Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I am preparing the eMac's documents folders from 2006 and 2007 for burning

Again I was deleting movies and burn folders that had been left over on the documents folders I want to back up. I have some new 8 GB DVD's now. I have fifteen so I will use 12 of them to do two back ups. I think I can just back up the one documents folder from the end of 2006.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The backups continue I am moving on to the eMac backups now with the Macbook mostly completed.

I spent this morning preparing the backups of the Desktop folders of the eMac for DVD archiving. I inspected the five dated Desktop folders that go back to December 2006 when I bought the 250 LaCie USB drives. So there are four Desktop folders covering 2007. I also made a folder of the Desktop for now, January 2008.

I took a different approach and an important step I am realising. I went into each Desktop folder and deleted old burn folders and movie files. These were mostly movies I had collected from google that are copyright free . These were downloaded for the PSP or iPod. Most were movies used in Internet research such as Apple computer TV advertisements. Another movie was a documentary on how the Internet came to be. This deleting is important because it will help not only cut down the size I need to archive but it will also clean up the back ups in case someone else has to open them some day. It also cleans them up for my own use and I learned some practical file management this way. I do not need to back up other peoples stuff so much. These movies are only related to me as research sources I have used and will most possibly be still available from the Internet in the future. Also I do not need to save more than one copy; not one copy in each desktop. So for these movies I left one copy in the first Desktop it was found in and then deleted these large files in future desktop folders.

So I now have all these Desktop folders ready for archiving to DVD. The six folders should now fit on one 4.7 GB DVD and I have at least six blank DVD's to use for this. This is a way of clearing up the eMac's LaCie 250 GB backup drive. The other LaCie drive had 80 GB free after the backups last week and it is now back in regular service for the Macbook again but not with Time Machine or LaCie backup software but instead a simple copy of the three basic folders every other month.

    These three folders are
  1. Documents
  2. Desktop
  3. Mail and Mail downloads

I am buying fifteen 8 GB double layer DVD's today for 20 dollars and then the next purchase will be 50 or 100 4.7 GB DVD's.

I helped some other poor computer owners to use their computers.

I won't go into great details because I respect the privacy of these persons. But I did try to upgrade the RAM on an old PowerBook Lombard but made the mistake of installing the 512 MB RAM chip on the top RAM slot. I now have to return to try again and this time install the RAM on the bottom slot. This should bring the Lombard up to 576 MB RAM. The only other thing I will do for this person's Lombard is get it a bigger hard drive. But that can wait for now but I will start to look around for a brand new 20 or 30 GB hard drive.

Yesterday, also I connected someone to the Internet. She was paying for the service for about 5 months without using it. This was Rogers Yahoo Internet service that was delivered by a technician but not hooked up. The technician could see that she had only a windows 98 Pentium1 laptop but left her stranded with the bill. I helped her buy an new HP low end desktop as a microloan and gave her my Sony LCD 17" TV monitor for a complete recent system which she has been learning to use. So yesterday we hooked the system up to the net and then I updated a variety of softwares and she now has an email address. She has some basic understanding of what she is doing now but we covered a lot in the two hours of help. I have her using Thunderbird, Firefox and Open Office.

There is one more person to help and perhaps today she will also get some help.

The 160 GB LaCie drive is now working as the Music Library folder on the IBM Thinkcentre

I did in the end just delete the Time Machine back up on the LaCie 160 GB drive. I also in this move decided that I would not be using Time Machine. I was being sour on the Mac and the new Time Capsule drive sold by Apple. So I simply deleted the Time Machine back up folder.

