Wednesday, May 6, 2009

SSD Drive (Part II)

The encryption of the hard drive completed about 7:00pm last night. There is now a pause during the boot process when it asks for an encryption pass phrase. After entering it, the rest of the boot process takes about 6 seconds before it is ready to log in. Before, with the old drive, you got to watch the "spinning beach ball" for about 15 seconds after logging in while all the little bits and pieces started up but now it is ready to use in only a couple of seconds. This is a great upgrade as it now feels like a new, faster machine. The PGP WDE (Whole Disk Encryption) doesn't seem to slow things down much and Time Machine still works. In case you aren't aware of it, Time Machine is the continuous, incremental backup that comes with Apple OS 10.5 and it works with an external drive. Getting it to work properly with encryption was one of the goals of this upgrade. If you use Apple's encrypted home directory, Time Machine functionality is crippled as it would only generate a backup of your home directory when you logged out. Since I don't log out very often, that didn't work out very well. Also, each backup of your home directory was just that, a full backup, instead of an incremental. The downside is that the backup on your Time Machine volume is unencrypted. Not really a problem for me since that drive just sits in my office. The intent of an encrypted volume on your laptop is in case it gets stolen, none of your data is compromised. So far so good. The Time Machine restore on the new drive went really slick.

On another geeky note, I downloaded and installed the 64-bit version of the Microsoft Windows 7 final release candidate on a virtual machine on my Macbook Pro. It runs a little bit slower than the beta version released last December presumably because they added more bits and pieces. Hopefully, they don't add much more. It doesn't feel as bloated as Vista and I have it running on a 1 GB virtual machine under Vamware. I guess to really compare it, I should use Parallels and an unecrypted host. Something else to play with in my free time.

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