A Long Night’s Journey Into…

I have been reading a lot lately about upgrading my MacBook to the new  OS X Lion, which is supposed to be the next cutting-edge system that coordinates things seamlessly between a computer and all other devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.). Since I only have the computer, I’m not really too concerned regarding those “other” devices. However, if and when I do jump into the world that everyone else lives in, I should have things pretty much in place. It seems kind of embarrassing to admit that neither my wife, nor I, send text messages. We, for whatever reason, have never felt the true need to have that feature included in our phone service.  Call us “old fashioned” or whatever, but we’ve been happily living without texting and Smart Phones all along, and it’s kind of unique, I think, to be one of that last few folks on earth to survive without texting!

Anyway, I decided rather late last night to download the OS X Lion via the Apple App Store. No problem, since everything else on my late-2007 MacBook was capable of the upgrade. With a few clicks, the process began. Of course, there was no visible Progress Bar to show me if things were started and underway (actually there was one, but I couldn’t find it for quite some time), so I began to experience those same kinds of fears from my early days of trying to configure and install programs on a computer. Yipes! And they said this would be painless.

After several minutes of searching the page for any indication of a Progress Bar or Tab of some sort, I randomly clicked on a Tab labeled “Purchases.” Voila! The missing Progress Bar, indeed! But after close examination, I wasn’t too sure things were going as they were supposed to after all. The “Time Remaining” indicator showed between 6 and 7 hours! I immediately plunged into  Apple Support, hurriedly searching for forums, discussions, or anything that would help clarify if what I was doing was actually what I was supposed to be doing. I was able to find some answers, but nothing really specific.

And the night was now getting close to the “Witching Hour,” and all I had done was start a download that apparently was going to stretch into the wee hours. So, I thoughtfully went into the System Preferences and turned off my screen saver so the computer wouldn’t “sleep” over night, and the download could complete itself while I slept. It was well after midnight when I turned off the desk light and left my MacBook alone, hoping that when I awoke the next morning, Lion would be waiting for me to finish the installation. Sweet dreams!

Upon awaking at 6:30 a.m., I popped right up and came into the room and found the MacBook asleep and a message saying that the download could not be completed. Of course, knowing that I’d been charged for the upgrade, I had that certain feeling of futility when things seem way out of our hands. All I could do was get back to the App Store’s page and see what the status was. I found that it was basically just “paused,” so I clicked a “Resume” button, and the process began once more. Only 3 hours and some minutes still to go! And so the waiting game resumed as well, but at least I had the whole day to get it right.

Finally, just before noon, I had successfully installed OS X Lion, and was quite eager to test it out and see if the main things I use a computer for were functioning as they should (mail, Word, Safari, iTunes). I had to download the latest versions of Safari and iTunes,but all else was still there and working! Now, I’m anxious to learn more about this “cloud” business, a concept that is way over my head (pun unintended, but I’ll leave it here as it’s pretty good, I think!) and not having a Smart Phone or iPad or any other mobile device, I don’t really need to worry too much about it.

At least the journey, for now, is over. It was a much-longer one than expected, but the result is what really counts. Looking back, I should have followed the lesson I learned years ago when I was teaching computers to middle school kids: Don’t start something when you’re tired, frustrated, or not sure about things. At least don’t begin a heavy download late into the evening. That is pure insanity!

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