Friday, February 20, 2009

My Mac Story – 003: Unboxing & Installing the System

As most or even all Apple products, the new MacBook comes in a fancy box, with all the stuff that belongs to it neatly and (truly) very well organized and stored inside. I was surprised to see that this is really the fact, it´s probably the first time I am able to repack a box with an electronic gadget to its original state without anything protruding and/or bulging out. Plus, this might be of interest to the more environmentally conscious ones among us, Apple claims considerable reduction of the size of the box for the new MacBook compared to the box of the previous version, and thereby reducing the amount of material used in its production, amount of waste for disposal, and by using mostly paper, also a much easier to dispose of packaging. Plus, greater capacity per pallet in transportation, i.e., lower fuel consumption, and much "greener" notebook. Well, I could not care less for any of this eco-stuff, but the box really is fancy and well though-out.

Contrary to all the advertisement saying that Mac is an out of the box experience and ready to use, I had to take a different path. Since I had the original hard drive replaced at the time of purchase, I ended with a clean disk inside the machine which naturally cancels any of the out of the box experience and one has to start from a scratch. Since the shop where I bought it would have had to charge me 79,- € extra for installing the operating system, I concluded that it is best to do it myself. The same money was requested for the Windows installation using Bootcamp in Mac OS X (more on that some other time).

Since after first starting the computer, it (naturally) did not find any system disk (or rather partition), I inserted the Mac OS X installation disk into the drive and restarted. The installation disk was recognized, and the first thing I was offered was some kind of partitioning tool. The tool was very simple to use (as long as one knows what a partition is, and what it is there for), and it was a simple matter of following the onscreen instructions and clicking the "next" and "yes" buttons to get the hard drive ready for the system. Contrary to my expectations, neither the machine not the tool put up any "resistance" and everything went fine and easy the very first time. I have some previous experience doing this in DOS and Windows, and have to say, wow, this was easy. By the way, unlike in DOS and Windows, I did not have to format the hard drive after creating the partition, and the process continued to installing the Mac OS X.

The installation was fairly fast and without any glitches. The longest task that had to be completed during the installation was the initial check of the media (the DVD) at the beginning of the process. There was a button allowing me to skip this check of the installation medium, however (coming from Windows) I decided to let the software do its "thing", and not to interfere with it. On the other hand, by being more "courageous" and clicking the skip button I would have saved some 45 minutes of my life. Besides that, everything went fine, easy, and surprisingly fast. There was the usual license agreement (or rather service level agreement, as Apple chose to call it), I was given the option to choose language which the OS should appear in (and if I am not mistaken, I can switch it anytime I need/want without reinstalling the OS), I chose the default keyboard layout, and probably some other small things one choses and does when installing a new operating system into a computer. To sum it up: the installation of the Mac OS X was uneventful, even boring, and that is a good thing.

After that I too was able to get the out of the box experience, just slightly delayed. Overall, I have to say that not having the system pre-installed and doing it myself was so little trouble it is not worth mentioning, and the considerably larger hard drive by far outweighs any of the (very mild and slight) effort I had to put into setting the computer up.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog constitutes in any form any advice, recommendation, guide and/or guidelines. If you use, imitate, implement and/or follow any of the actions described, you are and will be the only person responsible and/or liable. The author of this blog does not guarantee and/or recommend anything!