Something small

April 12, 2010

Somethingsmall_tweak

As you may remember from the turn of the year, I had the purchase of a new computer in my sights, either an Apple iMac or Mac Mini. I decided on the Mini because it is, well, small.

This is my new setup: the Mini and two external hard drives. The Mini???s drive is 320MB, the externals are 1.5TB each. The external drive labeled CJ (after my black cat) is my Time Machine drive. I hate the user experience of tracking down what you want to recover with Time Machine, but you sure can???t beat the authorize-it-and-forget-it ease of its backing stuff up. My previous backup method consisted of periodically copying things (such as my Photos folder) onto one of the extra drives I had installed in my old computer, which was better than nothing but not so good for the things that had been added in the intervening months.

The other external drive, Dasie (my black and white cat) will be my jukebox. I chose to name the music drive after Dasie because she???s more of a crazy party animal than CJ, who is the steady, consistent personality and more suitable for the important backup function. It is waiting for me to hook up one of the internal drives (Bibi, former rabbit) from the old computer and transfer the files.

To that end, I have an external case to house an internal drive. But today it was busy with the main hard drive from the old computer, (which was named after my rabbit). I could have booted the old computer in Target Disk mode, but I was thwarted by both old Firewire 400 (I did get a Firewire 400/800 dongle. Don???t you just love the word ???dongle???? I do.) and laziness about plugging in the computer and keyboard. Yes, folks, I would rather open up the box, remove the drive, and attach it to a new case than plug in the computer at the outlet (by which I mean grounded power strip).

It seems as though I???ve copied over everything I could need from the old drive. Eventually I???ll reinstall that drive and redo the old computer, and either try to sell it for beer money or donate it.??

So I plugged in the Mini (also named after my rabbit) and was all set to do Target Disk with the old computer and migrate my settings and user stuff and be up and running in no time. That was when I learned of the Firewire snafu. Instead of one-hour gratification, I had overnight gratification. I had to connect the two computers via Ethernet (!) and left the process chugging away overnight. In hindsight, it was probably better that way because then I didn???t stay up all night setting up and playing.

That???s the great thing about Macs. The transition was anticlimactic. There were no hitches. The migration worked perfectly and when I did things like check email and go online, I really wouldn???t have known anything was different because it just worked. The biggest adjustment has been to how quiet the Mini is. I don???t even know it???s there. The external drives are pretty quiet, too. The old computer was kind of like a jet airplane under my desk, which I didn???t realize until the sound was no longer there. Even this afternoon when I had the internal drive plugged in and was using it, it was very noisy. But the new computer mounted the drive and didn???t need to have any drivers installed or any other special considerations. Same with the CJ and Dasie external drives.

Get a Mac. They just work.

This entry is inspired by my photo of something small, my Mac Mini, but when I got to the sentence above, I realized that quite a bit of what I wrote could double as explanation for the March 20 mission (which I never wrote about), which was to share a word that???s not in your personal dictionary. The word I chose is the proper noun Windows, as in the operating system. Thankfully thus far in my computer computer career I???ve not had the OS inflicted upon me, and only use the word in the context of being a Mac fanatic and feeling superior.

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