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Heads up for developers like me building Mac apps, this release is going to take a little more adoption time than most due to the 64bit-only nature of this release.

For example, I know there is a contingent of people who are stuck at Adobe CS6, whose certain critical components are 32 bit. Since Adobe no longer sells permanent licenses, opting to only rent their software instead, it's impossible to get these updated. And these expensive and still-in-use licenses are going to die the moment people update to Catalina.

Honestly it shouldn't take any more time than previous updates for Mac apps. I'm pretty sure all of my work projects were made 64-bit clean in 2014?

If you were already using Cocoa, and were heeding deprecation warnings for the last 10 years, there should be zero issues.

Of course, with lots of software (especially projects started decades ago) it might have been difficult to do this. But the only paths forward were

(A) expect to drop support once 32-bit was removed

(B) gradually replace components which were dependent on things without 64-bit versions

(C) wait until 32-bit support was removed, then have a terrible time updating

And the writing on the wall has been there for a very, very long time.

It would be feasible to upgrade if you were incentivized to make it work. It sounds like some programs, particular Adobe which changed its licensing model, are not incentivized to make it work.

This is fine for the producer, who can drop support for old software. It's not fine for the consumer, who may not want to pay yearly for their software and therefore don't want to upgrade to the latest versions.


Don't worry, I'd feel differently if I held Adobe stock

What about legacy applications which are no longer actively developed? I still use Aperture quite happily, and there's no obvious alternative (aside from Lightroom which has a subscription model).

I don't see why Apple couldn't provide an optional compatibility solution, even if it were something I had to download separately.

I've committed to just maintaining an "offline" mac for CS6 as on my 2016 Mac running Mojave I have _weird_ problems with visual artifacting using CS6.

I'm actually sad because I wanted to find a replacement that had:

- layers - Good text engine - good magic wand

I use Photoshop/Illustrator for very basic collage style works and those are the tools I need.

I was excited to try gimp, but it was slow enough on this Mac that I gave up. Inkscape is on the list, but my hopes are low.

Try Affinity Designer. It merges bitmap and vector tools. Works pretty good. And no subscription.

Affinity Designer is an excellent option. It’s way beyond what you would expect a $50 app to offer, and bests Adobe Illustrator in several areas.

That said, I think its low price point has started working against it. New releases come at a glacial pace, and a few broken features have literally had fixes in the works for years (expand stroke is the standout). When the last thing I bought from the company was a $50 purchase four years ago, I can’t really complain, but in retrospect, I wish Affinity had gone the Sketch route with an annual upgrade program. I’d like to pay more to see Affinity Designer advance faster, but presently there’s no option to do so.

Seconded. It's just different enough from Illustrator to be unsettling for the first few days, but the core of it is immediately and very obviously excellent. I persevered (it's vastly less money) and I'm very pleased I did. It's significantly smoother and faster in daily use than Illustrator (at least on my machine) and that counts for a lot for me. Updates are thoughtful and contain useful features. There's very little now that I actually have to work around and some parts of it are just intrinsically better - snapping candidates, for example.

I'm really liking it myself. Unfortunately I've got hundreds of hours wrapped up in making maps that I periodically update, and there's no good path to move them from Illustrator to Designer. PDFs move, but then every path comes over weird... And without the layers and groupings that are otherwise so helpful.

You should be able to open Illustrator files directly in Affinity Designer.

There's also Affinity Photo (their Photoshop competitor). It's not bad if you only need to edit things once in a while.

Also Corel Draw supports macOS now

Acorn is another option.

It's a pretty great option, I think! Acorn doesn't get as much press, but it's really powerful for its price.

Also, while people are even more likely to forget Graphic Converter since it first came out in 1859 or something (this may be a slight exaggeration, but my point is, it's been around a long time), it has some neat tricks up its sleeve. I sent business cards to a print shop that required CMYK PSDs by doing the work in Acorn and converting in Graphic Converter.

Try Affinity. Fast, actively developed and an affordable one time purchase.

Pixelmator is pretty great.

Pixelmator Pro, while not any more “pro” than the original Pixelmator, has a dramatically better interface in my experience.

Have you tried pixelmator? For me it has removed my need for photoshop.

Does anyone know if it's possible to start from a pure Catalina installation of macOS and install a partition with Mojave? For the first time in forever I won't update macOS on my computer so that I can keep using a few 32-bit app, including http://www.halomd.net/.

There’s something even better now, thanks to APFS:

Installing macOS on a separate APFS volume https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208891

APFS makes it easier than ever to switch between versions of macOS, including a beta (prerelease) version of macOS.

Very nice, good find!

