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Old 12-13-2008, 12:14 AM   #1
marlene
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Default Buying a bi-platform external HD

Client gave me an external HD (Maxtor One-Touch) in August that had their old Mac job files on it. HD croaked last week. (Not a huge deal, since I had made two backups of the files onto other devices.)

Client wants me to pick out a new external HD. 500 GB or larger. It needs to be one that can be used both with my PC and their Mac. I don't want to do any drive reformatting, I want it to be ready to go on both platforms.

And I am not going to buy a case and an HD and assemble my own, as superior a solution as that may be.

I need to buy something off the shelf (or more likely an online vendor's shelf) that I can hook up to my PC, copy the client's old job files onto, and send them the new drive which they need to be able to hook up to their Mac with no strife.

Suggestions? Much as I like my own Seagate FreeAgent, it doesn't say it's Mac compatible. KT, you have a FreeAgent, right? Did you have to reformat it to get it to work with your Mac?

Drive should have both USB and FW ports, since I'm not sure what the client has, and asking them would be pointless. And I want to get something with a decent reputation for reliability.

TIA,

mxh
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:12 AM   #2
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Much as I like my own Seagate FreeAgent, it doesn't say it's Mac compatible. KT, you have a FreeAgent, right? Did you have to reformat it to get it to work with your Mac?
Yes. And most other drives, except for the very few that come pre-formatted for the Mac.

I know drives can be shared, but it is a little tricky for the Mac user. Here are some articles, several with links to other sources:

From the PC user’s point of view (unlike the others).

Sharing an external USB drive with Mac OS X and Windows XT

Sharing a drive with a PC and a Mac running Tiger or earlier

   
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:13 AM   #3
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Oy. I think this might be more complicated than I thought.

To clarify, it's unlikely that the drive would be hooked up to both a Mac and a PC at the same time.

But it sounds like I need to find out what OS is on the client's Mac before I proceed.

How do they find out? These are not experienced computer users, so I really doubt they know what OS they have or how to find the info.

Oh, and I just thought of another important question -- if I get an external drive that's not Mac formatted and the client copies their fonts onto it, will the fonts become zero byte files?

I wonder if the dead Maxtor was Mac formatted. I really don't know. And it's dead now, so there's no way to check.

mxh
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:07 AM   #4
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To find out what OS version is running on a Mac:

Click anywhere on the open screen (not on an application or browser window), then go to the upper left corner of the screen, click on the Apple symbol. In the small popup window, the Mac OS X version should appear. (I don’t remember what it looks like for older versions of the operating system, but it should be explicit enough.)

Most Macs in use today (from my observation) are running some flavor of OS X. Many are still on 10.4 (Tiger, released 4/05); new machines ship with 10.5 (Leopard, 10/07), so that percentage is growing. You might still find some running 10.3 (Panther (10/03) if they have old Macs and never update anything.

If they are running System 9 or earlier (pre OS X, pre-2001), you are probably out of luck.

Why does the drive need to work on both platforms? Are you going to schlep it back and forth? Why not advise them to get a Mac-formatted drive, and you can send them a DVD with their files.

Windows TT fonts will work on a recent OS X Mac; they will either have to acquire Mac versions of T1 fonts or run Windows on their Mac. From what you say, the latter would be too tricky for them.

Seems to me that you will have to be the expert in your dealings with these guys, so better to give them something that just works for them, and you can use something like MacDrive to access the files when you have the drive to deal with. Here is a blog entry raving about that app.

Not sure about the fonts issue.

   
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info -- I'll ask the client to try to find out what version of the OS they have on their Mac.

Running Windows on their Mac is not an option. They definitely don't have that level of expertise.

I don't use TT fonts (unless I have no option), but fonts are only an issue in that I want them to have backups of their Mac fonts, and Mac fonts can't -- AFAIK -- be stored on a PC-formatted drive, unless they are in a Stuffit file. Their Mac fonts are pretty much all mainstream fonts, so when I work on their old files, I just substitute my own PC versions of the fonts.

I don't really anticipate the drive being shlepped back and forth, so I think your idea of getting a Mac-formatted drive for them is the best bet. I already have Conversions Plus -- which includes MacOpener, which I gather is equivalent to MacDrive (it enables me to read and write to Mac media), so theoretically I'd be able to read the Mac-formatted drive, I just wonder if it would screw up their Mac fonts.

BTW, is there a way to search for fonts on a Mac drive?

mxh
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
… any way to search for fonts on a Mac drive?
By name? Or partial name?

Try this:

Open Font Book (if it is not in the dock, go to the hard drive > Applications > Font Book.

Then use its search function.

   
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
By name? Or partial name?
Neither. Just by the fact that they are font files. On PC, I'd search for dot extensions (.pfm, .pfb, .otf, etc.) but I know that ain't gonna fly on Mac.

I don't know what Font Book is, but I'm not looking for installed fonts, or fonts that are corraled into a specific folder. I'm (theoretically) looking for fonts scattered throughout the job files on the backup drive.

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Old 12-15-2008, 08:34 AM   #8
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True, many Mac fonts lack dot extensions (a few may have them, but not the fonts from Adobe, Monotype, et al).

But you could try searching on common name fragments (Bol, Ita, OsF, Rom, Con, Sem, etc.). See the attachment. I was looking at folders; the thing also shows individual fonts (but my results are too peculiar to be useful). Click on an entry, and follow the path that appears at the bottom of the frame.

Set up the search attributes as I have them in the attachment. They will get some rubbish (PDFs, images, documents, etc.). They should just ignore those, and go for the fonts or folders containing fonts.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	font-search.png
Views:	12
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ID:	1397  

   
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:53 PM   #9
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Oy. Too much trouble.

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Old 12-15-2008, 10:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by marlene View Post
Neither. Just by the fact that they are font files. On PC, I'd search for dot extensions (.pfm, .pfb, .otf, etc.) but I know that ain't gonna fly on Mac.

I don't know what Font Book is, but I'm not looking for installed fonts, or fonts that are corraled into a specific folder. I'm (theoretically) looking for fonts scattered throughout the job files on the backup drive.

mxh
Font Book is only on OSX. For OS9, in the "stock" configuration, all fonts are kept in (hard drive)/System Folder/Fonts. They won't be "scattered throughout the job files on the backup drive." The exception to this rule is when the user has a 3rd-party font management system installed, such as ATM Deluxe or Suitcase. In that case, the fonts could be just about anywhere, but typically they'd be stored in one or two folders somewhere, plus the original Fonts folder. (I used ATM Deluxe and had a "TrueType" folder and a "Postscript" folder.)

To find font files in OS9, use the File/Find command. This launches the "Sherlock" window. Click the "Custom" button, then the Edit... button. When the "More Search Options" window opens, select "Kind", "is", "font". This will find all font files, including suitcases, bitmaps, TT and PS1. After grinding through the hard drive, Sherlock will list all the font files. Click on any of them and you'll see the path to that file figured in the bottom of the window.

I booted my old OS9 machine and figured this out, just for you! Yikes! Talk about a trip down Memory Lane! Hey, Mac users: remember extensions? Yeah, sorry about the migraine flashback!

   
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