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Stanford/Palo Alto Macintosh User Group Newsletter
September 29, 2010
In This Issue
October 4th Meeting Agenda
August Meeting Report
Quick Links
SMUG website SMUG Archive
Membership Info
Dear Steve,
What? Another SMUG meeting? So soon?
Yes, we're back on our old schedule at last - first Monday of the month - and October 4th is coming up fast. Added to which, when is it going to cool down? As the Bard put it - oh heat, dry up my brains! My tiny office air conditioner is losing the unequal struggle to keep my and my computers' circuits at a reasonable operating temperature.

Anyway, this month we have our own Dave Strom showing off the capabilities of his iPad and android phone (apparently not including heating or cooling or use as a weapon except in a virtual alternate universe.

October 4th SMUG Meeting Agenda
Dave Strom displays the wonders of IPad & Android - syncing, powerpointing and so much more!

Plus Q & A, Dave Aston with Shareware and raffle - on this last, if you missed ProSoft at our last meeting (see notes below), Macware have alternative "caring" software for your Mac and they've sent us some to raffle off:
MacTuneUp for cleaning up your Mac - remove unwanted junk, create bootable backups, etc.
DiskToolsPro - their version of Drive Genius - defraging and testing the condition of your hard drive.
If you don't win the raffle and still want a copy, they can be had at for a special discount at the MacWare website, along with other stuff they produce - use MUGDTP50 for 50% off DiskToolsPro, MUGMTU10 to save $10 on MacTuneUp
September Meeting Report: ProSoft's products for your Macintosh hard drive
Presented by Gordon and Jennifer Bell, and on the sidelines, their incredibly well-behaved baby.
(Note from Dave: Do not try, that goes to another company.)
Most people using Macintoshes are using ProSoft, since Apple has some ProSoft built into its OS now, such as in Disk Utility, and disk burning software.
ProSoft is located in Pleasanton, although when people think of California, the think of the beach. (Note from Dave: I know. When I went to college in Chicago, I heard about that. And I grew up in a dairy town to the sweet smell of silage!)
This is top of the line hard drive recovery and file recovery software. It focuses of data recovery from the hard drive, rather than repair of the hard drive. This is the type of software you use when your hard drive has a topological problem, like the drive won't mount or it is corrupted. Data Rescue 3 is made to recover data from faulty, unmountable, corrupted hard drives. It can recover deleted or trashed files.
It has a new graphical interface. (Note from Dave: I have used this new interface on Drive Genius, and it looks great). The interface for Data Rescue 3 has a Clone drive icon. You can clone the bad hard drive fast, put its image on another hard drive, a healthy one, and scan that image from there.
Data Rescue 3 supports hundreds of file types, but there are some really obscure types they do not have support (perhaps in dark parts of Asia?). You can drag in sample files of those obscure file types and teach Data Rescue to recover that file type.
Animations show up when you do scanning, and that cool animation shows the file types in a list, a lot like how the prologue text scrolls by in a Star Wars movie, but cooler.
For deleted files, the Macintosh OS might strip out its file type. Data Rescue can still look for those deleted files under those types.
Drive Genius 3 maintains, manages, and optimizes your hard drive. Drive Genius is tune up and maintenance product for your hard drive. It first does a quick smart test, 2 to 5 seconds (Drive Pulse). It only does that if it senses no keystroke or mousing for 3 to 5 minutes.
Drive Genius 3 also has Enhanced Defragmentation. It does a weekly fragmentation check; you can turn that off if you want). Drive Genius is 64-bit, few disk maintenance software packages for the Mac are! The question is, do you have to defragment OS X? OS X only optimizes your hard drive for files less than 20 mb in size. Apple uses Drive Genius to defragment hard drives, but yes, the Apple OS version has that 20 mb limit. Video, audio, photo files defragment more often. More often you defragment, less noticeable the defragmentation process it is.
