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  • 2013-2014 MacBook Air And Pro Models will be declared Vintage

    Posted on Alex5723 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS 2013-2014 MacBook Air And Pro Models will be declared Vintage

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      • #2223426 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        2013-2014 MacBook Air And Pro Models will be declared Vintage by April end.

        MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)
        MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)
        MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014)
        MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)
        MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)

        https://www.macrumors.com/2020/04/01/apple-vintage-2013-2014-macbook-air-pro-models/

      • #2223538 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        This thread is about two issues: (1) Hardware support of Mac computers becoming obsolete according to Apple; (2) Software support of the same. Alex5723 is referring to “Air” computers in his original comment that began this thread, but I think that the same questions apply to all Mac computers not yet, but not really very long from now (such as my MacBook Pro mid 2015, in mid-2022) being in the same situation as the  “Air” ones from mid 2013 – early 2014. I also would like to discus what to use, as an alternative to a Mac, when the one now has is no longer supported by Apple at all, and or parts are no longer available to replace those that fail in one’s model.

        (1) Hardware: In other threads this has been discussed already, and the prevailing opinion has been that one can take one’s old Mac for repairs to any repair shop that is affiliated with Apple, not only to an Apple Store, to have it fixed as long as the needed replacement parts are available. (And if there are none available from Apple anymore, and one does no longer care about Apple’s opinions on the matter, from other sources than Apple, maybe even eBay?)

        (2) Software: here I am not sure of what were the recommendations made already, also in other threads, on how long does Apple send security patches to older Macs: only up to seven years since a model was first put up for sale by Apple? Longer than that?

        Many of us, myself included, are interested in keeping a computer that is working OK for at least six or seven years, even more if possible. Is not just the expense of buying a new machine and new software to do with it what one has been doing with the old machine, the latter because the old software is not compatible with the new machine. Also, because moving from an old to a new machine is a hassle that no normal person is very eager to put up with, particularly if the computer is used to do work to make a living and the user has little time for such a distraction, unless that person has a boss, and this boss orders the change, or some other external reason forces it to be done.

        Beyond the complete end of support, for some of us being ready to switch to some distro of Linux OS in any new computer not more expensive than necessary, is also an option worth exploring (and practicing beforehand), when no longer able to get parts or security fixes for one’s Mac. Linux distros, as far as I know, have no time limits on the availability of their software patches or their upgrades to their versions of the OS (as long as the machines are not so very ancient as to be too slow or limited in memory storage, of course); nor the developers have objections to users repairing their machines, since they neither sell nor repair hardware anyways. From the point of view of those, like myself, that work mainly from the command line, the many similarities under the hood between macOS and Linux make this aspect of the transition very easy. For those that rely on the GUI (pointing and clicking), the new versions of Ubuntu and related distros, such as Mint, are close in ease of use to Macs. Not quite there yet, but getting closer.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #2223568 Reply
          DrBonzo
          AskWoody Plus

          At the risk of getting a bit off-topic, but in the interest of what I think is accurate information, the LTS Ubuntu versions are supported for 5 years. So Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is supported through April (that’s the .04) of 2023. Mint 19 is based on Ubuntu 18.04 and is also therefore supported through April 2023.

          I don’t think there are any per se age limitations on hardware that Ubuntu and Mint will support; it’s more a matter of what hardware will run the OS. In my experience with a handful of up to 10 year old hardware is that even the old machines will run acceptably with Ubuntu and Mint.

          I’ve done one “major” upgrade, that being from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to 18.04 LTS. It was a seamless, painless, and fast process. All my files and settings were carried over with the sole exception of where to get Opera updates (I had to manually type in a web address for updates.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2223573 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            My understanding as a non-expert on this topic, is that, even if the support lasts five years for a version of Linux, it is always possible to upgrade it to the next version as long as one’s hardware can cope with this new version’s requirements, unlike the case of Macs when they run out of support and are declared, by whatever name Apple may like to use, obsolete, regardless of whether they can still handle the current version of macOS or not.

