After using three Mac Mini 2009 with OS X 10.6.8 since August 2011 I got a taste of OS X 10.12 Sierra which was pre-installed on a newly bought Mac Mini. My ancient Macs were top of the line and are updated with SSDs. The operating system 10.6.8 is the most reliable I ever had and it does everything I need.
I only bought the new computer to be prepared for future developments, as more and more websites refuse to work with my ancient system, mainly because Little Snitch and the old browsers don’t allow them to spy on me. FLASH browser plugin and Java are of course also absent here and the websites very much miss them.
The new Mac Mini, also the fastest available and with SSD, will only be used as internet gateway. Despite the superior technical specifications, in day to day work it doesn’t appear to be faster than my ancient Macs and the Sierra Finder has lost much of its functionality compared to the Snow Leopard Finder. It is also buggy as hell, but that will hopefully change in the next month. Nevertheless, at the moment I feel like a beta-tester and I wonder how Apple dares to release such an unfinished and bug-infested piece of software. Are they testing how far they can go by stretching the loyalty of their user base to the limit?
My decision not to update since 10.6.8 was apparently right and I will use my trusty 2009 Mac Mini computers for many more years to come. The 2009 Minis were the most economic computers ever produced because they use laptop chipsets who draw very small currents and therefore don’t get hot. The external power supply also helps. Temperatures are always below 30 degrees Celsius, which means that materials don’t wear out, IC’s don’t fail, and cracks in the circuit boards are not likely.
These old Macs will last forever (nearly), which is a terrible thing for the company Apple who wants to sell new computers. The unibody Mac Minis of 2010 to 2014 integrate the power supply and draw significantly more energy, they will for sure not last as long as their predecessors. Temperature of my new Mac mini is between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius, which seems not to be much of an increase compared to the old machines but after thousands of heat cycles surely will have an impact.
At least my most important non-Apple software is compatible now with Sierra and it has not been degraded like Apple’s Finder. The developers of other software companies are still going the extra mile and still do the hard work which Apple apparently is no longer willing to invest.