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milk 10-20-2008 03:28 AM

Organizing MBP: CONFUSED
Dear all Macforum users,

I'm currently in the middle of a major re-vamping phase, after a CPU meltdown last week caused me to re-think how I use/store/back-up my files.

***Here's the current system I'm working with***

1. MBP 17" 160 Gb Core 2 duo (as main computer)
2. Mac Mini 80Gb/ 1.42 ghz/ 1Gb Ram
3. 250 Gb External drive
4. 160 Gb External drive

Also just got an i-phone too, but I don't want to confuse things any more than they already are...

My internet is hi-speed/fiber optic connection, but no wi-fi or airport base station connection yet.

Here's what's on my system:

1. MBP= just wiped clean, after new logic board installed by apple factory
2. Mac Mini= about 30gb in use (various files and apps)
3. 250 Gb Ext Hd = Mac OS Journaled, about 200 Gb in use (music/photo, home video backups, original user data from MBP, holding it there while apple repaired it)
4. 160 Gb Ext Hd= Not Journaled (FAT32), about 120 Gb in use, large movie database

***Here's my question***

With multiple back-up files, i-tunes/i-photo libraries, etc. all over the place, how can I get everything flowing together?

I just want to use the MBP as the main computer, with access to my photos, music and movies (about 100Gb altogether), and have the ability to take some with me if I have a presentation or a business trip.

I want to use the Mac Mini sparingly, as a home office (set up in the kitchen area).

MBP/Ext. 250 in one room
Mac Mini/Ext 160 in the kitchen seems like the best way...but how to organize it all??

I'm totally confused, and maybe I just need someone to break it down for me in simple terms- so I can see the best way.

Thanks for your help!


MacBurg 10-20-2008 06:50 AM

Hmmm, its a tough one, kinda hard to explain how I would configure compared to how you would configure to suit your needs. What do you use the Mac Mini for? Is it really necessary? Does it run an external monitor? Your lack of wireless seems to be the first thing that needs attention and could free up a lot of devices.

Here's an idea, move your MBP back-up info from the 250GB ext to the 160GB ext, then move the movie's you have from the 160GB to the 250GB ext, this will free up the 160 GB ext for back-up info only.

Now buy an airport extreme base station which will give you wireless internet, and hook up your 250GB ext to the base station, this will allow you to access music/movies wirelessly anywhere in your home. You could now sell the Mac Mini and buy a portable external Firewire/USB powered hard drive to take with you on the road, to have access to any working files you may need to carry and modify on the go.

Or if you wanted to keep the Mac Mini, you could leave this connected at home to the 250GB external drive, and download Jaadu Connect so you can have access to your home file system using your iPhone wherever you may be.

Every aspect really depends on what you use your Mac for mainly, why and how often you need to access music/movies, where you have monitors setup for viewing Mac info, once everything is setup you can have a very nice synced system in place that's free of cables.

milk 10-20-2008 09:01 AM

I like your suggestions, but...
Your suggestions are great!

But I will need to keep the Mac Mini for research/typing up papers and reports, and to keep my life from overlapping (work and play). Its going to happen, of course, but I'm trying to keep the business stuff separate from my fun and creative side.

I guess it will be best, as you said, to go with the 250 Gb and the Mac Mini, and the 160 Gb with the MBP. But the 250 is actually the newer of the two Ext. HD's (and much smaller and more portable) so maybe that will change your answer a little?

Just wondering if there are any other suggestions out there, for best ways/best practices- considering the components I have to work with?

Thanks for your help!

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