Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
I'm a creative, and very limited on tech issues, so thank you very much for any assistance you can provide.

I have a 17" MBP 5.2 (probably 2009) that I absolutely love. Is there anyway I can continue to use it?
SPECS:
MAC OS: 10.6.8
Processor 2.8 GH
Memory: 4GB

I love that it's still works like new and my Adobe CS software is paid for. What's not working is, because I have not updated the OS (because I don't want to lose access to using Adobe CS), my access to the internet is extremely limited and if it works at all, extremely sluggish. I'd rather not buy anything new, because I do still love this MBP, but obviously, the need for net access is a huge problem. Is there any way to save this MBP with an update of any kind so that I have access to the internet and also my Adobe CS?

I mostly work in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, but want the option to do basic video editing too.

I have the funds to purchase a new MAC, but get lost in the reviews.
I prefer to stay with a MBP; I use it mostly as a desktop, but I like the flexibility to easily go anywhere.

I get lost in the discussions of ports - if I buy new for net access, which port/adapter do I need to access files on my current MBP (or do I use Time Machine and just transfer files that way - will my 2009 MBP be compatibile to Time Machine?)

Before my 2009 MBP, I purchased a nice iMac; it went quickly went white screen death on me and I lost that investment with only minimal use. This makes me wary of purchasing another iMac and makes me lean towards staying with a MBP. But I read so many complaints about recent models.

Can the Mac Mini connect to my 2009 MBP and allow me to use both for Adobe CS4 files and internet access? Is purchasing the Mac Mini a good idea for the work I do?

I will eventually need to upgrade to an Adobe CS subscription - or go with alternative software, but is there an option for a transition period? Or do I need to just 'suck it up' and upgrade everything?

If I buy new, which MAC do you recommend and why? What MAC specs do you recommend for my use?

OR, do you think I should just update my current MBP OS and forget about using the CS4 software, and wait to buy a new MAC?

Thank you so much! I look forward to your suggestions!
 
Last edited:

baypharm

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2007
1,833
792
I have two 17” MBP (2009, 2010) that work great and do everything I throw at them. Both have 8GB ram installed with SSD’s. Internet connection speeds are consistently fast as heck (cellular). Have you checked your internet service provider to see if there is a connectivity block somewhere?
 

Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
I have two 17” MBP (2009, 2010) that work great and do everything I throw at them. Both have 8GB ram installed with SSD’s. Internet connection speeds are consistently fast as heck (cellular). Have you checked your internet service provider to see if there is a connectivity block somewhere?
Thank you - the internet speed here is optimum. We have a PC (ugh) and mobile phones in the house and all have excellent speed. It's the dated MBP operating system; it's not compatible with a lot of websites. What OS are you using?
 

leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
13,792
9,569
Is there any way to save this MBP with an update of any kind so that I have access to the internet and also my Adobe CS?

Why not update the OS and buy a new Adobe license? Should be cheaper than using a new computer, and your machine is a ticking bomb anyway, so you'd have upgrade to new Photoshop etc. anyway. What version of the OS are you running?

As to the internet, I don't think that anyone can appropriately answer this. It is possible that your network interfaces have suffered a hardware failure. A software update might fix it, but its not guaranteed.

I get lost in the discussions of ports - if I buy new for net access, which port/adapter do I need to access files on my current MBP (or do I use Time Machine and just transfer files that way - will my 2009 MBP be compatibile to Time Machine?)

You can use your current Time Machine backup to restore your files. You would need appropriate adapters or USB cables in order to attach your old peripherals though.

Before my 2009 MBP, I purchased a nice iMac; it went quickly went white screen death on me and I lost that investment with only minimal use. This makes me wary of purchasing another iMac and makes me lean towards staying with a MBP. But I read so many complaints about recent models.

It all boils down to luck. You've been exceedingly lucky that your 2009 MBP still works.

If I buy new, which MAC do you recommend and why? What MAC specs do you recommend for my use?

