Miscellaneous questions before switching [to an iBook]

Lazyhound

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 19, 2005
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1. What would a Mac booted in Target Disk Mode show up as to a PC? Would it only be able to read partitions formatted in NTFS/FAT32?
2. How is dual-booting handled normally? The same as on a PC (GRUB, etc.)?
3. Would it be possible to order an iBook with a 5400rpm drive straight from Apple, or would I have to order a stock drive, and send it back in to get it replaced (there are no authorized repair centers in my area)?
4. I know it's possible to encrypt your home directory, but can you also hide/password-protect files and folders apart from that? Also, how much does encrypting /home slow things down?

I've probably got other questions, but they aren't coming to mind at the moment.

(Thanks in advance for answers, though.)

EDIT: 5. Can you replace the keyboard with another region's? I do a bit of work in Japanese and Cyrillic script and it would be handy.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
1) It wouldn't unless the PC has MacDrive installed, and then the PC could read the HFS+ drive as a normally mounted Firewire device. Your Mac cannot write to NTFS, but it can read it. Your Mac can read and write to FAT32. But in target mode, it's not doing any reading of other volumes, it's only amountable volume.

2) Dual booting what? OS X and Linux?

3) Look on the website. I don't think iBooks are very BTO, Powerbooks are, however.

4) Yes, by creating a password protected encrypted disk image. I am NOT a fan of Home Folder encryption. Too much potential for things to go radically wrong and you loose everything. I'd rather store the important stuff in an encrypted disk image and back up as normal.

5) I don't see why not if it's external, as long as you can change the keyboard set up in the System Preferences.
 
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Lazyhound

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 19, 2005
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yellow said:
2) Dual booting what? OS X and Linux?
Yeah, and/or OpenBSD.

5) I don't see why not if it's external, as long as you can change the keyboard set up in the System Preferences.
I meant actually swapping out the physical keyboard, though (it's not exactly a high priority, but I was curious).
 
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mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
5
Adelaide, Australia
Swapping the inbuilt keyboard is probably not worth it - too difficult and finicky for regular changing. Is an external keyboard an option?
 
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FocusAndEarnIt

macrumors 601
May 29, 2005
4,360
366
Yes I would NOT be changing keyboards, if at all (on the iBook, atleast) because those wires can get broken and if they do get broken, your screwed :(

Try what madjew said and try to get an external USB keyboard :)

Hope that helps :)
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
Lazyhound said:
Yeah, and/or OpenBSD.
IMO, dual booting between OS X and OpenBSD is.. well.. stupid.

Apple's version of UNIX(-like), aka Darwin, is built on FreeBSD. So dual booting between Free and Open BSDs is.. pointless?

Well, anyway, do what you want! ;)
 
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gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
3. I think you would have to make a deal with an Apple authorized repair center and send it to them, yes. I'm not sure how their stand is on keeping the warranty with a 5400rpm drive, they do generate more heat and could be a reason for Apple not to officially support it.

4. There's no single file or folder encryption built in to OS X. I'm sure you can find a freeware application to do it for you. If you don't, I can make one for you :)
 
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Lazyhound

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Original poster
Jul 19, 2005
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gekko513 said:
3. I think you would have to make a deal with an Apple authorized repair center and send it to them, yes. I'm not sure how their stand is on keeping the warranty with a 5400rpm drive, they do generate more heat and could be a reason for Apple not to officially support it.
I think that sort of thing might be covered under the same law that prevents them from revoking the warranty for memory upgrades. 5400rpm drives don't really put out that much more heat, though.

gekko513 said:
4. There's no single file or folder encryption built in to OS X. I'm sure you can find a freeware application to do it for you. If you don't, I can make one for you :)
Someone mentioned encrypted disk images, which I'll have to look into (thanks for the offer, though).

yellow said:
IMO, dual booting between OS X and OpenBSD is.. well.. stupid.

Apple's version of UNIX(-like), aka Darwin, is built on FreeBSD. So dual booting between Free and Open BSDs is.. pointless?
OpenBSD's design philosophy appeals to me.
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
Lazyhound said:
OpenBSD's design philosophy appeals to me.
Alrighty. I have no experience with OpenBSD on a PowerPC, sorry. So I cannot offer any advice on dual-booting. I imagine if your erase the HD and partition it into 2 separate partitions that you'll have little problems dual-booting.
 
