Mac OSX Mountain lion

The standard user interface of Mac OS X
The standard user interface of Mac OS X (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not known for my exemplary patience and if anything I am quit horrible at bidding my time for just about anything.

I was thus not about to not update Vivian (My Macbook Pro) from OSX Lion to OSX Mountain lion. For starters, I was not aware that there are lions that live on mountains. Doesn’t sound very liony.

Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lion / Panther (Puma ...
Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lion / Panther (Puma concolor) closeup. Philadelphia Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyhoo I should have known from my previous experiences in updating a plethora of iOS based devices for pals that the hype behind the update is hot air.

Apple fanboys/loyalists/paid goons will tell me am tasteless, dont understand technology ad nauseam but notification centers and facebook integrations are not features in my book. These are stickers on a car not additional airbags for the toddler in the back seat.

All the same I try remain current and not disappoint my geek gods lest I get excommunicated. Kickass torrents quickly availed a usable copy of the mountain lion installer and I got on my way. Now before you start shouting yourself hoarse about piracy, I qualified for a free copy but due to technical issues I could not redeem it from the cupertino buggers. Its their fault.

Upgrade went on without a hickup , I think seeing as I left it happening overnight, and absolutely nothing of note changed on my desktop experience. Well that was a 4.5 GB dissapointment. Little did I know this was the beginning of my problems. After a while   the laptop started acting all slow at times even hanging and other times geting all hot and bothered.

Now I have bootcamp installed on half my harddrive because for technical folk in my field Windows applications are bread and butter. This has worked flawlwessly for the past 7 months but on one random day last week the laptop took 15 mis to boot. I forced a reboot and this chewed up another 10 mins. Here my problems began with the damn thing refusing to boot into Mac OS and only running Windows 7 when the startup disk is changed.

Long story short, the 500 GB drive developed S.M.A.R.T errors specifically a 2047 value on the Reallocated sector count. Trawling the forums turns out this is a common error upon the upgrade with the only solution being provided is replacement of the drive. I think I will do this when My warranty is close to its end or when the damn thing just dies on me but I think this is utter bullcrap. That the error is not random should be telling no?

For a system that “just works” there is a lot of tinkering to get simple things done without regularly turning you into a pauper.

 

 

 

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Mac OS X vs Windows 7 Usability

I use a Macbook Pro running Mac OSX 10.7.5 and its safe to say its a tough sale for anyone with a linux and windows background. The OS is restrictive, very few customizations that I can use and though beautiful, wants you to buy all the apps. It also doesn’t help that the proprietary format of the apps and the immense cost of owning one of these machines greatly reduces its mass market appeal.

Screenshot
Screenshot

Recently the need for a windows environment necessitated the installation of windows on the macbook and nowadays the only way to go is 64 bit so as to utilize the full RAM. The process was painless enough what with the help from the mac based Boot Camp app that does the hard disk partitioning for you and downloads the latest windows drivers for the apple hardware.

I find the mac environment to be more stable(as compared to Windows 7), tends to consume less resources of the machine doing the same task and feels more fluid in carrying out transitions between windows, minimizing , maximizing and related actions on the interface. Application interactions with the OS are however much more restricted leading to some frustrations if you are a previous windows or linux user. For instance, I have not found a way to configure a bittorrent client to initiate a system shut down when it finishes    downloading a torrent. I do not like wasting resources and keeping the Macbook on all night with most of those hours spent doing nothing sounds unattractive to me. Also no USB tethering of your smartphone for internet access. I did not understand this one.

Also moving files back and forth between an external hard disk and the macbook is a pain for no particularly apparent reason. A multitude of other nuances that are taken for granted in the other environments are just not doable here. I suppose these are meant to make the OS very limited in terms of what an unknowing user can mistakenly change by installing a rogue app.

I still find myself mostly booting into the Mac environment more when I want to have some fun be it writing this blog post, playing music or watching a movie. The windows side is for the boring stuff, project work, report writing, document editing etc.

The Mac is made for the wealthy as is evidenced by its price, content and usability quirks. That being said I do not find its interface advantages big enough to warrant investment by a regular laptop/computer user.

 

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