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Apple Bytes 12/2007

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Leopard is here…

And it is getting better each day. The 10.5.1 release came out in record time. Now that there is an Army of beta testers, a lot of new bugs are surfacing and, generally speaking, said bugs are squashed at a rapid rate.

This past week has shown a definite shortage of 2.5" IDE drives which are commonly used in the iBook and G4 series of Laptops. It would appear that some manufacturers are no longer producing them. The industry currently uses only SATA drives in the latest series of laptops. Several sizes of Seagate drives are no longer available thru my supplier. The same thing is happening to other manufacturers as well. That is evolution for you. The new drives are close to the same price range as the older drives. We are starting to see a shortage of IDE hard drive cases, too. One might expect the same thing to happen in the 3.5" spectrum as well.

I had a chat with the folks at Prosoft and they assured me that their bootable products are all Leopard compatable. Use their programs that boot up and run them in the OS that comes on the Bootable disk. Do not run them as an installed program. We'll discuss this more at the meeting.

That's it for now…

SLMUG Minutes 11-1-07

Bob Shayler brought his new iMac (with max bells and whistles) and his old 20" iMac. He shared his experience in setting up the new iMac. It is very FAST and all his programs run fine. He demonstrated the use of several applications including iTunes and Google Earth. Everything in the dock worked fine. Bob went into System Preferences to show some of the differences in firewall and print setup. He demonstrated the iMac speed by installing a 21 MB update … zoom! Great machine! Thanks, Bob, for the demo.

Terry Higgins (our long-time member) indicated that the Stoneridge Apple Store has doubled its staff this year over last year. Major changes have been made in how they operate. Bob got in and out with his new iMac in 20 minutes! Terry talked about the new MacBook. There is a new Leopard design on the boxes. Speed has been upgraded, the graphic card changed, and larger hard drives are available. Check out the promo pages on MacBooks. He stated that Enhancer needs to be uninstalled before installing Leopard.

Ed Matlock reviewed this month's DOM. He stated that a number of the files are from MacGems in MacWorld. Included on the disk are Password (free through December); Acrobat Pro update; ATC, a widget that informs you of the wireless networks nearby; Backup3.1.2 from .Mac; Firmware update for MacBookPro; Carbon Copy (will backup files and make a bootable backup disk); Data Backup 3.3 (an update soon for Leopard); Firefox; Flip4Mac (allows you to play Windows media files); GarageBand 3.0.5; HandBrake (transfer video to an iPod as a mp4 file); iDVD 6.0.4; iLifeSupport 8.1.1; iMac update; LoginKeychain update; Netscape; Office 2004 update; OnyX1.8.4b for Leopard; Pacifist 2.5.1 (you can install just one application instead of having to reinstall all); Pando (send any file to anyone-photos to movies);Parallels Desktop; Popchart X33 (alternate character fonts); Sharpshooter allows one to save in tiff, etc.; Temperature Monitor keeps track of CPU heat. Thanks, Ed, for another great disk.

Dayle Scott, Secretary


Mac (mis)Adventures
or how I learned to backup, install and update by trial and mostly error…
By Bob Shayler

My dear cousin "DocAndy," who lived on the Big Island in Hawaii, passed away last month (may he find peace) leaving his white 14" 1.2GHz iBook to his brother Oz. On that iBook was a lot of important data relating to DocAndy's patients. The data was in Filemaker format and was needed by DocAndy's professional colleagues. Oz wanted to use the iBook but only for iTunes and some Internet use. How to get that iBook backed up on a bootable external drive and then cleaned off for its new life as a music player? Sounds simple, eh…

NOTE #1: Music rules.
First I needed an external drive. It needed to be Firewire as the iBook is only USB 1. It didn't need to be a big drive as the iBook only has a 30GB internal drive. Who do you call? John Mitchell of course! The smallest drive available is around 80GB now. Okay, waste of space but so be it. They are expensive at an Apple store (of course) so maybe John could make one? Can do, of course, but where to find a box for it. Old ATA drives are hard to find any more (geez, is that a force play to buy a new computer if the old ATA drive dies?). Decent boxes for ATA drives with Firewire are also getting hard to find. But John gets it together. Maybe John should make a bunch of these before it gets impossible?

NOTE #2: If it's getting obsolete, hoard it.
John formats the drive securely with zeros to ready it for its new life in Hawaii. He provides me with Data Backup v3 and away I go to back-up that old iBook. I prep the iBook with DiskWarrior and OnyX as usual. The installation of Data Backup goes just fine. Now to do a clone backup. It starts and hangs at file number 2, a .ds_store file. Reformat the external drive, DiskWarrior, and repeat. Same story. Check for details on the iBook. Nothing unusual. John suggests using Carbon Copy Cloner but I am stubborn and want to get DataBackup to work. Then I notice that there are options when one is about to format a drive using Disk Utility. Many options: Mac OS Extended (Journaled), Mac OS Extended, Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive Journaled), etc. Turns out the old iBook was formatted without Journaling but the external drive was formatted with Journaling. Yep, that was it. Apparently, the internal and external backup drive must have the exact same formatting for Data Backup to work. Now all is joy and the backup drive boots the iBook.

NOTE #3: Pay attention to the details with Disk Utility.
Now to install a fresh OS 10.4 on the freshly formatted iBook. Boot the OS X install DVD. Use Disk Utility on the DVD to format the internal drive. Do the install. All goes well until… After the install, the iBook boots just as it should. During the information gathering, a kernal crash happens. Repeat the whole process, and the kernal crash repeats. WTF? What did I leave out? Now my cousin Andy was a Mac nerd in his own right. He probably configured that iBook to the hilt. But I formatted with zeros. What else is there to set to default? Set to default…duh! Command-Option-P-R, how could I forget? Yep, that was it. All is joy now.

NOTE #4: Set everything to default when setting up a "new" iBook.
And on another note, when updating to 10.4.11, it's almost like a new install. Safari 3 is new. Get rid of any add-ons you had for Safari 2. But that's another story. Maybe we'll have time for it at the December main meeting…

December 6th meeting features…
Election of officers is the priority for this meeting. John and Bob will make a presentation on Hard Drive failures. We have some interesting statistics. The recent long awaited release of Leopard is still generating a lot of discussions around the net. As expected, Ed will be presenting his magic with a new Dom. The Mac adventure continues…

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