Posts from January 2010.

Upgrading to Snow Leopard

Booting from External Hard Drives

I installed Snow Leopard on an external hard drive a few months ago to give it a once over.  My daughter then received a Macbook from Santa for Christmas and I got more exposure to the OS.  I felt it was time that I took the plunge and migrated all my data over to Snow Leopard.  I stopped using Tiger and started using Snow Leopard exclusively this past week.  I have a 750GB Seagate drive that currently has Snow Leopard on it.  Tiger is still installed on a mirrored RAID set composed of the internal 250GB drive and an external 250GB drive; so, if I needed to, I can roll back easily.

Migrating Data and Configurations

Most people will find that the Migration Assistant, found in the Utilities Folder (⌘-shift U shortcut in the finder application), will be able to handily migrate average user accounts and machine preferences from one disk to the other, or from an old computer to a newer one.  I first used this automated way to migrate the ‘other’ users of my system, my wife and children.  I chose to migrate my data manually because my home directory had 82GB of data in it.  60GB of which were in my iPhoto Library.

Program Migration

I had hundreds of programs installed in my Tiger OS that I just never used.  I’m going to install my programs on an As-Needed basis.  Currently, I have the software I use daily installed.  iLife ’09, Gimmer Proxy for Adblocking in Safari, CyberDuck, and a half dozen other programs I use regularly.  I think I’ve covered 80% of what I need currently.

Migrating iPhoto Data

Migrating iPhoto was the easiest task possible.  In your home directory /Users/YOURNAME there is a directory called Pictures.  Within the Pictures directory there is a special item called iPhoto Library.  It’s actually a directory that Apple has labeled as a package — you can right click on the item and “Show Package Contents” to navigate into it, but trust me, you don’t want to.  The only thing I had to do to move everything in iPhoto was to move this iPhoto Library file from one disk to the other.  Just place it in your /Users/YOURNAME/Pictures folder and you’re done.  Fire up iPhoto ’09 in Leopard and it automatically upgrades your iPhoto Library and you’re done.

iTunes

I have all my music on an external mirrored RAID set. I just needed to fire up iTunes, change the preferences to where my music library is, uncheck copy music to location, and in finger select all the subdirectories in the iTunes subdirectory and dump them into the Music Library area inside the iTunes program.  I lost all my ratings and such, but what are you going to do?

iMovie

I have all of my movies on an external mirrored RAID set also.  I only had to fire up iMovie and it found all my movies and optimized them automatically.

Mail Data Migration

So, this is a little embarrassing.  I have almost every email I’ve ever received going back about 15 years or more.  Again, a lot of data to move and the safest way to do that is to do it manually.  This was only slightly more difficult.  There was one folder, and one plist file to move into place.  The mail folder to move was /Users/YOURNAME/Library/Mail and the plist file was found at /Users/YOURNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist.  After those files are moved to the new system, you fire up mail, and if you’re moving from Tiger to Snow Leopard, it automatically upgrades your mail archive.  You will have to type in your passwords again, but all your other settings, filters, signatures, etc. are saved.

Printer Configurations

I’m no where close to the bleeding edge on this migration.  As a matter of fact, I’m well behind the pack for a good reason.  I wanted other schmucks to figure out the difficult tricks to getting the supported peripherals in Tiger to work in Snow Leopard.  I had a slight issue with my Samsung ML-1710 Laser printer as it was no longer supported in OS X 10.6.  Not a really big deal, right?  Apple said, “see the manufacturers site for the updated driver.”   So, I moseyed over to Samsung and started searching and didn’t find a thing.  There was a “Live Chat” option, so I asked.  Nope, not supported.  The help desk person would send it up the food chain, as a request, but I needed to print now!  The printer doesn’t even support PCL or PS.  So I couldn’t even use a generic PCL4, PCL5 or PS driver.  Crap.  That was that, right?  Well, I don’t give up that easily… ever.

I kept searching.  Looking for cheap wireless print servers.  Thinking about tiny linux machines that I could use as a NAS and Print Server.  And then I found it.  A site that had instructions how to install foomatic print drivers in Mac OS X 10.5.  I thought to myself, it’s worth a try.  So I downloaded the links on the page.  Sadly there were broken links.  But I didn’t give up.  I copied the links, removed the filenames, and searched the internet directory looking for similar files.  Luckily, there were updated files!  I downloaded all three files, installed them, and my printer, which was not supported by either Apple or Samsung is now working again.  I saved these files to my site here so you’ll never run into broken links!

internet link: gplgs-8.64so-ub.dmg local link:  gplgs-8.64so-ub.dmg
internet link: foomatic-rip-4.0.2.211.dmg local link: foomatic-rip-4.0.2.211.dmg
internet link: samsung-gdi-1.816.2.dmg local link: samsung-gdi-1.816.2.dmg

I installed the above files in order.  First the GPL Ghost Script package, then the Foomatic package, then the Samsung drivers.  Afterwards, I opened System Preferences, clicked on Print & Fax, unlocked my preference panel, pressed the little + button in the middle on the left, and added my printer.  The driver automatically selected and came up as Samsung ML-1710 Foomatic/gdi.

