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Old November 15th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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Mac Systems

I'm sure a number of people on this site have a mac system. This is a generic question I can't really find on the apple site. Converting from PC to Mac, I always had to service my PC from time to time with Defrag and other system utilities. I've had my powermac G5 for a year now and I was wondering if you need to service the system in anyway? Or if it's possible.

Thank you.

Josh Woll
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Old November 15th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #2
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Welcome to DVinfo Josh. I moved this thread to our Mac forum where you should get a better response. I've been using Macs ever since the beginning, and can't remember ever having to defragment a disk, but doesn't mean there might not be a reason to do so in some cases. There are utilities for doing it if you feel its necessary.

Now I don't use my startup disk for video editing personally; I use a second internal drive and a whole stack of external firewire 400 drives. When one of these media drives gets full, I just reformat it before beginning a new project (or replace it with a new disk).
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Old November 15th, 2006, 05:48 PM   #3
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I use an application recommended to me by Mike Curtis called Cocktail. It has a basic free version and a more robust paid version.

Unix does a lot of its own housecleaning from what I understand.


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Old November 15th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #4
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I wish I'd moved to mac years ago...barely a month into having a mac system I'll never go back (to PC). External dedicated drives are a good move mind.
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When one of these media drives gets full, I just reformat it before beginning a new project (or replace it with a new disk).
How do you store the data before reformatting though? Burn to DVD?
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Old November 15th, 2006, 07:50 PM   #5
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All of the data I store are put into Lacie external hard drives. I keep all my sequence files on the startup disk. I've had all my information stored onto a hard drive for years and then the drive crashed and I was SO close to loosing everything. Now I have a couple of drives and keep double copies of the projects I'm working on at the time.

Thanks to all for providing me with useful information.

Take care,

Josh Woll
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Old November 15th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #6
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Defragmenting isn't has much of an issue as it was years ago. If you feel that you have such a heavily fragmented drive that it's causing dropped frames (and that would be a really fragmented drive these days), first copy everything on the drive to another drive. Reinitialize the fragmented drive and copy everything back. There you go, a defragmented drive! I learned this technique on another forum, it's quicker and safer then using Tech Tool or a similar defrag program. Just don't do it unless there's a good reason.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:21 AM   #7
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File level defragmentation happens in the background during idle times under OSX now. The only time fragmentatino will adversely affect you is if your disk is nearing capacity. Full disk defrag programs are still available (drive 10 comes to mind immediately, I'm sure there are others - probably Norton or Disk Warrior).

I tend to use a second drive to edit on which I format between projects. As new files are added to the disk, they are put in order on a clean disk so the fragmentation is minimalized if not neutralized.

I haven't needed to use one of these in years though.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by David Scattergood
How do you store the data before reformatting though? Burn to DVD?
Well that's the "$50,000 question" :-) I don't have an easy answer. If I need to keep the project intact with all its files, I just put the drive on the shelf and buy another one for the next project. Otherwise I burn a DVD of the finished video and also print it to tape, then reformat the drive.

Storing the actual files as data on DVD's is too much trouble for me - you can only get around 20 minutes of DV on a DVD and it's slow. External drives are getting pretty inexpensive now. You can buy cheap external USB drives which are too slow for editing but fine for archival storage.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 06:42 PM   #9
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I've been a mac user since the 80's... my first was a mac plus, the little beige number with the built-in 9" (yep, that's NINE inch) B&W screen... when a 20Mb hard drive was insanely huge... when 32MB (not gigs, megs!) of Ram cost 2 grand... etc....

Anyway... OSX indeed does a lot of work behind the scenes. Here are a few priceless tips to ignore at your peril.

If you have a Mac, get disc warrior. Get it now. Install it on your main drive and run it on your externals every week or so. Whenever you have the chance, boot from the DW CD and run it on your boot drive. It keeps your file system all tuned up... a directory error can kill ALL your data. Costs 100 bucks, WORTH EVERY PENNEY! It will fix discs that other apps can't.

Get a great big external firewire drive for backups; partition it to backup for your boot and external drives. Google up "Carbon Copy Cloner" (free) and download it. Set it up to backup your drives every night. It absolutely blows retrospect out of the water. Set it to "create a disc image on target", and it will backup your drives to disk images and will backup only new and changed files after the first go. If you screw up a file, open the disc image and copy the backup. It's that simple.

Google up "Mac Janitor"; it will run some housekeeping chores that usually run at sleep and startup (macs don't crash much since OSX -- mine sure don't -- so some of those things never get done).

I often have problems with balky firewire externals that won't boot or unmount without a few tries. If your mac has room for internal drives, have at it! They're easy to put in, cheaper than firewire enclosures, and you can add a ton of gigs for not-much-cash.

My final advice?Input devices! Get a big kensington trackball, like an "expert mouse pro". It'll take a day or two to get used to. You will never, ever go back to a mouse. Not just any trackball, get a kensington with the big ball. They freaking rule - when you set the acceleration right, you can do the most precise work imagineable (you're moving your fingerTIPS, not your whole dang forearm, right?) and then fly the cursor all the way across two widescreen panels with a little flick. And, if you do any photoshop work, get a Wacom talet. Get a brand new 6" x 9" graphire on ebay. Use it for any brush or pen tool work (you can fly through vector paths with it and paint masks all day) and you will never again be without one.
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