Earlier this afternoon I stopped by my local Apple store, hoping one of the “geniuses,” as Apple actually calls them, would accept the offering of my iBook-from-hell and ship it out for the fifth time in less than three years. (This time it’s the video — again.)
I was unsuccessful. The Genius Bar was booked for the day, and my rather heated argument that I shouldn’t have to wait behind a bunch of people trying to figure out how to turn on their new iPods when I had an oft-broken computer to ship out failed to persuade the smug young manager.
While I was waiting, though, I did see something incredibly cool on the back-of-the-store projection screen — a Mac version of Google Earth. As soon as I got home, I fired up the family iMac and went looking for the download. Alas — it requires OS X 10.4, and we’ve only got 10.3.
Is this really necessary? Does Google Earth absolutely require something that’s only available in 10.4, or did Google’s programmers just not want to make the effort? By way of analogy, it’s interesting that the latest version of Firefox, an open-source browser, works just fine with 10.3, whereas if you want to keep Apple’s inferior Safari up to date you’ve got to upgrade to 10.4.
Google Maps offers much of what Google Earth has, and it doesn’t require extra software. I guess it will have to do for now.
Instant update! Google says, “Currently, Google Earth isn’t supported on the Mac OS 10.3.9 or earlier versions. We’re working on this issue and hope to have Google Earth available for more Mac OS versions in the near future.” Very nice. All is forgiven.