Aug 16

Recently acquired a WD external USB3 8TB MyBook hard drive and two new Transcend 2.5” 1TB drives. I retired three 5+ year old 1TB drives that had been used for Time Machine backups as they were failing, repartitioned my 3TB WD Firewire drive to make a Time Machine partition and spent a couple of days copying and deleting files around the remaining drives and the new drives. I use the two Transcend drives as Time Machine backups with one plugged in and one off-site. A partition on the 3GB drive is a permanent Time Machine backup. Time Machine automatically rotates backups between the drives so I just have to remember to swap Transcend A and Transcend B offsite/onsite often enough to have a fairly up to date offsite backup of my boot drive.


Protective film still on.


Power supply and data cable.


2.5” rugged drives and transport case.


Mar 21

If you use (encrypted) sparse bundle disk images on Mac OS X and want to be able to keep backups of the images on a different external drive you can use the rsync command to copy/delete only the changed bands making the process very quick.

Assuming you have a sparse bundle disk image called IMAGE at

/Volumes/DRIVE1/images/IMAGE.sparsebundle and you want to back it up to


Unmount the images if they are mounted. You will not need the password if the drives are encrypted as the drives are not mounted during the backup.

In the terminal use the following command

rsync -vaE –inplace –delete –progress /Volumes/DRIVE1/images/IMAGE.sparsebundle /Volumes/DRIVE2/backups

editing the command to match your paths and filenames. Note that you do not enter the filename of the destination sparse image, just the folder it is in. (Without trailing ‘/‘). If the destination doesn’t already exist then it will be created but since this involves copying the entire image it will take time. Once the destination image exists only changes are copied across and will be quick.

If the process is interrupted before it completes the destination image may be corrupted. Simply rerunning the command to completion should resolve this.

If you use the hdiutil compact command to free unused space on the source disk image then unused bands will be deleted on the destination image when you sync.

DISCLAIMER. I have successfully used these commands to back up and synchronise several encrypted sparse bundle images between various Firewire and USB3 external drives but if you choose to try this yourself it is your responsibility to ensure that it works correctly for your requirements.

Aug 10

Twenty years, so I got the wife this.

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Jul 05

I got this to provide WiFi downstairs. It plugs into the router attached to the wired ethernet and provides a WiFi point for mobile devices like iPod Touch or iPad.


The pocket travel bit wasn’t relevant to my needs – it was just the cheapest suitable device I could find at £8.95. It does need a spare USB power supply though as it doesn’t come with one. It does have a USB cable and an ethernet cable.


I telneted into it and saw Busybox. It didn’t seem to be configurable that way though, I had to get the web interface working on which meant temporarily setting up one Mac on so I could connect it to the ethernet port and do the settings. It needed a reboot between every setting to get them to stick but it is a once-off. Now it has an SSID and a password of my choosing.

Jun 25

4TB USB 3 drive to reorganise and back up stuff from my 3TB Firewire 800 drive which is nearly full.

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Used to be Hitachi Global Storage Technologies now part of Western Digital. The very similar TOURO DX3 uses the greener 5400 RPM drive.



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Dec 11

Got my new iMac yesterday evening and set about transferring my data from Time Machine and such.


Applecare and Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adapter arrived separately.


Shipping box.


Foam pads top and bottom.


Simply unfolds and lifts out.


And then some waiting.


Nov 30

Ordered new build-to-order iMac this morning. Delivery supposed to be 18th-21st December.

21.5 inch screen

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB

3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x8GB
1TB Fusion Drive (combines 128GB of super fast flash storage with a traditional hard drive. )
Magic Trackpad, Keyboard, Thunderbolt <-> Firewire adaptor, Applecare.

So that should be handy.

Sep 30

I made $481.27 freelancing online this month. So that was interesting. I made more money from that than from my shareware release. I think most people who self-publish software (shareware, trial ware, App Store, MAS) are in the long tail. I have some ideas for software that can be written fairly quickly that might also actually sell. To get it on the MAS still requires me to pay another freelancer $300 or so to do a retina resolution icon set. So icon designers have a guaranteed income from app programmers.

Aug 01

Microsoft Windows dominance fades as Apple beats HP, Canalys claims.

It’s been a long time coming but it was inevitable.

It certainly makes sense to include tablets (iPads) in the totals for personal computers since that is exactly the role people are using them in. What makes less sense is not including those other devices running the same operating systems (iOS and Android) with smaller screens – smartphones and iPod touches.

Jun 08

A Seagate 1TB external drive I was using for Time Machine clattered and clanked and died just outside its two-year warranty the other week. Rather than directly replace it I thought I’d get a bigger drive, move everything from my reliable Buffalo 1TB external drive to the new drive and repurpose the Buffalo drive as a Time Machine Drive.

I believe these are discontinued and the remaining stock is on sale while available.


Special Mac edition in aluminium case pre-formatted in hfs+ ready to use.

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Power supply and cables.



It looks nice, runs cool and is very quiet.


And its warranty runs until 6/6/2015.

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