            Also, updating might not be that necessary if one does not want to start doing something new, or differently, that would work only with a later version of Linux, because Linux is less prone to malicious attacks than Windows, or perhaps even macOS, particularly as long as the installed anti-malware software for Linux keeps being updated and remains compatible with one’s older version of the OS. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong.

            One suggestion about preparing for an eventual switch from macOS to Linux: installing a virtual machine in the Mac and then installing in this VM Linux, to become familiarized with it.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

            • This reply was modified 3 months ago by OscarCP.
            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2223604 Reply
              DrBonzo
              AskWoody Plus

              I agree with your first paragraph.

              I’m not sure I agree with your second paragraph. I would think one would want a supported version of the distro one is using. There are security holes identified frequently in Ubuntu which should probably be patched in any distro downstream from Ubuntu (and in Ubuntu itself) and for which antivirus software would likely be useless. (Go to https://usn.ubuntu.com/ for Ubuntu security notices.)

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2223674 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        In terms of “vintage” Macs, here’s how it works:

        1. When Apple quits mentioning security updates for a version of macOS listed here, then the OS officially no longer receives security updates from Apple. It may, however, still receive minor updates to XProtect, Apple’s built-in anti-malware tool, at least for a time being. It is still possible to use a vintage Mac, just be extra cautious with security. I still have a PowerBook running Leopard. It has ClamAV free running on it (and still up-to-date), plus the firewall and Little Snitch is running on it, so I have two-way firewall protection. I just don’t do anything “reckless” with it. In terms of old software, I found a repository for old Apple software called MacintoshGarden.org which allowed me to grab installers for iLife and Office 2008 (I already had iWork on there). I only chose the installers for software I actually purchased from Apple but wasn’t able to put the DVDs in the drive (since the DVD player is shot) to keep within using software I actually did purchase a license for.
        2. In terms of hardware, there are generally third-party shops who can find ways to repair vintage Macs. I have one within walking distance from me. Parts can be found on eBay, Amazon, as well as there’s a handful of places out there with vintage parts. I could probably snag a new DVD drive for my PowerBook easily, plus the hard drive is getting old (I recently backed it up), plus the battery is going. I could invest a tiny bit in it and still eek out more life in this machine if I wanted to. It’s still a solid machine and runs an older version of one of my research apps as fast as the latest version runs on my iMac Pro!
        3. In terms of switching to Linux, I tried using a Linux machine on a day to day basis once. Too many apps I use require macOS or Windows, so I’m stuck using one of them for daily use. I like macOS since it still has UNIX underpinnings. I like Linux in a VM if I need extra geekery, plus it makes a great server (I use it for a Cisco FindIT server), plus it runs some weather tools I’ve used in the past well, but other than that I can’t use it for daily use.

        Nathan Parker

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2232917 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Nathan,

        Of those applications generally used for security, fun and work, which ones would you know that at least so far, have been kept updated by their developers after macOS is no longer supported once a Mac becomes “vintage”? (Mine, in mid- 2021.)

        For example: browsers (e.g., Waterfox); antivirus + firewall (besides those you have mentioned, e.g. Webroot SecureAnywhere); linux and macOS line-command software downloaded and installed with macport or homebrew; free, open source rendering software such as Blender; GNU’s free plotting software such as Octave; teleconferencing applications. Any other kinds?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2233071 Reply
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        In years past, a 6 year old computer would have been so slow by contemporary standards that its viability even without the loss of OS support would be quite limited.  That’s not the case anymore, though… my desktop PC’s motherboard has a manufacturing date sometime in 2012, most likely, and it’s still a strong performer.  . nb63

        Okay, my cat decided to submit that post, unfinished, while I got up to use the bathroom.  I will have to ask her what ‘. nb63’ means. My desktop, FWIW, uses an Asus P8P67 Deluxe 3.0 motherboard with an Intel i5-2500k, overclocked to a conservative 4.5 GHz (requiring less than 10% Vcc boost to get there).