I don't think that you can avoid upgrading sooner or later. Your computer is very old and pec-wise, its slower than basically any other laptop Apple sells right now. My suggestion, as mentioned above, is to upgrade the OS and upgrade to a newer Adobe suite. I'd also recommend you to get a new MBP within the next two years. The 2018 release should bring some significant performance (and possibly usability) upgrades, so I can't recommend you to buy the current 2016 or 2017 model at this point. As to specs, if you are satisfied with your 2009 model's performance, anything will be fine. Typically, for you kind of work one would recommend the 15" model.
 

thesaint024

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2016
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suspension waiting room
One of my favorite things to talk about is going from my '09 to '16! OK, not really, but it was a very worthwhile upgrade. I kept my '09 MBP as long as I could since it was probably my favorite computer I've owned to that point. But after upgrading the RAM and HDD to give it a couple more years of life, it still ended up being too slow and too outdated to do what I wanted. I stopped using it as my primary computer because it was just too slow.

Besides the obvious speed and ergonomic refinements of the new generation of MBP's, the integration with my iOS devices is something I didn't appreciate until I used them. I kept hearing about all of the cool things I could do with MacOS, like answering calls, answering IM's, copy and pasting between devices, etc. that I didn't really know could be so useful. Everything just works better together. The latest gen is so quiet too, fan only kicks in when I play a graphics intensive game.

Ports are a complete non-issue, UNLESS you are mobile with lots of mobile peripherals. I'm mostly deskbound so a hub is perfect. One plug and I'm hooked up to a monitor, ethernet, several usb-a peripherals, kb, mouse, AND POWER. When I'm mobile, I'm not plugging in tons of peripherals. For emergencies I carry one usb adapter, but I've only used it a couple of times in a year. The weight and size is much more appreciated than any once a year needs to plug something in for me personally. YMMV.

You can only hold on to that '09 for so long. It's already not supported by Apple, and the MacOS has made big strides in the years since your last update. Cut your losses and move on. 8 years is probably twice as long as most people get out of their computers. The speed and productivity gains are worth it. Chip speed has pretty much tapered off in recent years, but your MBP is old enough to realize at least a 2x increase in speed.

Don't know what's going on with your internet, but wireless AC will probably take care of it. And yes, you can time machine your old mac to your new one. Pretty painless, but most recommend doing a clean install to avoid any old lingering processes from copying over.
 

Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
What version of the OS are you running?

SPECS:
MAC OS: 10.6.8
Processor 2.8 GH
Memory: 4GB
[doublepost=1511639371][/doublepost]
One of my favorite things to talk about is going from my '09 to '16! OK, not really, but it was a very worthwhile upgrade. I kept my '09 MBP as long as I could since it was probably my favorite computer I've owned to that point. But after upgrading the RAM and HDD to give it a couple more years of life, it still ended up being too slow and too outdated to do what I wanted. I stopped using it as my primary computer because it was just too slow.

...

Don't know what's going on with your internet, but wireless AC will probably take care of it. And yes, you can time machine your old mac to your new one. Pretty painless, but most recommend doing a clean install to avoid any old lingering processes from copying over.

I've been a MAC user for decades and agree the 17" MBP has been my favorite too. Thing is, the MBP still works perfectly for all the work I do in CS4 (Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign - more web, less print, but still fine for both).
The only problem is net access; I can't keep updating browser due to eventual incompatibility with OS. I stopped updating a while back, so I have some sites that are fine, and other sites that require more recent OS and browser updates. And the work I do now, I really don't need a lot of bells and whistles that others like and need.

Do you have any problems with screen or keyboard with '16?
 

ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
246
San Jose, CA
The only problem is net access; I can't keep updating browser due to eventual incompatibility with OS. I stopped updating a while back, so I have some sites that are fine, and other sites that require more recent OS and browser updates. And the work I do now, I really don't need a lot of bells and whistles that others like and need.
I think it's probably time you upgrade to El Capitan in that case. Swapping out the hard drive for an SSD and doubling the RAM to 8 GB will also get you some more life out of that old machine.
 
