AMITIAE - Saturday 13 December 2014
Back to the iMac with a Time Machine Backup - A Quart in a Pint Pot
By Graham K. Rogers
Separately, the components worked fairly well, but when I tried to run with my usual workflow of text, photographs and screenshots, then incorporating them as web-ready content, I had to admit some shortcomings: as much in myself as anything else.
I brought the iMac home and installed the most recent Time Machine backup from the MacBook Pro. I was aware that putting software and content from a 2013 computer, running with a relatively fast processor and 16 GB RAM, onto an iMac some 6 years older with 2 GB RAM would have shortcomings. The British expression, "putting a quart into a pint pot" springs to mind.
That the iMac is still running (and still looks good), is testament to its initial construction. In the years since I bought it, a hard disk died, but I was able to recover the data and the disk was easily replaced.
Although it was an installation from a Time Machine backup, these are never total clones and certain things need to be reset. I have used Time Machine for this purpose several times and there are always minor points: a digital crossing of Ts and dotting of Is.
While the Wi-Fi was recognised with no intervention from me, I had to re-pair the trackpad. Logging into my user account (all accounts had been correctly recreated), I was asked to enter details for my iCloud account. I was also asked for the nth time to agree to the four different licences: something that always annoys me.
Most users in this country are native speakers of Thai. I set my computers up with the Thai location, but English language. Of the licences - OS X Software, Privacy, iCloud Terms & Conditions, and Game Center Terms & Conditions - only the first is in English. The others are in Thai.
This is inconvenient and language alternatives for a country should be provided: after all, not all Thais have the sophistication needed to read the OS X Software agreement; and I certainly do not have the Thai competence to read the others. Users must agree to something they may not understand or the computer cannot be used: at least not until the most pedantic could access a version online. I was asked to confirm passwords for FaceTime and iCloud as well as linking the Time Machine backup to the iMac from now on. When the MacBook Pro returns, I will reverse the process.
Oh, but the speed. It is like wading through molasses; like trying to swim against a strong tide; eating a dozen hard-boiled eggs. I was also reminded of when I had been a young policeman in Britain and the teletype system used to send reports from outlying stations to headquarters: the character typed, would not appear on the paper until the following character was entered, so for some of us the entire message was entered in a state of confusion.
I expected applications like Aperture to be slow with the amount of data they carry; but even a lightweight text editor would crawl, depending on what processes were also being carried out in the background. The trackpad and Dock were less responsive than the task switcher (Command + Tab), and any action which might have been almost instant on the MacBook Pro, needed patience.
As the iPhone stays on, such late night logins are expected, but a map showed locations of Chonburi and Bangkok. Another showed a Windows computer in China. I thought it prudent to change the password, but avoided the links within the email, in case these were phishing attempts.
I opened a fresh browser page and logged in, then changed the password in the Accounts section. Of course I then had the runaround of putting the new password on all the devices I use, but I may well be safe now.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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