Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Successful Leap for Leopard

I upgraded my MacBook to Leopard a while ago but I waited to upgrade my main MacMini.

With Leopard updates for my main apps (Parallels and Lightroom) I decided it was time to take the plunge. The upgrade went smoothly, although it seemed pretty slow - several hours. I'm not sure why it takes that long.

As a safety precaution I used SuperDuper to backup each machine before upgrading.

So far I haven't had any major problems. The first time I started Parallels I got the following error:

I found a blog post which said the MacFUSE included in Parallels is old and suggested installing the latest MacFuse. This seemed to do the trick, but:
  • the error message seems backwards - the operating system was new, MacFUSE was old
  • why didn't the Parallels update for Leopard include the required new version of MacFUSE?
  • why did I have to get the solution from some user instead of from Parallels? even if the user community discovered the solution, wouldn't it make sense for Parallels to post it? (in fairness, maybe they have, but I didn't find it if they did)
Note: This problem doesn't stop Parallels from starting, it just stops it from mounting the Windows C drive in OS X

Now that Spotlight with Leopard lets you run the top application match by hitting enter, I was able to uninstall Google Desktop. (Nothing against Google Desktop, I just prefer to keep things simple if I can) (see my previous post)

Leopard also seems to have solved the issue of automatically mounting network drives. (see my previous post) so I was able to remove the login script I had created to do this, which was nice because it took a long time (why?) and slowed down logging in.

I do have a new complaint about OS X. The Finder doesn't have an option to show hidden files. I can understand hiding them by default, so does Windows. But at least Windows gives you a way to show them. This came up when I went to copy the .svn folder from a backup. It is possible to change Finder via a command line, but on top of not being user friendly, this also requires restarting Finder. This seems like an obvious weak point. Is there someone in Apple who refuses to recognize that you might occasionally want to see these files?

I'm still having problems with accessing my 4gb USB thumb drive from Parallels. At first I blamed this on the U3 software that came installed on it, but I removed this and reformatted and I'm still having problems. It works fine on my Windows machine at work. My current guess is that Parallels doesn't quite handle 4gb USB drives. The strange part is that it works fine, but after a short time it will hang during copying from it, and Windows Explorer can no longer access it. My 1gb USB thumb drive continues to work fine.

Ok, back to Ubuntu on Parallels. I copied the virtual machine that I had created on my MacBook over to my MacMini and started it up. No display problem, but the same problem with the Parallels Tool cd image showing garbled file names. Strangely I can't find anybody else with this particular problem. While flailing a bit more I rebooted the VM and lo and behold the Parallels Tools cd image had the right file names. I installed them and restarted X windows. It appears to work! One of the most noticeable features is being able to move the mouse seamlessly between OS X and the VM. I followed the same process on the MacBook and it also worked (although I could have sworn I tried rebooting before). So I appear to be back in business with Ubuntu (albeit starting from scratch with a new VM).

All in all, a successful day!

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