Mac OS

Happy Birthday Mac

30 years ago today the first Apple Macintosh was announced in the US. There was very little whooping and clapping and certainly no-one had been sleeping outside on the New York streets for 3 days to get their hands on one. But what an impact the Mac had. First time I used one I didn’t like it!! It had one mouse button and was being hogged by a friend who was showing me how to put flames round some writing in Photoshop.

No thanks. I thought, I’ll stick to my PC, it runs Championship Manager 2.

I was wrong.

Without the Mac we quite possibly wouldn’t have had The Mouse, Copy and Paste, MS Powerpoint, smartphones, iPods, Usable tablet devices, and digital music stores amongst other things. Sure all these things probably would have sprung up, but in very different forms than they are now. It’s always pointed out to me that Microsoft pioneered the tablet PC years before the iPad. Trouble is Microsoft always want their mobile devices to run the same software as desktops the devices are always doomed. They haven’t learnt from past mistakes.

Microsoft have of course played a huge role in the success of the Mac. Developing MS Office for the Mac and investing $150 million in 1997. At a time where Windows was king and the Mac was on dicey ground indeed.

Fast forward to the present day. Whereas in the UK the PC used to rein supreme the humble Mac has gained a significant market share in the home market. Even in the office where I work more Mac’s are thankfully appearing, I just wish the people who had them (not me) knew how to use them. Mind you it does give me a opportunity to be a Mac Geek at work, which is much better than trying to eat my Dell keyboard because I have tried to use a Mac keyboard shortcut.

Main question I see on Twitter is (computer wise, not about Justin Beiber) “Is the Mac worth the extra money?”

The question in itself is wrong. If you spec the a PC to the levels of the Mac Pro the home built PC will be more expensive. But MacBook Air is more expensive than £250 PC. If you want a machine that is not only usable but runs the same as the day you got it the MacBook Air will not disappoint.

I hope the Mac will continue to be around in some form for at least another 30 years and that Apple continue to Think Different.

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(28DW) Getting Ones Back Up

I’m gonna take a wild stab in the dark and say you are reading these words on some type of screen. OK you could have printed it out but I’m sure the “Please consider the environment before printing…” nazis would have got to you. (On a side note, do those people ever consider that putting that message at the end of emails actually wastes print toner when the document is printed, and therefore is bad for the environment)

So, your MacBook retina display / PC / iPhone / iPad / Android etc is now quite happily displaying my blog. Now think for a minute, what would you do if suddenly and for no reason your device of choice died. Just like that. OK now you have tried holding the power button down, crying, prayer (to a God who before you never thought existed) you ring a geek friend, who in no uncertain terms tells you “It’s fucked mate”

Now, you take your wounded tech to the local Apple Store / PC World. They are able to fix it, but it was your hard drive that was the problem. Maybe copying Gaga’s dress made out of only magnets was a bad idea. “It’s ok, we’ll swap the hard drive and restore from a back up”

A back up…. you are sweating now. The guy in front of you in the store, with the lanyard, only left school yesterday, but you feel so inferior to him. Back up? Why did no-one say anything. Well they did. BACKUP YOUR STUFF.

Luckily it’s very easy to do and there are a number of free (aside from the cost of a backup drive) or cheap ways to do it.

Mac:

On the Mac (I start here and move to lesser devices… haha, and they say Apple people are pretentious) Backup is very easy.

  1. Buy a suitably sized external hard-drive, the larger the better, has to be at least the same size as the drive inside your Mac.
  2. Plug drive into Mac
  3. If drive is PC formatted, open up Disk Utility, format to Mac OS (Extended Journaled)
  4. When drive is mounted, a box will appear asking do you wish to use “your hard drive” as Time Machine.
  5. Click Yes.

Your Mac will then perform a time machine backup, copying all your stuff. The first time you run this it will take longer than the subsequent times.

One downside to time machine is that you can’t boot from it. (Your Mac will not start from it) If you want this, Carbon Copy Cloner is the best around. It used to be free, but it’s not anymore. £25.95 for use on your Mac or any Mac’s you look after. Time Machine is a place to start for any Mac owner.. for free.

Carbon Copy Cloner in Action

Carbon Copy Cloner in Action

PC:

OK, surprise surprise I don’t have a PC. So I can only go on the recommendation of Alternative to.. and a PC Alternative to Carbon Copy Cloner is Clonezilla. It’s free, give it a go. Alternatively use Macrium Reflect.

Cloud Services:

iPhone / iPad:

Most of you will now be using devices that are compatible with iCloud. Just make sure you have iCloud backup turned on and you should be ok. For additional piece of mind, occasionally backup your iDevices to your computer too.

Android:

Android has no equivalent to iCloud in terms of full device backup. However Google do sync all your contacts, bookmarks and photos. If you sell them your soul to do so. If you don’t like Google, or do not trust them not to be evil. Consider Indefend Mobile.. and why you brought an Android.

* *

There is now a plethora of cloud based backup services. From Dropbox (use this link to get a free 2GB storage) to Box.net. Both of these services start out free and have mobile apps, both are useful for storing single files that you need to access or update on the go, both have sharing functions.

In the states there have been services like SugarSync for a long time. This is an offsite backup, always useful to have. Bitcasa is a UK alternative and something I am considering.

In conclusion, there are now so many documents, photos and save game files we hold dear to us. So many ways of keeping them safe. Don’t wait until you are burned by hardware failure. It’s not a question of if it goes wrong.. it will. Make sure you are ready. And don’t get caught..

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 18.31.34


Please check out the work of my 28DW reprobates  at The Resident Weeble and A Piece of Pandemonium  or kittens will die.