The Mac Mini showed up. My original plan was to install everything on the laptop then port it to the Mini, but the laptop was off the shelf and came with Yosemite. The Mini was custom-built and came with El Capitan.
I refuse to run two different operating systems as a matter of standard practice any longer. I've been doing it for years through pure laziness (and reluctance to mess with anything that's working). The headaches involved have all but driven me crazy, especially since 10.6 came out. (No, I don't remember the stupid name Apple gave that particular operating system. I wish they'd just plain stop with that particular cleverness and stick with numbers, where you can always tell which is the newest and how far behind you're getting.) Fair warning: you do NOT want to ask me what I think about what Apple has done with and to fonts over the past 26 years, especially in the last 12. No way, no how.
But when I went to upgrade the laptop to El Capitan before installing anything, the user reviews posted on the upgrade site gave me considerable pause. There were considerably more 1 star reviews than 5 star, and more 2 star reviews than 4 star. Many were from the past month, so it wasn't just the roughness at the beginning of the rollout.
So I changed my plan. I'll install everything on the Mini, confirm the applications I use work, and then port everything to the laptop. And if the applications don't work, I'll figure out how to install Yosemite on the Mini and go from there. But I really would like to start out on the current OS if possible.
Which brings us to Tuesday night's progress:
Mini is up & running with El Capitan 10.11.2 (this after installing all available updates).
I've done what's needed with the System Preferences.
I installed Firefox and set it to be my default browser.
Then I connected the new external Samsung SSD and attempted to format it. Hard fail. Second try, it hung on "waiting for the disks to reappear."
I tried again using the laptop. Yosemite gave less info, but it hung all the same.
The drive that had been formatted for exFAT showing that it had 993 GB of space now showed that it was unformatted and had 124 MB of space. Color me Not Amused.
Hey, at least I still have 12 days to return it. And I'm going to Cambridge tomorrow. But wait, there's more.
During all of this, I checked several online forums and such, and searched high and low for the user manual I'd been reading just a few minutes before. I hadn't moved from my chair, so it had to be Right Here. Somewhere.
Finally found it behind me: it ended up on top of my large printer when I was getting other stuff Out Of The Way.
Getting Started starts on page 4. Box Contents, and System Requirements, followed by the T1 File System. The latter explains how the drive is set up in exFAT to support both PCs and MACs, and then says,
"If you plan to use the T1 on a single OS, it is recommended that you format your T1 using the appropriate system for the OS."
Then there are instructions for what to do if disk writing becomes locked when switching the exFAT drive between different platforms.
The bottom of that page has info on the capacity of the drive.
No where does it say "Activate the T1 by following the instructions on pages 6-7 before reformatting the drive."
The PC activation app still showed up on the drive, but the MAC OS activation app said it was missing a driver. When I downloaded it, it wouldn't install on the drive, and installing it on the internal hard drive didn't appear to do any good (or harm) either.
Which is when that PC Ben gave me to work on the Video Archeology project (digitizing the Worldcon videos from the Scott Imes Video Archive) came in delightfully handy.
I headed upstairs to the guest bedroom where the PC is, fired it up, and connected the external SSD to the USB 3 port in front. The .exe file opened without difficultly and the external SSD activated on the PC Just Fine.
The name I gave it didn't take, but the drive activated. It showed it had a full TB of space available.
I brought the drive back downstairs and plugged it into the laptop. It showed that it was formatted and had a full TB of space here, too. As exFAT.
But this time, when I told Disk Utility to format the drive has HFS Journaled, it did. Immediately. Without pause or difficulty. And it even used the name I gave it.
I dismounted the drive and moved it over to the Mini. All's fine there, too.
The external SSD is astonishingly, ridiculously small and light. 2.09" x 2.8" x 0.36" tall at its widest point. The 4" USB cable weighs at least twice what the drive weighs.
Reading further in the User Guide, I note are only 3 bullets under the "Keep Away from Children, Infants, and Pets" safety warning. The last one is especially worth noting. After noting that there is a choking risk due to small parts, and advising that if a child is using the product to instruct said child on how to use the product correctly (and to monitor correct usage), the final bullet states:
• Do not stab any part of the body such as eyes or ears with the product, and do not put the product in the mouth.
And on that note, I'm going to post go to bed. Without stabbing anything or anybody. Not deliberately, at least.