Note: Non-Apple people are encouraged to skip this one as it will make little difference to your life.

I spent a few days this week upgrading the operating systems on the MacBook Air to OSX Yosemite (OSX 10.10) and my iPad and iPhone to iOS 8.1. The entire process has been easier than anticipated. I did essentially a clean install on the phone, which almost tripled my free space. I did nothing fancy on the iPad, but the upgrade went smoothly. When I got to the MacBook I was contemplating a clean install (“Nuke and Pave” per Katie Floyd of the Mac Power Users podcast) but decided to just load Yosemite over the top of Mavericks. However I’m considering a re-install with a wiped drive. I think I have the guts to do it. I’ll need several hours to get it done but I expect the result to be more drive space and a sense of satisfaction for having successfully accomplished something that’s a little outside my comfort zone.

OSX Yosemite

Generally I’m OK with the new Operating System. I haven’t found anything to squawk about so far. The concerns I had about iCloud Drive have been resolved, most by waiting for App upgrades from developers. I’m reading John Siracusa’s analysis of Yosemite and it’s guiding me through attributes I might not have noticed or been confused by.

Some things have been moved from their traditional locations. Example: Accessing Disk Utility was formerly done by clicking the so-named button on the Storage tab in About this Mac. It doesn’t exist in Yosemite. But after a few minutes of, “Oh, man… What am I going to do now?” I figured out I could look for Disk Utility in Alfred. No problem, and using Alfred is faster than drilling down through the  menu.

My old eyes have to strain a bit to see many of the interface items, so I’ve taken advantage of system settings that increase contrast and decrease transparency. Much of the hyperbole has centered on how wonderful Yosemite looks on a retina display — which I don’t own. It looks fine on my old 20" monitor.

Ever since its Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June, Apple has indicated that the new toys in Yosemite/iOS 8 would play well on a mid–2011 MacBook Air (MBA). Now that I’ve installed the new OSs their tune has changed. My MBA will not run the Continuity stuff, which was mostly the reason I’ve spent the last several days updating Operating Systems.

Underpowered Air

When I bought my MacBook Air I was really impressed. It’s extremely portable and it had enough processor and RAM to do what I wanted; then I took up photography. It wasn’t long before I ran out of drive space. If that wasn’t bad enough, the image software I use taxes both the dual-core processor and the 4GB of RAM.


In order to have enough computing power to work the way I want I’ll need a new computer, which I’m perfectly happy doing — a non-retina 27" iMac with 16GB of memory, and a 1 Terabyte fusion drive, if you please. An iMac would resolve my capacity and performance issues.

Unfortunately Jen would throw large objects at me if I came home with the machine of my dreams.

The Check Up

Yesterday I had my annual “check up” with my endocrinologist/family physician (imagine a kindly Irishman in his mid–60s with a shock of white hair). Prior to our meeting I’d received the results from my “labs” which is common parlance for: I went to the hospital, they withdrew blood from my arm, then sent it where people in lab coats centrifuged, and did god only knows what else, to my bodily fluid. The result was an alpha-numeric report that only the initiated understand.

Normally my results show slightly elevated cholesterol, which is controlled with a small daily dose of a statin, and a dysfunctional thyroid whose functions are simulated by another daily drug. This time the results appeared, to my uninitiated eye, to be significantly outside the norms. I thought I was going to die in the not too distant future, and I didn’t know why.

My lack of initiation into the sisterhood of medical expertise flat out scared the crap out of me. It turns out there are only minor changes to my “conditions.” If I die sooner than later it won’t be because of anything in the blood test results. That’s good news for me and those who enjoy my company. Fools. I need to increase my exercise level and daily water intake, and decrease the amount of sugar I consume. Water will replace the Coca Cola at lunch, and the half Hershey Bar I normally have after dinner will disappear.

Life really is a bitch.

I applaud the technology that makes it possible to view results within a few hours of blood being drawn. The lesson I’ve learned is I don’t understand the code used by medical professionals and therefore have no business trying to interpret them.