The Big Think

March 31, 2011

World Backup Day

Filed under: Apple,Mac OS X Problems,Macintosh,Technology — jasony @ 11:12 pm

Today is World Backup Day. How ironic that the hard drive in Erin’s iMac just died! Good thing we’ve got Time Machine on it. Now we get to see how well it works.

We’re probably going to spring for professional installation of the new hard drive. I’ve looked up the directions to replacing the HD in her model of iMac and, wow, yeah… not going there. Better to pay somebody else the money to do it professionally. I trust my mad screwdriver skillz, but one slip up and we’re buying a whole new machine. No thanks.

Have you backed up your data lately? I just got a second 2TB hard drive to go with my first one and everything is backed up six ways from Sunday, so I think I’m covered. Still… wouldn’t hurt to burn the Quicken data to CD again, would it?

May 24, 2010

Okay, DON’T Take My Money

Filed under: Apple,Business,Computing,Mac OS X Problems — jasony @ 9:51 am

We skipped the series finale of Lost last night due to a work party, so we were going to do what we always do and catch it on Instead, we decided to ante up the three bucks for the full HD iTunes download so we could get it without commercials or without annoying stream pauses at critical moments (something that’s happened a lot in the past).

So I open iTunes on the mini downstairs and try to buy the last episode of Lost. Sorry, you must be upgraded to the latest version of iTunes to download content. Oh, okay. Twenty minutes later I’ve installed the newest iTunes and try to buy it again.

Sorry, you must have version 4 or greater of Safari to use the iTunes music store. Huh? The ITMS doesn’t even open Safari, and I use Firefox anyway. Grr…. So I go online again and update Safari. Whew. Okay Apple, here’s my money.

Sorry, this version of Safari does not work with your version of OS X. Please update your OS. AARGH!

I’m loathe to update the OS because the home automation software that runs the house on that computer works great, and doing OS updates has tended to make things unreliable in the past.

Look, I understand that you want to keep the user experience reliable, Apple, and one of the ways you do this is by making sure people’s software is up to date. But I seem to be running into this sort of thing a lot more lately, and I can’t help but wonder if there’s something else going on. Why all of a sudden have your engineers lost the ability to make stuff work well across a couple of different iterations of the software?

And before you think it’s because Apple just wants to stick me with a paid update to the OS or something, in fairness I have to say that all the updates I’d be required to do would be free inter-version updates (4.5.1 to 4.5.4, for example). Still it’s a hassle to have to keep all this stuff current across three machines. I would set stuff to auto update, but I’ve been burned in the past when a machine has updated software and broken a current application (Studio Vision Pro, Finale, etc) that I rely on absolutely for my income. I’d rather have control over my system, get things functioning smoothly, and then leave it alone until my season ends.

There’s got to be a better way. Maybe Virtual Machining is the answer?

March 18, 2009

Computer Update

Filed under: Apple,Mac OS X Problems,Macintosh,Music — jasony @ 11:12 am

Still fighting with the computer. The OS 9 partition that has all of my work on it (thankfully, Sing is over now) still works, but I can’t recreate it using the drive clones I created years ago, and I don’t know why. I got two new drives and they both work fine, but I can’t reload the 9 partition, and if I can’t do that, then writing another year of Sing is like walking tightrope across a very large drop with no net. Not going to happen.

So yesterday Erin and I were in the Apple store and I was contemplating the purchase of a new MacPro (on a friend’s discount, of course!). As I was standing there, I had the realization that this new MacBook I’m typing on is probably 10x as powerful as my old G4, and I could possibly use it as a temporary stopgap. I bought a $20 adapter and confirmed that I could indeed use my 22″ Dell monitor (great monitor) with it, then bought a 2TB external drive to use as a backup. The external drive is going back to Fry’s (it only showed as 1.36TB, which is terrible even accounting for formatting space), but I might be able to make this work.

This solution would enable me to save the cost of a new Mac Pro ($2400!) for now, and it would let me ease into the whole purchase of the new studio by only having to buy the Midi interface and the new audio interface. The only downside is that I lose the easy portability of the laptop. Why? Because once it’s ensconced in my desk it will have seven of its nine ports in use. Not that I can’t unplug it and go, but grabbing it off the desk to go downstairs won’t be a one step process.

I’m still messing with getting the G4 to work, though. But Erin brought up what would have happened to me if this whole debacle had occurred two months ago. I don’t even want to contemplate that. In that case I would have paid almost ANYTHING to get the whole thing working again. In that regard, I think making the big jump is probably due. I hate kludging solutions together, though, so I’m still not sold on using the laptop as my main machine. What a pain- just glad it’s March!

March 5, 2009

Something’s Wonky

Filed under: Mac OS X Problems — jasony @ 9:04 am

Test post with a href=””>link/a>. For some reason the blog is messing up HTML. Sorry, folks.

December 15, 2008


Filed under: Mac OS X Problems — jasony @ 5:03 pm

My email suddenly went belly up. Apple says that the account has expired (uh oh). Not sure how long it’ll take to resolve. If you need to contact me, you can get me at my business address (the “invisible” one). First name, last initial.
Or I guess we could hold very long delayed conversations in the comments.

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