Apple

Stolen Laptop photographs thief

One of the features in Mac OSX is something called 'Back to my Mac'. It's a service whereby you can connect to your computer from a different computer. The idea is that you can access that file you left at home from wherever you are. Well, a laptop was stolen - and the owner decided to use the 'Back to My Mac' service and watched the thief using their computer. They used the in-built webcam to take a photograph of the thief, who was known to a room-mate of the victim.

The thief realised what was happening, but by the time they covered the webcam it was too late.

Of course, all of this could have been done with Win or Linux, but not in quite as user-friendly a way.

Drobo

I've just learned about the 'Drobo'. This thing is incredibly cool. It's a big black box into which you slot in hard drives. If a drive fails you just pull out the old drive and put a new one in. You don't have to switch it off. You can mix hard drives, so as you need more capacity you pull out an old drive and put in a new one. In the demo, the chap plays video from the drobo, whilst pulling hard drives out of the box - all without a break in the video stream. As far as the computer is concerned, it looks just like a single drive. The box handles data redundancy, so you can pull out an old drive without losing any data. Running out of space? A light comes on next to an empty slot and you just pop in a drive (at current internal HD prices). Four drives? The light comes on next to the smallest drive (which is usually the oldest and hence most likely to fail) - change it, without even powering down and it just works.

Nice.

This is discussed half-way through this podcast, and I first learned of it from this post. It looks perfect for backup.

This looks like a great tool.

Backup is important, and 'time machine' for the Mac is great - it's enough to make me think 'swap to mac', and coupled with drobo this has become 'swap to mac, get a drobo'.