Gine is looking to buy a new laptop she can use for work related stuff. The service agreement she gets from the manufacturer or the place she buys it will be critical since the laptop will be used for work; that the computer is unavailable for two weeks because the motherboard has to replaced will have critical impact on her ability to do actual work.

While discussing that – yes, this is the kind of discussion we have at our place – we also talked about data safety and backups. It’s mighty important to have backups of all critical data since 2.5 inch laptop hard drives tend to malfunction quite often. I have lost 3 so far – and I’m still not backup up regularly on my MacBook Pro. Apparently, I don’t learn anything from past experience. VBOX has a RAID 1 setup, which at least gives me some hope of recovering lost data.

With Apple’s new version of OS X, Leopard, they introduced Time Machine, a feature I wrote about a while back. I had planned to put off getting Leopard for a few months, maybe even to spring next year, to give Apple time to remove the most critical bugs that would surface after the OS was released. But when I though about it I could really need to start taking regular backups and Time Machine was exactly what I needed.

And when you think about it, $129 is not a bad price for a little peace of mind.

After having cloned my laptop’s hard drive on an external hard drive with SuperDuper!, I inserted the Leopard DVD and began the install process. Coming from the Windows world, I prefer to do clean installs whenever I install a new version of the OS, so I erased the hard drive and began installing.

Time then came to migrate the user and application data from the external drive to the freshly installed OS, and for that Apple has an application called Migration Assistant. Simply let the assistant know what you want to migrate and everything is done automagically. A great idea, but did it work as expected?

No, it didn’t.

At one point when migrating applications the “time left”-indicator got stuck on “Less than a minute left” and it stayed that way for two hours until the external hard drive shut down in the same way it does when the laptop is powered off. So I did another clean install without migrating the applications and three hours later I could finally log on to Leopard. Migrating the network settings and user files worked like a charm, though, but all the applications had to be reinstalled from the external drive manually.

Now there are only two things left to fix before I can use Leopard properly:

  • The Netatalk daemon that comes with Debian Etch is not compiled with the modules required to encrypt passwords and Leopard only wants to authenticate with encrypted passwords. I have tried both this and this but no success thus far. Because of this I’m not able to access the files on VBOX. Solved.
  • Leopard tries desperately to sync my laptop with .Mac everything i log on in spite of the fact that I don’t have a .Mac account and I have no idea how to stop it from trying to sync.