We’ve talked about backing up your data quite extensively here on the OWC Blog. We’ve talked about different backup strategies. We’ve discussed mirrored RAID devices like the NewerTech Guardian MAXimus and how they can fit into your backup scheme. We’ve touched on how you need to keep an eye on your backup software to make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to.
It’s in the vein of that last one that we bring you this little tidbit from Lloyd Chambers of MacPerformanceGuide. It seems that Lloyd has found a bug in Time Machine that may cause your Mac to ignore drives under some circumstances. We highly recommend checking out the full article out for the complete analysis of the issue.
The lesson to be learned from all this is that when it comes to backups, the more the merrier. While some backup is better than nothing, it’s always safest to have multiple backup methods in place at once. While I do use Time Machine here on my work machine, it is mainly for retrieval of accidentally-deleted files (I use this a lot more often than I care to admit) and to supplement my daily cloning of my drives using Carbon Copy Cloner. This current method has worked for me for several years now, and has saved me from at least one major drive crash, so I’d say it’s functional. I’d also rotate those clones out at least weekly, but that’s not a practical solution at this time.
So what are you using for backup?
Many of us here at the OWC Blog are big fans of the Mac mini, and the latest version is no exception. It packs a lot of punch in its diminutive frame, and for many users, it may just be all the computer they need.
To see just how well the new Mac mini can perform with certain OWC upgrades, Lloyd Chambers of Mac Performance Guide has put it through his battery of tests, and the results show that the mini can be considered as viable workstation solution for Photoshop and Lightroom power-users. Using an OWC 6G SSD doubles the performance in his tests compared to the Apple 1TB hard drive, and using an OWC Helios + Accelsior Solution via Thunderbolt is even faster…how’s a speed improvement of 70% grab ‘ya?
Check out Lloyd’s full writeup for all the performance insights.
If you’ve installed OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion already, you may have run into one of the new additions to the OS by the name of Gatekeeper. Like other famous gatekeepers, this one only lets certain elements through. In this case, any applications being launched need to fit certain criteria in order to launch.
It’s a great idea in theory – you’re only launching applications you know are safe, reducing the proliferation of malware. Gatekeeper requires that the application either be “signed” by the developer or that it was downloaded from the Mac App Store (which, in many cases, means that it’s “signed” anyway) in order to be deemed okay. With more recent software, this isn’t much of a problem; developers have known about this for a while and it usually just means updating to the latest version.
Unfortunately, older applications that are still useful but for which upgrading may be prohibitively expensive or inconvenient (such as Adobe Creative Suite or Final Cut Studio 4) don’t necessarily have this identifier. To Gatekeeper, there’s no difference between Photoshop CS5.5 and malware – they’re both “unsigned” programs, and it won’t let you run them.
To get around this, you can simply right-click the application and select “Open” to launch it. That fixes the issue on a program-by-program basis while keeping Gatekeeper on at all times. In very rare occasions, you may temporarily need to turn off Gatekeeper, launch the app so that the system knows it’s okay, then turn Gatekeeper back on. Lloyd Chambers at MacPerformanceGuide has put together a short tutorial showing you how to do this.
If Mountain Lion isn’t letting you launch your favorite program, this may just be ticket you need.
When it comes to measuring device speeds, there are few who can rival Lloyd Chambers of MacPerformaceGuide for his thoroughness and ability to put devices through their paces.
Recently, he hooked up one of our OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini SSD storage solutions to to a MacBook Pro with Retina display via the USB 3.0 port and reported better read/write performance with this external drive than with internally connected 3G SSD on MacBook Pros and Mac Pros.
While the MacBook Pro with Retina Display lacks the ability to effectively upgrade internally, it’s good to see that fast storage can be added (at least on an “as needed” basis) via USB 3.0 and our USB 3.0 storage solutions.
Right now, everybody’s talking about the MacBook Pros announced at WWDC earlier this month. That’s great; it’s always fun to talk about the latest and greatest. However, not everybody can afford to get the newest model every year. Most of us have to content ourselves with getting the most out of what we already have.
It’s in that line that we’ got some great info for those of you who bought a MacBook Pro last year. In an interesting development, it seems that although Apple sold and marketed the 2011 MacBook Pros as using 1333MHz memory, they are, in fact, capable of utilizing 1600MHz memory, just like the current crop of MacBook Pros.
Lloyd Chambers of Mac Performance Guide did some in-depth testing and found that a 2011 MacBook Pro with 1600MHz memory saw a 2% average performance boost over the same configuration with 1333MHz memory.
We’ve long established that adding more memory to your Mac is the most cost-effective way to get the most out of your Mac. For the 2011 MacBook Pros, it looks like using the faster compatible RAM speed can get you that extra little bit of speed you may be seeking.