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Archive for June, 2007

The very definition of crazy.

June 29, 2007 Leave a comment

So here’s what Rich is doing today:

1. Starting a wait in a camp chair outside a suburban AT&T store at 11:30 AM.
2. The wait is expected to last until 6PM
3. An hour and a half of the wait is expected to be outside while the store is closed from 4:30PM – 6PM.
4. If he’s very, very lucky, he’ll get to spend $700 on a phone and accessories today.
5. If he’s not lucky, he’ll get to spend $700 on a phone and accessories later.

On the plus side, I’ve actually got $700 in cash available to spend. I *could* have put the whole thing on credit. Now, that would have been even crazier. :-)

Categories: Geeky

Now that it’s all over: Thoughts on WWDC 2007

June 22, 2007 Leave a comment

I’d meant to post something (anything, really) during my sojourn to WWDC 2007, but I wasn’t really that motivated to do so, or take pictures for that matter (fortunately, lots of other people did.) I heard a number of people posting that they were disappointed; that WWDC 2007 was really WWDC 2006 2.0.) Honestly, it did feel a lot like that because we were covering the same applications and OS features. What changed between 2006 and 2007? The technology now works. 2006’s demos left a little something to be desired in that department, inasmuch as there were demos where the phrase “We haven’t written that yet” for features was heard from time to time. The OS X Server builds that came out of WWDC 2006 were also very buggy and a lot of the new features just didn’t work or (even better) did work but the interface for managing the new wizbang stuff didn’t work.

At WWDC 2007, I got builds that have the new technology actually working. All the difference in the world to me. I also got good feedback on a few things that I can’t really talk about yet, lest Apple Legal come after me for violating my NDA.

Categories: WWDC 2007

Notes on swapping out a bad tape drive.

June 21, 2007 Leave a comment

If you have an IBM 3582 LTO-2 tape library (especially one attached to an XServe via fibre channel) and you need to change out the tape drive for a replacement one, here’s some knowledge that I picked up today that could save you some trouble during the process.

1. If you have the version of the operator’s manual that I have, it makes a reference in the manual in the drive replacement section to Remove Drive and Replace Drive being under the Tools menu of the built-in interface on the front of the tape library. That section is wrong. It’s actually Power Off Drive and Power Up Drive. You use them as laid out in the manual, just choose Power Off Drive when you want to remove the old drive and Power Up Drive when you want to install the new drive. Honestly, though, just power down the whole library when you’re making the swap.

2. Once the replacement tape drive comes online, your tape library may insist that (evidence to the contrary) there’s a tape in the drive. Make it happy, pop in a tape manually by reaching into the library and inserting a tape into the drive. (I then used the robot picker to eject it and the LCD display on the front of the library showed that there was now not a tape in the drive.)

3. If you are using Retrospect for Mac, set your tape library to use Random picking of the slots, instead of Sequential. If you set it for Sequential, Retrospect will only show your tape drive and none of the slots in your library.

4. Unless you’ve got some special hard-to-recreate settings that were set using the LCD display on the front of the library, it may be easiest to (after installing the replacement tape drive) to reset the library back to factory defaults and running through the Setup Wizard again. If you do that, though, make sure to pop out your cleaning tape(s) first, as the Setup Wizard complains about the presence of cleaning tape(s) when you’re setting the AutoClean settings.

5. If you’re running the latest version of Retrospect and it’s being balky about showing the slots in the tape library, and you know you have it set for Random (see tip 3), shut down your backup machine and your tape library. Power up the tape library first, wait a few minutes for it to come online, then start up your backup machine. Retrospect should behave itself now.

That’s it. Hopefully, somebody can use this to save themselves a couple of hours of trouble.

Categories: Geeky, Mac administration

Heading to WWDC 2007.

June 6, 2007 Leave a comment

As I have done every summer since 2004, I’m getting ready this week to pack up and head out for Apple’s WWDC conference in beautiful San Francisco. Anybody wants to look me up, I’ll be one of the people with the red MacBook Pro.

Categories: Personal, WWDC 2007
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