Monthly Archives: February, 2008

SuperDuper Tuesday

Finally! SuperDuper, the single most valuable utility on my Mac, has been updated to be fully Leopard-compatible.

Apple’s TimeMachine is great, and I’ve had to do a full system restore from it in the past which was a somewhat slow but otherwise completely painless experience. Leopard still has many buglets to be ironed out, so it’s good that it has a superb backup system built-in as well!

But there are few things which can compare with having a complete, bootable copy of your system on a separate drive. When something goes badly wrong, you can be up and running again in minutes.

That’s what SuperDuper does, and does better than anything else. I will sleep more soundly henceforth.

Now my only problem is that my hard drive crashed again this afternoon, about 3 hrs before SuperDuper was released. Ah well…

Quote of the day

This one is from W.H. Auden:

We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don’t know.

Small steps for mankind

GatewayClearing out a filing cabinet today, we came across the documentation for an old Gateway machine. (Remember them? They were the Dell of the time.) It was actually rather a good 66 Mhz Pentium, which I bought in 1994, chiefly to write up my PhD thesis.

Amongst the documentation was an index card on which I’d written the IRQ settings and I/O addresses of all the peripheral cards – the sound card, the modem, the SCSI adaptor, the CD-ROM interface card… all of these settings I’d had to tweak by hand, usually by installing little jumper connectors on the cards themselves. You had to make sure no two devices were using the same settings; I’d disabled the joystick interface on the soundblaster card to reduce the likelihood of his happening. It’s all a procedure for which I feel very little nostalgia.

At the time, I really liked this big, clunky, noisy system, with its 15″ CRT monitor, but it cost me £2260.71 – well over £3000 quid in today’s money. Or, to put it another way, for the same price I could now buy three MacBook Airs.

I guess we have made some progress after all…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser