Monday, January 5, 2009

Backup, Backup and then Backup again.

If you own a computer, especially a laptop, whether it's a Mac or PC.....BACKUP!

I can not stress this point more. Within the last year, I have seen more disasters of people losing all their family pictures, email and other valuable information, because they did not backup their data. Those who got off lucky by sending their computer in for recovery were left with a hefty bill.

So, depending upon your setup, there are some very simple solutions for backing up. The more the process can be automated, the better, because as humans we are lazy.

If you are using a Mac, first upgrade it to Leopard (if you can) and take advantage of Apple's automated backup software called Time Machine. Secondly, get a decent external firewire hard drive. I am fond of the Lacies and G-Drives, you can usually find good deals at Tekserve in Manhattan, or the Apple Store.

A 500GB drive will cost roughly $100.00.

As soon as you plug in your external drive into a Mac with the Leopard OS installed, Time Machine will prompt you, and ask you if you want to use this drive as a Time Machine Backup device. (Say Yes). Time Machine will then backup your entire hard drive, so go take a coffee break.

Future backups will be incremental, and will only backup modified items and will run once every hour.

I find the "once an hour thing" a bit overkill for me, and being that I always remember to backup, I simply turn off Time Machine, and just
select Backup Now from the Time Machine Menu item everyday.
There are ways to leave on automatic and increase the time between backups, but it is a bit technical. Hopefully, Apple will include this feature in future updates.

Additionally, you can tweak what you don't want backed up. I don't backup Applications, because I have the original installers, so you can add the Applications folder to the "Do not Backup" area in Time Machine System Preference.

To get your backup solution started you will need to invest some money into a setup.
1. $100-200 for backup Firewire drive depending upon the size of your internal drive.
2. $100 for Leopard (if you don't already own it)

Some of you may be thinking, wow, $300 for a backup setup, I can't afford that in this economy. Well, if your hard drive dies and you absolutely need to get it recovered, it will cost you anywhere from $500 to $3000 depending on where you take it and how much data you have. Make the investment and take the time to backup your files.

Other alternatives for small data backups are USB Jump drives, CDs or DVDs.
These are fine alternatives, but they cannot be automated, and requires you to remember to backup.

If you are on PC, (why are reading PetetheMac's blog :) ).
Seriously though, there are some backup solutions for the PC.
Here is a link to once such automated solution:

If you would like assistance with a Macintosh backup solution,
feel free to contact me:

Happy Computing : )

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Wellmont Theatre • Montclair, NJ

I had the pleasure to see B.B. King at the Welmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ last week. B.B. was awesome as usual, but what impressed me more, was the restoration of this theatre. The Wellmont was one of my mainstays growing up as kid in the area in the 70's and 80's. With such theatres as the Bellevue, the ClairRidge and the Royal Theatre in Bloomfield, the Wellmont was considered the "dirty theatre", and usually a last choice between the other theatres. However, it had some mystique to it, and as kids we were some times able to sneak in the side exit.

The Wellmont Theatre was built in 1922 and started out as a vaudeville theatre, then became a movie theatre shortly after that. The original entrance was on Bloomfield Avenue and it had a long walkway to the main part of the theatre. Later on, when the theatre was broken up into a triplex, the entrance was moved to the side and a restaurant moved into the front part. The triplex had one theatre in the balcony and the main floor the other two. So, going their for the first time since I was a kid, was quite the experience. The original stucture is intact, including the fluted columns, the avante garde decor and the ornate ceiling. All of which I never noticed as a kid. The only thing I did remember, was the analog clock on the left side, which is still there (I guess they painted around it). : )

We had floor seats for the B.B. King show. I seem to remember that originally those were orchestra seats, and when the theatre split, part of what's now the floor was moved back. But now it is all open. Being a big guy, I did not find the folding chair floor seats all that comfortable, additionally on the left side of the floor there is this big wall, about 5 feet tall that has a walkway on the other side of it. I was unfortunately cramed right up against it. I could really feel the bass bouncing off the wall and into my heart. Something that took me a minute to get used to. This however did not dimish my experience, I would recommend maybe reducing the number of chairs of the floor, but that will never happen. And for most bands, I believe the chairs are removed for dancing. The acoustics, by the way, were awesome. Really nice sound, and not too loud to blow your ear drums out.

There are three bars, one upstairs and two on the main floor. (unless I missed one) The bars are in nice locations and nicely lit with blue lights. Drinks are the going rate, expensive. But that's the theatre scene. It's a very nice, professionally run place, I recommend you check it out.

Well, it's nice to have a real music venue right here in Montclair, (besides Tierney's Tavern) and they are getting some real big acts too. Tonight, I believe "Get the Led Out" is playing. A show I could have gone to, but I bailed. I am looking forward to seeing The Dark Star Orchestra on 12/30, and possibly Gregg Allman in January.

Check it out,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pete the Mac

This is my first posting on my new blog, Pete the Mac.
What is Pete the Mac?
I have no idea, it was the best untaken blogspot name.

Seriously though, my name is Pete and I am a Mac.
So, this blog will contain the latest Mac news, issues and technical info.

More to come.....