Friday, August 28, 2009

Snow Leopard - Best Upgrade 2009, by far!

As software upgrades go, Apple usually has some pretty good ones.  But I just got through running my iMac 2.0 GHz (2 GB RAM, 1 TB HD) through some tests and so far, so good.  The system seems to be a bit peppier and I am getting used to the very subtle visual enhancements to the system.  Most of my daily apps are working (Adium, Safari, iTunes, Mail, CORD) fine with no issues. 

I called in advance to my local Apple retailer and inquired if they would indeed have the software in the A.M. (10 AM to be exact) or if they expected delivery that day at some point.  I was overjoyed to hear that they would indeed have the software in store at 10 AM when the security gate rolled up.

Well, I did not disappoint them and was there promptly at 9:58 AM and was the 2nd of about 12 geeks that filed into the Apple Store to purchase our software gold from that lucky Apple Store Representative.  Anyway, I purchased the 49.99 Family Pack (good for 5 upgrades) and a single 29.99 pack for a friend at work (Hi Gayle) and raced up Highway 17 to my job in Scotts Valley where I plunked myself down, popped in my new Snow Leopard graced DVD into my new 13" MacBook Pro laptop and sped my way towards 64 bit nirvana.

1 1/2 hours later (and two reboots), the system returned with all my current apps and preferences and desktop settings intact.  All was good in Smallville. 

One gotcha, which got me was that part of the upgrade was the removal of the Mac Server 10.5 tools - apple doesn't see fit to 'check' if you have the 10.5 and simply install the 10.6 - why they hell would they do that?  So I had to go splunk the Apple Download site to find the 10.6 utilities and install, but I could not find them anywhere - they simply were not there.  So for the time being, I would have to use Remote Desktop to administer my server(s). 

But by Midnight when I checked again, the tools where there and I downloaded them and installed and I seem to be right where I was yesterday - with a happy, stable, robust Mac. 

Today... is going to be a good day.  When I uncover more items in S.L. 10.6, I will blog about them.


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Monday, August 24, 2009

Massive Dissapointment in Vista R2 (aka Windows 7)

So, I just finished installing the RTM (release to manufacturer) candidate of Windows 7.0 and I have to say... I am burning my ISO for Windows Media Center 2005 and prepping to return to XP.

Let's be real - Microsoft just cannot seem to get it right in my book.  It took me 2 hours to start the installation because the DVD was not being read on boot up?  In fact, it would get to the INSTALL WINDOWS button and it would go through loading some drivers and then it would complain that it could not find the DVD and I needed to load the driver.  TOO FRIGGIN' CRYPTIC, Microsoft!  How about the old error of "cannot load dll e:\windows\inf\driver\etc.etc.etc" instead of "Cannot load DVD drive, please put in driver diskette".  I had to Google that a few times and peruse some sites to find the answer - what was the answer?  Put the DVD in my 2nd drive and re-start - it worked that time (might be an indication of a failing primary DVD drive on my computer... but I am not thinking that is correct.

There are some cool things with Windows 7 and some things that are really bad.  The new themes and restyled aero interface are alright. But I found that I could no longer get into the CLASSIC control panel without some tweaks (no longer a link that said SWITCH TO CLASSIC MODE).  I also found the underpinnings for Vista to be more of a hindrance to the OS than a benefit - it still felt like VISTA - no doubt.

In several days, Mac OS X 10.6 comes out... and the thing I like about Apple Macintosh computers?  They just work.  It really is that simple - they just work!  I know for a fact that all my drivers that I have been using for my applications and my printers and peripherals will be working in Mac OS 10.6.  But I guess that is what you get when you monopolize the hardware for the software.  But we are not ranting against Apple, today.  It is Vista 7, or Vista R2 or Windows 7 - whatever the hell you want to call it.

I liked 95 - it was huge jump from Windows 3.1.  The next jump to 98 was more of an incremental.  It was the push to Windows 2000 became a huge jump again.  The XP stuff was a further refinement of 2000 with some additional functionality.  XP has just been solid - that is what you get with a baked operating system.  Good Stability. 

I don't know what the future holds for Apple and Snow Leopard, but 10 ways to 1, I am betting that Snow Leopard will further solidify Apple's stranglehold on Microsoft and lay further inroads into the Enterprise; while Vista R2 (aka Windows 7) will just create more and more angry converts.

So sad...

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