Little bundles of… Well, it’s not joy

Having recently added a new hard drive to the Mac, I thought I’d check its ‘SMART’ status just to make sure everything was OK. There’s a neat little app called SMARTReporter that sits on the menu bar and alerts you if any of your drives start to feel a sick – probably long before you experience any data loss. It sends output to the Console at specified intervals, so when I asked for the status of all my drives, SMARTReporter kindly opened the console for me. Having checked everything was normal, I went on to launch Mail.app to check for mail. As luck would have it, the Console was still open and up popped this message:

08/03/2009 21:29:05 Mail[1322]  DEVONMailConduit 1.2.1 loaded

What? DEVONMailConduit is loading when I launch Mail.app? But I don’t have any DEVON products installed. Ahh, but I did try out DEVONThink Pro a few months back and it seems that even though I thought I’d uninstalled it OK, there were still (quite a few) traces of it left behind. So let’s start with the message above – it’s obviously a mail plug-in so where better to look than in the <username>/Library/Mail/Bundles folder and sure enough there it was… DEVONMailConduit.mailbundle nestling inside. It’s then just a simple task to delete it and then relaunch Mail.app to check the console and make sure it’s gone.

Next up, there’s cached data that DEVONThink Pro left behind. So, it’s off to my <username>/Library/Caches/Metadata folder and what do we find? Yes it’s a DEVONThink Pro folder – not huge, but something I don’t need, so to the trash it goes.

DEVONThink Pro scripts

DEVONThink Pro scripts

Now part of how DEVONThink Pro works is by integrating itself with various aspects of your system. This means that there will be scripts allowing you to ‘clip’ things to DEVONThink amongst other things. Sure enough, I found no less than 2 more folders and 34 DEVONThink scripts on my system, as you can see from the picture. Same treatment, ‘move to trash’!

Having done a few more checks, I think that’s all traces of DEVONThink Pro removed from my Mac. Now when I search on ‘devon’ all I see is a dictionary entry for a small county in southwestern England.

This isn’t a criticism of DEVONThink Pro, many other apps are the same – it just goes to show that when you install an app there is often a lot more to it than what gets put in your Applications folder. Software like AppZapper does help, but be prepared to get your hands dirty if you want to remove all traces of some programs. Also it’s a good idea to move the files and folders in question to a safe place and then to check your Mac is still running smoothly before finally consigning them to the trash bin… just in case!

Why don’t I use DEVONThink Pro? Well it’s a great program, it’s just that at the time it was overkill for what I needed, although I’m now re-visiting it as it happens to use as a document management platform. I’m currently using Evernote for storing all my web clippings, notes and odd bits of information. It’s free, cross-platform plus you can sync it to your iPhone after a fashion. Horses for courses though, so check ’em both out.

Mac Pro Hard Drives – Don’t Pay Through The Nose!

This might be a completely inaccurate assumption on my part but I’m guessing that a lot of Mac Pro owners are reasonably tech savvy. I mean the sort of person who splashes out on a Mac Pro usually has fairly specific requirements, and in my case this was for a fast machine that could take a lot of RAM (>8Gb) so that I could run multiple concurrent Windows XP virtual machines as part of my work.

So what baffles me is the dealers out there who think that labeling something ‘Apple’ is good enough reason to ask Mac Pro owners to pay nearly three times the going price for a piece of hardware. So what is this all about?  Well my early 2008 Mac Pro came equipped with a single 500Gb hard disk and the first thing I did was to pull the disk out and have a look to see what make & model it was. Turns out it was a bog-standard Western Digital 500Gb 7200rpm SATA drive, part number WD5000AAKS. When it came time to add more disks, I simply shopped around for the best price on Western Digital SATA disks and I added a second 500Gb drive plus a 1Tb

Mac Pro Hard Disks

Mac Pro Hard Disks

Western Digital ‘Green Power’ drive on which to back everything up.

These extra drives have performed flawlessly over the past year, being well suited to the Mac Pro as they run both cool and very quietly. Still, with the wealth of music, movies and general rubbish I’ve collected over the years, it was time to get another drive and so I have just bought another 1Tb WD ‘Green Power’ SATA drive from Novatech for the princely sum of £81.65 including VAT. Taking just a couple of minutes to fit the drive, I decided to browse the web for a while as Super Flexible File Synchronizer copied the data from my old drive to the new one. I found myself on eBay and decided to have a look see what was for sale in the world of Apple…

Before long I found myself looking at a listing for a 1Tb hard disk for the Mac Pro. Nothing unusual there – except for the price. The dealer was asking over £200 for a hard drive of the exact same spec I’d just paid a fraction over £80 for. Same capacity, same cache, same spin speed, same seek time… everything the same. I was amazed, and very much reminded of how important it is to do your research.

So if you’re in the market for an internal hard disk to fit your early 2008 Mac Pro then pretty much any standard SATA II 7200rpm hard disk will do just fine.

In my Windows PC days I had a lot of bad experiences with Maxtor drives, and gathered a collection of eight failed IDE and SATA Maxtor drives. I then switched to using Samsung drives and more recently Western Digital drives and (touch wood) failures seem to be a thing of the past.