29 March 2008

Cable Matters

Earlier I wondered why my G5 wasn’t connecting to my home network at 1000BASE-T speeds. Yesterday I bought some Cat-6 Ethernet cables. I replaced the cable from the computer to the wall (I had cable pulled when I moved into my house, and plugs installed in several rooms), and everything started working!

Which was a good thing, as I did the wiring of my patch panel myself, and I’m a little suspicious of it at times (once in a while a connection goes out and I have to wiggle things a bit).

I replaced another cable, and now I can get gigabit Ethernet speeds to my MacBook Pro as well.

On the other hand, I don’t think any of the short patch cables are Cat-6, and I also have a PowerBook that connects just fine with a Cat-5 cable to the wall.

25 March 2008

Apostrophe double header

Here’s an entry that works for Apostrophe Atrophy (the one in the logo should be curved) and also gets “its” wrong (but with a curved apostrophe)! (“It’s” is a contraction for “it is,” not the possessive of “it.”)

By the way, we’re not talking “smart apostrophes,” since “smart quotes” refers to a process, not the result.

24 March 2008

Even More Backing Up Metrics

I added another machine to my Time Capsule. It took 14:20 to back up 48.4 GB, ~3.4 GB/hour — and this is the one machine in the house that is connecting at 1000BASE-T. This is the slowest backup yet. Admittedly other machines were backing up during part of this time, but no large amounts.

I think there are occasional performance issues, and have filed bug 5801685 with Apple.

23 March 2008

Bank Error In Your Favor

I tend to be paranoid about getting my checking account to balance every month. When it didn’t, I had to go back and make sure each transaction matched (in case I’d written it wrong, which once in a while occurs).

This time, there was a check for $383 that had gone through as $363. Did I write it correctly in my check register? My bank, Washington Mutual, no longer sends back checks. But they do put a scan online. Sure enough, the digitized check clearly read $383. After a slight debate, I clicked on the link next to the check to report an error.

The bank wrote back, saying they would investigate my claim that the check was really for $38.

I replied, reminding them that it should have been $383.

Their reply was that they couldn’t complete the investigation. Huh? All they had to do was click the link that shows a picture of the check.

At this point, I give up. Bank error in my favor, just like in Monopoly.

13 March 2008

Another dumb idea from the music business

So if the music industry makes us pay for pirated music, isn’t that telling us we should pirate? After all, if I’m being forced to pay $5/month for something I am not doing, my natural reaction is to stick it to them and stop buying music, but instead just go for free downloads.

07 March 2008

More Backing Up Metrics

I added a desktop machine to my Time Capsule tonight: a G5 connected over Ethernet (100BASE-T). Backup of about 12 GB took just over 2 hours. That is indeed slightly slower than I got over 802.11n.

(I need to figure out why my wiring isn’t working at 1000BASE-T speeds…)

05 March 2008

Time Machine

Great article on Time Machine by Sven-S. Porst. Buried the middle is how to figure out which files have changed (I haven’t had the opportunity to try this, but I’ve been dying to figure it out because it seems like Time Machine backs up more than my Retrospect configuration. I’m sure I’ll have a followup post when I have time to investigate.)

04 March 2008

Backing Up

The initial backup of my MacBook Air (about 38 GB) took about 5 hours, via AirPort (802.11n), to a Time Capsule.

Well, that’s not strictly true. It took an extra day, because I’d accidentally reset the Time Capsule in the middle of backing up. Apple warned that such an interruption would take a long time for Time Machine to validate the backup the next time. I let this run overnight and it hadn’t completed by morning. So I reformatted the Time Capsule’s hard disk.

Tonight I started a brand new backup, and that’s what took 5 hours. When I add other machines, I’ll make sure to have them wired, and try real hard not to interrupt!

I think this may actually have been the fastest way to back up the MacBook Air — it reports a wireless rate of 130 (I assume that's Mbit/s, which is faster than using the USB Ethernet connector, which maxes out at 100BASE-T).