Don’t be left behind: 5 Mac apps that won’t make the Lion cut

Apple is dropping Rosetta from OS X Lion, which means PowerPC-only apps won’t work on Macs running the operating system. It might surprise you how many still-useful and used apps that will leave out in the cold. Here’s a few, and some replacement suggestions.

Browser Choice Thins For Power PC Mac Users

It’s looking like Firefox version 3.6 may well be the end of the road for Power PC holdout fans of Mozilla.org’s flagship web browser. In a posting on Tuesday, Mozilla affirmed: “the likely outcome is that we will not be supporting PPC [PowerPC] for Firefox 4.”

Bringing a PowerMac G4 Back to Life

Under my desk is a PowerMac G4 with a whopping 512MB of RAM. When I acquired the old boy, it was running Tiger, had been used and abused and desktop support had put it out to pasture. But I knew all it needed was some TLC.

Once Upon a Time, Long Before the iPad, Steve Jobs Rode a BMW Motorcycle

Two years before the Macintosh was unveiled, Apple’s (s aapl) then-and-future CEO was photographed by Charles O’Rear for a National Geographic Magazine feature on Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, riding a 1966 BMW R60/2 motorcycle.

27 years old, with longish hair (no helmet), wearing tan boots and a light-colored shirt with sleeves rolled back (no black turtleneck), Jobs looks like he’s having the time of his life riding the two-wheel Bimmer in San Francisco freelancer Moira Johnston’s feature “High Tech, High Risk, and High Life in Silicon Valley,” published in the magazine’s October 1982 issue.

However, notwithstanding his (excellent) taste in bikes, Steve’s stated ambition, when interviewed by Johnston over herb tea at a vegetarian restaurant, was modestly at the time to become “the Volkswagen” of the microcomputer sector rather than its BMW — which became a popular automotive analogy with Apple-watching commentators later on — although he emphasizes that “We’d rather call the Apple a personal than a home computer.” Read More about Once Upon a Time, Long Before the iPad, Steve Jobs Rode a BMW Motorcycle

Psst: Want a Fast, Up-to-Date Browser for Your Old PowerPC Mac?

Still running a PowerPC Mac (s aapl) and hurting for some serious browser speed, up-to-date security and web standards compatibility? Being open-source applications, Mozilla’s web browsers and Thunderbird email client are open to being breathed on by third-party developers, several of whom specialize in optimization of particular versions of the Mac OS — such as Chris Latko’s Mac Intel-optimized (s intc) variants of Firefox.

Terrific Results

However, for us PowerPC holdouts, a reader recently tipped me to some PowerPC-optimized Mozilla web browsers plus Thunderbird by R.P. Mozely, noting that he’s been getting terrific results and highly recommends these tweaked apps.

That sounded promising, as I’m still using two G4-upgraded Pismo PowerBooks for production work, and haven’t found the latest Mozilla gecko-based browsers to be particularly happy campers on the old laptops running OS 10.4 .11. So I keep reverting to old Netscape Navigator 9, which works nicely, but is getting long in the tooth, beginning to encounter some limitations content-compatibility wise. Of course it hasn’t had any security updates for nearly two years, since development was terminated. Read More about Psst: Want a Fast, Up-to-Date Browser for Your Old PowerPC Mac?

Apple Officially Puts PowerPC Behind Them With Snow Leopard

notifyme_box20090608.jpgOne detail that escaped mention during the keynote presentation at Apple’s WWDC earlier this week likely does not sit well with users still clutching their beloved G4 machines, namely that OS X 10.6, also know as Snow Leopard, will finally drop PowerPC support and only run on Intel (s intc) Macs. It’s unfortunate for people attached to their eMacs and 12-inch Powerbooks, especially given that Snow Leopard appears to be more resource-efficient than Leopard ever was.

Yes, it’s unfortunate, but it also makes sense from Apple’s (s aapl) perspective. The company hasn’t released a PowerPC computer since October 2005, which will be nearly four years ago when Snow Leopard is released in September. Four years might not be a long time to own a car or a refrigerator, but with computers, it’s a lifetime. Just think about the difference between the original MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro announced this past Tuesday. Read More about Apple Officially Puts PowerPC Behind Them With Snow Leopard