Scanner Configuration

I know I’m going to have the same problem with my scanner, a Canon Canoscan LiDE 30.  It’s a great little scanner that I picked up years ago for $30.  I don’t want to upgrade it.  it does everything I want it to and it does it fast enough for me.  I’ve found a program that solves all my scanner problems, VueScan.  I just downloaded the demo and tested it out.  It supports my scanner without the need of installing drivers in Snow Leopard.  Can you ask for more?  And at $40 for the program, it’ll save me at least $30 and 2 lbs. of land-fill-guilt from my alternative of junking this scanner and buying another one.

Mission Completed

Upgrade completed.  I now have Snow Leopard installed on an external drive.  Now, I have to break my mirrored RAID set and reformat my internal hard drive (keeping the external hard drive intact with all it’s data for backup for right now).  This will allow me to image my current external drive to my internal drive moving my Snow Leopard disk into my iMac and finishing off the process completely.

This is the scary part.  I think I’ll sit on Snow Leopard for a week or so before proceeding, just to be safe.

Crash Test Dummy

Crash Test Dummy

I must recant.  In my previous post I stated, “No injuries.  I don’t even think you could fake one either.  My airbag didn’t even deploy.” Wow!  Was I incorrect in that assessment.

After the accident I felt fine.  100%.    Nothing wrong at all.  At least that’s what I thought.  I must have been so hyped on a natural high, adrenalized as it were, that I didn’t realize exactly what happened to me.

So it went like this.  BOOM!  My car is knocked SIDEWAYS.  My head snaps to my right shoulder.  My hands leave the steering wheel and slide right, hitting the windshield wipers.  I see black for about a second or so — I’m not comfortable saying I “blacked out” since I was aware that I lost my vision.  My car turned itself off, I drive a manual, and I’m sure my foot had to hit the brake, which will stall out the engine.  I got my bearings, which was another second or two.  Jumped out, and made sure everyone was OK.

The rest of the story is in my previous post.  Long wait, police officer, shouting, tickets, drugs, chest X-ray, home…

I played around on the Net that night.  Doing some Facebook stuff.  Making the last blog entry here.  I commented on Facebook, “4:30 a.m. and counting. I’m starting to feel physically ill.” I went to bed.  I had a horrible night.  Didn’t sleep much.  Was really uncomfortable, cold sweats, unsettled stomach, and at about 7:30 a.m. I sprang from bed to vomit uncontrollably for several minutes.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

I tried to sleep again afterwards.  I couldn’t get comfortable and I kept getting nauseous.  Then I correlated head movement to throwing up.  Move my head, puke my guts out.  Move my head, puke my guts out.  Now that I thought about it, my neck was really sore.  Put some ice on it.  A few phone calls to my Dr. and I made the decision to go to Urgent Care.  I should say I made the decision to go to Urgent Care too late.  At this point it felt like I had seriously injured my neck.  The pain was so intense, I would have sworn I had just fractured a vertebrae.  I couldn’t sit up.  I rolled a T-shirt under my neck for support, put my feet up on the wall, and had my wife dial 911.  I needed a ride to the ER.

The first responders were awesome.  Funny bunch of guys.  Good guys.  I apologized.  I really thought this was a bit much for what happened, but I really couldn’t sit up.  They stabilized my neck after I insisted that it was the worst of my trouble.  They were pretty convinced I just had a really bad flu.

The ambulance ride was rough.  Upon arriving in the ER I filled a bed pan for them — so I didn’t feel that much like a faker.  I was very dehydrated, in an increasing amount of pain, suffering from vertigo, nausea and really feeling downright shitty.  I told the Dr. about everything, my bronchitis, the tiny fender bender I had yesterday, and he said, “It’s not the drugs you started taking last night.  It’s the accident that did this.  We need to make sure you didn’t really twist and hurt your neck.”  So, I got a CAT scan and an X-ray of my neck, all negative, and the Dr. concluded that it was muscle spasms and soft tissue injuries.  Some Demerol, Torodol and some anti-nausea medicine made me feel much better, really quickly.  I like how fast intravenous medications can affect you.

Several prescriptions later and I was discharged.  I was in complete disbelief that such a small fender bender could twist someone up so badly.  If the Dr. had called me a sissy and told me I was faking, I would have believed him.  I don’t know why I was so afraid of being called a faker… but I was.  It was nice to have someone believe, even when I didn’t, and offer relief.

A few days later, I was chatting with the insurance adjuster, and she commented that the Crash Test Dummy’s you see on TV are only going 35 miles per hour when they crash.

So, I was wrong.  I hope everyone else in that other car didn’t feel as bad as I did a day after the accident.  No matter how rude or obnoxious the other driver was, no one deserves to have pain like that.

And did I mention, her Insurance is picking up everything?  Rental car too while my car is in the shop.  So, I don’t even have to pay a deductible.  It’s officially her fault.  They’ll pick up the Doctor bills and probably give me $20 to boot for pain and suffering.

Still, it wasn’t worth it.