Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A costly mistake.

So I've recently had a major problem which has halted our progress slightly. I claim some responsiblity for not doing my research properly, but I think Apple could have made things slightly more clear.

Now, I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I always associated the PowerMac (the big, professional looking one) with serious things like software development. So, with this in mind I bought one to work on our iOS titles, unfortunately for me I bought one that was a few years old which caused me some unexpected problems.

I downloaded a copy of XCode (Apple's development environment) and the iPhone SDK. No problems so far.

The issue came when trying to install the above software. The installer package had a list of components that could be installed, puzzlingly for me all the iPhone options were greyed out.

I went online to find out what was going on. It turns out that the iPhone SDK requires an Intel based processor. The PowerMac I'd bought runs on PowerPC architecture as it was made before 2006.

There is a way to work around this problem, but it involves a lot of fiddling with config files and there isn't a guarantee that the app you compile will actually even run on the iPhone hardware. You may recall from my earlier blog post "What are we using?" that the whole reason I was buying a Mac was to avoid complexity that I didn't need, so much for that.

In conclusion, the Mac I bought is completely unsuitable for our needs, so I'm having to resell it and buy a Mac with an Intel processor. If there's anything I've learned from this somewhat costly mistake it's to do proper research on the hardware you're buying before you invest.