Ah! I am Leopardized. If you don’t know what that means, it means that I upgraded the iMac to Mac OS 10.5. The upgrade was smooth as silk. No problems, no hiccups. No rebooting 18 times. The only application that stopped working (that I know of so far) was Photoshop Elements 2.0. Time to upgrade that anyway.

The only reason that I wanted Leopard was for Time Machine, an incremental backup and recovery utility built right in to the OS. The video made me drool. I have been using SuperDuper every month but that leaves some spaces. Time Machine does hourly back ups. So just after Steve Jobs announced Time Machine would be in Leopard, I bought a 250GB LaCie USB 2.0 external hard drive so I’d have something to back up to.

After the upgrade was finished I made sure the hard drive was up and running and told Time Machine to save it there. It tried and then errored out. I fixed the error but then it wouldn’t error out but it wouldn’t back up either. I monkeyed around with it quite a bit and finally got it working. Here’s what I had to do in case anyone else is looking for the fix.

  1. Get rid of any previous attempts, even if they didn’t do anything. Open up your hard drive and then hit the Time Machine icon in the dock. When Time Machine is up and running, click on the icon at the top of the Finder window that has a gear in it. Select “Delete All Backups of <Your Hard Drive>”. Just in case.
  2. Turn off Time Machine. Right click on the Time machine icon in the dock and select Time Machine Preferences. Turning it off should be obvious.
  3. Format the external drive. Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility. Make sure you select the correct drive and then hit Erase. Format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The drive will unmount, format and then remount. Make sure the drive name doesn’t have any weird characters in it like “/” or “#”.
  4. Restart Time Machine. Just turn it back on then hit “Change Disk…” and select the external disk you just formatted. Close the System Preferences window.
  5. Back it up now. Right click on the Time Machine icon in the dock and select “Back up now”. This would be a good thing to do right before bed time. It is going to take a while to do it on the first back up.

That’s it. Now I have the LaCie connected through a USB hub and Time Machine is backing up every hour. I found this discussion on the Apple Support boards helpful.

The other little tweak I did had to do with the download stack in the dock. Safari is set to automatically download files to it but Firefox isn’t. Since I wind up with a ton of downloads on my desktop I was pretty happy to see this included. To make Firefox play nicely, open Firefox and Firefox -> Preferences. In the Main tab select “Save files to” and choose the Downloads folder in your profile. This should dump them into the Downloads stack.

Next, I have to figure out how to get Screen Sharing working with my work Windows lappy.

Update: I did it. Turned on Screen Sharing and added a password. Then I checked the IP address of the iMac and typed it in to the VNC client on lappy and bang! I’m controlling the iMac. Sweet. Don’t know why it didn’t work the first time, probably because of the password thing. Next time there is a computer problem at home I can fix it from work.

Another Update: According to this PC World article, Apple says:

Macs running on PowerPC processors should reformat the drive with Disk Utility, and repartition it using the Apple Partition Map scheme; Intel-based Macs, on the other hand, should select the GUID partition scheme. “Once the external hard disk is reformatted, select it again in Time Machine preferences and use it for your backups,” Apple added.

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  • Tim, I have given some thought to upgrading, but all my Macs are at least 3-4-6 years old. I have enough RAM, fast enough processors (barely on the one half-melon iMac). However, I’m a little concerned about losing some of my beloved apps compatibility. I’ll wait ’til my CMUG-ers help with posts about how they’ve found it to work.

    Missed you’re posts as of late. Hope you can hang in there and keep with it. I’ve fought through several blog-doldrums due to lack of interest, busy-ness and a blank mind!

  • Yea, I don’t blame you. I was worried about losing apps too but it looks like I didn’t take a bad hit. Had I lost Quicken and Accordance I’d be sobbing. Or upgrading I guess.

    An issue at church that I’m dealing with as part of my internship has been consuming a lot of my mental time. I’ve not given up on blogging, just slowed down a little. I’m still in the game! :) Thanks for the encouragement

  • oh glad you’re photoshop aint working either. i thought it was just me.

    Halvsies on a new, full-fledged copy?

  • I’m thinking about getting a Graphife pad with a newer version of Photoshop Elements in it. That’s all I really need.

  • Dude,
    I’m drooling. I was SUPPOSED to have my macBook Pro by now — but apparently Apple stopped shipping ’em, since they were changing the model. Now it looks like I’m in line for early January. I just pulled together a video on an iMac — like cuttin’through buttah with a hot knife. Can’t wait to do it on my macbook.

    Anyway – miss ya, Tim. I’m off to Thailand in two weeks.

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