Snow Leopard was peak MacOS

This is lengthy, but right on. My second MacBook Pro’s logic board died after Catalina was released. I hated Catalina’s overzealous security, and Big Sur seems like an oversimplified yet buggy mess. I have unfortunately reached a point where, even with the release of Apple silicon Macs, I feel better off building a Windows PC. The OS was the reason for me to buy my first Mac; it’s now a reason to not buy my third.

How to: Increase Boot Camp Partition Size

When I installed Windows with Boot Camp, I only allocated about 32GB for the C: drive. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to run out of space even though I don’t use it much. Turning off hibernation freed up space, but not enough to resolve the problem. The next step was to re-size the partition, which is slightly harder than it sounds.

Reduce Size of Mac Partition

Open Disk Utility, and select the top level of the internal SSD/HDD. Then click Partition at the top. Select your Macintosh HD partition, then under Partition Information > Size, reduce the size of the partition. Note that you are limited by how much space is already used (this amount is listed just below the Size text field). Click Apply.

Increase Size of Boot Camp Partition

If resizing Macintosh HD is successful, your next step is to boot into Windows. Open the Start menu, then type Disk Management. Look for your C: drive. Disk Management will only allow you to extend the C: partition if the free space you just created is to the right of it. If it is listed to the left, you must use a free 3rd party utility like MiniTool Partition Wizard Free. Here’s their tutorial on the Move/Resize Partition feature.

If this small guide helps you, tweet me @scojjac.

Apple Hardware and Software

The common refrain among Apple users for years was that Apple controls the hardware and software, leading to superior products. More recently, other companies have shown they consider this to be a truth – even Microsoft has introduced some of it’s own hardware under the Surface moniker.

A few weeks ago, there was a bit of a debate around the disparity between Apple hardware, like the Jet Black iPhone 7, and Apple software. (John Gruber’s commentary does a good job of laying out some of the concerns.) Seth Godin said, “Apple has lost the thread and chosen to become a hardware company again.” Now, just after the MacBook Pro update, many long-time Apple users seem to think Apple’s not much of a hardware company either – at least when it comes to the Mac.

What is going on with Apple?

Dongle all the things. Apple has had enough of wires, of multiple port types. If you’re determined to use a wire, you can use a dongle, too. Keep in mind:

  1. We’re in a transition period. Apple is working on moving the entire Mac line to USB-C.
  2. Wires should’ve died a long time ago, and Apple is working like crazy to make this happen. Think of dongles as a passive agressive way to make people hate wires even more.
  3. The major reasons for connecting iPhone to Mac – installing apps, backing up, restoring, resetting – can now be accomplished directly on iPhone or with iCloud.

No pro for you!

Apple appears to be less concerned with pros and semi-pros than ever before. This seems like a dangerous move, because even if pros are a niche, they are more platform loyal – one of the things that helped save Apple in the dark days.

Hardware

Regarding hardware, remember that Apple is at the mercy of Intel, who has been moving sluggishly, continually delaying chip development. This has caused the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro to suffer, and is why the new MacBook Pro is limited to 16GB of RAM. My guess, my hope even, is that Apple is working on custom silicon – and rewriting software – to end dependence on Intel chips.

Schiller reportedly said that they didn’t want to simply offer a speed bump to the MacBook Pro, but an appreciable advance. Unfortunately, I think most MacBook Pro users see this as a minor upgrade, especially after waiting 4.5 years. It’s so bad that some are investigating PC options. (This is ultimately a bad idea; Windows and its programs still bite.)

Even though I don’t depend on the Mac for my living, I do think Apple should be paying more attention to the needs of more professionals. They want performance and battery life and weight balanced in favor of performance. If you slap the Pro label on a modern laptop, I expect discrete graphics, not some integrated junk (yes, I settled). The Mac should continue to be the creative powerhouse, while iPhone and iPad become the everyman’s computers.

Gruber doesn’t agree that Apple doesn’t care about professionals. He specifically mentions the great screen, great SSD read/write speeds, and processor (on the 15″ model). I assume these target audio/video professionals primarily, but he apparently has “many demanding use cases” in mind.

Apple might benefit from setting clearer expectations, for everything, but especially the Mac line. Oh, and they shouldn’t have promised AirPods for late October.

Software

The faults of software stands out, especially when it runs on remarkable hardware. It’s easy to comprehend that the flaws of iOS would stand out against the near perfect single-substance nature of the iPhone 7 in Jet Black. As Dave Winer said over 20 years ago:

Software is a process, it’s never finished, it’s always evolving. That’s its nature. We know our software sucks. But it’s shipping! Next time we’ll do better, but even then it will be [terrible]. The only software that’s perfect is one you’re dreaming about. Real software crashes, loses data, is hard to learn and hard to use. But it’s a process. We’ll make it less [terrible]. Just watch!

Software is complex – far more complex than hardware. With that in mind, iOS is remarkable. But clients don’t care about what you go through, they care about results. And when it comes down to it, users just care that software looks as good and works as perfectly as the hardware it’s on.

I don’t sit in the “Apple is Doomed” camp, but I do feel like they’re floundering just a bit. I hope it’s a temporary thing, or even a mistaken perception.

Boot Camp Assistant Can’t Partition Disk

I love VMware Fusion 8, but only Boot Camp will let me use two sound devices at once. Boot Camp Assistant, though, was unable to partition my disk to make room for Windows (this is a recurring theme starting with Mac OS 10.10). The linked article provided the perfect solution to Boot Camp Assistant’s “Disk could not be partitioned” error.

Issue with FileVault 2

FileVault 2 offers a great service: it encrypts the entire storage of your Mac. However, many people have experienced a problem. It doesn’t finish (for the record, this happened to me on 10.10.5. Some said the issue was resolved with 10.10.3). We see messages like:

Encrypting… Estimating time remaining

Unfortunately, this causes problems when upgrading OS X or trying to create a Boot Camp partition. Since FileVault shows as enabled and the drive shows as encrypted, I decided to decrypt the drive. This is done by:

  1. Booting into Recovery HD (restart the computer and hold Cmd+R until the Apple logo and progress bar appear).
  2. Open Disk Utility.
  3. Select the encrypted drive (it should be grayed out in the sidebar).
  4. Go to File > Unlock Macintosh HD, and enter password
  5. Go to File > Turn Off Encryption, and enter password.
  6. Reboot to OS X.

Ah, good. In a fairly short period of time, I should have my drive back. Except … decryption has the same problem! Interestingly, decryption becomes unpaused during disk verification (Open Disk Utility, select both “Macintosh HD” in the sidebar, and click Verify Disk). This lasts only a few minutes, however. I ended up using Verify Disk a number of times until decryption finished.

Once I installed El Capitan, I tried encryption again and encountered the same issue. So I continually ran First Aid until encryption finished. If you want a Boot Camp partition, however, you’ll probably need to wipe the drive and start fresh.

UPDATE 11/11/2015: Try the solution mentioned on this post.