of the more recent method of keeping them in the User>Documents folder.
In the case of Entourage, unless they have a valid copy on hand of Office for Mac 2011, a user can basically lose a majority of their contacts and all of their calendars and reminders and actually need extra third party software, available online at a cost of $50, just to be able to access their saved emails. Outlook 2016 no longer allows importing from Entourage or Entourage archives and there is still the chance that Outlook 2016 will reject the data because it is not from the newest version of Outlook 2011.
Certain programs including Safari will start to refuse to install the newer versions of Flash if your operating system is getting to out of date. Say goodbye to Netflix and Youtube unless you install a third party browser like Chrome or Firefox. Even these browsers have pulled support from older OS versions 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and older.
What can you do?
Now there are limitations due to hardware that will prevent some older systems from updating past 10.7.5 (Macbooks and Macbook Pros from 2007 and earlier specifically) but simply upgrading the operating system improves the situation a lot and may mean a couple hours to do a system upgrade instead of 6 to 8 hours. Generally speaking, upgrading your operating system results in a better more secure system. New Operating systems come with many new features, but generally demand more of the hardware on the machine so, for instance, be wary of upgrading machines with only 2GB’s of RAM.
Upgrading the memory on your machine, both RAM and Hard Drive, will set your computer up to last many more years and get it running MUCH faster, this can also support your software upgrade so Apple does not leave your model behind.
When you are ready to buy a new apple, running the upgrade before you come in can expedite your computers turn around once in store, cutting around 3 hours off of the process.
Possible Issues
When you install OS X Yosemite version 10.10.3 or later, Photos is part of the update. In many cases, if you had a single iPhoto library in your Pictures folder, your entire library — including your photos, videos, projects, albums, and so on — automatically appears in Photos the first time you open it but the old folder structure is unfortunately forgotten.
Fear not, if you need help navigating any of these issues and more you can give us a call on 250-338-4411 or come in to either of our stores, where we can walk you through either an upgrade of hardware or software.