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Wed 17 Mar 2010

A Better PostgreSQL Installer

Category : Technology/PostgreSQLInstaller.txt

When you download and install PostgreSQL from the Mac OS X links at the PostgreSQL website you'll find, after a while, that your Mac refuses to go to sleep automatically. When this happened to my MacBook Pro a few times, because I left it running thinking that it would go to sleep on this own (as this is a habit that dies hard), the battery was severely drained and eventually damaged. (It's now always grumbling at me to "Service Battery").

Somehow, after the PostgreSQL installation, the Mac is left with a setting that interferes with its ability to go to sleep normally. It took me a long time to finger PostgreSQL as the culprit. So I really wanted to find out precisely what was the cause and fix it. (And learn how to work with the Mac OS X package installer at the same time so I could build my own Postgres installer.) But I couldn't find the time, until my friend, Hai Hwee, took on the job.

So, this is Hai Hwee's PostgreSQL installer with the sleep problem fixed. The Mac goes to sleep when it should - great for a development machine.

She's also built a Preferences Pane for PostgreSQL - to start and stop the server - and that actually works (as a dig at the MySQL prefs pane because that doesn't really work properly).

So, the PostgreSQL installer that doesn't suck - available now for Intel-based Macs running OS X 10.5 and greater - in 32-bit and 64-bit downloads.

And Hai Hwee has made the installer able to upgrade the Postgres version if you already have one running. Currently we're installing the 8.4 version, so this will be handy when we find the time soon to bundle in the latest PostgreSQL 8.4.x release.

For MySQL, the Mac OS X downloads at the MySQL site are quite adequate, except for the Prefs Pane which sometimes doesn't work or require a reboot. Maybe, next time, we'll build an installer for MySQL, too, for completeness. Then between these two installers and our soon-to-be-renamed Maven, I'm only missing a tool that'll help a database administrator to set up users and groups in an easy and consistent way across the two databases. Then I'll be getting closer to an end-to-end solution, including tools that'll run on the iPhone and iPad. That's going to make the Mac and iPhone and the iPad serious business machines (at least, as far as the things we dream of building are concerned).

Posted at 12:55AM UTC | permalink


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