Category: Macs

When I upgraded to Leopard, I was excited to use Time Machine and finally have a way of backing up my important files. I did not have an extremely large backup drive, however, so I was forced to backup to a 40GB drive from my old iBook that I put inside a FireWire enclosure. Naturally this would not fit all the data on my 80GB MacBook, so I excluded some folders and began the backup process.

Fast forward almost 4 months, and I am still using that 40GB drive to back up my important data. One day when Time Machine started the backup process, I was given this dialog box.

Time Machine had finally filled the entire 40GB drive and was now presenting me with an option to get a larger drive or begin to delete backups. Naturally I chose the latter, and now I have a fully functioning backup that goes back about 3 months.

With the release of OS X 10.5.2, there is now an additional menu item with more Time Machine options. During the sync process, the Time Machine menubar item spins backward like a clock, and when the backup drive is full, it contains a caution sign.

To combat this space consumption, there is a hint available on MacOSXHints.com that gives the perfect solution.

If you think Time Machine backs up too often (or not often enough) for your liking, navigate into /System » Library » LaunchDaemons. There you’ll find a file named com.apple.backupd-auto.plist. Open it in your favorite text editor, and look for this section:

StartInterval
3600

Change the 3600 number to some other time interval in seconds, and you’ll have changed Time Machine’s backup interval.

I changed mine to 7200 (2 hours).

Follow this hint, and Time Machine will continue to provide you the optimal balance between backup redundancy and space usage.
[tags]Mac OS X, hard drive, Time Machine, MacBook, Leopard[/tags]

When I got my MacBook, I was excited to put Windows on it and play a few games. Shocking, I know, but the games that I was interested in just weren’t available for the Mac. Soon after, I learned one of my classes required us to use a Windows program for some design work. I installed Parallels and life was good.

Soon after I upgraded to Leopard, I wanted to play some games again and set about using Boot Camp to install Windows. As is the case so often with Windows, I came face to face with a cryptic error message. It gave the excellent explanation of

Disk Error. Press any key to restart.

I began trying other things, and soon after I was shown another error message that said

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
system32hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

No amount of searching could yield a result, until I came across a single page that had something about the way the partition was created. I tried the install again, and this time it worked!

The difference was the way Windows used the partition I had created with Boot Camp. Instead of using the Windows installer to create a new partition, as I had done before, I had to format the Boot Camp partition and leave the others alone. To do that, I selected the format option instead of pressing C to create a new partition, and now I can dual-boot both systems properly.
[tags]Mac OS X, Leopard, Windows, Windows XP, Boot Camp, MacBook, errors, BSOD[/tags]

For the most part my MacBook has been a great machine, but recently it has decided to become evil. It all started when I downloaded and installed the most recent software updates – Front Row, Security Update, iTunes and Quicktime. When I restarted the computer, it failed to get to the Apple loading screen, and instead left me with a blank grey background.

I forced a restart, and it continued to fail. So here I present the other steps I took to resolve my problem, in the hope that it can save someone else some headache. Read More »

When Apple moved to Intel chips and introduced the MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro (and now, MacBook Air), people were excited to find a way to have both operating systems on one machine. That would allow the best of both worlds; you could use OS X for your daily work, and when an application came up that didn’t have a Mac equivalent or was Windows only, you could use Windows.

Several months later, you now have several options to bring Redmond’s software to your Mac. Read More »


At Macworld 2008 today, Steve Jobs unveiled a brand new notebook called the MacBook Air. There is no shortage of information about it, including the official site, Engadget and Macworld.com. This 0.78″ wedge-shaped computer – billed as the “world’s thinnest notebook” – indicates a new approach to computing from Apple.
Read More »