Enhanced Defragmentation has full support for RAID. It scans and defragments your hard drive, regardless of file size, or the fragmentation level, so your files exist on one contiguous block.
(Note from Dave: I had a fragmentation problem recently! Drive Genius found it, but could not fix it in this case. However, Drive Genius did tell me that fragmentation was exactly why my hard drove was running so slow. I just completely restored that hard drive from a backup, and it had been running fine ever since. Lesson: Always have and maintain a back-up of your hard drive! External hard drives are cheap! )
Gordon checked file fragmentation and the volume fragmentation. The colors on the Volume Fragmentation map showed colors for fragmented, free space, used space, and reserves space.
Office Max sells Drive Genius.
George thinks Drive Genius 3 supports RAID hot swapping, but he is not sure.
Other features of Drive Genius 3: Repair, Information, Drive Slim (will look for stuff you don't need, and identify it to delete), Shred, Sector Edit, Initialize, Benchtest, Clone, and Integrity Check.
Drive Genius has a more Snow Leopard type look to its interface. It is not just a boring black background.
As for solid-state hard drives, repartition, scanning, defrag are important. You can try to defragment a solid-state drive, and then Drive Genius 3 will identify the drive and say that is not needed.
If you have Apple Pro Care, you can have Apple defragment your drive, or you can buy Drive Genius 3 and do it yourself (Apple uses Drive Genius 3).
This is a full service, clean room, hard drive recovery service. ProSoft Data Rescue Center can do analysis of your poor little ailing hard drive, and quote a price in writing to recover its data. You might find no one will match their price. Data Rescue Center won the Best of the East Bay (Diablo magazine). They were founded in 2009. They are Professional, Fast, and Trustworthy. (Note from Dave: TAH DAH!!! Well, I kid them, but I also trust them to get needed data off a bad hard drive!)
They do not charge by the hour. They told one lady that she only needed a new USB cable. In their lab, they transfer a bad hard drive's contents to another hard drive.
That hard drive was going up and down, working intermittently. Data Rescue Center got the data off it for a relatively cheap price.
A lot of companies offer cloud back-up, like Mozy, Comcast. AT&T will likely offer that in the future. If you do this, try to do with a major established company, one that is likely to stick around, so your data will also stick around. ProSoft does not offer this type of online backup.
Data Rescue Center does hard disk and deleted file recovery. They also do data migration, taking the data off your old floppies and the like. Whatever files you have on old media, they can transfer it to m=new media. They can digitize your old VHS tapes for $15 per tape (the VHA tapes cannot be copy protected or PAL).
Do you have boxes of old printed photos? Data rescue does photo archiving. They scan your photos, slides, and negatives for 29 cents a photo. Another company does this. The difference is that Data Rescue Center is in Pleasanton; the other company is in India.
Data Rescue's scanners are high-end scanners with good optics. They scan your photos fairly inexpensive. For really old photos, they also can do some correction. Oh, they also do vinyl and cassette tapes! And Super 8. They do not do reel-to-reel.
Data Rescue is also in the Stoneridge Mall by Starbucks. You can drop your stuff off there on weekends. Their future location: 1599 Greenville Road, Livermore.
He showed us some MUG pricing. Data Rescue $99, Drive Genius 3, Data Rescue Center has gift cards. You could scan a lot of pictures this way!
(Note from Dave: I have owned Drive Genius for years, and it has helped me see what is ailing them, and save my data. I HIGHLY recommend ProSoft! And I say again: nothing beats having an external hard drive where you back up your Mac. Really, you can find fine USB 2.0 / Firewire 800 hard drives for a decent price. And then buy some ProSoft so you know when you hard drive needs help. I just checked mine with Drive Genius 3: 14 percent fragmented.)


Dave Strom/SMUG Vice-President

As advertised, Monday October 4th, 6:30pm  in the Redwood Room.
See you there!
Steve Bellamy
SMUG President
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