Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Problems Using PC-Formatted Drive with Leopard & Time Machine

Whew! I was pretty excited tonight when Leopard was in my mailbox. Finally! (It was supposed to be here yesterday, grumble grumble grumble). I'll save my Leopard thoughts for later - just wanted to document my first Leopard problem (which, SURPRISE, was indirectly caused by my old Windows PC).

I have a 750GB Western Digital MyBook. It's pretty sweet. I was using it as my backup drive for my Windows PC, and it was formatted FAT32. When I trashed my PC and got an iMac a couple weeks ago, I checked WD's web site and sure enough, they had a Mac version of their backup software. Sweet!

Then came Leopard and Time Machine... automatic backups that can be accessed in a completely granular fashion. Imagine! Buh-bye, WD Backup. Hello, Time Machine!

I plugged in my WD MyBook after installing Leopard, and like promised, Leopard asked if I wanted to use that drive to backup with Time Machine. Absolutely! Time Machine said it needed to be reformatted to the Mac format. Sure, no problem.

Except that the format failed.

Disk erase failed with the error: File system formatter failed.


I tried using Disk Utility to no avail. It would format fine as FAT32, but not as any Mac format.


Gizmodo saved me!

Thankfully, the fix is easy.

• Go to the Partition tab. Create two partitions. Under Options, select GUID Partition Table (what you would use to make a Mac OS boot disk) and click OK then Apply.

• Once your partitions are in place, do it again, reverting back to just one partition, but still keeping the GUID Partition Table option. Click OK and Apply again, and at this point you should be cool.

• To be safe, you can then go to Erase and set formatting for Mac OS Extended (Journaled), then format it once and for all. But when you get there, you will probably see that your volume is already formatted in the right way.

Gizmodo reports that some users were able to get this solution working only creating one partition, and that the key seems to be using the GUID Partition Table option.

Whatever the case, these steps worked for me, and Time Machine is now happily chugging way with its first full backup of my new iMac - now dressed in Leopard skin :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Boy I Missed Diggnation

All summer, since I wasn't working on a daily basis (ahh the joys of summers off), I fell way behind on my podcasts. Additionally, my AppleTV has taken a shit on me (the Apple love affair has proven inapplicable for bleeding-edge products, as I've had problems with both the bleeding edge fresh-off-the-assembly-line MacBook Pro as well, though got it fixed free and fast via AppleCare). One of these days, I've got to take that AppleTV in. It's giving me the 2-color blinky light on the front, which apparently means, it's dead.

Anyway, now that I'm up and running on the iMac, I'm currently listening to the latest diggnation. Damn, I missed these boys!

I've had a seemingly lifelong crush on Kevin Rose, and Alex Albrecht is the funniest human being evar.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Better to just lick the toilet again

Paul Phillips wins for the best verbalization of Windows users' justifications of using Vista instead of OS X:

I cannot believe people put up with this for the privilege of using vista. It's as if the bouncer at the worst club in town made you lick the inside of a toilet to get inside, and yet people continued to line up because it's such a big building, and they already know where the bar is located. Who wants to figure out a whole new club layout? Better to just lick the toilet again.

In other news, I'm bummed that I preordered my $9.95 Leopard upgrade for my new iMac online, because it won't arrive till Tuesday. I'm fairly certain if I'd have just waited I could have gone and picked it up at the Apple Store this weekend. Now, I have to wait until Tuesday for it to arrive via USPS. I'm hoping I can get the upgrade quickly through work for my (work-owned) Macbook Pro.

I got to play with Leopard this past week at the Educause conference in Seattle. It's sexy. A friend of mine made an interesting observation last night as he was bitching about how he hated Vista on his new laptop and was tempted to go back to XP: "Vista is just a pretty new face with no new features. Half of my software doesn't work properly with it, so what's the point?" I compared his observations on Vista to the newly released Leopard, which not only looks fantastic, but is packed with lots of new functionality and features. Can't wait to get my hands on Spaces, and Time Machine looks excellent.

Seeing Leopard, I can't believe how far behind Microsoft is. Vista is, at best, comparable to OS X Tiger (if that). If only we could get a Mac into every person's hands without a) telling them it's a Mac and b) showing them the price tag. I think the world would fall in love. And hell, if you really need Windows, use Bootcamp. It worked wonderfully for me, even through beta.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Switched

My PC died this weekend. I can't say for certain what exactly is shot, but the beast has managed to fry a brand new CPU and now a brand new (and rather expensive) video card.

It is now being dismembered. Remaining good parts (excluding the mainboard and power supply, one of which I'm sure is the culprit here) will be sold on eBay when I get back from Vegas and Seattle next week.

I am now the proud new owner of a 20" 2.4GHz iMac.

Go, me!

I'm 110% happy with my decision to switch. The process of migrating over from Vista to OS X has been painless thus far. This machine is gorgeous, fast, and silent. I bet it even consumes less power.

I heart Apple :)

Does anybody know how to contact Google or Gmail to report abuse?

Like the subject says.

Does anybody have an email address or web link to report abuse to Gmail (Google)?

Their help documents on the subject are an endless circle of FAQ's that never appear to lead to the "form" that they want you to fill out. I can't find the form. Nor can I find an abuse related email address to write to.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Thursday, October 11, 2007



Funniest. Thing. Ever.

If you like LOLCats and are a geek, anyway.


Thanks to Andy for the laugh!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007