Coffeehouse Thread

16 posts

So I installed Lion…

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  • User profile image
    Ray7

    … and that was the easiest OS installation I have ever seen. I thought the download only thing was a bad idea (actually, it is a bad idea) but if you have the bandwidth there's no real reason to wait for the thumb drive. I hit the 'purchase' button on the app store and then went to see Transformers3. To be honest, it would have had a more entertaining two+ hours watching Lion download but it was sequel number 2 so what was I expecting?

    It was ready when I got back, so I made the recovery disk and carried on with the install. About half an hour later, with no input from me, it was ready to go.

    Well, it's worth the £20 for the upgrade, but I'm not really convinced by the reverse-scrolling, and launchpad makes absolutely no sense at all on a desktop machine. It's kind of odd watching Apple make the same mistakes that Microsoft has been making all these years, only in reverse: MS thinks that a desktop can be squeezed into a phone; Apple believes that a mobile UI can be stretched to the desktop. I don't think either of them are right.

    And speaking of 'stretching', Apple has finally allowed windows to be resized from any side. 

    The question of recovery is one that has had the community more than a little nervous. Without a disk (yes, you can create one, but Apple doesn't like to talk about it) how are you supposed to get your system back if the worst happens. Well, it seems that OSX now has a recovery partition from which it can reinstall itself. Great, as long as the hard disk doesn't fail (probably less likely now that Apple is getting rid of hard disks across its line). You can also restore from a Time Machine backup, assuming that your Time Capsule device hasn't failed too (more likely because these things seem to fail after about eighteen months).

    The new Macbook Air and Mac Mini have another clever trick: they can reinstall OSX from Apple's servers onto a blank hard drive. Impressive, and it shows that Apple means to do away with disk-based media (the new Mac mini doesn't even have an DVD drive!). 

    In Jobs's mind, everything should be downloaded. Great, but not everyone has unlimited broadband usage, or lives next to an Apple store.

     

  • User profile image
    brich

    ,Ray7 wrote

    … and that was the easiest OS installation I have ever seen. I thought the download only thing was a bad idea (actually, itis a bad idea) but if you have the bandwidth there's no real reason to wait for the thumb drive. I hit the 'purchase' button on the app store and then went to see Transformers3. To be honest, it would have had a more entertaining two+ hours watching Lion download but it was sequel number 2 so what was I expecting?

    It was ready when I got back, so I made the recovery disk and carried on with the install. About half an hour later, with no input from me, it was ready to go.

    Well, it's worth the £20 for the upgrade, but I'm not really convinced by the reverse-scrolling, and launchpad makes absolutely no sense at all on a desktop machine. It's kind of odd watching Apple make the same mistakes that Microsoft has been making all these years, only in reverse: MS thinks that a desktop can be squeezed into a phone; Apple believes that a mobile UI can be stretched to the desktop. I don't think either of them are right.

    And speaking of 'stretching', Apple has finally allowed windows to be resized from any side. 

    The question of recovery is one that has had the community more than a little nervous. Without a disk (yes, you can create one, but Apple doesn't like to talk about it) how are you supposed to get your system back if the worst happens. Well, it seems that OSX now has a recovery partition from which it can reinstall itself. Great, as long as the hard disk doesn't fail (probably less likely now that Apple is getting rid of hard disks across its line). You can also restore from a Time Machine backup, assuming that your Time Capsule device hasn't failed too (more likely because these things seem to fail after about eighteen months).

    The new Macbook Air and Mac Mini have another clever trick: they can reinstall OSX from Apple's servers onto a blank hard drive. Impressive, and it shows that Apple means to do away with disk-based media (the new Mac mini doesn't even have an DVD drive!). 

    In Jobs's mind, everything should be downloaded. Great, but not everyone has unlimited broadband usage, or lives next to an Apple store.

     

     

    I have never relied on Time Machine. However, a bootable backup clone to external FW 800 using SuperDuper has been a totally dependable protection against hard drive failure, and this remains a fine alternative for Lion.

  • User profile image
    Dovella
  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    ,Ray7 wrote

    ...Great, as long as the hard disk doesn't fail (probably less likely now that Apple is getting rid of hard disks across its line)... 

    I've noticed a marked increase in failures since moving to SSDs...

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    ,PerfectPhase wrote

    *snip*

    I've noticed a marked increase in failures since moving to SSDs...

    Are MLC drives more prone to failure compared to SLC?

  • User profile image
    cbae

    ,W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    Are MLC drives more prone to failure compared to SLC?