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Lazyhound

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Original poster
Jul 19, 2005
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Sorry, one more question: Are there any OSX equivalents to ShareScan on Windows? That is, a program that maps and indexs all files in network share folders on a given network?
 
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mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
5
Adelaide, Australia
Do you mean something that will let you use Spotlight on network drives? I'm not sure I quite understand the question, sorry, it's been a big day.

If so, there's a plug in somewhere that'll let you do this but I can't for the life of me find it right now. Sorry. :(
 
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Lazyhound

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 19, 2005
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That would probably work pretty well, but here's a screenshot of what I'm talking about (pardon the MSPaint):



It basically scans for the network for computers, and indexes the contents of any shared folders so that you can search, filter (by file extension), or manually browse them.

EDIT: Not exactly a plugin, but http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050430233117572
 
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matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
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Bay Area, CA
Lazyhound said:
I think that sort of thing might be covered under the same law that prevents them from revoking the warranty for memory upgrades. 5400rpm drives don't really put out that much more heat, though.
They obviously won't cover the hard drive under their warranty. They're also not obligated to install third-party hardware or software (that's not what they're there for). You can add a 5400 RPM hard drive yourself, though, with the proper tools and a little bit of time. But if your computer craps out and it's related to the hard drive (or ATA controller), you're on your own.

And for the record, they do cause a not-insignificant increase in operating temperature, not only because the hard drive itself gets hotter, but because they put increased strain on the battery, too.
 
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matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
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Bay Area, CA
Lazyhound said:
Not really.

http://www.tomshardware.com/mobile/...impact_on_system_performance_and_battery_life

Four minute difference between 4200RPM and 7200RPM on a 173 minute charge (2.3%).

EDIT: I just realized I linked to the Seagate marketing datasheet above instead of the technical one, which is here.
Also, the new Hitachi 7200rpm drives have almost the same thermal specs as the Momentus. Interesting.
Again, you're using an exception. That particular 7200 RPM hard drive uses a smaller, lighter mechanism and a sophisticated power management system. That's not to say you couldn't use it and get that performance in your iBook, just that it's not a typical figure. The 5400 RPM hard drive in that figure provides 5 minutes (about 2.9%) less battery life.

If you examine a typical notebook computer's power consumption, say 25W for easy calculations, and then look at the typical read/write TD of a hard drive (2.3W), you can see that the hard drive uses about 9-10% of the total system battery. A 3% drain on battery life on a component using only 9% of the total batter means that battery performance (restricted to the hard drive) is about 25% better with a slower drive.

The issue remains that they are hotter, which has implications for total ambient temperature, battery operating temperature, and fan usage. It's not necessarily important in the end result, because the performance gains are significant. But it is a measurable and significant change in operating characteristics.
 
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Lazyhound

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Jul 19, 2005
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matticus008 said:
The issue remains that they are hotter, which has implications for total ambient temperature, battery operating temperature, and fan usage. It's not necessarily important in the end result, because the performance gains are significant. But it is a measurable and significant change in operating characteristics.
Six months ago, I would have been in complete agreement with you, but I did a bit more research today, and it seems the newest model 5400RPM and 7200RPM drives almost universally consume less power than the 4200RPM Toshiba drives Apple is using right now, so this is no longer a general truth.
 
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Lazyhound

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Original poster
Jul 19, 2005
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Dumb question maybe, but is there any way to format an iBook's internal drive to FAT32? I'd like to use it to transfer some files between two Windows PCs in Target Disk mode, then format it back to HFS+ and re-install OSX. I tried doing it through a Ubuntu livecd, but it wouldn't even mount the drive.
 
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matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
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Bay Area, CA
Lazyhound said:
Dumb question maybe, but is there any way to format an iBook's internal drive to FAT32? I'd like to use it to transfer some files between two Windows PCs in Target Disk mode, then format it back to HFS+ and re-install OSX. I tried doing it through a Ubuntu livecd, but it wouldn't even mount the drive.
Even if you could format it as FAT32 easily (it's possible, but not simply), you probably wouldn't want to. Target Disk mode won't do anything on the Windows machines. It won't register as a storage device or be available for use. Your best bet is to use an external enclosure to put the hard drive from PC 1 into, and then plug it in to PC2 and copy the files. You can find Firewire or USB enclosures for less than $40.
 
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