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Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
Are there any cons to purchasing this MBP?
Note: I don't need the Touch Bar (and will probably never use), which is why I am looking at this one. Is the primary concern that it may be outdated more quickly? TIA

15-inch MacBook Pro
  • 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
  • 16GB of 1600MHz memory
  • 512GB SSD
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports
  • Backlit Keyboard - US English
https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro?product=MJLQ2LL/A&step=config#
 

Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
I think it's probably time you upgrade to El Capitan in that case. Swapping out the hard drive for an SSD and doubling the RAM to 8 GB will also get you some more life out of that old machine.
Thank you - I think I'm trying to find a way to make impossible possible. Through the years I've purchased Adobe CS several times, and I immensely dislike having to go to a monthly subscription model where I'll owe indefinitely. My career has transitioned from being a full-time Creative Director to now designing my own products for retail. I just no longer have the same demands and need for daily use of the software; so I wanted to hold on to the paid version, that still works great for my design needs, as long as I can.
 

thesaint024

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2016
1,073
888
suspension waiting room
And the work I do now, I really don't need a lot of bells and whistles that others like and need.

Do you have any problems with screen or keyboard with '16?
The speed alone is worth the upgrade. It took me 90 seconds give or take just to boot up. But I'm not trying to convince you to get a new one because you can squeeze more life with 8GB RAM and an SSD. I understand your attachment to your '09, I was there.

Contrary to what you read on MR, I haven't had any issues at all with my MBP. And I imagine I'm not in the minority. Not to say people haven't had real issues, it's just not 9 out 10 like MR implies. I got a rev 1 2016 on release day, and it works exactly like it did on day one, perfect.
 

BrittWentz

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2017
49
12
I have the same exact problem with my 2012 MBP- still running Mountain Lion (10.8) and slowly all my software has become obsolete, both Apple and 3rd party. I think more than the internet connection, it's a software problem. I had to stop using Safari just two years after i got the computer because i couldn't deal with the lag, but now Chrome has started to lag as well and other browsers don't support my system anymore. But like OP, if i upgrade i'd lose the entire CS6, and the CC subs. is like $300 per year just for Photoshop....

I would definitely consider buying a new Mac, if you say you can afford it. 8 years is a pretty good run, but slowly you'll find yourself isolated from the net.

Personally, i really dislike the new 2017 MBP but if i had to buy one it'd probably be the MacBook Pro 15" (i7 2.9GHZ 16GB 512GB), as i think it has pretty decent specs for handling design. If you find the 512GB to be limiting, there's a 1TB option but for the price i'd buy the new iMac Pro that's coming out this December. You could also get the 15 inch. 2015 MBP Retina, specs are great for design and it actually has ports! So you'd live a dongle-free life.

You could also wait to see what Apple will come up for next year's line up, and just update the software if your computer still supports it.

To transfer your files, you'll need to buy an external drive. Make sure it has enough space for everything you need, i'd suggest 1TB. If you end up buying one of the new MBP models, all you need is to get an adapter so you can connect the USB to the computer, or see if the external drive brand sells an USB-C cable for it. And yes, if your computer has Time Machine it'll work no matter what OS X version you have. The only problem you might encounter is that many of your files/programs might not work with the new OS.

Hope it was of help!
 

Abs_p

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2011
896
422
Are there any cons to purchasing this MBP?
Note: I don't need the Touch Bar (and will probably never use), which is why I am looking at this one. Is the primary concern that it may be outdated more quickly? TIA

15-inch MacBook Pro
  • 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
  • 16GB of 1600MHz memory
  • 512GB SSD
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports
  • Backlit Keyboard - US English
https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro?product=MJLQ2LL/A&step=config#


TBH , you will get something similar on BHPhotovideo or Adorama(Both Apple Authorized resellers) for probably cheaper and you wont have to pay taxes unless you are in NJ/NY
 

baypharm

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2007
1,833
792
Thank you - the internet speed here is optimum. We have a PC (ugh) and mobile phones in the house and all have excellent speed. It's the dated MBP operating system; it's not compatible with a lot of websites. What OS are you using?

El Capitan 10.11.6
 

Sterkenburg

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2016
429
368
I had the same laptop as you for 7 years, until the 2016 models were released. I will go as far as to say that it still stands as my all-time favorite machine among the many I have ever owned. But in the end I decided that it was way too outdated to do what I needed and bit the bullet with a new 15" MBP.

Objectively speaking, I think it's time to let go of your emotional attachment to the machine (which I can understand 100%, as I felt the same when I was in your shoes 1 year ago) and upgrade. You can squeeze more life out of that '09 with a new SSD + 8GB RAM, but let me be honest, it's not worth it anymore, and the fact that Apple doesn't support updates nor repairs on your machine essentially makes it a ticking time bomb. Be happy that it served you like a champ for so long, but don't throw money at it anymore, it's too late.