        I would like to get an AMD Ryzen board/CPU to play with, and I’ve always enjoyed upgrading and building PCs, but part of the fun is saying, “Wow, look how fast this is!” in response to how it handles my typical tasks.  I don’t think I would get that, in this case.  My Dell G3 is demonstrably faster than my desktop by any number of benchmarks.  In raw single-core performance, the G3 bests the desktop by some 18%, despite its lower clock speed (4100 MHz) vs. the desktop, which calculates to a ~29% gain in IPC. In multicore benchmarks, the G3 widens the gap, as it has 6 cores (12 logical cores if hyperthreading is used) compared to the 4 cores of the desktop.

        The G3 also has a NVMe (x4) drive for the OS, whereas the desktop has a SATA 3 SSD.  It has a faster GPU also, though that doesn’t matter for most things.  All things considered, it’s about what one would expect comparing a late 2018 (at least that was when I bought it!) PC to one from 2012, even if the more recent PC is a laptop (which would be expected to perform more poorly than a similarly-specced desktop PC, in general).

        That said, though, I don’t notice any difference in day to day tasks.  They both feel fast and responsive, and I don’t think upping the performance any more would make a big difference.  I don’t do any really heavy computation-intensive stuff like video rendering, and if I did, I would probably be looking at upgrading the GPU more than the CPU (though I could be wrong about that).  The old motherboard does not have PCIE 3.0, but PCIE 2.0 x16 has been more than enough to keep my existing GPU (a GTX 760) busy.

        All that suggests to me that a Macbook from that era could well be a really decent piece of hardware, even today, and if I had bought a Macbook back when it was new, it would be because I want to use MacOS (which I think was still OSX back then).  Having that cut off because of age, rather than some specific technical reason (like when MS cut off hardware that did not have SSE2 support), just really bothers me.

        Still, a Mac that is used past its OS expiration date would probably be safer than an EOL Win 7 PC, since most of the malware is aimed at the biggest target, which of course is Windows.  Linux, of course, is an option, and even if it won’t run all of the Mac stuff you want it to, it can at least save the Macbook from being totally obsolete if you don’t want to run unsupported.  A Macbook that can only do some of what it used to is better than one that gets put aside and forgotten.  Don’t forget that WINE has come a long way in terms of support for Windows programs, so those Windows and Mac only programs might work in Linux too.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.3).

        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Ascaris. Reason: It was my cat that submitted it, not me
      • #2233072 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        I have three 2012 Macs (iMac, MacMini, 13″ MacBook Pro with slot DVD drive). All are Ivy Bridge i7’s. The MacMini is my workhorse, but all are fast and viable. All three are running Catalina 10.15.4. That means I have more than two more years of security updates, since they will not qualify for the next upgrade.

        2012 to 2022 = 10 years service. I can live with that. I have never had a Windows machine give that kind of service and did not feel OLD.

         

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2233088 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I have an 8+ year-old PC running Windows 7 and Linux Mint. It has an early CPU I-7 with four cores and eight virtual processors. I also have a MacBook Pro ca. 2015, with a newer version of  theI-7 quad CPU, that runs very nicely and is faster than the PC, probably mostly because the PC has an HD and the Mac an SSD. Also a battery life of some 3 hours, for the Mac vs. less than two for the PC. Both machines probably will last me several more years, the Mac in particular being the youngest.

        Now, my one concern is what will happen with the Mac when it becomes “vintage” in 21, in particular whether the applications I need (some mentioned in my previous comment) will still be updated and fixed for bugs and security holes by their respective developers.

        Neither machine has given me serious worries for as long as I have had them.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by OscarCP.
      • #2233109 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        It terms of software, it depends. Sometimes you can find LTS versions of browsers that’ll remain up-to-date for a bit after the OS is no longer supported. On my PowerBook, I even found a fork of Firefox that is still updated! It’s mainly about searching around for software to see what you can find.

