Drive Dock

If you nevermind the enclosures, giant IDE drives are cheap enough to use as backup for other giant IDE drives. So just ordered a Wiebetech FireWire Drive Dock (not the bus-powered variant). This will give me easy pop-in access to birdhouse backups, a way to finally back up the audio collection, keep a non-CD software backup all in one place, etc.

Music: Jack Johnson :: Rodeo Clowns

10 Replies to “Drive Dock”

  1. Backups are a good thing. I just learned that from hard experience (as we speak, my self-written program to scour everything which looks like a block containing text from the drive is still running).

    At least this gave me an opportunity to compare the userexperience of an 800MHz iMac against that of an 800MHz laptop running FreeBSD+KDE (and I finally got around to replace sendmail with courier on the latter).

  2. I’m pretty religious about backing up my general data — it’s these growing MP3 and video archives that have never been backed up that worry me.

    Would love to read a synopsis of your comparative experiences there.

  3. My friend James has been doing this for a few years now… He is an electronic musician and wasn’t satisfied with the price/performance/reliability of the various removable storage systems so he bought one of those 5.25″ bay gizmos that let you mount a drive on rails and swap them…. And he has like 3 or 4 1.21 jigobyte drives that he uses to keep several backups of his musical data…

  4. Well, obviously I wasn’t religious enough :-) I have been thinking about the problem of backing up my MP3s as well; since I do burn everything I download on CD/DVD, the real goadl is making a reconstructing of my collection painless. I am contemplating two solutions: 1. I run a script every night to list which MP3s I have and maybe also extract the ID3 tags from them, and then back up this meta information; 2. I create one initial full backup of the MP3s themselves, and then go with incremental backups.

    As for KDE vs. OS X, this is what I have observed so far. Keep in mind that I was concentrating on rescuing my data from my Mac, so this is by no means an in-depth exhaustive comparison.

    The most noticeable difference is that while the two machines are comparable in raw computing power (measured using a Dhrystone variant), my laptop reacts snappier even when starting big applications. I think two factors are responsible for this: the UI graphics are simple in comparison to OS-X, and the filesystem is faster. The lower internal overhead for system calls probably also plays a role.

    UFS (with soft updates) is so far ahead of HFS+ in terms of robustness and performance, it’s not even funny anymore.

    KMail, KDE’s standard mailprogram, filled me with envy, as it had features I have been missing from all OS-X mail programs I have looked at, like the ability to access local mailboxes (/var/spool/mail), storing the mail in the safer maildir format, support for PGP/GnuPG, filter actions which even allow you to rewrite the mail headers (like removing out a ‘[mailing list]’ prefix from a subject line).

    KDE also comes with all the other usual goodies (multimedia player,web browser, IM clients) so one can really be up and running in no time, and there are nifty features that windows ‘snap’ into place when moved near another window.

    Yet, I was longing to have a OS-X powerbook instead, because after some time the annoyances really started to shine through.

    First of all, KDE is a pretty uninspired copy of the Windows look-and-feel, down to the boring blue-grey color scheme. Alternative schemes are offered, but are equally visually uninteresting. OS-X’ Aqua color scheme with its strong colors may look un-businesslike, but goes a long way in keeping me motivated to work. This applies even more to a laptop which LCD can’t compete with the brilliance of a CRT display. (I must admit that before I had to go back to KDE I never fully realized just how important the color scheme is.)

    KDE’s taskbar is slightly better than Window’s taskbar, but not much. I got so used to OS-X active docklets that KDE’s distinction of panel (to start applications) and system tray is a step back.

    The UI design of X11 applications in general is unimaginative. Bold user interfaces like Iconfactory’s ‘iPulse’ are rare, and usually lack grace. There is also no counterpart to the iApps in either functionality or ease of use.

    The overall consistency and integration is lacking, and in places the UI is unnecessarily awkward. For example KDE implements its own cut&paste mechanism which is not compatible with X11’s; as a result I can’t copy&paste from a normal xterm into a KDE application (I could use KDE ‘Konsole’ for shell windows, but for some reason ‘Konsole’ uses different fonts than plain xterm, none of them to my liking).

    Another annoyance is the fact that new windows open all over the place and tend to take away the input focus (either because the system is set to give them focus, or because they happen to open under mouse pointer). I used to be a proponent of focus-follows-mouse and friends, but after working with Mac’s concept of an ‘active application’ for a year, I have to admit that the Mac way allows for a smoother working overall: when a background application opens a window, I am not forced to look at it right away. This becomes even more important when there are many windows open, at which point my laptop’s performance also degraded more rapidly than my Mac’s.

    So under the bottom line, KDE is the Windows for Unix: you can work productively with it, but it’s just not fun. I am tempted to try Windowmaker instead of KDE because it has no pretensions of being a desktop environment, except that I am really sick of configuring software by now.

    And apparently I am not the only one thinking like this: on the freebsd mailings lists recently several people asked for a recommendation for a personal desktop or laptop Unix system, and repeatedly the answer was ‘Get a Mac’.

  5. I have to correct myself: KDE uses the same clipboard as X11, so copy&paste all over the system is possible. No idea why it didn’t work before.

  6. ‘I just wish God were alive to see this’

    God can not die, he has an eternal spiritual body,
    non material, you are spiritual to, but temporarilly in this material body, you are being reborn life after life in the material world,
    god is eternally in the spiritual world, you are here cause you want to be God….He sees everything and knows everything. When you re-establish your loving relationship with him, then you will be trully happy, then you can leave this miserable world and go home…

  7. Madana –

    1) The quote you refer to is generated at random from a list of dozens of quotes. It is not attached to this entry (so it doesn’t make sense for you to have posted your comment here).

    2) The quote is a joke! Go read your Nietzsche and stop being so self-serious.

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