Time Capsule Archive

In the 7.3.1 firmware, you can now connect a USB Drive to a Time Capsule and then archive the 1TB disk itself. That is a backup of the backup. This is supposed to be fast. However, this is a one time copy so if you don’t have enough space on your backup USB drive and delete some, the Airport Utility doesn’t update the free space available. So, if you find you don’t have enough free space, then here is the process:

# Start Airport Utility, click on the Time Capsule entry and click on Manual Setup. Then click on Disks and Archive…If things are greyed out, but you can see the USB Disk, then you don’t have enough space.
# Start Finder and go to the Time Capsule and the USB disk, delete stuff, so that you have enough free space (if the Time Capsule is using 200GB, then you need at least 200GB free on your USB).
# Close Airport Utility and restart it and the thing should be not be solid color and you can archive! BTW, while this is happening, you can’t write to the Time Capsule and the LED in the front blinks amber. So you want to do this in off hours.

It will definitely take a while, but is way faster than doing this over the network with a copy.

Google Apps

We’ve been trying to figure out the right way to do email and synchronize Calendars. Maybe Google is the right way to do it on the backend?

The candidates are:

* Exchange. This is trusty and reliable. The main issue is do we have to run our own Exchange and Blackberry Servers or do the hosted solutions work. We are trying Applix now and tried Intermedia before, although never got Intermedia Blackberry to quite work. Main question is how well will Apple’s direct sync with Exchange work with iPhones.
* Kerio. This is a Mac application that has third party Blackberry integration we need to try. The main issue is how address book synchronization is done, you have to use Apple iSync which is scary given all the problems we’ve had with it.
* Google. The dark horse. They now have manual synce of calendar with Blackberry so less convenient. On the other hand, they do sync with Outlook. Again manually. So maybe a decent solution.

Rosewill RC-605 problems

I got this Rosewill eSATA so I could plug fast drives into my MacBook Pro. Well, like lots of third party stuff it doesn’t really work. It is faster though, but you can only plug one drive in. At least for me. There are lots of issues with the driver apparently as Silicon Image is a low cost provider and they are not focused on the Mac market. Sigh, so I guess back to USB 2.0 you go…See below

SATA, eSATA and Seagate Drive problems – Topic Powered by eve community

From Firmtek support:

– Both Seagate FreeAgent and WD My Book are essentially same drives from SATA interface point of view. While internally each company is using own mechanism, the SATA electronics communicating with the outside world appears to be made by the same manufacturer both Seagate and WDC did contract to do the external box design. It does not appear to be Seagate or WDC.

– The SATA interface of both VIOLATES the SATA protocol, not supporting certain mandatory commands.

– There is a further issue, which prevents the said drives work properly with ANY of SATA controller we are aware of on the Mac. There is an exception: any SiliconImage 3132 or 3124-based controller (ours is based on SiliconImage 3132) will work: as long as the driver of Silicon Image (manufaturer of the chipset) is used instead of any other driver. That driver has some shortcomings:

– it emulates SCSI over SATA instead of using Apple’s
– it does not support S.M.A.R.T.
– it does not have bootability provision

Apple – Support – Discussions – Macbook Pro doesnt recognize external …

So far I have only been able to get it to mount as an eSata drive via the ExpressCard if I have the card plugged into the laptop and the drive fully connected to the card and laptop (USB power and eSata connection to the card), when the system boots up.

Other than that, it mostly shows up under /Volumes with intermittent amount of data inside (sometimes the root directories, other times nothing).

I’ve also gotten a good number of kernel panics with the stack trace indicating the Sil3132 1.1.9 driver as a cause.

Apple – Support – Discussions – Macbook Pro doesnt recognize external …

While Silicon
Image, Inc. notes support for 10.4, we’re now working to complete
qualification with Leopard 10.5.

Seattle Best Restaurants

Every since the Seattle Weekly stopped doing their best restaurants and just has an unsorted “listing”:ttp://www.seattleweekly.com/listings/dining/, the new “Seattle Magazine”:http://seattlemag.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=3E1DA341B2834604B64A1EB3BA74CCFB&tier=4&id=8F2C7CC3E6DA41C6BE7DD9FB6EAC669B has been filling the void. Main issue is that they don’t publish everything on the web. Really sad since they don’t get web advertising yet obviously in the 21st century! Or community reviews at “diningguide.com”:http://seattle.diningguide.com/dl1dt.htm or “Citysearch”:http://seattle.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/downtown_restaurant which I haven’t found that reliable.