        I have had success of also running unsupported software as well and continuing to use it. As long as the software doesn’t have known major security vulnerabilities, it can run OK and still be useful. For my super-old gear, I put it on its own SSID and VLAN on my network so its isolated from the rest of my network, as well as only bring it online when I need to.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2252532 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        Oscar had some questions about what constitutes a vintage or obsolete Mac, as well as how vintage and obsolete status affects major macOS upgrades. To comply with the lounge rules on answering questions on the forums versus personal messages, I am posting the answers to Oscar’s questions here. I decided to post here instead of starting a new thread since this pertains to vintage Macs, and I felt the answer would be best added here.

        In terms vintage and obsolete Macs, this is the official support document from Apple on them.

        With the exception of products purchased in France, here are Apple’s official definitions for vintage and obsolete:

        Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago. Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple TV vintage products continue to receive hardware service from Apple service providers, including Apple Retail Stores, subject to availability of inventory, or as required by law.

        Obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than 7 years ago. Monster-branded Beats products are considered obsolete regardless of when they were purchased. Apple has discontinued all hardware service for obsolete products with no exceptions. Service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products.

        In terms of how vintage and obsolete affects major macOS updates, the answer is there is not a direct correlation between the two, and there is no hard date on when a Mac no longer receives major macOS updates after it becomes vintage or obsolete. The official response from Apple Support (via Twitter):

        There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question, but generally, it doesn’t. When a device’s hardware is no longer able to support the iOS/macOS software to a degree that Apple feels is acceptable, then it will be excluded from being able to update further. We consider if the performance with older hardware on a device will be good enough to provide a good experience for our customers.

        So vintage and obsolete are terms that specifically (and only) identify the age of a device, not whether it is able to continue receiving iOS/macOS updates.

        So it seems that major macOS updates are generally available for Mac hardware (regardless of its vintage or obsolete status) until Apple decides the Mac hardware is no longer able to support the macOS update to a degree that Apple feels is “acceptable”. That means there’s not a hard date on when your Mac will be excluded from major macOS updates. Only when Apple’s support teams decide performance on the hardware won’t provide a good customer experience.

        Nathan Parker

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2252569 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Nathan,

          Thanks for explaining for how long Apple will support and let upgrade macOS to the owners of older Macs: for as long as the older hardware can run properly the newest version of macOS (in Apple’s opinion.) In other words, it could be for considerably longer than the period of hardware support (and for hardware trouble, I understand that one can take one’s “obsolete” Mac to a shop where they fix Macs without being necessarily affiliated with Apple.)

          There is still one point that I have been trying to figure out in vain by doing a fairly long search around the Web, evidently without success: If the moment the five years to vintage and the seven years to obsolete (now I am talking about hardware support) are counted the moment the Mac’s model is no longer manufactured, is this the same as the moment when Apple stops selling it?

          In particular, my MacBook Pro with a 15″ Retina screen is the mid-2015 model, I know that it was last sold by Apple in July of 2018, but not when it was last manufactured, or if both dates are the same or not (and what my long Web search failed to find). Since “last manufactured” is the date from when I must start counting those five and seven years, I really would like to know when that is.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2252575 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        Glad to explain. Indeed it seems it could be longer than when Apple marks it “obsolete” when it pulls the plug on major macOS updates. Even then, it usually gets minor security patches for a few years after that (if not longer).

        It is true a non Apple Authorized Service Provider will still repair a vintage Mac. We have one here that soups up old machines.

        Manufactured and selling dates are generally the same. The only difference is when Apple occasionally sells refurb models of a discontinued item until the stock runs out. Generally speaking, however, when it comes to brand new (not refurb) Macs, the day they quit selling them and the day they quit manufacturing them is considered the same. Technically it may be a few days later if Apple still has a stock of new Macs they need to sell out that they quit manufacturing, but Apple is going to put the official “discontinue date” at the same date. You’ll basically not need to think of a dichotomy between “manufacture” date versus “selling” date and instead think of a single “discontinue” date, which is when Apple officially stops selling or manufacturing that Mac item.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2252698 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Nathan, Thanks you so very much for getting all this clarified.

