Mac OS X and HD Partitions just let me down

I’ve bought an USB External Hard Disk Case (IDE) , and installed an 120GB IDE drive on it. Since the files I store there should be accessed also by my Dual Boot XP/Ubuntu, I’ve started to study wich partition type would be the best choice.
After a little googling I’ve decided to format it as FAT32, that can easily be recognized by all the 3 OSes. I formated the drive plugged it to the Mac, it was recognized and mounted ok. I´ve started transferring some files from Windows to it, until it was almost full (90 GB), with thousands of files (20.000). I have to say that this step was really fast. But when I tried to read the files on the Mac it was very very slow. Most of these files where rar or zip files with jpegs into it, so first it would decompress the file and then show the images. It was a pain in the neck, because all the system overall speed decreased.

I started searching a little more and studied a few option:
NTFS – It can be read by the Mac but not written to. Linux can handle it better with a few tweaks (captivefs), but Mac does not.

  • HFS+ – It can be read and written by Macs, with third party software Windows can handle it, and Linux with limitations can read it (should turn journalizing off and pray the gods to write on it).
  • ext2/ext3 – Linux loves it, Windows handles it and MacOsX hates it, as far as I could understand. It seemed to me that I could lose all my data very easily if something got corrupted.
  • UFS – Unix File System – Mac and Linux SHOULD recognize and work with it. I capitalized “should” because I couls not find real information about it actually happening, just theorectly.Windows is blind to it.

After thinking about it, I created a HFS+ partition, and a Samba share point to get it accessed from Windows/Linux.

It was the best option I found, and it’s pretty fast now on Mac. Windows and Linux are able to access it with slower speeds since it’s done by a 100Mbps network and not directly by USB2 (400Mbps)…

Maybe I’m wrong and someone can point me out a better way to handling my problem, but I could not find a better solution!

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Published in: on 10/02/2006 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment  


It’s great when you find software that suits your needs. On the past I’ve used Quicken Brazilian localized version that could talk with my bank trough a modem connection, but it was discontinued and got obsolete over the years. After I left it I tried Gnucash and Kmymoney2, on linux, but I never was satisfied. First of all it was a pain to get gnucash compiled when it was released. Kmymoney2 came later and was easier to install and manage but had a few bugs that annoyed me.

I gave up personal finance software and tracked records of my expenses on a good old spreadsheet. I never got it to work as I liked though.

One of the biggest issues I encountered while working with Gnucash and Kmymoney2 where related with importing the records I downloaded from the 2 banks I have accounts with. One gave me OFC, the other OFX. And none of the softwares could work with these out of the box.

When my Mac arrived it came with Quicken 2006 preinstalled. I searched a lot thru it trying to import my bank files and discovered it could not be done without third party software I needed to pay for. While googling for converters I found myself on the Moneydance website, and Quiken bundle finished on the trashcan.
They had a Mac OS X version and I downloaded it. It impressed me lot! It has a great Aqua look and fell, is runs fast enough for my needs and it imports my files on a glimpse. It is even localized to Portuguese!

It has less features than Quicken, that’s for sure, but I don’t need big accouting features. I just need to see how big is my deficit monthly! 🙂

It runs on Mac, Windows and Linux, and is not expensive at all. After trying it I payed for the software and I am very happy.

I love free software and I can tell that Gnucash (that can run on MacOS X with fink)  and Kmymoney2 are great apps, but they did not work for me.

Moneydance has few drawbacks:

The help docs in my language are not usefull at all, and to switch to the complete help, I`ve to restart it configured for english.

Their license restricts it’s use one 1 computer (and that’s ok) but also only to one person. When another user tries to start it on the same machine, even after registered, the registration is not recognized. That is I can use it and my wife can’t, witch seems to me to be an absurd. We will not divorce beacuse of that thanks God! 🙂

The exchange rate calculus depends on manual imput and that sucks!

Published in: on 09/14/2006 at 12:37 am  Comments (1)