Ever since I got the Mac, I’ve been pining for the system monitoring applet in the Gnome panel. While I was in the midst of all my reconfiguration, I found exactly what I was looking for. iStat Menus puts essentially the same thing in the OS X menu bar. I’d actually found the application iStat while looking for a replacement earlier, but it was a window that was either in the way or constantly covered up. I used Apple’s system monitor to keep on eye on the network traffic for a while – but it auto-scaled, so you could never tell when whether you were looking at a trickle or full capacity.

I also ran across CrashPlan If I’d found these guys a year ago before I set up with, it probably would have made things a lot easier for me. Of course, there is the untested question of whether their linux client would work on my computer, which might have been a deal breaker. Their free program allows peer-peer backup, (full, not distributed) and they also sell an online backup service.

I also found BackupPC, which is designed for backing up PCs on a LAN to a central server. It combines identical files (i.e., the 10GB or so of Windows eating up the hard drive.) Might be an interesting exercise where I work, someday.

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