Moving to Crashplan online backup

March 10, 2012 3 comments

I recently detailed my problems with Backzup and LiveDrive, and have since found Carbonite’s throttling of backup speeds has made the service unusable. I had to contact Carbonite after upgrading my server from a 10.6 Atom to 10.7 i3 setup, as the backup set was frozen and a new one started. I had around 200Gb of data in the backup, and since Carbonite throttle backup speeds to make the service unusable at around 300Gb I could only get half way through the second backup. Contacting Carbonite about the problem resulted in having to delete all the backups and start again, but the speed stayed low and after six weeks I had backed up 60Gb.

I have had no reply from Backzup in the ten weeks since my account was suspended, and LiveDrive said it wasn’t their problem. Also, Firefox warns that https://backzup.com is untrusted as it uses a self-signed certificate, making me wonder how much thought the clowns behind Backzup gave their service. Time to switch to a new online backup company. Read more…

What’s up with Backzup?

January 9, 2012 6 comments

On 14th December 2011 I signed up for a free 512Gb online backup account at Backzup. I was initially doubtful that the service could provide that amount of free backup, but it worked well. Backzup is (was?) a Livedrive re-seller, so the software you download is from Livedrive, and you use the Livedrive web site to manage or access your backup.

My reason for trying Backzup was a problem with my Carbonite account. I have used Carbonite for my online backup needs for over two years, and while the service has previously worked well I have now hit the point where Carbonite are throttling my backup so much it’s impossible to use. When I recently upgraded my server hackintosh I moved all the files from the old server to the new one using the Mac Migration Assistant. When I re-installed the Carbonite software on the new server and transfered the backup account the old backup set was retained, and a new one started. The backup set contains 189Gb, so the old 189Gb remained on the Carbonite servers and a new 189Gb backup was started. Carbonite slow down your backup once it gets too big, so mine is wallowing at around 300Gb with over 70Gb remaining. The upload speed is now limited to around 100kbit/second, so I am now waiting for 30 days since the old backup was last seen. At that time the old backup should be deleted, and I can finish the new backup in a reasonable time.

Backzup sounded like an ideal solution, offering 512Gb for free with no upload speed limits. I completed the initial backup of 204Gb in five days, which included suspending the backup a few times to do other things. The service then worked without issue until the 1st January 2012, when the Livedrive software reported it could not log into the account. My attempts to access the Livedrive web site returned a message that the account was suspended, but there is no way to contact Livedrive as I need to log into the account to access their support system. This happened at the point when I was considering upgrading to one of Backzup’s paid accounts, not for the extra space but to pay something for a good service. Read more…

Lion SMB problems and using a WDTV media streamer

January 2, 2012 1 comment

Shortly after setting up a new Lion server I found my WDTV Live media streamer was no longer able to connect to its SMB shares. A search showed major incompatibilities for Windows and Linux Samba clients trying to connect to Lion. There are hundreds of posts and articles online detailing the trouble Lion users are having after Apple dropped Samba and implemented its own SMB server. The problem exists in all versions from 10.7 to 10.7.2, so I’m hoping the next 10.7.3 will do something to resolve the issues.

Until that happens there are a couple of options to get access to a Lion server from a WDTV box. The first is to use MacPorts to install Samba V3 and configure manually, the other is to use NFS. If you want to take the Samba route there are a few good guides at protagonist.co.uk, forums.sonos.com and forum.xbmc.org. I chose to use NFS, and followed the guide at wiki.wdlxtv.com.It took some trial and error to get it all working, so I have provided my configuration here if it’s any help. NFS is not as simple to setup as AFP or SMB networking as I haven’t seen a way to browse shares, instead they are configured on the client and server. I’m using the WDLXTV custom firmware for the Live from wiki.wdlxtv.com which I highly recommend, I’m not sure if a WDTV running standard firmware will work the same way. Read more…

Categories: macintosh Tags: , , , ,

Hack Mini ITX 10.7 Server

December 10, 2011 5 comments

In July 2009 I built a small Intel Atom based file server that ran Mac OS 10.5 Leopard. It served as a NAS box and later ran 10.6 Snow Leopard with the Plex media server feeding my HTPC and a WDTV box through network shares. While there was enough processor power available for these simple tasks, new developments were beyond the limited power the Atom offers. The Plex Media Server can now stream and transcode to iOS clients, if your CPU is up to the task. Lion Server is available as a $50/£35 add-on for the Lion operating system, adding all the server functionality you could want. iTunes will act as a music server for all the computers in the house. With so many possibilities available, it was clearly time for an upgrade. Read more…

Buying Lion on a Hackintosh

August 15, 2011 4 comments


After the changes made upgrading my P35-DS3R/Q6600 hackintosh to 10.6.8, I expected downloading Mac OS 10.7 to be a breeze. It appears that the App store application has some built in checks that block the purchase/download on unsupported hardware. My first response was to try some different smbios.plist files, including the widely suggested MacPro 3,1 type, then try editing these. None of those attempts gave any success, so the next step was a search for suggestions from the many excellent Hackintosh forums.

One method I found was to install the latest version of Tonymac86′s Chimera bootloader, V1.4.1. This is available from the Tonymac86 site as either a standalone installer or part of the MultiBeast package. The Lion purchase/download then worked perfectly. I had some unexpected side effects as well, such as losing my VPN configuration and being unable to get it working again. I searched for reasons for this and suspect it was something to do with changes to the Ethernet port en0 setup. The easiest and fastest fix was to copy the Lion installer to my server and restore the disk to the backup I had made just before installing Chimera, finally copying the Lion Installer back again. I always repeat how important it is to make a backup before any big changes to a hackintosh installation, and once again it saved me a lot of time and effort.

This ended up being a lot of effort to buy and download Lion. I’ve always felt it’s important to buy the software even if I’m not within the terms of the EULA by running it on generic hardware. At £20.99/$29.99 it’s very cheap compared to the cost up upgrading a Windows system, and rampant piracy within the hackintosh community will not encourage Apple to continue to ignore us as it has done so far. Also, I already save a huge amount running Mac OS on generic hardware, saving £21 more seems as petty.

10.6.8 on Hackintosh

August 4, 2011 3 comments

This post has been delayed a long time, partly due to the changes I made to my Hackintosh during the 10.6.8 update and partly due to Mac OS 10.7 Lion. Previous 10.6.x updates had been fairly straightforward, often needing nothing more than a change to the PMversion of SleepEnabler in com.apple.Boot.plist. That approach didn’t work with the 10.6.8 update. I tried using PMversion=23 but this resulted in a crash during boot for PMversion/kernel miss-match. A search of several hackintosh forums showed that this was working for some people, while others were using PMversion=0 to disable SleepEnabler. Read more…

Jailbreaking iOS 4.3.1 with PwnageTool 4.3

April 5, 2011 1 comment

PwnageTool and Redsn0w have been updated, and both allow jailbreaking a range of iOS devices without tethering. This walk through covers PwnageTool 4.3, with another covering Redsn0w to follow. The main difference between the two apps is the method of jailbreaking. PwnageTool makes a custom Firmware file that iTunes puts onto the device. Redsn0w jailbreaks a device after iTunes has installed a standard Apple Firmware.

Before starting a jailbreak using PwnageTool or Redsn0w you need the correct firmware for your device. I used a great guide at iClarified that links to every iPhone firmware that has been released. My iPhone is a 3GS so the firmware I wanted was the 4.3.1 (3GS): iPhone2,1_4.3.1_8G4_Restore.ipsw. Once downloaded and placed on my desktop I launched Pwnagetool 4.3.

Read more…

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