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Thread: Computer advice needed please

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Computer advice needed please

    Seems that I need help every so many months and this is one more instance.
    My Macbook Air need the Catilan update - 8.13G. I have tried to download this update 3+ times, advised that it would take 4 hours each time and today got the time remaining down to 56 minutes. Each time, the download quits and I am advised that the session has timed out.
    I monitored the computer today with great care, moving the mouse every 10 minutes after clearing all other programs from the desktop and it still timed out.
    What else can I possibly do?
    My service might be slow. How do I determine the speed of the connection? How long should 8.13G take with a normal internet service?
    TIA
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #2
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Those are hard questions to answer because of all the variables between Apple's servers and your computer.
    You can test your download/upload speeds by visiting one of the many speed test sites, I'd try www.speedtest.net to start.

    The speed you'll experience during your Apple download will depend upon your internet speed (as noted by the speedtest.net site) and the sheer volume of downloads your Apple download site is servicing at the same time as you.

    Eight gigs is a big download, sometimes you just gotta let it time out and start it again until it's completed the mission.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Thanks, Alan. This time the download is very different though. It times out but does not pick up where it left off as other downloads have done. It starts from the very beginning each and every time!!!!

    You have helped me understand that the sheer volume that Apple is dealing with due to the big download may impact my experience. I think that I will take a break for a while and come back to it later in a week or two. I am going to speak to my tech at my local provider and see if he has any suggestions of doing it differently elsewhere.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Do you have a friend with an Apple? Could they download it for you, or burn it onto a DVD? In days past, due to their internet connection, my father would go to get a Windows update, and there was an option to order it on DVD. This also helped if you had to rebuild it.
    I would think maybe an Apple store might offer something like that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I did think of that, TMS, but i don't have an Apple computer access that I am aware of immediately coming to mind.

    But, I spoke to my local internet provider tech support and he invited me to bring my computer in and they will do the download for free and call me when it is done. He also advised that they do tech service for Apple products which I didn't know. I have dealt with them for a number of years including my digital phone service so should have thought of asking them first.

    Every question brings more awareness of what I need to know so thanks for your help.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    razz, do you really need to update to Catalina? This is a big update, largely because Catalina no longer supports any 32-bit application code. Not to mansplain, but to others who may be wondering, it means that older versions of applications or specialty applications (particularly apps used with external hardware) or applications from one-man(woman) development companies may not run on Catalina until (or unless) that code is updated.

    I'm seeing reports that products like printers and scanners are being disabled by the update and that specific categories of software (for example, music-composition software and DJ controller apps) are broken. If you do not absolutely need some functionality provided by Catalina, I would wait a bit. In some cases, no code update is planned, which will force you to decide on upgrading to Catalina (for now) or moving to other software/hardware. At least verify which apps you're using still have 32-bit code and/or check the developer's Web site to find out if the version you're using (or one to which you can upgrade) is compatible with Catalina. I recommend an app called Go64 (donationware) to see what won't work for you in Catalina.

    And, by then, Apple's software servers may be less inundated by downloaders so that your download can finish. If you are downloading through the App Store, you may have better luck downloading the OS from elsewhere on Apple's site. This frequently is the case with dot-revisions, which also can run into many MB in size.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  7. #7
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Good questions, Steve. I was waiting for a while to see if any quirks had arisen on this OS upgrade. I did see the switch from 32-64 bit being a concern in the reviews. Quite honestly, I don't know what would be impacted. I use the Mac programs routinely and export the results to other formats.

    My printer is an HP and new so I hope that it will be compatible.

    I was especially concerned that by not downloading, I was losing the protection of updates to Catalina but which are not applied to the old OS.

    I try to stay up-to-date but things are changing. I had to laugh when I was muttering to my 15 year-old DGS about things changing so much so fast these days. His reply; "I know what you mean. Since I was 12, things I can do on the computer have changed so much." He gave me some examples from his perspective.

    Still, last weekend I went into the local Tim Hortons donut shop for a coffee to take to a friend and the computer was frozen. Staff were struggling to cope manually.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  8. #8
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    I was especially concerned that by not downloading, I was losing the protection of updates to Catalina but which are not applied to the old OS.
    Apple's policy for about forever is to support both the current version of the OS and the previous version of the OS (in this case, Mojave) with security updates -- provided the older OS can be updated (that is, there is no architectural or hardware reason the update cannot be applied).

    Of course, newer versions of pretty much any OS include better security than the versions before. But Catalina is capable of breaking things in the interest of moving forward and increasing performance and information integrity. Before you upgraded, I would suggest using Go64 or some other similar app to determine what it is that might not run to see if that's a showstopper for you. If you're on Mojave now, you might just want to stay there a while longer. It should not hurt you (or your data) to do so.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  9. #9
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    OK, I downloaded the 64 bit that you suggested, Steve, and ran it. I had just the 3 Apple apps that were still 32bit including some components of iPhoto. They were quicklookd 32 Version 5; InkServer Version10.9 and the iPhoto Version 9.6.1.

    That surprised me that iPhoto would be one. The only other apps were for an old printer and its manual which I no longer have. So, aside from the iPhoto, I should be OK.

    Should I query Apple about this or leave it up to them to sort out iPhoto by not updating for a few weeks?

    Thanks so much for the advice and guidance on checking my computer system.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  10. #10
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Happy to help, razz.

    Apple has deprecated iPhoto in favor of the Photos app (which it "shares" with the iPhone/iPad operating system). Apple will not be updating iPhoto to eliminate its 32-bit code. Photos is 64-bit so it will be fine out of the (figurative) box. When you update to Catalina, opening Photos for the first time will allow you to migrate your image files from iPhoto to Photos. The app will offer this migration to you; you'll just have to answer a few questions and wait a while until the files are migrated in.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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