My MacBook Pro Late 2008 humming with Mountain Lion, smooth as silk

I’ve upgraded my MacBook Pro Late 2008 to Mountain Lion. The process was flawless and quick. My mac runs noticeably faster than it did with Lion. All apps start up and close faster than they did before, Omnigraffle Pro in particular loads up stencils much faster than it used to.

As happened when I upgraded to Lion, I had to fix issues with some developer tools. Apple removed  the (Unix) X11 server package from OS X Mountain Lion distribution, they recommend installing the open source package called XQuartz in replacement. This is automatically suggested, I can’t even remember the dialog as I wasn’t thinking about blogging when I started the upgrade process. OS X Mountain Lion also features an automatic dependency software discovery, it kicked in as I launched a Java app that required JVM 1.6.

Open source brew and rvm

The first thing to do is run “brew doctor” on a terminal window, this will point to any issues it finds and there were a half dozen in my case. The biggest issue was with X11 server. Once I was done resolving brew reported issues, I run “brew upgrade”, then “rvm upgrade” shortly after, to ensure that all native package dependencies were recompiled and linked with the new OS libraries. At the end of it all, brew doctor warned me that XQuatz wasn’t known to work well with brew packages, but I haven’t run into any problems yet. This was all I needed to do to be completely up to date with OS X Mountain Lion.

FileVault Legacy encryption

Apple shipped Lion with FileVault2, which obsoleted FileVault I had in place earlier on. Nothing breaks, it just feels untidy to be constantly remminded about this legacy. When I upgraded to Lion I didn’t have enough space to turn off FileVault and redo the encryption. The same thing happened again with Mountain Lion, not enough space. So I did one simple radical thing, used Carbon Copy Cloner to backup my user home folder, deleted and recreated the user account, this removed FileVault. This whole thing wasn’t necessary as I said, but I like to tidy up sometimes and remove legacy software.

Now I am enjoying OS X Mountain Lion, the only thing that took time was the backup prior to upgrading. Backing up my MBP to Time Capsule over wi-fi was excruciating slow. I had two false starts because I would accidentally hit a key and stop it after a couple of hours. It took nearly a day to backup about 280 GB. I just left it running and went about other business.

My MacBook Pro Late 2008 is shining ever more with OS X Mountain Lion. With this setup, unless there would be a serious hardware failure, this MBP can go a few years without needing any upgrade, though I am pretty confident Apple might drop support for it after 1 or 2 OS releases from now.

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