Machacks: of Snow Leopard frustration

Snow Leopard – more like LOLcat

It’s been a frustrating week as I have struggled with random freezes, about 2-4 a day, of my new Snow Leopard install. Has anyone else experienced this? I’m going to try a fix I’ve found that appears to have worked for some people. It’s a serious problem and the sooner Apple patches it, the happier I and others affected by it will be.

These hiccups have put me on somewhat of a personal vendetta against Snow Leopard, even though I probably appreciate and admire its features and coding philosophy more than most. It’s a revolutionary OS, but it’s still got some serious issues. For example, it can’t format new hard drives. That’s right – I got a new hard drive and it could NOT format it. Windows 7, running through *Parallels*, was necessary.

One major issue I have with Snow Leopard is Apple’s decision to change how it accounts for disk space on your hard drive. Computers measure hard disks on a base-2 numeric system. One kilobyte is 1024 bytes, one megabyte is 1024 kilobytes, and so on. So a gigabyte is not really 1 billion bytes, it is 1,073,741,824 bytes. At a certain point, hard disk manufacturers realized that if they switched to a base-10 system, they could call something that used to be 465-GB a 500-GB hard drive. This led to a bit of confusion when people actually plugged in the hard drive and looked at the space on it, but we dealt with it.

Apple knows this process is not going to change, so it has given into the hard drive manufacturers. A reasonable move, you say – and it is, kind of. But it’s like deciding that you alone are going to switch to the metric system, and by virtue of that change the rest of the world will follow. Websites, FTP servers, Windows, Linux, and every app on OS X counts the other way, and it’s provoking a whole lot of confusion. PLUS, OS X is not consistent; I have 4 gigabytes of RAM, which in Snow Leopard’s accounting should be 4.29-GB. It was one thing when hard drives had less space than they claimed to; now, we have a mixed system for describing how big files are. Improvement? Setting the stage for the future? If so, then they are more visionary than I…

In a post about this change, I found this hilarious comment:

This is OS 10.6, LOLCat edition. The reason they converted to base 10, is because the LOLCat is in ur puter, noming your bits. So by changing from base 2 to base 12 for calculation they have ensured that your computer will continue to store as much data as before since the LOLCat only noms bits at a slow and steady pace.
And, if you run low you can just re-install the OS, which restores the bits nommed by the LOLCat, which in turn starts the cycle all over again.
Windows has had this feature for years, only instead of a cute LOLCat nomming your bits, it’s Windows eating itself over time.

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