Should be possible:


I've done this to install a beta, but not to try to install an older macOS version from a newer release. If for some reason, the Mojave installer won't launch from Catalina, then you could create a bootable Mojave installer:


Greetings to halo MD fans! Unfortunately the original Mac Halo binary that MD wraps is itself 32 bit, but some hope lies in a project called wineskin. Look up the Porting Team discord or atomical’s Halo MD discord for some discussion...

You can install macOS (this also works for Catalina) on an external hard drive (I recommend an SSD if possible). This runs at native speed and you can use it to test/try anything without touching the internal disk.

Yes this works! Highly recommended. I’ve installed it on an Intel 660p with a USB3 1GBps enclosure.

Does the SSD drive need a separate power source when booting from it or can it run on Thunderbolt 3?

No separate power source, I've used a portable Samsung Passport 250/500 GB external SSD. Something like this https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Portable-MU-PA250B-AM-Allurin... is similar with what I've used.

Probably would be a better idea to run Mojave in a VM like virtual box.

Unless you have a very powerful host system running macOS in a VM is painfully slow. On a 2019 MacBook Air with 16GB or RAM running a virtualized macOS is crawling to render the Finder window.

The biggest problem with virtualizing macOS is that it’s built assuming that a half competent GPU is available, meaning that its software rasterizer is dog slow which is a big problem because no VM simulates a GPU that macOS supports. I’ve heard things about getting GPU passthrough working to fix this but I’ve not tried that myself.

Parallels specifically is much better than e.g. Virtualbox in my experience. Still not really pleasant—there's a lot of latency for some reason, unless you directly pass through the mouse as a USB device—but usable enough.

I still think I'd rather dual boot though.

A few months ago I tried a Mojave and a few older versions of macOS in VirtualBox on a 2013 Thinkpad (Hackintosh) and had no problems with booting nor basic things like Finder and other operations with the GUI. I didn't try more graphics-intensive apps, however, but it was actually surprisingly fast and easy to install from an ISO created using the official source download, minus the workaround I needed for EFI booting from APFS. Building an app with Xcode (the reason for doing all this in the first place) also worked decently.

Somewhat related: if I tracked down a copy of Snow Leopard Server and ran it in a VM, would I be able to run old PowerPC apps using Rosetta?

Yes. CodeWarrior flies on modern hardware, even with the CPU being emulated.

Did Snow Leopard still bundle Rosetta with the install? I thought that Snow Leopard still required a download of Rosetta that likely wouldn't be available now...


OSX VMs are so slowwww in a virtual environment though. I’ve tried doing it several times in parallels and they just crawl. Unless I’m doing something wrong.

My experience and knowledge about it has said that this is because of the reliance of OSX on GPU hardware. That means it won't ever perform well on any kind of software rendering. Some kind of GPU passthrough or sharing is needed to make it work acceptably.

It's got to be more complicated than that. I've used Parallels to run complex DX10 games such as a Tomb Raider 2013. I'm not sure what wizardry they use to make that happen, but it works really well.

Parallels is, perhaps not coincidentally, not as terrible at running macOS as some other solutions, but it's still fairly poor.

>It's got to be more complicated than that.

It's not. I've run macOS under a hypervisor with GPU passthrough and it's essentially as fast as on metal (I think you can see a single digit percentage difference in benchmarks). I don't think anyone has a soft 3D driver though for macOS guests. Parallels and VMware have both put a lot of work into getting some level of soft VM based 3D acceleration working for Windows guests, presumably because that's where the demand is. At the same time macOS has been built heavily around GPU for everything for a very long time now, initially as a way to improve even basic interface smoothness in Aqua back in the day. So it's a dog in pure software on a VM. It really needs a GPU.

FWIW, in the past VMware did officially have Mac Pros on the hardware compatibility list for ESXi (up to 5.5 I think? maybe the trashcan lasted longer). And that in turn would be legit for running a Mac guest. I've read you can sort of get it to work on other Macs like the Mini, though secure boot must be disabled and the T2 causes other issues. Otherwise you need to patch it, or go with KVM or some other alternative.

It’s some sort of crazy hack mess that converts calls from DirectX to Vulkan, and then from Vulkan to Metal.

With VMware Fusion, if you install their VMware Tools (after disabling SIP [1]), macOS is much more usable in a VM.

[1] https://notebook.yasithab.com/macos/disable-sip-in-macos-vm-...

Ah dude no problem, you can actually play Halo on Xbox now

CS6 hasn't worked right in OSX for years anyway. I hung onto it as long as I could but Save for Web stopped working around Yosemite so I could no longer save GIFs, then around El Cap PS started crashing when you did certain drag operations and Illustrator started acting weird.

Think CS6 is still a viable option for Windows 10 users though.

I have my film production machine stuck with Windows 7 and CS6. You can survive with the same on older macOS I guess...

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