Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The upside and the downside of the Macbook rebuild

An unexpected benefit of the rebuild has been that my keyboard now seems to work properly.


Yup. Both the built in keyboard and (especially) the external USB apple keyboard repeatedly missed letters when I was typing. It still happens a little, but it had got to the point where I thought it would be necessary to replace it, and this certainly added to my frustration with the machine. It is nice to have that aspect working again.

However not *all* is rosy in the garden.

Firstly, just a minor issue, but iStat - the hardware monitoring software I used - no longer works. No idea why, but it simply cannot be enabled. The developer's website has no warning messages about incompatibility with snow leper, so it remains a mystery.

Now, much more serious, the wretched mini display port no longer works. This gave problems from the beginning, only really being fixed around April or May of that first year with a flashed firmware update, but even so, image quality was lacking compared to a Windows machine using the same monitor and it frequently crashed on startup. Now, after the update, it simply refuses to connect to an external display properly, repeatedly powering up and shutting off the adapter. When the adapter alone is plugged in the display switches to an extended desktop view, just as if there were another display connected. It also does not recognise the presence of the adapter, despite the display switching when asked to update it.

I did try the 'full-fat' update today. The Snow Leper disc version was 10.6.3, and to migrate to the current 10.6.4 I had to first download 876Mb followed by a further 270Mb directly afterward. I'd say that 10.6.4 has slowed the machine noticeably, but not intrusively - it's lost the snappy feel it first had but it's not enough to be a problem.

I've been out of the Windows loop for so long that I'm not sure how well 7 works, but I wonder if it really could be worse. Very tempted to downgrade to 10.5 and stick with it right now.

Ho and indeed hum.

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