Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mac PGP beta and Windows 7 Install Experience

I've been playing around with a beta version of PGP for the Mac ( and felt that I just had to try out the whole disk encryption feature. The last time I tried it, it rendered my SSD unusable and I didn't have time to mess around with it so I just stuck the OEM drive back in. Last month, I got the SSD running again by partitioning the drive and restoring from a Time Machine backup. Trying it out on the beta completely corrupted the 10.6.1 install on the drive and I ended up doing a restore again. This time the restore didn't work. After messing around and doing a secure wipe of the drive, recreating the two partitions, restoring from Time Machine again and I'm happy to report that it now works again. The SSD is definitely worth the hassle since my Mac boots literally in a matter of seconds. Once past the POST, it is ready to log in in under 10 seconds. After logging in, it is ready to work in maybe 5 more seconds.

Anyway, after messing around with my laptop for the day, it is once again useable. Time Machine is wonderful software and if you have a Mac, you should be using it for backup. I also finished installing Windows 7 on my rugged laptop yesterday and though the reviewers stated that it was faster than XP, my experience is different. Use interface is very Vista like (not necessarily good) and it is difficult to find things. Everything seems to move in slow motion. I still like OS X better as it comes with all of the unix tools I tend to use all the time. I always need to search out third party programs to get the same functionality in Windows and that part hasn't changed with 7. The installation was challenging as the install download came as an executable instead of an ISO. I had to look for other software to turn the directory structure created by the EXE into an ISO that I could burn to a DVD. After that, I did a custom install (i.e. clean install after deleting the XP install) and it went along just fine. No problem with the install or the activation though sound and wireless didn't work until after I ran Windows Update. Kind of odd that it recognized the hardware and downloaded the drivers from Microsoft but they weren't included on the DVD. Installed all the updates, installed the new Microsoft anti-virus Security Essentials. Office 2007, Google Chrome for a better Wave experience, Putty,VLC, and iTunes. Additional software that I still need is a TFTP server, a good VNC client and server and maybe the free version of PGP. I usually only need it on the Mac but it never hurts to have some sort of encryption functionality.

1 comment:

  1. Richard, I am impressed with your sucessful installs--and patience. Your descriptions are clear and sound doable for the rest of us...but I've had my own computer woes of recent and don't want to go there--as they say. I have a MacBook that also runs Windows. I'm finding I use the Windows features less and less. I recently bought a netbook that runs XP and now feel I have the best of both worlds. Hated Vista and haven't tried Windows 7. Don't think I will. Is it, I ask myself, too much to want a fluid, seemless system that smoothly runs both platforms--without having to be a computer tech? Oh well...