Here at the OWC Blog, we’ve posted a lot of advice about backing up your data over the years. However, there’s one thing we’ve never explicitly talked about: how to restore your system from that backup if disaster strikes.
Now, I can hear half of you out there saying, “Pfft! You simply replace the drive and reverse the backup process so you’re writing to the drive you just replaced.” To an extent, that’s true, provided you have a bootable backup and you’re 100% sure there’s nothing corrupted with the system.
However, if you don’t have a bootable backup (e.g., you’re backing up via Time machine) you can’t simply “copy it all back.” Furthermore, installing a new boot drive provides an excellent opportunity to clear out some of the “junk” that’s probably accumulated in your drive over the years. For those reasons, we recommend the “Fresh Install and Migrate” method when upgrading/replacing your system drive, which works for both bootable clones and Time Machine backups. Article Continues…
Over the years, I’ve managed to amass a large amount of apps for my iOS devices. Some of them are really good and I use them daily. Others, I wind up being less-than-enamored with, and quickly remove them. This is all well and good; well over 90% of the stuff on my iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone I got for free, so I have no problem deleting it.
The problem is, even though I have deleted these apps from my devices, the odds are that I originally downloaded them via iTunes (or wound up syncing them there), and they still reside in my library. I took a look recently, and realized I had well over 750 of apps, most of which I wasn’t using. That’s a lot of space that could be used for more important things.
The most obvious solution for this would be to simply go through my iTunes library and simply delete the apps I don’t use. This would be fine, except that I have three iOS devices, each with apps that aren’t on the other ones. It would be a nightmare of cross referencing over 750 apps to see which ones were used and which ones weren’t. As the popular meme goes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Fortunately, there’s a simpler solution, using the built-in tools in iTunes 11. Article Continues…
We’ve been waiting and waiting for Apple to release the next version of OS X Mountain Lion in hopes that the next full version would have all the necessary components to setup a Fusion drive on any Mac capable of installing a hard drive and SSD together. A little over a week ago, Apple released OS X version 10.8.3 and, with one small caveat, our hopes were fulfilled.
The Profusion Of Fusion Confusion
But before we get to showing you exactly how to setup your own DIY Fusion drive, I’d like to dispel some mis-information that has been floating around the web. Up until now, most of the reports you’ve read about creating your own DIY Fusion drive on a machine have been incomplete. There have been many tutorials on how to create a Core Storage volume that have been labeled as “how to create a Fusion drive”. They are two similar, yet different drive configurations. I’ve addressed a lot of this information in comments on the OWC Blog, but figure it would be a good idea to review and further explain what a Fusion drive actually is as opposed to a Core Storage volume. Article Continues…
If you’re living in the European Union and you’re looking at getting a new Mac Pro, you’d better hurry. As of March 1, 2013, Apple will halt sales of the Mac Pro in EU countries as they don’t comply with EU standard IEC 609501 Amendment 1, which goes into effect that day.
In case you’re not quite up to speed on EU regulatory standards, in a nutshell, IEC 609501 Amendment 1 has to do with safety and electrical standards. According to Macworld UK, the Mac Pro’s non-compliance has to do with the need for fan guards and increased protection for its electrical ports.
It should be noted that Mac Pros complied with the previous standards when initially released. However, these newer standards are more strict and while all the other Mac models have been updated to comply over the last few revisions, the Mac Pro hasn’t seen any updates (other than speed bumps) since 2010. A new Mac Pro is rumored to be on its way some time later this year, and we can only assume that these will be compliant and will once again be available to EU customers.
We’ve spoken quite a bit about the benefits of USB 3.0 in recent months. Its high rate of data transfer, backward compatibility with previous versions, and overall low cost are still very compelling arguments for the interface. However, many Mac mini 2012 users (and, to a considerably lesser extent, other 2012 Mac users) using USB 3.0 devices have experienced random dropouts or even outright loss of the use of Bluetooth mice and keyboards.
The cause of this is somewhat technical. For those so inclined, you can peruse this white paper written by the USB Implementers Forum for the full details, but the practical upshot is that the signal from USB 3.0 devices can interfere with the 2.4GHz frequency of Bluetooth. The unfortunate result is dropped or lost signals at distances as near as five feet, compared to the normal 20-30 foot reception range of Bluetooth devices. This interference increases the further away from the computer the Bluetooth device is located. At the same time, it was noticed that the further away from the Bluetooth antenna the USB 3.0 device is, the less severe the interference.
Unfortunately, this is the direct inverse of how many Mac mini users are using their computers. Many users have their USB 3.0 devices immediately next to or stacked on top of their minis, taking advantage of the Mac mini’s small form factor. While this may be problematic enough for desktop use, those using their Mac minis in home theater setups will likely have their keyboards and/or mice across the room from the mini’s location, exacerbating the Bluetooth problem.
As the Newer Technology miniStack is designed to for use with the Mac mini, this has obviously caught our attention. We set out to find a resolution to the problem – one that fixes things not just for the miniStack, but for all USB 3.0 drives used with a Mac mini. Article Continues…