Episode 144 – Greg Regrets the Error

Once again we are joined by Tammy Coron and Greg Heo as we answer #askMTJC questions about Objective-C framework tutorials and which Drobo to buy. We follow up rumors of Amazon Prime video coming to Apple TV, the Handbrake hack resulting in Panic software being stolen and potential issues crossing the borders with smart phones. We also follow up on rumors of MacBook Pro updates coming to WWDC. We discuss highlights of announcements from Google I/O’s keynote. We take a look at what’s coming in Swift 4. Picks: Kotlin For Android: An Introduction, Toggl – the Ultimate Timer, An Xcode playground showing off the new features in Swift 4.0.

Note: not the original poster I made, but a reasonable facsimile & style of what I remember. The original is in storage.

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Episode 59 – We Can’t Help Ourselves

This week we chat about Internet pricing , cell service plans and iPhone subsidies. We follow up on Content Blockers and advertising. OS X El Capitan ships and discuss upgrading strategies. We cover our recommended upgrade strategies, cloning hard drives, backup and storage. We discuss the consequences of breaking Apple’s NDA as iFixit gets kicked out.

 

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Weird Time Machine AFP Error – solved

This was a first. I just rebooted the OSX server to free up the Time Machine volume – after getting the ubiquitous “volume is in use error”.

When Time Machine on my Mac next ran, I got this weird error “The network backup disk does not support the required AFP features”. This was the first time that I’ve seen this error. I googled around for the error, and even on the Drobo web site. I didn’t get any useful information… so I logged onto the server to look for errors.

There were no messages in the Server app’s Alerts pane. There was nothing unusual in the Drobo Dashboard. However I did notice that Time Machine was switched to “off”. WTF? A service on the OSX service that was NOT running after a reboot? Perish the thought! (I reboot my servers about once or twice a year. A properly running Unix server should never “need” a reboot.)

So I turned Time Machine back “On” in the Server’s app. There were no existing Time Machine volumes set up in the pane. So I had to direct the Time Machine back to the folder that I had set up on the Drobo to store the backups. Very strange indeed.

When the backup tried to run on the Mac again, I had to go into the Time Machine preferences and choose “Add or Remove Disk” to reconnect the back up. It’s running once again…

This is why I also use Background Backup to backup all my Macs. I never have issues with that service. You get what you pay for.

iPhoto, Drobo and Mac Mini media server with Plex

Q. The disk space on my Mac is almost full and I’d like to store our family photos on an external drive and store the family videos from my second MacBook on the storage device as well. How can we move the files if we get an external drive or Mac Mini Server?

A. To begin, both of your Mac computers use iPhoto to manage your photos and home movies. One of the key features of iPhoto is that it has a built in database and protects your photos by storing them with a special file called “iPhoto Library”.

Because of the way it is set up iPhoto can be tricky to manage. In order to maintain the integrity of the database Apple converts the iPhoto folders into a special folder type called a package. All of the photos and movies are stored inside to protect them.

You can use iPhoto to move files, as you can’t manually access photos or movies directly. iPhoto does have the ability to Export selected images to other locations such as folders, to a Mobile Me gallery, to the web or as QuickTime slideshows. You can also upload individual files to Flikr, FaceBook and email them. iPhoto will even resize the images to make them smaller for emailing and uploading.

Keep in mind that your images can be quite sizable and movie files are much larger, depending on your camera settings – up to several gigabytes in many cases.

You can manually manage images using export or by dragging them out the Desktop or you can download “iPhoto Library Manager” ($20). iPhoto Library Manager will let you manage your photos in more than one library. You can create a new Library on another drive and move or merge photos between libraries. You can also use iPhoto Library Manager to split larger libraries. The makers of iPhoto Library Manager (http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/iplm/ ) also make PowerTunes which will help manage iTunes Libraries.

In second part of your question you mention a great idea – setting up a Mac Mini as a media centre for the entire family. It can also support larger drives as you storage needs increase. The Mac Mini Server includes a full, unlimited version of Mac OS X Server 10.6. As well as offering centralized storage for the family the Mac Mini Server can also be used as a Time Machine location for the Macs on your home network.

With respect to storage options, you might want consider a Drobo – which is a robotic raid that can be expanded by adding successively larger drives. Using up to four SATA hard drives, the Drobo automagically formats and creates a storage space larger than any one drive. You can start with one or two 1 TB drives and add drives until it’s full… but it doesn’t end there. You can swap out the drives and put in larger drives to increase your storage without reformatting – mixing any number of different sized drives and manufacturers. The Drobo spreads the data across the drives and creates redundancy by using a small portion of the space for parity.

As the space fills up the Drobo will signal you with colored lights to put in a larger drive. If one of the drives fails, the Drobo lights will indicate that it needs to be replaced. The Drobo comes in 4 drive, 5 drive and 8 drive versions, so you can move up to a larger Drobo by moving the drives as a group. The Drobo will sort things out no matter what order you put the drives.

You can install the Plex Media Server to manage and play back your media on the Mac Mini (or any Mac) as a media server. Based on the popular open source Xbox Media Center, the Plex interface presents your media; music, movies, TV shows and photos. Using the Plex application, a wifi keyboard and an Apple Remote you can navigate and play your media on your Mac connected to your stereo system and HDMI TV. You can also stream media right off the Internet.

This document was created with Pages for the iPad, Air Sharing for the iPad, Drop Box and exported as Word via Mail on the iPad.