Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

OS X Leopard: First Impressions and Installation Solutions


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I picked up my copy of Leopard on Friday evening and dove into an upgrade on my Mac Pro on Saturday. Things didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped. I fell prey to two issues that long time users of OS X are most susceptible to.

  1. My current account started out on OS X 10.1, and has been migrated from a G4, to a G5, to my Mac Pro. Accounts that are this old need to have their authentication credentials reset, or they don't work. [Solution]
  2. For some reason I had Application Enhancer installed on my machine, which caused the Leopard Blue Screen of Death/Love.[Solution]

The other issue I ran into was a strange one. I use Terminal.app everyday, for hours and hours. I've tried IDE's but just can't get comfortable in them. My development environment is a bunch of shells, screen, vim, and Maven. In the past I have navigated between the Terminal windows using the Cmd-[1-9] key combination. This is a very efficient and quick means of switching between windows. On first boot it was broken on my desktop for Cmd-[1-4]. Needless to say I was quite demoralized. This morning it's working. I'm not sure why, but I'll take it.

My main reason for doing this upgrade was Time Machine. I have pieced together ad hoc backup solutions for my machine over the years with mixed results. Time Machine just seems like a great solution. It seems to work nicely, but only will only backup my internal disk. That's a bit of a disappointment. I have a growing collection of external drives with photos and music on them that I would love to have Time Machine manage.

Another nice bonus is that Leopard comes with a reasonable release of Ruby on Rails. Now if Apple would just finish Java 6 I'd really be happy. I hold out hope that Apple will release Java 6 soon either as an independent package, or with a point release of Leopard.

One simple but nice improvement to the Dock was made. When placed on the right side in the past it has overlapped the named of my files. Now, Leopard neatly slides the desktop icons over far enough to make room for the Dock. It is far easier to find my files now.

Overall, Leopard seems like a reasonable upgrade. Time Machine will at least back up my internal drive, which is very helpful. If it will back up multiple internal drive then I'll just add more capacity to the Time Machine drive and move my data to internal drives.

Very Cool!

I will try this when I get home and report back on its success. I'll probably need a much larger external drive now.

Take a look at the Drobo.

Take a look at the Drobo. It's RAID for consumers on steroids. You can just keep growing your storage as you need it. Take out the smallest disk in the RAID and put in a new big disk and it reallocates everything.

This gets you around the classic issue of standard RAID where the smallest drive in the array dictates the size of the array.

Ordered my Drobo

Well, after haranguing, thinking about, mulling over other options, etc. I finally pulled the trigger and order a Drobo, along with two 500GB drives to start myself out with. I'll probably add two more 1GB drives over time as prices on them come down. Getting to see your Drobo in action finally pushed me over the edge.

I look forward to have a complete online backup solution running. The next step will be protecting myself from loss of my environment.