Out with the Old: Get Ready for the New
When I was a teenager, I had a series of cheap, used cars. The criteria for changing those that lasted was either that the ashtrays were full or the tyres needed changing.
I do not drive much these days, but similar rules apply with my Macs. Not that I smoke nowadays. I have had my current MacBook Pro for almost three years and it has run almost faultlessly through three different versions of OS X. I have not powered the Mac down in all that time, apart from when updating software and changing the battery, with only two forced shutdowns. In short: a reliable machine.
That has changed recently and the "ashtray principle" applies: my hard disk is reaching capacity. Time for a change; but this time may be the wrong time. I write this just before what is likely to be a week of announcements from Apple and it may be that, as well as a new product, there will be updates to other hardware as well as software. By the time you read this, we will know; but I cannot wait. My hard disk is bursting at the seams.
With worn tyres, I might have had problems with grip, now I have problems with spinning cursors, serious time delays as data is accessed, the occasional seizure and -- serious this -- the first kernel panic for a long time. My MacBook Pro is running out of breath and needs a rest. I will pass it on to a friend, as I did my early G3 iMac which is still running.
The Old and the New
Most will start up fairly easily, but some are resource-greedy. The Open Source NeoOffice always has a delayed opening, so this is better kept open. Aperture 2 has also slowed, especially since Snow Leopard was installed and this takes a while to start up as it, like iPhoto, reads all the library data. Another with a large library of data is iTunes. I am keeping my fingers crossed that a 64-bit Aperture 3 was one of the announcements last week. It is also probable that iTunes is due for an update.
Shutting down, means all of these have to be closed one by one and this can be slow as each packs away its data, putting it into the right places: any type of forced shutdown will circumvent this normal process and may cause troubles later.
Right now, it is time for another symbolic emptying of ashtrays.
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