Saturday, 23 June 2012


I finished my finals and my papers last week, including a mammoth sit-in to finish my final paper. I'm 95% proud of one, 90% proud of the next, and 75-80% proud of my all-nighter paper -- I'd done the reading and planning beforehand, but then typing it ended up being more time consuming than I'd expected.

Partly because, over the last two months, my computer had been slowly getting slower and slower, until by the time of my all-nighter paper blusterschlutz, it was running somewhere around 20% of its normal speed, and I had to switch between the internetz, where I was searching places like the CIA factbook, the OECD library, KOCIS and NationMaster, for comparative statistics on Korea's performance in various metrics like educational achievement and Gender Inequality Measure (I can't accurately remember what it's called right now -- the old one, the "gender empowerment measure" was easier to remember). I can't be arsed to look it up right now either, because flipping around on an ipad is a little more of a pain than flipping around on a laptop. Funny thing about them is that Korea went from 68th in the world on the Gender Empowerment Measure (which had more emphasis on women reaching elite positions like CEO-type and government representative type roles), Korea took a leap to 15th in the Gender Inequality Thingy, which has more emphasis on access to education and adequate health care. I'm not sure how reproductive freedom measures in, given that it just became possible to get morning-after pills without a prescription in Korea...but at the cost of birth control pills being prescription now... which would be OK, maybe, if we didn't still hear stories about doctors lecturing women on the choices they make with their bodies...

So while a Facebook friend kindly offered to help me out with my computer's failure to restart after I reformatted it (Thanks, David. I appreciate your offer, and I'll buy you a beer sometime even though I didn't take you up on it), I brought it into the authorized service people at Yongsan Electronics Market, because I'm hoping they can see to it that the little bastard is running at 1000% speed again by the time I get it back, and that's a little more touchy than the boot record thingy. And if you need service done on your maccy stuff, the authorized service people are not in the main iPark building, but the older market area behind it, where you can find a cinema that ALWAYS has tickets available, and better prices on electronics than anywhere else in Seoul. If memory serves, the Macbook Air there was around 200 000 won cheaper than it was at the Frisbee store in Myeongdong... but memory might not serve. I might be comparing the slow model and the fast model or something, so don't quote me on that, and then get back to me with angry butthurt "you led me on a bum steer" type comments. But I WILL be buying my next mac product at the Daihwan Computer Shop in the Yongsan market, next door to Twosome Place in the Jeonja Land building.

Anyway, Mac also has a new macbook pro coming out with a fancy high-definition screen, but after carrying a 15 inch macbook pro around in my backpack for a whole semester, I'm leaning toward an air (I played around with one at the store, and I think I have a technology crush) for my out-and-aboutsies, and a desktoppy thing (maybe a mini-mac) for home and video editing and that kind of business.

Blogging with an i-pad and a (nifty) wireless keyboard is a bit of a hassle compared to laptoppy work, so expect mostly bits and pieces until it's easier for me to cut and paste things, and embed things, and return to the full glory of blogoseyo... I owe some people an apology and a retraction for the "Gendered Spaces" post, in which I stepped in it, big time... and that deserves a proper write up. Once I have MacBookOseyo back.

but I'm back, in a sense... and I'm glad to be.



Roboseyo said...

No prob. For future reference, it may be a good idea to make a bootable USB stick with the OS and basic diagnostic software on it in case the HD crashes. That way, you can get the computer started and run diagnostics on the HD for recovery. I'm not sure if it's possible to do so easy on a mac, but on a windows machine, I can set the BIOS to boot off a USB first, before it looks to the HD to boot. You can also do it with a bootable CD or DVD, but every time the software updates, you have to make a new disk, whereas on a USB, you just copy the new software on to it.

Roboseyo said...

Mac ...eww.
Question #1: How much member do you have installed in it (RAM).
Question #2: When switching between tasks, did you notice the HDD light blinking / staying on full time?

What you've described sounds a lot like disk thrashing which happens once memory is full and your system is paging data in and out of the swap (partition / slice / file depending on OS).

Depending on model and how asinine Apple was when they designed it, you might get away with an extremely cheap ($50 USD) memory upgrade.  If all your doing is office automation / blogging / browsing then there is no need for anything remotely related to new technology.

Roboseyo said...

I was at the Apple Store in Ala Moana Shopping Center to get my hands on the rMBP (retina MacBook Pro) and it's actually pretty light. With the slimmer body, it's about the weight of my 13" MBP now. 

I had hoped for a retina MacBook Air, but I can no longer afford to wait for that to come out. I'm going to take advantage of my student status and save $200 on the rMBP as soon as I fish my money out of the bank in Korea. 

Roboseyo said...

come on, Chris. Tell us what you REALLY think about Apple.

it wasn't disk thrashing: my hard drive was only about 70-75% full... but the guy at the shop said my logic board and hard drive both had problems, and they're being replaced.

I have a memory card at home to add RAM once it comes home again. THat's not too hard on a macbook pro, but hella hard on a macbook air.

Roboseyo said...

yeah. heard the retina pro is pretty cool. also the cost of a whole semester of classes, thought. I'd rather get an e-paper monitor than a retina screen anyway.

Roboseyo said...

You pay me the $2199 for the base model plus Hawaii state tax (4.5%?) and I'll bring you one when I head for Korea tomorrow.

Roboseyo said...

 HDD thrashing has nothing to do with the remaining space.  It's when your memory is full or near full and the OS has to swap data to and from the pageing space on the HDD.  As the HDD is extremely slow when compared to memory this delay cause's the entire system to stutter and act sluggish.  It's a fairly common issue on older systems over time.

As for my dislike of Mac's in general, their really pretty and nice as fashion accessories.  From an engineering point of view their inefficient.  To get the "it just works" feel Apple had to do some bad juju in the OS.  That's a different discussion for a different day.

Roboseyo said...

I've also embarked on the whole ipad-keyboard adventure. However, I think it will be merely for rough work. I have a five year old fujitsu with loose keys and a minimum six minute warm-up time that has yet to let me down, despite my best efforts. Did I mention I need a dolly to carry it around?