As for upgrading, you have several possibilities: going for that 2015 MBP (a tried and tested design with very little flaws) would be a solid choice, but at this point I'd wait for the 2018 refresh (which should bring more CPU cores to the table and with them a substantial upgrade in performance) and upgrade the OS in the meanwhile.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,178
8,227
You have to face the reality that a laptop that is now 8 years old is getting long-in-the-tooth and could be running out of time.

If "internet connectivity" is a problem with it, get something new (or late-model-newer) for your internet needs, and keep using the old one so long as the computer still runs and the software is useful.

Personal experience:
I have an old 2006-vintage iMac that I use for music production, but that's all I use it for. I have a different Mac for day-to-day usage. Works for me.

I can understand one's reasons not to give up the already-registered Adobe stuff.
The last, last, LAST thing I would want is a "subscription" to their new software!

I'm hesitant to recommend the 2016/17 MacBook Pro line. Too many problems with the keyboards. Very high probability of failure, fix, failure again.

If I absolutely, positively needed a Mac laptop, I'd probably spring for either a 2015-design 15" (these are STILL SOLD NEW by Apple), or a 2015-design MacBook Pro 13" (these are available as Apple-refurbished units).
 
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Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
Thank you everyone! I've been reading through your comments and trying to absorb all recommendations. I appreciate your time and ideas immensely! This is truly the hardest MAC purchase decision I've ever had.

Curious what you think about this ...

I don't need a laptop daily to transport. But I love using a laptop as my primary computer and the added flexibility it offers if/when I do need to be mobile. Prior to my current 17" MBP, I purchased an iMac that went "white screen death" with very minimal use and time. So, I've been quite wary of purchasing another.

My concern with the newer MBP is the complaints about using the (awkwardness) keyboard. There is minimal cost difference between an older MBP and the newer ones; my concern in purchasing an older MBP (new) is how long before Apple decides to no longer support that model. So, from that thinking, I'd prefer to buyer a newer model.

I can get a more powerful iMac for a lot less, but lose mobility and I still feel a big concern after losing my initial iMac investment (prior to my 2009 MBP purchase) due to white screen death.

Because I'm not strong on tech, even the thought of buying a temp MAC of any kind feels bothersome (overwhelming), due to moving graphic files and fonts between computers (and with license for just one computer).

Based on all that worrisome babble, =) , do you have any other recommendations for me on which MAC to purchase?

And again, thank you so much!
 
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Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
Ok, I drove over to an Apple store today and spent some time testing the different options - and asking questions. I get the recommendations for the newer model. They are nice.

The new MBP keyboards really weren't as big of a bother as I anticipated. The iMac is a really nice option and is definitely less.

One recommendation an Apple employee gave me was I could get the iMac AND a portable iPad Pro for about the same price as the MBP - so that too is an option.

It doesn't really look like I can make a bad decision.

Thanks to all for sharing your opinions and experiences with me - it really has helped a lot hearing from other users firsthand! And thanks to those who understood my affection for the beloved mid-2009 17" MBP ... it really is hard to let that one go (in spite of the new that awaits). I plan to decide this weekend and place an order.
Cheers!
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
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You can run 10.6.8 Server (or something close to it that supports CS4) on the iMac and MacBook Pro as a virtual machine. This would give you time to transition to the new cloud-based version on your own schedule (or just continue to use CS4.) (Hypothetically, you could even run 10.6.8 on the iPad Pro through a remote desktop connection into an iMac that is virtualizing the OS.) As you would likely want to be able to access CS4 on the older VM's "guest" operating system, and everything else in their updated form on the physical "host" OS (ex: browser, Office, etc.), doing this with a multi-monitor display is IMO easier than with a single display because you can see both OS' simultaneously and transitioning from one to the other is as simple as moving the cursor to the left or right, making it easy as pie to use multiple OS' at once.

For example, here's a setup with the MBP's built-in screen + two external displays. On one external display (center) is a Snow Leopard VM guest. One the second external display (left) is the primary (host) OS' desktop. The built in display is in extended mode so it acts as a third independent display of the host OS and is currently is showing the VMWare Fusion (the virtualization engine's) App window (which is why you see an image of the guest OS on it). Alternatively, I could run three VMs simultaneously like Windows 10, Ubuntu, and OS X 10.6.8 and have each show on one display, or I could run no VMs and just use all three displays for the host OS so I can see more things at once.

