Not hacked, bugs

It turns out that my technical difficulties the other day were in all likelihood not the result of being hacked but an arsehat software incompatibility.

The short version is that the weirdnesses I experienced were caused by:

  • OS X Lion has known problems dealing with certain PDF files. It appears that the problematic PDF, produced by and then emailed via a Mailman mailing list, was one of them. Hence Apple Mail and sometimes Preview would crash when dealing with this PDF.
  • Norton Internet Security for Mac version 4 is only for OS X up to Snow Leopard. OS X Lion requires Norton Internet Security for Mac version 5. It’s a shame neither NIS nor Lion knew this.
  • Norton Internet Security probably hadn’t updated its virus definitions in the previous week because I was travelling a fair bit and was probably offline at the scheduled time.

I determined all this while I was running backups. It’s always sensible to make sure your backups are in order before doing any significant technical work.

I discovered that:

  • Copying the 400GB of Time Machine backups of my old MacBook Pro from one external USB drive (pocket sized) to another (bulkier, for archiving) using the Finder took more than 7 hours.
  • Creating the initial Time Machine backup of my new MacBook Pro on the pocket USB drive, some 220GB of data, took a little over three hours.
  • Encrypting that 640GB USB drive took 14.5 hours.

In hindsight, I suppose I should have checked software compatibility when transferring everything from the dead Snow Leopard machine to Lion, but then it did flag other stuff as incompatible so I assumed… yeah, I know.