It took a while to get the LaCie drive working with the IBM Thinkcentre running XP. In the end I formatted the drive on the eMac using Disk Utility as a MS-DOS disk. iTunes on XP asked if I wanted to copy my music library to the LaCie when I changed the store folder of iTunes to the LaCie. So this worked fine and it works with the Linksys music bridge. So that is that. Too bad the Linksys bridge does not also handle video.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Configuring the use of external hard drives

I am these past few weeks deciding that I will clear off one of the LaCie USB external drives, the one for the Macbook and then use it as the Time Machine drive for the Macbook. Then I will not need a new USB external drive for the WinXP streaming music library and can not afford a new drive right now. This swapping of Time Machine drives will free the LaCie 160 GB pocket drive for use as a music library. I had started to use the 160 this way when I considered that I might carry it around and loose it. Thus public not personal files like a music library seem to be appropriate for a drive that might be off site and possibly lost.

I do have some very personal voice memos though which I should make sure stay on only the eMac. I used the Griffen iTalk microphone and my first 60GB iPod photo to record these memos and I no longer record voice memos that way. I can now use my Blackberry to record voice memos but have not really recorded any of these yet.

The LaCie 160 drive is all cleared off except the backup from Time Machine which I will try to transfer to the new Time Machine drive. The old 250 Macbook backup drive is being cleared off still and backed up to DVD's in fact six copies of each DVD. Four of these copies will be mailed to family members each person getting two copies of each disk. I have some cardboard boxes for mailing that are filling up with DVD's now. I did buy more blank DVD's and DVD's sleeves. I will use up this new supply of fifty DVD's sometime today. I will not quite finish the back up and clear up but have about 80 GB free now so I can start the Time Machine on the drive today. I have also copied some folders to the eMac's 250 GB external drive.

I am almost done backing up all the 2006 backups which mostly include a variety of dated copies of three major folders for different dates through the year. The folders are the Desktop, the Documents and the user folder.

So now I am almost ready with enough free space on the Macbook 250 external drive to start Time Machine as I said. Then I can start the music drive on the Windows XP computer today too. This means two help files are needed from the Apple Web site. One help file explaining how to transfer or change Time Machine drives and then a second help file or help web page to change the store folder for the music in iTunes on the WinXP computer. This does tie down the iTunes to having the external drive running but it does not have to absolutely use AC power. So this should help with my habit or keeping all devices not in use turned off and not on some sort of on state. All those AC adapters left plugged in produce heat and thus use wasted electricity

The Canon IP Pixma 4300 will not print duplex from the Debian computer.

So although I could select duplex and the printer tried to print duplex it did not in fact work. The pages were printed upside down and right side up alternating as is needed but the paper feed did not grab the first sheet and draw it back into the printer. May be there is a clue in this description as to how to write a better driver. I guess I should write at least one driver to meet Linus Torval's jocular challenge of "real programmers write their own drivers" but I would counter that reality is a myth and anyone can be a real programmer and, in fact, the world is full of real programmers and very few unreal programmers. I am only playing with words here and must get beyond this aggression towards Linus Torvals caused by some negative experiences of Linux geeks in the past.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Returning the RAM and buying more ink.

I will after work today and after doing local errands return the PC 5300 Desktop RAM and get a refund. I will then buy some black ink for the Canon IP Pixma 4300 and further test it on Linux. Apparently I can print duplex with Linux and need to test this. This will mean I do not have to buy an HP printer just for the Debian computer. There was this past week a nice large format HP printer on sale. But I can just not afford this right now. May be in the summer when this particular printer is cheaper I will buy it. The IP Pixma 4300 is now on sale for only 100 dollars and I paid 200 dollars about a year ago.

The Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge streaming music device arrived and I just set it up.

I decided to set up the Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge model WMB54G streaming music device and see if it worked. It does work right out of the box on the IBM Thinkcentre PC running windows XP. It also can use optical connected digital audio. Thus pleased with this device, I will keep it. Rather than try to clear off my current USB external hard drives, I will buy a new 500 GB LaCie USB external hard drive for just music on the PC. Then I will set the iTunes up to use this external drive for its store library.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The IP 4300 printer works with the Debian computer

I did get the Debian computer to print a test page to the Canon IP 4300 and may be able to print with duplex as well but I am all out of black ink right now.

I am taking back the memory and Linksys streaming music device

I am taking these back to the store for a refund.