Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Time Machine / OS X

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Not a real Time Machine – but the backup software on Apple’s OS 10.5 Leopard. I did some tests with using it to backup to my Linux server’s Samba share.

Google TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes and use at your own risk!

Anyway, it works great. However the Linux server only has a 80GB drive, so rather than fit the 400GB IDE I had lying around to the Linux server, I ordered an external Firewire/USB2/IDE enclosure on Friday lunchtime (From RPM Systems via Amazon.co.uk). Surprisingly, it arrived on Saturday morning, and within 20 minutes of dragging myself out of bed Time Machine was syncing with the new drive. Groovy.

As a result, I spent the rest of the afternoon transferring my music & photo library to the iMac from my Powerbook (10.3) – it’s just that good. iPhoto ’08 helped seal the deal. The Powerbook was previously backed up to my iPod using Chronosync – the problem was when going anywhere I had both the iPod and Powerbook. Doh!

It’s not good the rate at which G4 PowerPC users have been left behind. The 1.33GHz Powerbook with 10.3 is only 3 years old, and now it’s at the very bottom of the supported systems for Leopard, with the good stuff not working on non-Intel systems. Imagine you had a one year old PowerMac G5 that cost over £3000… I seem to remember a similar story when the 68k was being exterminated.

A final irritation: Apple resellers are no longer able to sell Tiger upgrades. Say what you want about Microsoft, but (back in the day) I was installing Windows 95 SE on 5 year old machines without any problems.

The legend of the £900 ipod

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Last week, on holiday in Florida, we took advantage of the 2:1 exchange rate to get Catherine a new 8GB iPod Nano (Yes, the red one!). Works out about £35 cheaper than it costs in the UK. However, our 4 year old iMac is not USB2, so transfers would be a bit slow, but so what.

Well, it seems the good people at Apple decided that the iPod really needs updated contact and calendar syncronisation, and so used OS X Tiger specific code in there. Our old iMac is only running Panther. No worries, I’ll just order Tiger – no longer available as Leopard has shipped. The iMac should run Leopard if the RAM was increased, but I get the feeling Leopard is really designed for Intel Macs, and the G4/G5 support is just there “because”.

Anyway, long story short, the new 20″ iMac (with Leopard, and Core Duo) will be here on Thursday. Steve Jobs wins again!
I suppose I could have found a legitimate copy of Tiger on ebay. Doh!

[expletive deleted]…IDE Self Destruct, part 5

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

It was bound to happen, but this time the timing absolutly sucked. The IDE drive in my 8 year old Linux server failed again. Not normally a problem, just build a new box and restore the backup. Yeah, right.

The drive died *during* the backup process, and my lame backup system deletes the old archive to make way for the new one, so rather than an 11GB file, I’ve got 300 megs.

However, I did have a 3 month old virtual server that had the same stuff on it (more or less) so after 5 hours of remembering how the damn thing is set up, I’ve got a (virtual) linux server running, and the stuff that was lost is replaceable.

Happily, all my really important stuff is also sync’d with my Powerbook every few hours, so it could have been a lot worse, but now I’ve got to plan a new uber-backup system and I’m a machine down.

Rule Number 1: Two backups aren’t enough.

Rule Number 2: Manufacturers MTBFs are really just lies.

Broadband Tech Support

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

I’ve just found a new low in the service provided by BroadBand ISP Support! Wannadoo in France advised a colleague to delete the registry entries for Winsock to fix a problem with a faulty router, despite the fact the problem was clearly with the ADSL line. 🙁 Anyway, TCP on the machine was totally stuffed, pings would work, socket connections wouldn’t. It was looking like a rebuild job, but as a last effort I tried exporting the registry entries from a working box with the same hardware and hey presto! It works.

Still, it’s quite probably the nastiest hack I’ve done in a while.

Imagine if they’d done that to a consumer, then insisted it was a problem with the machine as it clearly couldn’t see the router…makes me sick!