But why did it work?

September 15, 2009

I’ve just had the experience of upgrading the operating system on my mac, and coming from a Microsoft background, I was quite surprised with the process.

I’ve just had the experience of upgrading the operating system on my mac, and coming from a Microsoft background, I was quite surprised with the process.

I switched from Windows to Mac nearly a year ago now, when my laptop died and the only thing on offer was Windows Vista. (The upgrade to get back to XP wasn’t yet available). Everyone else in CE is using a Mac so I thought I would bite the bullet and I reluctantly moved over. So far it has been quite a different experience. Being a developer, my machine usually has 4 or 5 development environments running, constant compiles of code going on in the background, usually more windows than could be counted opened at the same time, 4 or 5 skype and msn conversations, video conferences and who knows what else running on the machine nearly 100% of the time.

With my XP machines (both desktops and laptop) I had to reboot once a day, and if I was extremely lucky, I could get away with skipping a day, but it didn’t happen often. I could blue screen on cue, there was a definite order NOT to do things in on my windows machines or I was sure to loose data and be forced to reboot by the blue screen of death.

Now on the mac, I still have to reboot, but I usually get around a week before it is needed. I have “blue screened” 3 times in the time I have owned the mac, and 2 of them were related to running windows xp on virtualisation software. The blue screen on the mac is also more of a grey screen with calm instructions on how to restart your machine, which if they had on Windows would probably have saved me dozens of keyboards.

As you can see from this, I have been converted completely to the Mac. I still run Windows for some development and testing tasks, but any machine that I buy now will be running mac os in one form or another.

I had heard loads about the new operating system Snow Leopard and really only bought it because I thought there was absolutely no way it could be as good as everyone was saying. I always disregard the reviews and news on the apple sites as I’m fairly sure they are either paying someone to put them up or they just don’t display any negative ones, so all the reviews I read were from other sources or word of mouth.

The first thing that I noticed about it was that it was very cheap for an operating system. Tax included it came out to less than £25. That in itself was a bit of a shock. I nearly expected it to arrive on a 5 1/4″ floppy as that was around the cost of the last version of DOS 6.22.

When it did arrive, I stuck it in the machine, clicked run, then remembered I had a meeting that I had to leave for in an hour and I needed my machine for it. I now had fingers crossed as I’ve installed a few operating systems in my time, and upgrades never go right. A screen popped up telling my 49 minutes to completion. Right no point in staring at the screen white knuckled and dripping fear, I’ll go for a cup of tea and start drawing up screenshots of everything that I was supposed to show on my machine for the meeting.

Around 15 minutes later, I checked on the machine knowing that by this time the update must have crashed and I would be able to run the original system so no need to worry about anything. When I got to my machine, I was presented with the sign in window, not the error messages I had been hoping for. Oh oh! Well maybe it crashed and rebooted I thought hopefully as I logged back in. It was beyond understanding when I was presented with the Welcome to Snow Leopard video. I had a quick look around on the machine, everything was still there and to top it off everything I needed to demo was still working. Went to the meeting demoed everything and got home around 10pm, so didn’t want to deal with fixing everything that went wrong during the upgrade that evening.

Next morning, while looking through everything on the machine with a fine tooth comb, I noticed it was quite a bit faster, there was more free space on my machine, and everything seemed to work. I spend nearly 4 hours that day going through all the software on my machine looking for the problems with the upgrade. I did find 2 pieces of software that did not work. MySQL and CyberDuck, both of which I downloaded an update for and now are working fine.

I think Apple should put warnings on the box to save on all the worry, just until everyone running a windows machine moves over anyway.

“WARNING: This upgrade will work as expected”

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