Backing Up Your G3 PowerBook Quickly and Easily
- Tiger, tiger burning bright
- in the forest of the night
- What immortal hand or eye
- has framed thy fearful symmetry?
Who says you don't learn anything in school? I remembered that poem from my elementary school days many, many years ago.
I'm still running Tiger on my G3 "Pismo" PowerBook, and many people ask me how I manage running Tiger in the Age of Leopard.
Well, Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4.11) runs well on the Pismo (although I would like to max out the RAM to 1 GB), and I'm not sure throwing a G4 processor at it would make Leopard that much better an operating system for this old 'Book. The limiting factor is the Pismo's graphics card. In order to utilize Cover Flow with iTunes, I have to turn down the display from "millions of colors" to "thousands of colors". A small price to pay, but Leopard is graphics heavy.
Backing Up without Time Machine
"But what about Time Machine?" you ask. "You have no way to automatically back up your critical files."
Okay, Time Machine is a very useful feature, but I have a backup method which has a unique advantage.
As Pismo fanboys know, the Pismo has two modular bays that can either hold batteries or (on the right side) optical drives, Zip drives, floppy drives, and . . . drum roll please . . . a module containing a 2.5" hard drive. Still manufactured by MCE Technologies, the convenient Xcaret Pro modules (links at end of article), which currently sell for US$69, allow you to install an old laptop drive. It's very easy to do, and you can boot the Pismo from this removable hard drive. (The same goes for the WallStreet and Lombard PowerBooks.)
To back up my drive, I clone my hard drive to the other hard drive in the MCE enclosure mounted in my right expansion bay using Carbon Copy Cloner (freeware, donations accepted). After the first full backup, you can do much faster incremental backups to save only what's been changed (the shareware SuperDuper! program can do the same thing).
If anything goes wrong with my Pismo's hard drive or I suffer a virus or hacking attack, I can boot the Pismo using the backup hard drive in my Pismo's expansion bay. I don't have to do much of anything to get the computer going again in an emergency.
What About Leopard?
Since I started writing this article, Mr. Mike, our beloved computer repair person, accidentally installed Leopard on a G4 PowerBook with a 400 MHz processor. It takes a little while to load, but once it's up, it's not too shabby.
Does this mean I can think about putting Leopard on the old Pismo? First things first: I would have to shell out for a G4 processor for the Pismo. Hmmm. But think about installing Apple's latest operating system on a 9-year-old laptop. It would make a nice commercial.
I'm waiting for Steve Jobs' phone call.
Xcaret Pro for Lombard and Pismo
- MCE Xcaret Pro-99 Do-It-Yourself Expansion Bay Hard Drive Kit
- MCE 80 GB/5400 RPM Xcaret Pro-99 Expansion Bay Hard Drive
Xcaret Pro for WallStreet
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- The Lion Sleeps (on My MacBook) Tonight, 2012.07.05. Starting with a full backup, a Time Machine Backup, and an OS X 10.7 thumb drive, John Hatchett moved to Lion.
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Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: PowerBook Duo 230, introduced 1992.10.19. Just over 4 pounds, the 33 MHz 230 helped launch the Duo line.
- May 22 in LEM history: 73: Ethernet conceived - 98: Is Apple really back? - 00: Cheap Power Macs - 01: Copyright or copy wrong? - 02: OS X is growing the Mac user base - 03: DVD screen shots in OS X - 06: Best OS for older Macs - 07: CRTs and shock danger - Ihnatko on Macs - CPU upgrades for MDD Power Macs - 08: Mac 512K and Word changed my life
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