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Alexander's Introduction to nnir.el: multifolder searching (including IMAP support) for Gnus, the Emacs mail/newsreader. Multifolder searching is my largest current beef with Mutt; eventually I need to move all my mail behind an IMAP server, then I can gain some client flexibility and think about moving to Gnus. I've heard good things about Cyrus's performance, even on a slow machine such as a Pentium 75; I may have to abandon Courier for it.

This week is shaping up as the craziest in a long time, however, so moving my mail and exploring Gnus is just one more for my to-do list.

It had to happen… Metallifizer adds, or removes, brushed metal interfaces from OS X applications. APE is out as well, and I'll be moving F-Script Anywhere to it if the SDK licensing terms are reasonable. So far, I'm not having much luck.

14:30 Dr_Qwerty changed the topic of #macdev to: XDoc 1.1 -
 || APE 1.0:

14:32  sabi> so, what's the deal with the SDK?
14:34 + miles [] joined #macdev
14:35 @Dr_Qwerty> it exists ;)
14:37  sabi> that's nice...

Apple extends .mac service so people don't get penalized for subscribing before their trial accounts have expired. What took them so long? I can get my father's subscription set up now, and take that note I put on September 28 off the calendar.

Only two days into the process, I'm finished restoring Byron, my desktop G4, and all that's left are mundane details such as fixing broken cross-volume aliases, missing icons and unrecognized fonts, and reentering Conflict Catcher's registration number. The latter, owing to a bug that existed around Mac OS X 10.0's release, I have committed to memory. I can imagine waking up in twenty years and thinking, “CC8-031… I still haven't forgotten”?! Classic Startup isn't letting me enter that registration number, either; strangely enough I remember 10.0's Classic worked fine in that regard.

A few tips for anyone else who has to do a full system backup and restore and (like me, unfortunately) doesn't have a regular full backup system in place. I do back up my work to my parents' tape drive in Boston every night, and archive as much as possible on CD, but I'd be in for a week of recovery and reconstruction were my hard drive to die.

  • I spent many hours trying to get the backup to work at all; I kept on getting an “elem.c-812” message from Retrospect as it was updating the catalog after one disk backed up, time and again, from both OS 9 and X. The tech note that covers such errors doesn't mention elem.c-812; following the chain of information in the article leads me to the “Chronic Problems” section, and hours of trial and error. Eventually I gave up and searched more widely; the answer was buried deep in a gigantic thread in Dantz's forums: remove the driver update. It's extremely irresponsible of Dantz to know about a serious problem like this with released software, for over two months, and not post a fix, or even a more visible public notice. It cost me a lot of time this week, time I don't have to waste.
  • Retrospect easily supports backing up multiple disks to a single backup set, but it's hard to figure out how to restore multiple disks at a time; the Restore command only lets you pick one source and destination. Here's one way to queue restores: Create a script for restoring each volume individually, from the backup set to the correct disk as a destination. Choose each script in turn from the Run menu and save a run document for it in a folder. Select all the run documents in the folder, and open them. Go home and sleep while your data is restored. (The last one is optional, but it's what I did :-))
  • If you don't have a spare external disk to back up onto, consider whether you can use a spare FireWire-capable Mac if its internal drive has enough space. I backed up my G4 onto my PowerBook with FireWire Target mode (start up the PowerBook holding down the T key; press the power key to turn the machine off).
  • After restoring, OS X 10.1's Classic wouldn't recognize a valid OS 9 install until I blessed the System Folder with Startup Disk (I think Jaguar fixes this problem).
  • Even after setting the correct System Folder and restarting, the fonts in my OS 9 Fonts folder were not available to OS X, although they worked fine in 9. This was another case of font cache corruption; I rebooted into OS 9, searched for all the files whose names began with “”, and deleted them. Restarted into OS X and all was well. I was happy that most applications I used remembered their font settings even if they were unavailable; the only one I found that didn't, reverting to Lucida Grande for its About window, was Radio!

Hard drives look like the best deal these days for medium-but-not-gigantic-capacity backup. I just priced 80 GB FireWire hard drives and FireWire bridges: $110–115 for 7200 RPM 3.5″ ATA hard drives, $100 for a FireWire DriveDock (separate AC adapter) or $160 for a Super DriveDock (bus-powered). Ideally I'd like to get two drives, and a couple of real enclosures instead of the DriveDocks, which will require me to be unplugging the power cable from the drives whenever I swap them, but I'm not sure I can afford that at present.