New tech, new woes

Jul 25 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

This is a rant.

We had money left in our budget at the end of the financial year so it was a great chance for us to upgrade our computers. I ordered a new Macbook Pro running OS 10.7.4 and left for my vacation (hence radio silence here recently).

I got back from vacation last week and walked into a the maelstrom that had to be waiting for my return. You can't be the boss and be away for two+ weeks without a world of shit and a million tiny things happening in your absence. So, my new MBP sat in the corner of my office and I had to ignore it while I caught up on business, and budgets, and rogue staff, and Ramadan, and so forth. I did, however, take the opportunity to make sure all my current computer files were nice and clean and organised, and backed-up properly to my external hard drive...ready for the exciting moment when I would find time to play with my new computer.

That day was Friday 20th July!

Today is the 25th and the motherfucker is still giving the fucking gyp.

1. My perfectly functional 27" external monitor wont work on the new MPB because it seems not to like the perfectly functional DVI-mini-port adapter that I had been using. So...2 days of testing, tweaking, plugging, unplugging, calling Helpdesk and having the "Mac Guy" come to my office twice, and now a new adapter ordered.

2. Adobe hate me. This is obvious. I "had" the full CS4 suite - Photoshop, Illustrator, Dream Weaver and Acrobat Pro (v9) on my old computer and it seemed the easiest thing in the world to deactivate on that and simply install and reactivate the licences on the new MBP. Except that the new MBP doesn't have a fucking optical drive. So, 3 hours on the interchat with a variety of mouthbreathing reps at Adobe to find out that I can't transfer the licence even via software download because the new MBP run on Flash and Adobe hates Flash. Or something. By this point we'd switched to the telephone and when he finally confessed that nothing we tried would have worked anyway I utterly lost my shit and hung up on him. So I'm stuck with fucking Adobe Reader and trusting MS Word not to remove the "Save as PDF" function. Here's hoping I don't need to, oh, I don't know, WRITE A FUCKING GRANT or BUILD A WEBPAGE sometime soon.

3. New MBP comes with hard disk encryption. This is awesome! This is a security requirement for our work and saves a bunch of headaches and stress about some impending federal rules coming down the pipeline. Now we're compliant, yay! Except...I seem to be stuck with a double encryption that means I can't back my fucking hard drive up anymore. OS 10.7.4 can't seem to decrypt the file encryption that the "old" Mac had employed (so called Legacy FileVault). So because I moved all my files over without decrypting them first, if I want to use the new hard disk encryption I will have double decrypted files. Which is slow as fuck. And also means that the Time Machine back-up has thrown some kind of epic brainfart and I don't seem to have  A FUCKING BACKUP OF ALL MY FILES....except for the perfectly functional, really still useful "old" Mac sitting right next to me on my desk.

To fix all this shite and get a simple, back-up and encrypted set of files and drives I am going to have to delete my user account on the new MBP, re-furb the fucking thing back to zero and then buy a new external drive and try all over again  because this Olympic fuck-knuckle of encrypto-fail has borked my external drive so I can't use it on my "old" Mac. So there's another $200 gone.

But, I hear you cry, why not just back up to a remote disk somewhere and use that? Because the new fucking Macbook doesn't have an Ethernet port so I'm using our wireless service which is just feeble enough in my office to make anything over about 20Mb download a massive fail-prone pain in my fucking arse.

I should have spent the $2000 on the fucking ponies and gone to Vegas instead.

This is the end of the rant.

10 responses so far

  • Genomic Repairman says:

    Que dolor! This makes me worry now, as we are about to start going through the implementation of file encryption.

  • Comrade PhysioProf says:

    But I thought Macs "just work"? Funny how I've never ever had any problems like this upgrading year after year after year from Windows 98 to Windows NT to Windows 2000 to Windows XP to Windows 7 machines, transferring all my shit every time.

  • brooksphd says:

    GR - encryption per se isn't the issue. It's stupid compatibility failures because nothing gets tested right before release. Also, if you're on a Windows system then encryption modules are built in. It's Mac lagging behind on this.

    Proffe - Damn straight. The Cult of Mac hard at work with the propaganda. As far as I'm concerned a PC is a PC is a PC. I don't give a damn. Moving from Windows to Mac a few years ago was a huge PitA, and this upgrade has been anything but smooth.

    • Genomic Repairman says:

      If it makes you feel any better, in a few months, my institution will be ready to roll out and deploy CS4 to us and don't even get me started on what version of EndNote we are on.

  • Has apple has grown in size and moved its focus to the iphone/ipad/itouch they're computers have suffered. They are going towards light & fast and away from the dependable workhorses they used to be. Not sure if I would buy a Mac again.

    • brooksphd says:

      I think going in cold a new Mac is worth the investment. But, as NPR faithfully parroted, Apple have moved their focus to the iPhone cashcow, and I wonder if their other services are suffering...

      FWIW, your comment showed up in Gmail as coming from ScientistMoth. I think that's so awesome. I wish I had thought of ScientistMoth.

  • arrzey says:

    I don't biomed scientists who do computer intensive work who use Macs - for this kind of reason. Even back in the day, stats programs and the like were much stronger on PC machines, let alone linux.

    • brooksphd says:

      Huh, it was always the opposite from my perspective. Macs gave better processing and coding stability. I dunno about XRC or NMR crunching power... I never worked with big data when I was a LabRat. We used Windows because the rigs and amps ran on Windows. That was all it was about. My physics mates did everything on Sun/Unix and LOLd at us.

      But I think nowadays, living in the future as we do, it's moot. Processing power has risen to the extent that any PC works. If not, then you're already crunching on a Linux or Windows cluster or virtual system anyway. That ain't Apple terratory.

      Or you run everything through a virtual system like ours and you're system agnostic on the front end 😉

  • GI says:

    ponies baby!!! ponies