Mac OS X forum: Adventures of a MacBook upgrade to Mountain Lion

by: cdisxm January 19, 2013 3:18 PM PST

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Adventures of a MacBook upgrade to Mountain Lion

by cdisxm - 1/19/13 3:18 PM

Firstly, I am completely new to Apple, but I am a networking engineer with some 30 years experience. Still I had to be humble. A kind person gave me a MacBook (late 2008) aluminum unibody). It looks new and has done no work, and yet I know very little about Mac except how to network them like any other device.

So I decided to post to ask some wiser heads what I can do to with this Macbook 5.1 Core 2 Duo 2 Ghz, 2GB with Leopard.

Here is the post to Cnet forum without much response.

Well I wanted to go to Snow Leopard and add some memory. I was warned on the Apple board it would just scrape in for SL and no chance with Lion or Mountain Lion unless I want to drive with the brakes on waiting forever to load applications.

Still, I knew RAM speeds everything up ahead and ordered 2 x 4GB for under $50 after reading the Mac will recognize 8GB and not 4GB as published. Next I bought SL online for $20. It actually worked faster than Leopard and was breeze to upgrade.

Next I went to my local Apple store and they told me I needed another Mac, an i5 Retina. They said it would not even run properly because of the sloooowwww processor even with 8GB. I smiled and thanked them for the sales advice.

Next I checked the boards and sure enough the purists said it can't be done. Too big an OS. Conflicts with Office, etc etc.

Well it looked like I had to be content with Snow Leopard and 8GB, but still wanting to see if we can really let this cat loose, I called Apple. The tech searched the spec and said without hesitation, go to Mountain Lion, no problem. <div>
So another $20 later and a 4 hours download I wake up to an installer of Mountain Lion sitting on the dock.

I read about backing up the OS installer to a spare external drive with a neat little free tool Lion Disk Maker 2.0.2 and in a few minutes I had a bootable drive of the OS. It works for both Lion and ML. <div>
Also got to find out about Time Machine, so that was another spare SATA external lying around.

So for $90 I have a 2008 Mac that flies along. I cannot understand what these buffs are doing with ML, maybe they are calculating Kolmogorov equations of nuclear fusion or something, but I am just using the apps included with ML, which are awesome, and Office 2008 which came with it from new.

For a guy who knows nothing about Mac I sure learned a lot very fast. Don't get taken in by all the store salesmen's hype. Mountain Lion is a very fast OS. The applications are running faster on ML than Snow Leopard with the 8GB, but that's not a scientific measurement.

My advice is don't dump those older Macs just yet. Check your options. For my purposes this aging MacBook is a worthy addition that will last for some years to come.

Hopefully my little adventure helps someone.

Cheers!

<div>PS: I really do like the fact that the OS has been 64-bit for years based on BSD which I cut my teeth on in the 80s, so I guess I am now an Apple convert.

</div></div></div>

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