Monday, March 5, 2012

Interesting OS X Installer Fumble

Over the weekend I stumbled upon an interesting issue. While attempting to reinstall OS X on my MacBook Pro, the installer constantly threw an error at the last possible moment in the process. After much consideration I decided to attempt something a little strange. I removed on stick of memory and the installation process worked flawlessly.
After a bit more experimenting, it appears that if a Mac has more than 4GB RAM installed, the OS X installer seems to have issues and will error out. My speculation is that the installer (or a sub-process) is a 32-bit application that cannot correctly use any RAM above the 4GB limit.
Without a doubt, as we go forward, Apple is sure to address this situation and we will not have to work around the 4GB limit. But, in the meantime, if anyone out there finds it impossible to get through the OS X installation process and the media seems okay, I would suggest removing RAM down to the 4GB barrier and try again. If your experience is anything like mine, the installation process will work without issue.
After the operating system was installed, I put the remainder of the memory back into the computer (in my case bringing the machine back up to 8GB RAM) and everything works perfectly.

UPDATE: In July 2014, I had the opportunity to install a new hard drive in this very same computer and install the newest OS X 10.9 operating system. The installer issue has been fixed and the OS installs flawlessly without removing memory from the machine.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Habits... Good or Bad?

According to some sources, a habit is something that a person used to think about doing, but now they do without thinking about it. Habits can include anything from when a person clears their throat compulsively, to checking to see if their phone is in their pocket, to checking and rechecking the front door to make sure it is locked, to biting their finger, or worse yet, their toe nails. But are habits to be considered a good thing or a bad thing?
My thought process, recently, has been that students can benefit from good habits; the habits of coming to class early, reading their books, and handing in their assignments on-time, come to mind. In my search for some answers in how I can help students learn good habits, I have decided to read the book The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. Check it out here: