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Dropbox

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 6, 2010 in Apple, Tech

I discovered Dropbox only last week, as I was looking for a solution to sync my 1Password software between 2 Macs, as mentioned in my 1Password post.

Now I’ve been using cloud storage in 1 way or another for a while now, and do believe it’s the future, as the internet gets faster, there is going to be less of a need for keeping data locally, and everything will be stored and accessed from the Cloud.

Dropbox is a simple piece of software, and essentially give you access to 2Gb of free storage (you can pay a monthly fee for the 50Gb and 100Gb version, however for my needs the 2Gb free version is currently sufficient). The storage is accessible via the Dropbox website, or via a application on your Mac, PC, or Linux machine.

How does it work ? Quite simple….once the software is installed, you get a new folder added to your machine, anything you drop into this folder will be synced with the Dropbox website, so if the worse case happened and you lost your hard drive, no worries !…it’s backed up on the web.

Now the beneficial thing for me was the syncing is done real time, so if you have more than 1 machine needing to access a particular config file to keep in sync, then this is the solution. I’m currently using this to keep my 1Password config file safe, not only is it backed, it’s also realtime synced between both machines, so if I add any new details on my MacBook, these are instantly reflected on my iMac

Dropbox also has a sharing function, meaning that you can share 1 file, or an entire folder with other Dropbox users, so anything you drop into folder, will be instantly downloaded to their machine. This is great if you have work you are collaborating on. It also allows you to send a link to a specific file, if you would like to share this with a non Dropbox user.

Dropbox also comes in the form of an Iphone app (and I believe also a iPad app now). This essentially means that any files I drop into the Dropbox folder, are accessible on the move. I’ve found this beneficial so far with photo sharing, basically, take a photo via the Iphone app, upload to dropbox, and it’s instantly downloaded to all your machines, and anybody your sharing the folder with, or you can upload any existing file from your iPhone to the cloud.

From what I can see, there are no file type or size limitation, so basically you can upload whatever you like.

All in all, a fantastic service, it’s fast, and most of all, it’s all FREE !

If you do want to increase your storage without having to pay, they have the option of the referral scheme, which essentially, if you get somebody to sign up to the free account, you and they both get 250Mb of addition storage, however they say that the limit is 8Gb additional space, so if after reading this, your planning on signing up, drop me an email and I’ll send you a referral link, this way we both get an addition 250Mb free storage.

edit : My referral link is here

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Apple Time Capsule

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 18, 2010 in Apple

As mention in my Happy Mac Day post I was awaiting delivery of the Apple Time Capsule ,and as assumed it did arrive today.

I have to say, Apple once again made setting up and installing this device an absolute pleasure !

Below are the unboxing pics

..and finally a picture of it inplace

Now in true Apple style, the setup was flawless, I put it on the shelf, I plugged it in, and that was it ! The iMacs and MacBook Pro all popped up with a prompt saying Time Capsule detected, do you want to set up Time Machine ?

Click yes, input the password and your away.

Did this on all the Macs in the house. The initial backup took a little while, however after that there is a silent hourly backup which you don’t even notice, and it’s good to know my data is now safe !

As you can see from the last image, I’m a little paranoid about my data, on the left I have the 2TB Acer Aspire Easystore, in the middle I have the 500GB Western Digital My Book World, and obviously on the right is the Time Capsule.

I tend to store the majority of my data on the EasyStore as this is set up with Raid 5, giving 1.5Tb of storage and losing only 500Gb to the parity recovery. I did use the MyBookWorld, however upgrading the firmware broke it, and had to spend the best part of a week recovering the data.

So with all this backup, why have I got the time capsule you may ask ?, well let me tell you.

I have a tendency of keeping an extremely clean desktop. If possible I will have nothing on it, however will use it as a temporary file store for the work I’m currently doing. Once I’ve done I tend to just delete everything, and then empty the recycle bin. Unfortunately on more than 1 occasion I’ve needed one of the files I’ve deleted.

Another reason is because C doesn’t tend to use the EasyStore as much as I, and tend to keep everything on her desktop on her iMac and MacBookPro, which means if the worst case happened, she would lose everything !

All in all, I’m very happy with this addition to my network, and can highly recommend getting one if you have a Mac

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Happy Mac Day !

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 17, 2010 in Apple

Well after much consideration, I finally took to plunge and bought a 27″ iMac.

I’ve been running Mac OSX on my PC now for a good few months, and I’ve also got a MacBook Pro. A couple of things were holding me back, first of all gaming ability. As you are probably more than aware, I game….alot ! and the majority of games come out on the PC. Now I know you can run Parallels desktop, and similar wine based software to allow you to run up Windows games on the mac, but there seems to be only a handful of games that run 100%.

Currently I have the option to boot up my Windows 7 drive in my PC and all is good. I was aware of bootcamp too, however until last week I’d not put this to use.

As mentioned, last week, I was going on a VB.net training course and had to put Windows on my Mac, in case I needed to run through anything on a evening….installed windows XP, installed the Bootcamp drivers, and everything ran very smooth 🙂

Another announcement 2 weeks ago which helped sway my decision was the announcement of Steam coming to the Mac in April, and they would also be bringing with them the Valve games. They’ve also said that if you already own any of the Steam games, eg Half Life, Portal, Team Fortress, there is no need to repurchase them !

So the decision was made at the weekend and I bought and iMac 27″. I decided to go with the Quad Core i5 version as I don’t plan on replacing this for a couple of years. When I say I bought 1, I actually mean that I ordered 2, and C wanted one too, as our current machines are around 2 1/2 years old.

I decided as we will have 2 iMacs and 2 MacBook Pros, it was only sensible to get a Time Capsule too. We do currently use our 2Tb Acer Aspire EasyStore for the majority of our storage, but through it would be advantageous to have the Time Capsule for the “what if” factor.

As you can guess by the title of this post, today everything has turned up !

Below are the images of the unboxing of both the iMacs and the the Time Capsule apparently turns up tomorrow.

The huge brown boxes

Unboxed from said brown boxes

Unboxed

The Keyboard

Keyboard and Mouse

Again, the keyboard and mouse

This is how slim the magic mouse is

and this size of the keyboard

Size of the screen, compared to my 15.4″ MacBook Pro

The spec from the box

Finally in place

C with the original PC in place

Both in position

and finally to give you an idea of the screen resolution, below is a google search ! Look at all the white !

Finally, how is it ?

Let me tell you, it’s huge, it’s fast, it’s deadly quiet, and it’s Apple !…..so yup it works really well. The mouse and keyboard are taking a little getting used to, apart from that, I’m loving it !

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