Here are some of the hot restaurants in Seattle:

* Qube. Ultrahip Belltown pan-Asian
* Palace Kitchen part of the tome Douglas empire.
* “94 Stewart”:http://seattle.citysearch.com/profile/41699033/seattle_wa/94_stewart_restaurant.html

* Lark.
* Campagne for classic French
* Union Restaurant
* “Troiani”:http://seattle.diningguide.com/data/d100626.htm for classic northern Italian.
* “Boat Street Cafe”:http://www.seattleweekly.com/listings/dining/173440/ which is really done on Western, but good

For some ethnic choices, besides the old standbyes try:

“Bada Sushi”:http://badasushi.com is way up in Shoreline, but is amazingly fresh.

“May”:http://mayrestaurant.com. It is a good Thai restaruant that is quite authentic.

“Jasmine”:http://seattlejasminerestaurant.com. Besides the long URL, it is the second decent Vietnamese place after Tamarind Tree.

Rich T the Science Guy

Well, love learning new things and there is nothing like learning about genes and things:

* “GLP Tox”:google. This is short form for “Good Laboratory Practice”:http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/bimo/glp/qna.htm that the FDA has where you basically study if sometime is toxic iin animal models
* “Signal Peptide”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_peptide is a short sequence that moves a protein into the right position.

MacBook Pro disk speed comparison

So an interesting test with “XBench”:http://www.xbench.com/ on disk speed. Since I’m using an older MacBook circa early 2007 for video processing, its interesting to compare the drives all of these are with 4KB blocks

| | Score | Sequential Write | Sequential Read | Random Write | Random Read |
| Internal 5400rpm Fujitsu MHW2160BHPL | 35.95 | 43.98MBps | 10MBps | 0.99MBps | 0.44MBps |
| eSATA 7200rpm Seagate ST375064 | 44.92 | 51.56 | 14.33 | 1.08 | 0.59 |
| USB 2.0 7200rpm Hitachi HUA721075KLA330 | 23.92 | 6.05 | 1.79 | 0.70 |

So, you can see that buying a $40 eSATA controller (I got the Rosewill 605) is worth it. It is about twice as fast as USB 2.0 at least on sequential read and writes. The random without cache is an interesting benchmark, but really random depends quite a bit on caching (that’s the main purpose as most reads aren’t really random).

Windows XP Product Activation Key

Ok, I’m trapped away from my Windows XP CD, what do I do?

# If you want to know the current Product Activation Key, you can download the Magical Bean Key Finder (current version 2.01). As “Mike Devlin”:http://www.mike-devlin.com/windows/key.htm points out there are a couple of key viewers pre-SP2 and post SP2.
# If you want to change you PID, you can download the “Key changer”:http://www.mike-devlin.com/downloads/index.htm#key_changer which starts the Windows Activation utility so gives you a chance to change your product key.

BTW, one amazing thing is that there is a program called Belarc Advisor that ISPs give out. This amazingly will push a personal users “key”:http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Windows+XP+Professional%22+%22Belarc+Advisor+Current+Profile%22+key%3A out onto the public internet for all to see. If you get this Belarc thing, make sure to disable it, otherwise people could see all kinds of things like your key as “My Digital Life”:http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/04/24/search-for-genuine-and-free-windows-product-keys-online-with-google/ points out.

MacBook Air and Belkin 4-port Travel USB Hub

Well, the MacBook Air has a single USB port and I thought this wouldn’t be too much of a problem because I’d just buy a 4-port travel hub. Little did I realize how often the MacBook Air requires that you plug in directly otherwise things don’t work. So beware, here are the things I’ve found with an unpowered USB hub. Makes sense when you think about it:

* iPhone connection. This is the flakiest of all. Sometimes when you connect it, it works, other times, you don’t get a charge. Lately, you can’t plug it in directly, but you can do it if the hub is there. In other words, it requires the hub now.
* USB Ethernet. The USB Ethernet has to be directly plugged in when you boot the MacBook Air, then later you can disconnect the USB Ethernet and plug in the travel connector and it works. And lately, it won’t work *unless* the hub is plugged in. Strange, strange.
* Blackberry connection. You have to plug a Blackberry in directly if you want to charge it. It does recognize the Blackberry through the hub though but you can’t use the hub for charging, so most of the time you need to plug in directly.
* Superdrive. This also has to be plugged in directly to get the MacBook Air to recognize it. Won’t work through a travel hub unless it is plugged in first. As an aside, the first time you plug in normally doesn’t work. You have to listen carefully for the drive to actually move and spin. Otherwise, you can get your DVD stuck in there with no way to get it out! As an aside, even directly plugged in the SuperDrive is quite flaky. Many times I’ll put a CD in and nothing pops on the Mac desktop and you can’t get the CD out.
* Canon Digital Rebel XTi. This has a USB connection works through the travel hub, but you have to make sure you have a heavy duty USB 2.0 cable and don’t use the small, cheap travel USB cables that roll up for instance

So, you see except for some Canon and some limited usage with the Blackberry, a travel hub is useless. At least this Belkin travel hub. I’ll have to try some others.