Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mac OS X 10.5.2: a quick glance and an update

Last friday I updated my Mac to the latest release 10.5.2. The update was 180 Mb in size, quite large but definitely smaller to the expected "monstrous" size according to the rumors (or at least the power PC update is not "this" big; maybe the Intel version is larger).

Apparently this release fixes a lot of bugs but besides some changes in the User Interface (the option to turn off the transparency in the menu bar, more options for Stacks) it didn't seem like a great change. Unfortunately it isn't still supported the possibility to use Network Shared Volumes in Time Machine which apparently was a feature that should be official in 10.5.2. Anyway I just checked the web for that and found in the very interesting Volker Weber's blog a suggestion that allows you to backup on "unsupported volumes" like Network Shares. No hope anyway to use a FAT-32 USB drive (it still requires an HFS+ disk in this case).

In my first weeks with 10.5 it seems that my Mac is a bit slower so I'm not this keen on upgrading my wife's Mac which is a bit older than mine (1 Ghz G4 with 512 Mb of RAM). In particular some applications seems to perform worse, especially Firefox, that's why I'm using more Safari these days, which by the way is improved dramatically with these latest releases. For example all Gmail features seem to work: there is a minor weird behavior here on the WYSIWYG interface of Blogger, that is, it seems you can't cut from another application & paste in the Blogger Post form (you should switch to the HTML interface, do the paste and get back to the WYSIWYG form) but definitely this is a small issue. Great job WebKit team!

1 comment:

lucadex said...

I'm adding up a comment more than one year later just to have a comfortable place to look up if it happens again to me to need these information.

The Volker Weber' suggestion is just a step of the whole process. Apparently if you have a SMB shared drive sometimes (always?) Time Machine is unable to create the disk image needed for the back-up process.

This is what you have to do:

1. create the disk image locally on you hard drive using the hdiutil command using the following syntax:
hdiutil create -size [size_in_Gb]g -fs HFS+J -type SPARSEBUNDLE -volname "[volume_logical_name_e.g.Backup_Mac]" [name_of _your_Mac]_[Ethernet_ID_without_the_colons].sparsebundle
Eg.: hdiutil create -size 200g -fs HFS+J -type SPARSEBUNDLE -volname "Backup of Lucamac" Lucamac_XXXXXXXXXXXX.sparsebundle

To find your Ethernet ID just look at the Ethernet panel of your Network preferences.

For some reason you can't create the disk image directly on the remote SMB drive: the hdiutil command fails in this case.
The resulting disk image file won't be as big as indicated in the "size" parameter (if you mount it, it should be this big, but at the beginning is just empty, therefore compressed and small).
For a 200Gb of size the corresponding disk image is initially about 115 Mb. So don't worry if you don't have enough disk space in your Mac.

2. copy with cp -r (the disk image is a directory) in the SMB drive.

Of course you should have read/write permissions on the drive.

Providing that you have already performed the command indicated in the suggestion (defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1) you can fire off your Time Machine back-up and everything should work like a charm!