Pete Davison: Farewell for Now, Mac

Posted on July 16, 2011 by

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Soooo… I may have killed my Mac. To be fair, it asked for it. It had been grinding to a halt to the degree of unusability to some weeks, necessitating a restart approximately every half an hour. And yes, I’d done all the usual repairing permissions and letting it to its overnight UNIX cleanup routines to no avail.

So today I decided that enough was enough and I was going to reinstall the bastard. This would have been a straightforward process were it not for the fact that my DVD drive had failed a month or two back, getting firstly to the stage where the only means of getting a disc out of the slot was to use gravity, and finally to the point where if a disc went in, it sure as hell wasn’t coming out again. I nearly lost my Deathsmiles soundtrack CD to that — fortunately, the nice people at the Apple Store helped me retrieve it.

This is the third major fault my iMac’s had in the space of about four years. My hard drive failed once, my graphics card failed once, and now my DVD drive along with whatever was causing it to be incredibly slow.

Have you ever attempted to reinstall a DVD-based operating system onto a computer with no optical drive? I don’t recommend it, because it, well, doesn’t work. I tried every possible approach to it — I tried Apple’s own Remote Install software which it turns out only works on certain models of Mac, mine not being one of them, apparently. I tried cloning the OSX install DVD on to a USB flash drive, but that also didn’t work, failing at the verification stage and thereby failing to create a bootable flash drive. I tried installing with my iMac in target disk mode, and that went well for a while until the Mac that was running the installer decided that in order to finish the installation it needed to restart, failing to take into account the fact that it wasn’t actually installing OSX onto itself. Then I tried installing with the other Mac in target disk mode in order to use it as an external DVD drive. This worked for a little while, too, until the dummy Mac decided that it didn’t feel like doing work any more and ejected the DVD in the middle of the install process, causing the whole thing to fail. (You’d think there’d be some sort of failsafe in there for if something like that happened, really. But no.)

So I’m now left with an iMac that won’t boot that I can’t install OSX onto without lugging it to my nearest Apple Store (12 miles away) and forking over at least £100 then waiting however long it takes them to replace the SuperDrive.

Looks like I’m going to be a Windows user for a while — I have my gaming PC and my netbook for now, so they’re going to have to do. This is also the reason for the recent lack of comics, incidentally — the software was just so excruciatingly slow on the Mac that I really couldn’t be arsed to faff around with it.

Oh well. If I’ve learned one thing from this whole experience it’s that everything I learned during training for my job at the Apple Store (Macs don’t break! Macs don’t slow down like PCs do! Even if there is a problem, it can be resolved easily! I like to touch Steve Jobs on his gnarled old willy! Forget that last one.) was, in fact, as I suspected slightly at the time, complete and utter bollocks.

I’m not too pissed though — as I say, I’ve still got two other computers that I can use for now, and if and when I do get the SuperDrive fixed the Mac, when it’s working, does make for an excellent workhorse. Another example of Apple’s advertising being bollocks, though — remember the “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” adverts that implied Macs were more fun while PCs did all the boring office shit? Yeah, I totally do all my work on Mac then play on the PC. Nice one.

Ah well. Have a rest, Mac. Lord knows you’ve earned it. I’ll help you get better soon.

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Posted in: Pete Davison