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Showing posts from 2013

Arq and Glacier - Affordable Mac Cloud Storage

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After the near miss I had in losing a considerable portion of my personal digital library I decided to do something about it and look into a cloud based solution for keeping my files safe. I’m still using Time Machine locally to back up nearly everything, I just wanted a final line of storage just in case.

I’ve been using DropBox for years for my documents and miscellaneous files. I have several Google Apps for Business accounts that store my emails and shared docs and spreadsheets. The code I write is versioned and stored in GitHub. For the most part I live off the cloud already, the only thing missing was my large collection of family photos and videos, which totaled nearly 140GB.

iCloud is cool and all, and I love the way it keeps my little iPhone photos synced, but at $100 / year for only 55GB, this is a pretty expensive solution. I looked at a variety of different cloud backup solutions and found them to be ill-fitted to my needs. While many of them have plenty of capacity and are…

Upgraded your Mac to an SSD? Enable TRIM

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As I wrote last week, the SSD upgrade for my Mac Pro went very smoothly. There were two important things I found out after I started reading the comments from that entry:
An SSD is a good performance upgrade but the OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 provides incredible performance. Though quite a bit more expensive than a standard SSD, if you want the absolute best performance for a Mac Pro you may want to consider it. At 820MB/s it is over 5 times faster than the SSD I just installed. Hat tip to Eytan for pointing this out to me.After adding a 3rd party SSD to your Mac, you need to investigate TRIM support. Derek brought up the issue in the comments and I spent some time investigating it. What is TRIM? TRIM is effectively a garbage collection model for SSDs. There is some great information on it on Wikipedia’s TRIM entry. The bottom line is that without TRIM enabled the performance of an SSD will suffer over time. This is something you’ll want to address.

I contacted Crucial technical support …

Upgrading a Mac Pro to SSD

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I bought my Mac Pro 5 years ago and other than the hard disk failures I just had with my add-on drives, the machine has been rock solid. I’ve kept it up on every version of OS X that’s been available and it runs Mountain Lion like a champ.

Even though my Mac hasn’t slowed down with age, it feels relatively slow ever since I added my new 15” MacBook Pro with Retina display to the mix. Between the 16GB of RAM, stunning display and ridiculously fast SSD, the new MacBook Pro seemed to run circles around the larger Mac tower.

Upgrading the processors didn’t seem reasonable. It already has 12GB of RAM and for the way I use the machine that provides plenty of headroom. The one area I figured could see dramatic improvement was by swapping out the 320GB boot disk with an SSD drive. This was the route I took.

Finding the Right SSD I did a lot of reading on SSDs, looking at Amazon reviews and finding guidance from a variety of different sources where I primarily focused on SSD reliability. Sinc…

Hard Disk Clicking and a Time Machine Failure

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It had been a long couple of months. We’d been working furiously on the launch of EasyGrouper and were just a few days away from having it go live. As I sat in my home office working on my new MacBook Pro I heard a deeply disturbing sound coming from my older Mac Pro tower a few feet away:

   ZZZZ-click 

   ZZZZ-click

   ZZZZ-click

That’s never a good sign. My Mac Pro is my main home machine and runs a lot of stuff for me. It’s got a 320GB main drive (“BootDisk”) running my apps and working documents, a 1TB drive called “BigDisk” that contains my family photos, videos, music, etc. and another 1TB drive called “Backup” for... you guessed it... backups.

I tapped the keyboard to wake up the screens and could see that the icons for my drives were all on my desktop when suddenly the BigDisk icon vanished and OS X gave me an error message that said I had not ejected the drive properly.

Not good.

My Mac could no longer see my BigDisk internal drive—the drive that contained over 380GB of rather …

Employee Lists on your iPhone or Android with EasyGrouper

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It’s been a long time since I blogged, mainly because I’ve been so busy building up another product for public release. Now that the product is launched I’m hoping to spend a little more time covering technology topics. I figured what better way to restart the blogging than by writing about our new product.

The Problem with Contact Lists Today nearly everyone carries a smart phone. Whether it’s a company issued phone or (more likely) a personal device, it’s hard to go anywhere and not find them. When you need to get in touch with someone you work with, the best way is usually to call or text their mobile phone if they aren't nearby. Sometimes it's a quick email from your smartphone if the message isn't urgent.

This is where the problems begin. Getting the people you work with onto your phone is largely up to each individual. Unless the company they work for has an Active Directory or LDAP server humming away—and it's been updated with everyones person mobile device—eac…