    I don't know, but it's not something I want to hear after I just switched to an SSD from a perfectly fine WD Scorpio Black HDD on my primary development machine.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    ,cbae wrote

    *snip*

    I don't know, but it's not something I want to hear after I just switched to an SSD from a perfectly fine WD Scorpio Black HDD on my primary development machine.

    Can it be said a RAID of platter drives will offer a lower price (per gigabyte), better performance, and reliability/resiliency compared to standalone SSDs?

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @W3bbo: Not better performance. The current top-of-the-line consumer SSDs can max out SATA 3Gbps.

     

    But I have heard of SSDs failing sooner than HDDs, and of course HDDs are about 10% of the cost.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    I agree with pretty much everything she said. The most annoying thing is that they've washed the whole UI out to a dull grey so you can't tell if a button is enabled or disabled. I'm wondering anyone actually looked at this thing before letting it out through the cat flap.

     

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    ,PerfectPhase wrote

    *snip*

    I've noticed a marked increase in failures since moving to SSDs...

    Oh crap. Really?

    Perplexed

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    ,brich wrote

    *snip*

     

    I have never relied on Time Machine. However, a bootable backup clone to external FW 800 using SuperDuper has been a totally dependable protection against hard drive failure, and this remains a fine alternative for Lion.

    Yep, use SuperDuper myself. Glad to see it still works perfectly under Lion.

  • User profile image
    devSpeed

    Coding horror (Jeff Atwood) says this about ssd drives.

    "Solid state hard drives are so freaking amazing performance wise, and the experience you will have with them is so transformative, that I don't even care if they fail every 12 months on average! "

    The difference in an SSD failure and and hard drive failure is this.  When a hard drive starts failing you can recover most of the data. With a SSD it is a sudden and total failure.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    @devSpeed:

    "The difference in an SSD failure and and hard drive failure is this.  When a hard drive starts failing you can recover most of the data. With a SSD it is a sudden and total failure."

    ALL hardware can fail suddenly and catastrophically.

    I’ve lost count of the number of server drives I’ve seen go legs-up without any warning at all, and not be repairable. Fortunately, with servers and RAID, it's a plug&play solution... but I've also had notebooks/desktops suddenly refuse to boot and not be able to access the drive using recovery tools... in fact we had a period where we almost came to expect it on batch purchase.

    However, perhaps more important than failure is damage (and/or theft).

    We had an idiot here at work "damage" the drive in their notebook recently. Working out on the office balcony, he stepped up to the railing with notebook in hand, looking over the edge, and then was caught by surprise when someone stepped up from behind, and dropped the notebook over the edge. Not surprisingly, it didn’t survive the 12 floor decent to the pavement.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    ,elmer wrote

    @devSpeed:

    "The difference in an SSD failure and and hard drive failure is this.  When a hard drive starts failing you can recover most of the data. With a SSD it is a sudden and total failure."

    ALL hardware can fail suddenly and catastrophically.

    I’ve lost count of the number of server drives I’ve seen go legs-up without any warning at all, and not be repairable. Fortunately, with servers and RAID, it's a plug&play solution... but I've also had notebooks/desktops suddenly refuse to boot and not be able to access the drive using recovery tools... in fact we had a period where we almost came to expect it on batch purchase.

    To be fair, when a platter drive fails (even catastrophically) you can always take the physical platters out and put them in another drive and hope for the best (if a drive-head crashes, you can still attempt to recover the other platters).

    Whereas with SSDs it isn't as easy to recover data off the soldered IC packages; and if the controller goes that stores the block allocation data then you're really screwed.

    I wonder how long before manufacturers introduce SSDs that let you have built-in hardware RAID1 or RAID5 by trading capacity for resiliency (but still no luck if the controller dies).

  • User profile image
    elmer

    @W3bbo:Yes, typically, the failure of a "platter" drive tends to leave more options for recovery,  but my point was simply that all hardware can break, and all failures can be unrecoverable.

    A "platter" drive can fail and be pretty much unrecoverable... dead motor, dead actuator, seized/failed spindle bearings, fire/water damage... I've even seen one where the head fell of the end of the arm... don't ask me how that happened.

    Short of sending the drive to an expensive specialist service, to disassemble and perform some black-magic miracle salvage, it's pretty much game-over for any number of situations.

    All of which simply means that you need a reliable and easy-to-use drive recovery process that doesn't rely on the drive itself.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    ,elmer wrote

    We had an idiot here at work "damage" the drive in their notebook recently. Working out on the office balcony, he stepped up to the railing with notebook in hand, looking over the edge, and then was caught by surprise when someone stepped up from behind, and dropped the notebook over the edge. Not surprisingly, it didn’t survive the 12 floor decent to the pavement.

    My fear of heights is kicking in just from reading this. Perplexed

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