Archive for January, 2012

How much data is on my Mac?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Helping Mac users upgrade their machines, doing data transfers, backing up data – that’s all part of a typical day’s work at NeedMacHelp. When a new client contacts us to book an appointment for data migration or help with backing up, I always ask how much data he/she has on the old machine.  For some users, this question causes some confusion so I thought I would do a quick “how to find out info about your Mac” post.

1.  To find out what version of OS X (the Mac operating system) your machine is running:

  • From the Apple menu located in the upper left hand corner of your screen, select About This Mac.

  • The window that opens will show your OS X version.  In the example below, the version is 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard).

2.  To find out what processor your machine has and how much memory (RAM) it has:

  • From the Apple menu located in the upper left hand corner of your screen, select About This Mac.
  • The window that opens will show Processor and Memory.  In the example below, the Processor is a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and it has 2 GB of RAM.

3.  To find out how big your hard drive is, and how much data is on your Mac:

  • Select Finder by clicking on your Desktop or on the Finder icon located in your Dock (the Dock is the bar of icons that sits at the bottom or side of your screen).

  • The window that opens will show a list on the left hand side that includes a section called “DEVICES.” Under devices, there will be a hard drive icon that looks like the one in the example below.

  • Make sure you are still in the Finder and select “File” in the upper left hand corner of your screen, and then select “Get Info.” A window will open that lists the following:

* Version (the version of the operating system)

* Format (the format of your hard drive)

* Capacity (the size of your hard drive)

* Available (how much space is currently available on your hard drive)

* Used (how much data is currently on your hard drive)

In the example above, the size of the machine’s hard drive is 158.86 GB, of which 43.07 GB of data has been used.

Thunderbolt Devices

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

We mentioned the announcement of Elgato’s portable Thunderbolt SSD last week, and since then it appears as though more and more Thunderbolt devices are being announced, as more and more users are looking for high speed storage solutions.

ars technica has a good preview of the Thunderbolt devices on display at the 2012 International CES, which is currently underway in Las Vegas.

Our head tech James recently implemented Promise’s Pegasus RAID with Thunderbolt at one client site, and reported that the transfer speeds EXCEEDED his expectations. With the Promise Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt RAID + Mac mini server, reads over AFP / the network were clocking in at 100MB/s (or, 800Mbps, which would be the theoretical FireWire max).  Some site examples: 8GB upload over the network in under 2 minutes (i.e., much faster than a direct FireWire connection), and a 100GB download in around 10 minutes.


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