Tag Archives: Apple

Upgrading from OS X 10.5 after it’s Too Late


We have needed to upgrade the two Macs in our house (our 2008-ish aluminum iMac and Beth’s 13″ white MacBook) to the current OS X for a long time.  Weeks ago I discovered it was too late to upgrade online – upgrading to 10.8 is done through the Mac App Store, which isn’t available in 10.5.  Also, finding an incremental upgrade to a version that includes the Mac App Store is impossible.

In Atlanta last weekend I decided to stop at the Apple Store to inquire about upgrading with a disc rather than finding more ways online.  Even the Apple Store couldn’t help, as they didn’t have discs anymore – especially with the age of our OS (we’re now three releases behind).  The associate told us that the only way to upgrade from 10.5 now is to call Apple.  Wow.  When you’re behind, you really are behind.

So that’s what we did.  Last night Beth wanted to put a ringtone on her iPhone (with iOS6) from iTunes, and couldn’t.  Apparently our phones were too advanced for our computers.  That was the last straw – it was time to pull the trigger.  She called the Apple Store at 1-800-MY-APPLE (1-800-692-7753) and spoke to someone who somehow understood exactly what we needed.  We bought a family pack of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) for about $30, and after upgrading to that we can upgrade to 10.8 (Mountain Lion) from the Mac App Store.  How convenient.

We’ll have to pay for both upgrades, but a total of $60 to upgrade two computers two times is still far less expensive than upgrading a single Windows machine from Windows Vista to Windows 7.

HP vs. Apple

I had mentioned to my wife a while back that I hadn’t been shopping for a new computer since I got my Mac.  I was right.  I blew up my MacBook several months ago and I haven’t stopped searching for a new PC since.  I have been through a used notebook and am currently using two desktops, but I still want a new computer.

I just priced out HP’s Envy series notebook with 6GB RAM, Core i7, 500GB HDD, and 3-year accidental coverage.  Plus a few other things (like a wireless mouse): $2588.76.  For a laptop.  I might as well buy a MacBook Pro if I’m going to drop that much cash.

So I popped open a new tab and had a  15″ MacBook Pro configured in 60 seconds, with as close to the same hardware specs as the HP: 4GB RAM, HD-capable screen, 500GB drive, 3-year AppleCare plan. No Apple Remote (they’re not included these days): $2648.00.  For a laptop.

They’re both built much the same (single-piece metal base), but now I can’t decide.  I don’t have the money anyway, but it would be a hard decision with that much money.  For what I do, I would probably be better off with the PC, but I know the MacBook would still be around in five years.

Given that, I already have a 20″ iMac, so if I really need the Mac, I have one. I don’t already have a mobile workstation, so the PC would probably win.  I know, I know… I can Boot Camp the Mac or virtualize Windows if I need it in the field, but why?  If I’m going to need Windows in the field, why don’t I just take Windows to the field?

I will say that Apple is not overpriced – they just don’t sell cheap crap like Acer and eMachines.  Apple just doesn’t appeal to the masses, and they know their niche and fill that role very well.  I just found it interesting to see that an HP premium notebook and the MacBook Pro match up pretty well.  So for everyone that says “Macs are for rich, spoiled kids,” think about it when you walk out of Best Buy with that flimsy plastic shit you paid $499 for.


It Was Over a Long Time Ago

I forgot to tell you that my Windows 7 Beta box crashed over a month ago. It wasn’t Windows 7, though – the hard drive was one that I’d bought back in ’01. Maybe before that. The old Seagate 40GB EIDE just couldn’t hang any longer.

I have tried to restore the machine to a new drive via a backup from the Windows Home Server, but the backups weren’t available for some reason. I have not had the time or inclination to try again, and I simply don’t want a computer in my bedroom any longer. I enjoyed the time I spent with Windows 7, and it looks to be a good change for Microsoft.

In contrast, I thought of something the other day: I have been scouting computers for years, even though I have so many. Since I got this MacBook a year ago, I can’t remember the last time I tried to plan out buying another computer. It just doesn’t happen anymore. I believe that deep down inside, I am content with my current computer. The only things I research anymore are servers. I want to build a distributed system for cluster computing. I haven’t shopped for a Windows Laptop (or any laptop, for that matter) for a long time, and I believe my next trip to get another computer will be a short one. The MacBook Pro will do.

Really Beta.

I got an e-mail from Apple yesterday about joining the new iPhone/iPod developers’ forum, now in beta. As an iPhone developer, I have access.

The system runs on Apple servers, running Java, serving JSPs. I had an error setting up my account this morning, and it looks like the whole thing broke. Maybe they should set up a forum to discuss forum issues.

Another Idea Down the Drain

Well, there you have it – right there in the agreement for the iPhone developer program: You can’t drive a cruise missile via an iPhone application. There goes my fancy new government contract. From the agreement itself:

Applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes.

Doesn’t that suck? Just what exactly are we to do with our iPhones* if we can’t blow something up?

*I don’t own an iPhone and plan to only if I develop something really cool that needs testing.

Changed My Mind About iPod Touch

I saw an ad on Gmail from Amazon, pushing the iPod Touch at a discount. 9% off the 32GB, bringing it down to $460 or so. I wanted to look at it again, so I went to the Apple store and watched the videos. Some of the features are great, but they’re just not worth $460. For instance, any PDA these days can play music and videos, and most of them in that price range are equipped with Bluetooth. The iPhone with a contract has Internet access everywhere. Not so with the iPod.

No Bluetooth, WiFi only, no GPS (seriously, how hard would that be?), no replaceable battery, and it’s $500. It just doesn’t make sense. I’m going to wait for a multi-touch enabled Open Handset sporting Android. From the emulator that comes with the SDK, I expect to have everything that could possibly be crammed into a handheld device at my disposal. Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, GPS, accelerometer, multi-touch, and possibly a keyboard. All on an open platform for which the API is very open. Sure, I won’t have 32GB of storage, but I will be able to use any wireless carrier, use Bluetooth headphones, and write an application that does whatever I want it to, without anyone stopping me.

The iPhone Didn’t Do It for Me

I’m surprised at Apple. Usually when something really groundbreaking comes out, the price of the item I’ve had my eye on drops into my range. In my case, it’s been the 32GB iPod Touch for several months. I was glad to hear about the iPhone 3G, and even happier that the price of that was $199.* Almost two weeks later, the 32GB iPod is still $499. Why?
Is it that the price of the new iPhone is so low that Apple can’t reduce the price of the iPod? Are there so many people dropping $500 bills on the biggest Touch that they don’t worry about lowering that number?

Or is it just that the iPhone 3G is not that groundbreaking? I have a few reasons that might be the case:

  1. Hundreds of thousands of people already have the pokey iPhone, and it’s good enough for e-mail, so why change?
  2. Solutions were built to make the first iPhone work for their business, so there really is no need to update to a new device that supports MS Exchange natively. It would make the recent infrastructure change a big waste of money.
  3. They are late adopters, and only six months into the first two-year contract on the old iPhone. They simply can’t afford to upgrade to a new device.
  4. It wasn’t impressive enough the first time to waste money on it again.
  5. We’re all waiting for Android on Open Handsets.

In any case, I’m still not buying the Touch until the price goes down. It will only take time, or the release of a 64GB or 128GB Touch. Fine with me. As soon as it hits $300 for the 32GB, I’m in. But I’m definitely not buying an iPhone.

*Price is $199 with a 2-year contract with AT&T wireless, the very worst wireless carrier in terms of customer service. Good luck if you think the $199 tag is worth it.