June 26, 2005

Upgrade Times and Toys

Posted in Commentary at 5:57 am by Michael Sweeney Media

Ahhh yes.. the smell of money burning a hole in one’s pocket. So this week to help make myself feel better about having to go to a clients’s office at 8am on Saturday to fix an Exchange server, I stopped by the local computer store. Danger! Danger! Oh yeah Baby!! Parts!!! I walked with just a few 😉 items that I “needed”. The coolest toy is the “RadioShark” by Griffin.
<br>This widget is way cool! It took less then 3 minutes to install and have the radio up and running. The sensitivity is great! I tuned it to a station that I like (KPCC) which is at the low end of the dial and does not work on all the radios here at the house. The best radio is a shortware set and the worst (surprise to me) is a Sony shortware set. The Shark is in the upper middle for quality. Just a touch of static/hiss but very listenable. The software interface is simple, it looks like a radio (duh!) and the result is you do not need to read the directions. There is an equalizer and the scheduler tool so you can do time based recording. All for just under 60 bucks! Hellva a deal and it works with the Mac (I’m on Tiger) and the PC(did not try this part). In fact, I’m listening to the RadioShark right now 🙂

What else did I get? Oh, just a few small hand tools. I am still replacing some tools that some scumbag ripped off from my Explorer in front of my house. And I got a new USB 2.0 hub with 6 ports for the Mac. The brand is “Westinghouse” which I doubt is the Westinghouse of old but it’s nice quality and works very well on the Mac.

Today is upgrade day. I got the firewire drive to boot as the primary drive finally by using Carbon Copy Cloner with a shell and running the disk tool to fix permissions. The fixing was the key to making everything work. I found that suggestion over at LaCie’s website buried deep in some FAQ files. So I have a new 160 gig drive to replace my 80 gig drive. The drive was purchased from SmallDog which are some cool folks to deal with. The order went flawlessly and there was no question that I received a brand new drive as expected, not a repacked drive with questionable history. I made my clone last night and today I will do the swap and then re-clone the drive back to the Mac. This ought to be fun!

And an extra note of interest. I was accepted into the beta program for BakBone software which is my backup software of choice for the enterprise. They support the Mac both as a client or as the console in addition to the traditional Windows and Unix. I am putting together a new server with half a terabyte of disk to back up my systems here. I found a very cool site about building a RAID5 arrary from 5 dollar SCSI drives. Just goes to show that old hardware is still very useful with some imagination.


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