MacWorld SF08 — Pt. 1

Well, the rain has abated for a bit so, it was “safe” to head out of the house today for a walk. Oooh, scary kids. OK, on to the show… :: Let’s start with the sexy stuff, that way you can bail when I get around to the stuff only a geek could love. That sexy thing is…Axiotron’s Modbook, the only tablet Mac. Yeah, I know, tablets are for nurses, warehouse managers and PC weenies. Not so, gentle reader! The Modbook combines a Wacom combo display and tablet with a MacBook, a synergistic and useful amalgam. Think really big, color Newton. Oy, never mind, don’t think Newton. Think very portable Wacom–driven Mac. Great for creatives, the dexterity–impaired and anyone else who needs to escape the “soap on a rope” paradigm of the computer mouse. Remember, Mac OS ships with handwriting recognition built in. ::  That’s it for the sexy stuff so all you multitaskers can leave now. You there, lone remaining reader, on to the nitty gritty…One of the aspects of MacWorld that, 10 years ago, was conspicuously absent was the concept of “enterprise computing.” This refers to the button down world of business, which has traditionally held the belief that, despite its myriad flaws, Windows and to a lesser extent, old school Unix, are the operating systems of choice for getting “real” work done. Mac OS was relegated to artistic types who were content to finger their ponytails and work with their cute but under–endowed computers. :: No more. A few years ago, pioneering companies like 3ware and ADIC displayed products that stood out from their stable mates, representing as they did, BIG computing, not stuff for the rest of us. This time around, I was floored to find a small, very quiet booth with photocopied brochures for IBM’s Tivoli CDP software. CDP stands for Continuous Data Protection, an aggressive form of backup that goes beyond common snapshot methods, as seen with Apple’s Time Machine, to provide complete, granular replication of all changed files. :: Tivoli’s been around a long time, keeping big business humming along but to have native versions running on your noisy little Xserve is, to me, a wicked important addition to our IT arsenal. :: Effigent wasn’t the only vendor showing a CDP product. Atempo, better known for their TIMEnavigator product, was showing Live Backup CDP and Archiware had their PresSTORE line of backup modules, which includes ILM (integrated lifecycle management) and CDP functionality. :: A final interesting backup product at the show was MiraLink’s remote replication appliance. Remote replication is a backup strategy that copies or “replicates” files, either as point–in–time or continuously, over a WAN to a remote location. The cool thing about an “appliance” is ease of use. Buy two, hook ‘em up to a WAN, and start backing up. :: All for now. ‘Till then, rock on!

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