I just got my first MacBook about a month ago. I love it... though I'm having some difficulty understanding and... accepting iPhoto. I like control of my photos to the file level and I don't like the libarary. Anyway... my old Windows Laptop I backed up to an external HD. Worked fine... I just copied and pasted my photo directories to the HD. I want to do the same with my MacBook... of course. I don't want to have to reformat the external HD to Mac because I have lots of photos and files on there that I want to leave on there and not remove with a format. So from what I've read, if I use Time Machine I'll have to reformat the HD... which I don't want to do. And when I try to just copy and paste a file... any file not just a jpg, to the external HD, it doesn't paste. I don't get an error on my MacBook... it just doesn't work. Perhaps I have to partition the external drive so it has a portion of it with the Mac file system on it so that I can backup my MacBook to the external HD? I would love advice! I'm actually liking Picasa on the Mac better than iPhoto. And I also used Lightroom on my Vista machine which I also liked a lot. I would, actually, prefer to ditch iPhoto entirely and use Lightroom and Picasa. But is there any way to use Picasa separate from iPhoto? It just uses the iPhoto library so far... and I'd like it to function by itself. I don't understand why iPhoto can't just adjust to renaming files directly, or directories... like Picasa can. Doesn't seem like it should corrupt the whole library. Thanks!