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 9.15.18 PM.jpg

If you go this route, the 15-inch MacBook Pro and iMac have several benefits over the 13-inch, between a processor that can often virtualize better, to a discrete GPU, to the ability to drive more external displays. If you go for an iMac and want to go this route, you absolutely want a SSD instead of the base Fusion Drive. With the right hardware, when properly setup the VM will be fast like a bat out of hell and equally reliable to a physical OS installation (in some ways, thanks to snapshots, it is even superior.) The Snow Leopard Server VM takes about 15 seconds to boot and 3 seconds to shut down. It is completely practical to use a VM on a daily basis IMO.
 
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Mr. Dee

macrumors 68040
Dec 4, 2003
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I'm running my Adobe CS6 on my 2015 MacBook Pro with macOS Sierra 10.12.6. I don't plan to upgrade to High Sierra, because I suspect it might break it. Probably gonna keep it with Sierra for the rest of its life and get a new MacBook Pro to go forward. But, if you get a Mac with Sierra, it should run CS4 fine. But, in this world subscriptions, you probably will have to upgrade anyway.
 

Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
You can run 10.6.8 Server (or something close to it that supports CS4) on the iMac and MacBook Pro as a virtual machine. This would give you time to transition to the new cloud-based version on your own schedule (or just continue to use CS4.)

ZapNZs, thank you for this suggestion! I understand the concept, but not the technical how-to in order to accomplish. What do I need to create the VM between my beloved MBP and the new MAC? Is there a link you can suggest that tells how to set it up? Many thanks!
[doublepost=1512413609][/doublepost]
But, in this world subscriptions, you probably will have to upgrade anyway.

True, I'm just attempting to maximize my MBP and CS4 as long as possible. =)
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
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ZapNZs, thank you for this suggestion! I understand the concept, but not the technical how-to in order to accomplish. What do I need to create the VM between my beloved MBP and the new MAC? Is there a link you can suggest that tells how to set it up? Many thanks!

Essentially, you would first download and install the VMWare Fusion App, and then you would either install OS X using VMWare Fusion + an OS X installer from the App Store, or you would download an existing VMWare image of OS X and be able to use it immediately. Then, you would install CS4 on the guest OS. There are some decent videos on YT - here is a tutorial on the latest version of Fusion, and it has several resources in it although the guide appears incomplete:
https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Fusion/10.0/fusion-10-user-guide.pdf

The only challenge is that with 10.6.8 (at least with VMWare Fusion), you need the Server version in order to virtualize due to Apple's terms of usage (which you probably do not have.) With all versions of OS X since, you do not need Server.

Another option is you could update the OS on your current machine to OS X Lion or Mountain Lion (provided they work properly with CS4) and then import your entire hard drive (OS and all) into a virtual machine with Fusion (at least you can do this with Windows...I assume you can do it with OS X and someone more knowledgable than me could verify this.) Parallels and VirtualBox may also have this capability.
 

Ally77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2017
30
2
Essentially, you would first download and install the VMWare Fusion App, and then you would either install OS X using VMWare Fusion + an OS X installer from the App Store, or you would download an existing VMWare image of OS X and be able to use it immediately. Then, you would install CS4 on the guest OS. There are some decent videos on YT - here is a tutorial on the latest version of Fusion, and it has several resources in it although the guide appears incomplete:
https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Fusion/10.0/fusion-10-user-guide.pdf

The only challenge is that with 10.6.8 (at least with VMWare Fusion), you need the Server version in order to virtualize due to Apple's terms of usage (which you probably do not have.) With all versions of OS X since, you do not need Server.

Another option is you could update the OS on your current machine to OS X Lion or Mountain Lion (provided they work properly with CS4) and then import your entire hard drive (OS and all) into a virtual machine with Fusion (at least you can do this with Windows...I assume you can do it with OS X and someone more knowledgable than me could verify this.) Parallels and VirtualBox may also have this capability.

Thank you! This is very intriguing, but may be more technical that my skills allow. I'll def check out the link. Thank you for taking the time to share this info in detail!
 
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