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Anatomy of a crash (2) 4 Apr 2012

Posted by Tony Law in ITasITis, Managing IT, Technorati.
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So … New iMac with OSX Lion, installed and working. I’m taking the time to reinstal stuff as needed, and keeping a system audit as I go.

In no particular order, here are a few significant issues.

Problem: new machine has Firewire 800 port not Firewire 400. Need to connect to backup disk to restore stuff. Old firewire cable incorrect; then discovered there’s more than one FW 800 connector and I bought wrong cable online. Go into Brighton Apple Store and get correct cable. Send old one back.

Problem: when opening a document with any software (Word, Excel, Preview, anything …) multiple “old” documents open with it. Problem: Lion has  new “feature” which, when an application is opened, “restores” old windows. Aggravating. Cure: in system settings, turn the feature off.

Problem: Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate), which is crucial for my Open University work, isn’t fully compatible with Lion. Application sharing causes Elluminate to crash, which my students didn’t appreciate. Temporary fix: present sessions from my laptop, which is still on Snow Leopard. Cure: wait for the vendor to fix this; it’s a known problem.

Problem (this one was anticipated): installing Windows under Boot Camp causes a licence problem. Through my old machine I have a licence for XP and it would be legitimate to transfer this to the new machine. However, Apple tell me XP won’t instal on Bootcamp under Lion so I bought a Windows 7 upgrade pack. As I expected, activation doesn’t recognise either the old XP code or the new Win7 code. This is despite Microsoft’s advice that upgrading from XP needs to be a clean instal. Asked Microsoft for help; so far, they’ve referred me to a US West Coast call centre though, to be fair, it does come on stream at 5a.m. their time (so 4pm here, as they haven’t gone to Summer Time yet). Ongoing.

Something I expected to experience as a problem that isn’t: I decided to bite the bullet, abandon the old Entourage Microsoft mail client and upgrade to the Office 2011 version now called Outlook. I’ve stayed on Entourage 2004, primarily because of a useful feature. If I drag a mailbox to the desktop, it saves an archive copy. When I’m going to an event, I use this to transfer the relevant email threads to my laptop in case of questions. Entourage 2008 didn’t have it. But hey presto, Outlook 2011 has brought it back. And I like the new client. Unexpected benefit.

I did look at Apple’s migration assistant. But it’s not sufficiently granular for the selective migration actions I want to take. So some things like Calendar and Address Book get manually migrated. Address Book is easy; just move the folder, and get used to the new Apple interface which actually, once adjusted, is ok. Calendars get migrated one calendar group at a time; this requires some careful adjustment of preferences (“Put imported events into …”) but I only have a handful of calendar groups so it’s not a big deal. Here, though, not so sure about the new interface. The list of calendar groups is a drop-down, not a permanent panel, and on the new panel I can’t pre-select a calendar group to create a new item. Not so friendly.

More to come, no doubt; but the main things are migrated now. Most software I’m looking for new versions as I go; things like Graphic Converter, Audacity, Audio Hijack, and so on. VisualWorks, my Smalltalk application development platform, will probably be a challenge if there’s a new version out. We’ll see.

Links? well you can probably work them out.

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