          Now, I am adding this comment so others can see my reasoning concerning what all this means in my case, and can use it to figure out what those dates might be for their own Macs. And comment on it, if they so wish.

          It is important to know clearly what will happen, when, to make such decisions as to what to do about installing new system upgrades (i.e. from Mojave to Catalina). From what you have found out, it is something unpredictable and not worth worrying about, because it is up to Apple to decide when they will no longer allow upgrading the OS in machines that are too old to support a new one. I have read in several places that the “historical average” has been some eight years, so far.

          As to your answer to my previous question: Both “manufacturing” and “discontinued” (sales of new ones) being the same, that would mean, in my case:

          MacBook Pro mid-15 “discontinued” in July 2018, therefore it will become: “vintage” in mid 2023; “obsolete” in 2025. And if the “historical average” still holds, it will probably stop getting OS updates and upgrades, roughly, in 2026, that is 8 years after it was “discontinued” = “no longer manufactured.”

          If so, then eight years of receiving patches after becoming “discontinued”, (in my case, maybe until 2026) also means the Mac having a reasonably long useful life for a computer. If my  Mac is also as resilient as the other computers I have had (and how I have used them), at least since 1998, then it is unlikely it will need to be taken to a shop for repairs, particularly once it becomes “vintage” in  mid 2023. At least I hope so.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2253145 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        I believe it was about eight years from the purchase of my old iMac and when it stopped receiving major macOS updates. Even then, it is still receiving security updates (and security updates generally happen at least two years after the major macOS update is released). So in total, it’ll likely receive security updates at least ten years or longer after purchase. Not bad.

        Nathan Parker

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2253517 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Let’s say one has the latest version of macOS already installed when Apple decides that the Mac is no longer eligible for the next version that will be coming out later that year. What happens after that with the remaining incremental upgrades of the version already installed?

        For example, let’s say Mojave is installed in an old Mac and when Catalina comes out, Cat can no longer be installed, because the Mac is deemed to old for it: what happens then with all the remaining incremental upgrades of Mojave (10.14.x)? Can they still be installed past the release of Cat? After all, if the Mac is still good enough for Mojave, I would imagine it should still be good enough for all its incremental upgrades. But imagining something does not mean that’s how it works. So… how does it work?

         

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #2253603 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          The Mac is eligible for the UPDATES (upgrade implies next version = Cat) for Mojave (in your case) that are issued before Cat is released. Then for security updates for two (sometimes more) years after it is no longer eligible for further upgrades.
          But @OscarCP if yours is 2015 vintage, it is eligible for Catalina and maybe later it you want to upgrade.

          My 2012 iMac, MacMini, and 13″ MacBook Pro (all i7 Ivy Bridge vintage) have Catalina 10.15.4 currently installed and will be eligible for 10.15.5 Catalina update when released.
          They will not be eligible for upgrade to the next version of MacOS released in the fall of 2020.
          But they WILL be eligible for Security updates for Catalina for at least the next two years, maybe longer.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2254223 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            PK, Thanks. I think I had a problem with the choice of words.

            To bring our comments on this particular issue in concordance, as that might be useful to others who read them:

            By “incremental upgrade” I meant”, using Mojave as an example, from 10.14.3 to 10.14.4.

            You have clarified this as follows:

            My 2012 iMac, MacMini, and 13″ MacBook Pro (all i7 Ivy Bridge vintage) have Catalina 10.15.4 currently installed and will be eligible for 10.15.5 Catalina update when released.

            So what you and Nathan mean by “security updates” and I by “incremental upgrades” are one and the same thing.

            Taking now my own case as an example: as I have mentioned here #2252698 , my Mac should become obsolete in mid-2025, seven years after its 15″ MacBook Pro mid-2015 model was discontinued in July 2018. So, by the time my Mac becomes “obsolete” in 2025, if I have the then latest version of macOS installed and it is, let’s say, 10.20.x, I’ll still be getting 10.20.x+1, 10.20.x+2… for maybe three years after the first one, 10.20.0, came out. That will be really nice.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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