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April 27th, 2008

I was outside having a smoke the other night. Noticed the next door neighbor's upstairs windows were open. Now at this time of we can do this sometimes. But it was hot and humid that night.

I didn't think too much of it really.

Until the breeze brought me a familiar odor. Y'all know the one I mean.

Apparently the lady of the house's grown son was indulging...

Back Ups...Do You Do Them?

Or is it something you know you should do but just haven't gotten around to yet?

Serious subject *for a change*

Think about it...How much of yourself (and your life) is tangled up in computer(s)? Think about it.

How much of that would you be willing to live without if you had something catastrophic happen to your computer? Could you recover? Would you? And how much of a pain in the ass would it be?

I have been in this position before ~ More than once...How many of us have been working on a big Word doc or excel Spreadsheet (or whatever flavor of software you use) when the application locks up and you've lost it all?

Okay multiply that on a massive scale ~ And your hard drive gives up the ghost...What are your choices? Did you do regular backups? Or was it more of a "It cannot happen to me, my computer is inviolate"! before the crash.

Or more of an I know I need to do it ~ I'll get to it when I get to it. I have to admit ~ this was my strategy until I upgraded to OS 10.5. And even after that for a while. I started using Time Machine, the back up software that is bundled with OSX. It copies to an external drive the incremental changes that take place on my system every hour. But this is not a disk image of the machine. So it would be of some help, but certainly not the be all and end all.

seagate freeagent desktop PRO.JPGTo that end ~ A few months ago I purchased a Seagate FreeAgent™ desktop 320 GB USB Hard Drive. These work with both Macs and PCs and are relatively inexpensive. And it had been sitting around not doing much for a couple of months'

But what Software to couple with it? There are a lot of software solutions out there. OSX doesn't really come with a viable piece of SW for backup unless you are a .mac subscriber. (Which I declined to become) Maybe one day, but not right now.

I finally settled on Shirt Pocket's SuperDuper. Installed it last night and did a full backup *while I was sleeping*.

I can now have relative piece of mind knowing that my valuable stuff is backed up...And will continue to be...with the scheduling tool.

And to that end, my next project will be moving my iTunes Library to a portable hard drive...

X-posted: There and Mac again.

Apr. 27th, 2008

Because my friend popfiend did it.

QuizGalaxy.comWhat's your Insightful Quote?
"Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up."
- Jesse Jackson
'What is your Insightful Quote?' at QuizGalaxy.com

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While I was hanging with The Canadians on Friday I met a couple of women that were there visiting. One was a real close friend of Susanne and Magill's who had flown in from Colorado Springs. The other two were friends of hers. They had all been Contractors for KBR in Kuwait.

By the time I got there they seemed to be well on their way to throwing a really good drunk. These women ranged in age from late twenties to late thirties. The middle one didn't impress me. She seemed pretty petty and superficial, although she was a *knockout*, I pretty much could take or leave her. The gal in from Colorado Springs, however, could hold my interest for a while. Until we started talking about politics. What is it about some right wingers that have no room for any one's belief except their own. Still we had an interesting conversation or two.

But I digress...

The middle one, let's say "R" made some assumptions (a pet peeve of mine) about me based on my race. She is hispanic, and couldn't wait to tell me her life was quite different from hers because of the life of privilege I led because I was a whiteboy. She had no idea who I was or where I came from, but because of the color of my skin...

Irritated me because:
  1. You do not know me
  2. You have no idea where I came from
  3. Or what I had been through

I let that particular set of remarks go because I was a guest in someone else's home. I found out later from the gal from Colorado, the young woman has racial issues. She is ashamed of her heritage and appearance. And this is a shame, because she is a remarkable looking woman. But for the attitude.

meh!

Moving iTunes to a Portable Hard Drive

big_itunes.jpgSteps in Order

Preparation

1. Buy or otherwise obtain a Portable Hard Drive. Make sure it is large enough to hold your library. This one is bigger than the hard-drive in my computer!

*heh*
So I reckon it will work. Bought one of these at Micro Center yesterday. On SALE! Score!
Tosihiba Portable 160GB 5,400RPM USB Hard Drive

2. Set up the Drive to receive the files. I created a music folder on the drive.

3. As with any risky type of operation ~ Preparation is key ~ Backup your iTunes Library ~ First. I put mine on DVD-R's. These are whopping 4.7GB! Much larger than a CD-R.

Following this article from The Unofficial Apple Weblog ~tuaw.com, by Scott McNulty:
How To: Back up your music using iTunes 7

The backup took me about 40 - 45 minutes and used 4 DVD-R's. Relatively small library - but this will only get larger, I'm sure.

Now for the actual scary part:

Execution

Following the instructions from a lifehacker.com post: How to Move Your iTunes Library to an External Drive

1. Change your settings. First, in iTunes' Preferences panel, in the Advanced section, make sure "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" is checked, as well as "Keep iTunes Music folder organized." Then, in the "iTunes Music folder location" area, click on the Change... button, and enter the folder on your external drive you want to move your library to.

Hint: Store your music in a subdirectory of the destination. Like, if your new spot is D:\TOSHIBA EXT\Music\ iTunes\Tom\Library\, set your music folder to D:\Music\iTunes libraries\Tom\Library\.

ItunesCap.jpg


2. Move the music. Let iTunes do it for you. From the Advanced menu in iTunes, choose "Consolidate Library." You'll get a prompt that looks like this:

consolidate.jpg


Click "Consolidate". Once done, (depending on the size of your library) this could take a while to actually do. Probably safe to get up and walk away for awhile.

Note: This step originally took about an hour and a half to two hours for my mac to complete. We had a bleepin' power belch about 8/10 of the way through the copy process that took everything down for about half a second. *sigh* It finished rather quickly after that, but when I looked at the settings I had changed in iTunes they had reverted back to the original settings. Not willing to take the chance on screwing this up. I deleted everything on the portable and started over. *heavy sigh* Thorough I am...Dammit. As I put this edit in, iTunes is about 2/3 of the way through my library.


3. Move your internal iTunes Files. We are nearly finished now. The media files have been moved, now we need to move the internal database files for iTunes. This is where that handy music sub-directiry comes in. Copy the files iTunes Library, iTunes Music Library.xml and the folder, Album Artwork. Navigate to the folder above where the actual music files are. In my case: D:\TOSHIBA EXT\Music\ iTunes\Tom\

MoveDataAndArtwork.png


4. Point iTunes to the new library database file. There are now two copies of the library, one on your original drive, and one in the destination (portable) drive. iTunes needs to know where the new one is. If iTunes is running quit the application. Then launch iTunes, while holding down the Option key (Shift on a PC). When it starts it will ask you which library to use. Click "Choose Library" and browse to where the iTunes Library.itl on the external drive.

chooselibrary.jpg


Now iTunes will use the new library location. Now I can delete the old folder and free up a bunch of space. In my case it should be 9 or 10 Gigs.

Old Drive icon
Space_mac_old.jpg
New Spacier Drive!
Space_After.jpg
A gain of nearly 22 GB freed. Woo Hoo!




Now my iTunes library is portable(!) Bonus! The only real drawback for this is you have to have that drive connected in order to play music from iTunes...Not gonna be an issue for me...If I remember to hook it up!

To quote Gina Trapani @ Lifehacker:

"Using this method, you can plug in your external hard drive to another computer (PC if you've got iTunes on Windows, or another Mac if on the Mac) and as long as it gets assigned the same drive letter, you can access your full library, with play counts, playlists and other metadata intact from anywhere."


Good one Gina!

Cross posted at there and mac again

Quote of the Day

"You can never have too many USB or Firewire ports"


~TexasT's

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