Life: It Just Gets Better and Better….

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 5:02 pm

Until you just wish you could strangle on your own tongue. Or at least sit around doing nothing but smoking opium and playing video games.

I have said, often and publicly, that the Macintosh is not the greatest computer of all time; merely the easy equal of its biggest competitor and by far the best choice for the neophyte computer user. I say this now because I don’t want some wag giving me a hard time when I subsequently announce that, at approximately three o’clock yesterday afternoon, the most recent update to the Mac OS X operating system nommed down on my hard drive and shook it like a terrier with a tube sock.

After the update finished installing and my system rebooted, the problems began cascading down upon me. My .Trashes files disappeared, so I could no longer drag files to the Trash; I lost the ability to repair permissions on the system volume, whether live from the drive, from the OS X install CD, or from another Mac via FireWire Target Disk Mode; and I lost the ability to apply further software updates. Any attempt to do so resulted in an error: “The installer could not install some files in ‘/’. Contact the software manager for assistance.” Hours of testing with diagnostic programs yielded no improvements, hours of scouring the Web yielded few answers. There seem to be a few people out there who are experiencing the same problem, but none of us seem to know what to about it, at least not yet. I have no doubt that some genius with a mind like a steel trap and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the underpinnings of BSD and OS X will come up with a solution….but I’m hedging my bets. I just bunged a new 500-gig hard drive into my Mac and am busily slurping everything off of my old system volume.

One of the many wonderful things about the Mac OS is the Migration Assistant. If you have any kind of backup of your drive (and if you don’t, no offense or nothing, but you’re an idiot. Either that, or you really don’t think the information on your computer is worth the two hundred bucks it would take for get an external hard drive and some sort of backup software), you can use Migration Assistant to pull all of your files—not just settings and data, but user accounts, applications, the works—from your backup into a fresh copy of the operating system. This is a huge improvement over Windows’ “Files and Settings Transfer Wizard”, which can only copy data and settings files; you have to reinstall all of your programs one by one, unless you have a complete clone of your Windows hard drive available to restore to a new drive. With Migration Assistant, you can restore your computer from the old system drive, from a backup, from a disk image….you can even import all the information from a completely different kind of Mac; the Migration Assistant will pull over the compatible stuff and ignore the data that’s machine-specific (specialized drivers or system files, for instance). I’ve really found no better system out there for restoring a computer to the full bloom of health—or, barring that, turning a new computer into a faithful reproduction of the old one.

I’m irrationally exuberantly optimistic that I can get my G5 back up to full fighting trim by the end of this evening (this evening technically ending at 11:59:59pm). If not, you might be reading about it here. Also, cock your ear out the window: you may just hear the strings of profanity emanating from the direction of Normandy Park.

3 Responses to “Life: It Just Gets Better and Better….”

  1. Steve Says:

    If you cock *your* ear out the window Andrew, you’ll hear the sound of a dedicated Microsoft user smirking. 🙂

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Smirk all you like; but if you tell me that Windows has never blown up as badly or worse on you, I’ll call you a lying scumbag right to your packet header. 😛

  3. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Oh, and I’m posting this from my freshly-healed computer: the migration went just dandy and I closed up shop around 11. Great excuse to upgrade my system volume to 500 gigs.

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