New Mac user need some advice on software/questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pyrodex, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. pyrodex macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    First off this isn't my first time using a Mac, well a real one I should say. My previous experience is a hackintosh. Well this year I took the plunge and waited until the 17" new MBP was released. I am a new proud owner of one, but just waiting for it to get here now. So in the meantime I have a few questions maybe someone can help a Windows/Linux user move over to a laptop for full time minus major gaming. WARNING: I am a Unix Systems Engineer so some technical questions here.

    1) I know the Macbook doesn't have a Serial port and I need one for my Serial connection to manage Solaris boxes on the serial side when in the data center. Could someone recommend a good USB to Serial converter with SOME cable length on it? I don't need 6 feet but maybe a 3 foot cable would be nice, just don't want something that is a condensed unit if you know what I mean.
    2) Could someone recommend a good Serial console program to go with #1, I've used minicom and SecureCRT to name a few.
    3) I've done some research on backing up the macintosh and need to ask what would be the best solution. I am planning to get a 1TB Time capsule since my current Wi-FI is B so its time to upgrade. I was going to use that for the TimeMachine side and use a FW800 attached Raid 1 system to do drive dumps with SuperDuper. Am I being too paranoid or does that sound solid? Also how would I RESTORE the image in a failed drive or upgrading the drive scenario with SuperDuper?
    4) When new MAJOR OS versions come out like 10.6 and so forth, could I attach a FW800 single drive and install the new OS onto that drive and then give a test run a few hours before I decide to upgrade my internal hard drive? Does the Macbook allow you to boot/install from an external FW/USB drive?
    5) BootCamp, I know you can do this to create Windows installs. Could you use Bootcamp to install Linux instead of windows if you wanted and how do you handle the Grub issue of bootloaders? Also could you have TWO bootcamps one windows and one linux with MAC OSX to?
    6) Tweaking? Anyone have any good articles or resources to OPTIMIZE the performance in OSX to the fullest if possible.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    I've only dealt with one serial adapter, and I didn't actually end up being able to get it to work with my computer. Can't help you there.

    Never been there. The best I could find was Fugu... will that do what you're after?

    You may have to resign yourself to virtualizing/dual-booting Linux or Windows.

    You could use only the RAID 1 setup for Time Machine, but I'd say even that alone is overkill. Just use the Time Capsule. The chances of both drives failing at the same time are minimal.

    Of course, if your only backup(s) is/are located in the same place as you are, there remains the possibility of losing all of your backup copies at once to burglary, fire, etc. I'd suggest maintaining an off-site backup of your most important files using a service such as Dropbox or MobileMe.

    You can use your computer's restore disks to restore any Time Machine backup from a fresh format/failed drive/etc. Doing so takes longer than with SuperDuper, but is more convenient in terms of backup time and removing unnecessary redundancy. Unless you need an immediately bootable backup or plan to dual-boot with an archived copy of your OS, I wouldn't bother with SuperDuper. By the way Carbon Copy Cloner will also get the job done.

    Absolutely. PowerPC Macs only support booting from FireWire drives, but Intel Macs can boot from either. You can also boot from network disks. I can't remember the terminology offhand, but you probably know what I'm talking about.

    Leopard also supports non-destructive partitioning, from within the system as well as from the install DVD, so expect to be able to create and install to a new partition on demand if you plan to use the drive for other purposes at the same time.

    Boot Camp is really just a partitioning tool and a set of Windows drivers. Yes, you can certainly triple-boot with Linux, and I imagine it's possible to run two Windows partitions as well. If you Google around a bit you'll come up with some information on the subject.

    Then again, if you plan to run multiple operating systems, virtualization may be the way to go. It's not like you won't have enough memory for it. ;)

    Why do you care with that beast of a machine? :D

    I can't speak for performance optimization, but I suggest you immediately do a reinstall when you get your computer, selecting only the components you need. Doing so will save you up to about 8 GiB of hard drive space, depending on what you install. OS X comes with 3 GiB of printer drivers and 2 GiB of language localizations, as well as iLife if you don't intend to be using that.

    Enjoy your new toy, or I'll take it off your hands. :D

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