Archive for February, 2006

Booting an Intel Mac from an APM-partitioned disk.

February 24, 2006 Leave a comment

I’ve been able to confirm that it is in fact possible to boot an Intel Mac and a PowerPC Mac from the same external hard drive, something that had been previously held to not be possible. The boot disks for the Intel and PowerPC versions of OS X do need to live on separate partitions, but the Intel partition can be formatted as APM, or Apple Partition Map, instead of the Intel-specific GPT, or GUID Partition Table. This is building on the great work of Jonathan Rentzch at 
What I did: 
1. Partitioned a large Firewire/USB 2.0 external hard drive on my iMac with two partitions. Both were formatted as GPT, and were identically sized. One was named Intel Boot and the other PowerPC Boot. 
2. Hooked the hard drive up to my test Intel iMac via USB and then booted the Mac off of the 10.4.4 install DVD that came with the iMac. 
3. Installed 10.4.4 on the Intel Boot drive. (I left off the bundled software, so it was just 10.4.4.) 
4. After the installation, I booted off of the external drive via USB 2 and made sure everything was working as expected. At that point, I also ran Software Update to make sure that I was up to date. Software Update found and updated my external drive with 10.4.5. Once the updates were finished, I booted back off the iMac’s internal hard drive. 
5. Once booted from the internal hard drive, I used Disk Utility to make a cloneable image of the Intel Boot drive and saved that onto PowerPC Boot. 
6. I disconnected the external drive from the Intel iMac, then connected it back to my G5 via Firewire. 
7. I copied the Intel clone image from PowerPC Boot onto my G5. I then re-partitioned the drive again on the G5 and re-setup the Intel Boot and the PowerPC Boot partitions as APM-formatted partitions. 
8. I then cloned the Intel clone image onto the Intel Boot partition, and cloned an existing 10.4.3 PowerPC image onto PowerPC Boot. 
9. I booted my G5 off of PowerPC Boot. No problems were seen, so I rebooted back to the internal hard drive. 
10. I then disconnected the external hard drive, connected it via USB 2 to the Intel iMac and then proceeded to boot the Intel iMac off of the external hard drive. There appeared to be no problems.  
11. I then booted back to the internal hard drive, restarted and held down the Option key to bring up the drives that the Mac thinks it can boot off of. The Intel partition showed up and I was able to select and boot off of it again. 
This method obviously relies on building the image on an Intel Mac that has a GPT-formatted partition of sufficient size, but it does at least solve the problem of needing multiple external drives to support both Intel and PowerPC Macs. I used USB 2.0 in my testing mostly because I was testing the iMac’s ability to boot off of USB 2 as well. As far as I am aware, there’s no problem with booting an Intel Mac from FireWire. 
Anybody had similar success? Let me know in the comments. 

Categories: Mac OS X

Comment and trackback moderation now on.

February 19, 2006 Leave a comment

I recently had my first big problem with trackback spam, so I’ve enabled comment and trackback moderation here. What this means is that I will be emailed the comment or trackback in question and will need to approve it before it’s posted in the comments or trackbacks section. 

Categories: Technical

NPR's "Wait, Wait….Don't Tell Me!" now available as a podcast.

February 15, 2006 Leave a comment

One of the things that I’ve really grown to appreciate about podcasting is how it essentially allows me to listen to the NPR radio shows that I sometimes catch only by accident. A prime example is “Wait, Wait….Don’t Tell Me!”, their weekly current events quiz show. While I’m not always the greatest fan of their panelists (Paula Poundstone, yikes!), the show is always great fun and I’m a big fan. The problem is actually being tuned in when it’s on the air, which in the DC area on WAMU is Saturday afternoon. Normally, if I’m not in the car, I miss it. Now, however, I don’t have to miss it at all as the NPR programmers have made it available as a podcast. Thanks, guys! 
Check out the rest of NPR’s podcasts here: 

Categories: Geeky, Personal

Turning 30 today.

February 10, 2006 Leave a comment

I’m turning 30 today, and I’m short of clever things to say about it. I’m pretty happy about it, though. I had a fairly good day at work, I’m spending a nice evening at home with my favorite person in the world, and there’s no crisis or problem to distract me from what’s really important for today: It’s my birthday and I’m happy. 

Categories: Personal

Two models for on-demand download of TV shows: The iTunes Music Store vs. CBS on Demand

February 4, 2006 Leave a comment

CBS is now offering Survivor episodes for download via their website in an obvious move to capitalize for themselves the success of the iTunes Music Store's (ITMS) offerings of downloadable TV shows. They're even using the same price point, $1.99. 
The main difference? The ITMS will sell you the show, while CBS will rent it to you. Same money, ostensibly same product (generally speaking) but the iTunes Music Store will outright sell it to you while CBS is renting to you for a period of up to, but not in excess of, the time period specified in the terms and conditions of the individual download. In the case of Survivor, that's 24 hours from the time of the rental. Get busy and don't get a chance to watch it until the next day? You may have wasted your two bucks. It also can't be transferred to another device. It almost seems redundant to say it's also Windows-only, because it relies on Windows Media Player's DRM protection in order to work. 
The ITMS, in contrast, also uses DRM to make sure that you can only play your videos on Apple's video iPod and in iTunes, and to restrict the number of machines you can have the video stored on and still have it play. You also can't (as far as I know) burn your iTunes videos to optical media, the way you can with your music. Past those restrictions, you own your video once you've bought it and can copy it to other machines (up to five). It doesn't expire, and it works on both Macs and Windows (thanks to iTunes being available on both platforms.) 
Which is better? I'm sure that the CBS model made CBS very happy, as it allows CBS to strictly control its own content. However, I believe that in the long run, the consumer's choice will be the ITMS model (or another model that's even freer in allowing choices for the end-user.) For myself, I'd love to have an even more free range of choices on how I can handle the video content I'd download from the ITMS, but given the choice between only those two models, I'll take Apple's way over CBS. 
(Cross-posted at TAB.) 

Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: