Upgrade or Downgrade?

Years ago I bought a Macbook (Late 2008, the first model with the aluminum “unibody” design.)  I wanted to have a laptop for some inexplicable reason and decided to see what this Apple thing was all about (I also bought an iPod Touch at the time.) In the end, I learned that I don’t much care for OSX and the MacBook has largely gone unused over the years (although I really liked the iPod touch, so much so that I stick to an iPhone these days.)  A couple of years ago my MacBook became a very noisy piece of hardware, and for whatever reason I was unwilling to take it to an Apple store to fix what was a probably a faulty a fan.

Recently I decided “what the hell” and decided to buy a replacement fan off eBay.  I was able to easily replace the fan without the hallowed help of a “Genius” and am happy to report that my MacBook is now running delightfully silent!

While I was poking around in there, I decided to swap out the hard drive with a solid state drive I had lying around.  The thing that’s inexplicable is this: I can’t determine whether this is an upgrade or a downgrade.  Shortly after I got the laptop I upgraded the RAM from 2GBto 4GB (at a savings of about $100 over having it shipped that way from Apple) and replaced the 250 GB HDD with a 500 GB one.  However, I never used more than 150 GB or so on a hard drive (most of that being my iTunes library.)  Now, the SSD I used was only 64 GB, meaning I had to drop iTunes from the computer (no big loss; last year I transferred the whole thing to my desktop PC and had even stopped updating the MacBook library because “sharing” between the two over wifi had broken several months ago for no apparent reason.)

Is doubling the HDD than cutting it down to a quarter of what it originally was but gaining a faster and cooler storage a good move?  I can keep the iTunes library in an external enclosure, but isn’t that complicating matters unnecessarily?

Also, I’d like to kvetch about the “it just works” mentality of Apple.  When I started the installation with my Snow Leopard disk it complained that OSX simply could not be installed to my SSD.  At first I was worried that OSX was incompatible with a SSD, but then looked it up (on my PC) and saw that I had to format the drive a particular way with the Disk Utility before going through the installation process.  Really?  I’ve installed Windows and Ubuntu multiple times.  Either of those, when you direct them to a drive, will give you a warning along the lines of “I’m about to nuke that drive and format it the way I need to install.  Are you sure?”  It’s insane to me that OSX’s installation is so un-user-friendly and finicky. 

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