We all scream Sunday, April 30, 2006

And in that spring moment, after the long walk down the hill,

There was nothing but the cool, sweet ice cream

And the wonderful, gloriously crunchy cone.

Gemilicious! Monday, April 24, 2006

Trying to set a record for number of posts in a day or two here at Shirt Pocket Watch… some more praise today, and a five-star review (w00t!) from the fine folks at Macworld:

Whether you use it to make one-off clones for IT work or to make scheduled, bootable copies of your Mac’s hard drive for backup purposes, SuperDuper is the best clone-based backup utility I’ve seen—and the backup utility to which I trust my own data. Its clear interface, outstanding feature set, informative documentation, and—most importantly—fail-safe performance have made it an indispensable part of my Mac toolbox.

Dan Frakes writing in Mac Gems. Thanks, Dan!

Macworld UK Nomination! Monday, April 24, 2006

Looks like SuperDuper! 1.5.5 was nominated for a 2006 Editor’s Choice award by Macworld UK in the “Storage” category. Cool, and congratulations to the other nominees, too!

Exhaustive/exhausting Sunday, April 23, 2006

Maurits, of plasticsfuture, has posted an exhaustive, two part review of backup programs on Mac OS X. The first part focuses on the general issue of backing up files on OSX, and the second contains an extensive analysis of more backup programs than I’ve seen covered in one place—freeware, shareware and commercial.

In my blog, I tend to talk about the usability aspects of SuperDuper!, because that’s where I focus my efforts. I can only do that because Bruce and I have very high standards for the rest of SuperDuper!, and Bruce’s copy engine is second to none. In fact, in this review of 16 tools, SuperDuper! was the only tool that worked correctly:

The surprising conclusion is that almost all Macintosh backup or cloning programs do not fulfil (sic) their primary purpose, i.e., they are not able to restore files with all associated metadata. This is despite the fact that many of the tools are advertised as “safe”, “accurate”, “bug-free”, etc. The tools that fail are harmful because they generate a false sense of security. Even more exasperating is that many of these tools cost (significant amounts of) money. The only laudable exception is the great SuperDuper application, which performs flawlessly. (Emphasis mine.)

Many thanks to the pseudonymous Maurits for putting this whole thing together: it couldn’t have been easy to do.

Amusing myself Sunday, April 23, 2006

Today, I spent some time testing out the soon to be released update to netTunes along with Salling Clicker’s “Clicker Network”. My setup here is different that most, no doubt, but here’s what was involved:

  1. Music server running iTunes
  2. Various AirPorts running a WDS network bridging all over the house
  3. My main PowerMac, which I’m logged into, running the netTunes client, controlling my Mac mini, which is connected to my stereo
  4. iChat, set to show my current track
  5. My phone, running the Clicker Client, connected via Bluetooth to the PowerMac, but bridged over Clicker network to the Mac mini
  6. The Mac mini, which has no local music, using shared playlists to connect back to the music server
  7. Two Intel Macs connecting to the Mac mini’s netTunes server
  8. And, finally, the netTunes server, running on the Mac mini
OK, so—sitting in front of my PowerMac, I could see what I was playing on the Mac mini, because netTunes was showing me the iTunes running over there. And I could control it from that or the two Intel Macs also viewing the same thing.

Clicker—even though it was connected to my PowerMac, was showing me what was playing on the Mac mini, since it was using Clicker Network… and it updated properly when I made changes with netTunes.

My iChat status was showing the track I was playing on the mini, even though I was on the PowerMac, because netTunes is smart enough to act like iTunes and send out the proper notifications to make that happen.

And—no matter what I used to interact with the music—Clicker, netTunes, whatever—everything just worked exactly the way you’d expect.

I’m telling you, my smug sense of self-satisfaction was probably detectable from space.

Counterbalance Friday, April 21, 2006

Yesterday, Ketzl and I took the drive out to Shelburne Falls and visited the nice people at Eddie’s Wheels. And while it was good to say “Hi” to them, the main purpose was to get K’s cart retrofitted.

Her previous cart was a “neutral balance” cart—that is, when she’s in it, her front legs get the weight they’d usually get. But, as the disease has progressed over the winter, her front has become much weaker, and we’ve had to hold the cart’s “yoke”, pulling up to help take weight off. It’s hard to do, and none too comfortable for Ketzl.

The newly retrofitted cart is a fully counterbalanced cart with an “outrigger”—basically, front “training wheels” that let her take even more weight off, and also prevent her from collapsing, something that’s become more frequent. And, as of a few weeks ago, Ketzl started having placement problems with her front left paw—she’ll knuckle, put it down funny… basically, the disease has destroyed sufficient nerve tissue there that she doesn’t quite know where it is.

It was a beautiful day yesterday, sunny and clear. On the way back, driving along Mohawk Trail (Rt 2), I stopped and climbed the “Long View” tower to see what I could see. Rolling hills, roads crisscrossing, river valley, the French King bridge towering over the Connecticut River gorge below. The whole route before me, my next two hours clearly visible in the midday sun.

When I got back in the car and set off, I thought about Degenerative Myelopathy, and how—once diagnosed—the course is similarly visible: a high-level view of weakness, placement issues, paralysis, death. You navigate through it as best you can, take a detour or two along the way, but to get to where you’re going you have to go down the whole road.

Back on Route 2, up to speed after the rotaries and dropped lane diversions, I rolled down the windows. Ketzl’s ears flapped in the breeze and she panted happily. I poked my head out the driver’s side window and breathed in the spring air.

Ketzl on TV! Monday, April 17, 2006

This coming Saturday at 7:30 am on Boston’s Fox 25 (repeating on the 23rd at 8 am), Pet Keeping with Marc Morrone (check your local listings) is doing a piece on animal rehabilitation. I’ve been told that Ketzl is going to be featured during the segment, so—if you’re interesting in this kind of thing, this is the kind of thing you’d be interested in.

Intel Mac DVD Disk Utility Problems Saturday, April 15, 2006

I just wanted to give a bit of a Heads-Up to Teh Internets Users who might be relying on the Restore tab of the DVD that came with their Intel Mac.

Unfortunately, the copy of Disk Utility that’s on those DVDs (I’ve checked the one for the MacBook Pro and the iMac, but I don’t have an Intel Mac mini to test with) has a non-functioning Restore tab: the tab relies on drag-and-drop to set the destination volume (if you’re not using an image, the source as well), and—due to what looks to be a bug in this specific version of the utility—drag and drop does not work in the volume sidebar.

This means it’s not possible to restore a volume when booted from this DVD (regardless of how that volume was created). If you’re relying on the DVD’s restore functionality, I suggest installing a minimal system to a small partition on an external drive instead, as the Disk Utility that’s part of Tiger itself works just fine.

Kudos for Shirt Pocket and SuperDuper! Sunday, April 09, 2006

But these days, for doing basic backup of my Mac, the single best app is SuperDuper. Their website, their software, the pricing, the overall design philosophy - all of it is perfectly integrated. They are a great little company with a great little product. I hope they do well!

via Troy Angrignon - Adventure Capitalist. Thanks, Troy!

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