Hardware Upgrades

The old MacBook Pro was limping and wheezing. The trackpad wasn’t clicking reliably. A little rubber foot had ripped off the bottom. 

CA’s iPhone was essentially dead. The display was almost unusable.

One of the other nagging issues was that our old backup device was 500Gb — big enough for most purposes — but it was (a) 5 years old and (b) full. 

When your Apple Time Machine backup disk is full, that means that old, useless backups from 5 years ago are silently being discarded. No real problem, that.

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It also means that a backup will take more time because Time Machine software has to cleanup the space before actually doing the backup. The electricity required is a consideration, but it’s small, so it’s not a real problem problem. But it’s less than ideal.

The 5 years thing, however, is a bigger concern. It’s not a matter of “if it will fail” because all disk drives fail. It’s a question of “when will it fail?” and “what will we do to recover?” Since it’s backup media, recovery is simply a replacement. And a few hours of waiting for Time Machine to make the first baseline backup.

Backups on a boat are mission-critical. For Red Ranger, the computer’s essential. It’s our 3rd fallback navigation device after the Standard Horizon and the iPad.

So we took the train to Dadeland Mall to visit the Apple Store and solve some technology problems. 

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 2Gb drive was just what the doctor ordered. Rugged sounds good to us.

The best part? “Bus Powered:” backups are simplified to a 1-wire thing: plug the backup drive into the computer and ignore it for a while. That’s very cool.

The iPhone 5S replaced CA’s old dead phone. A recovery through the cloud is an all-day operation. It’s a long, slow download to restore all the various apps, pictures, music, and books. A recovery through iTunes on the computer would be MUCH faster. Except, I’m hogging the new computer to get it restored.

So far, the Apple Time Machine and Migration Assisant have worked wonderfully to get the new computer setup properly. It worked like this.

  1. I created an “Administrator” user just to get started on the new computer. I did this in the Apple Store to register the computer.
  2. Backup the old computer one last time with Time Machine.
  3. Run Migration Assistant on the new computer. Import all of the old users from the Time Machine backup of the old computer.

And that was almost it. The only glitch is GPSNavX: I have to get a new license key.

© Steven Lott 2020