So, the Mac had some... fun issues after its recent software update. After the LA had it drop to textmode on logout, and I had it fail to allow me to get out of screensaver without poking the power button, we took it to the Apple Store, for some Genius Bar loving. The LA was expecting some deep magic for a price; what we got was a free fscking and an install of Leopard, which meant we also got a free long weight. We also got a zonkingly huge external drive, which is connected via the rather lovely IEEE1394, otherwise known as FireWire (400; we don't have 800 on this Mac). Zonkingly huge in capacity, not physical size; it's quite petite.
We also got a free WTF entertainment, hearing someone else at the Genius Bar. I came to the conclusion that most Genius Bar customers don't actually need a genius, they merely need someone competent, but that Competency Bar is less of a marketing win. However, this person... did need a genius. Not so much for the problem as for their mental problems. When one of the things you hear is "A hard drive only has a finite amount of space" and another is "You have less than a gigabyte of space free", you start to realise that you're actually an ideal Genius Bar customer, because you do at least know what the hell is going on and that you want to keep your hard drive less than 95% full. Mind you, the later stages of the Customer of Doom were astounding; the Genius was attempting to explain the concept of VMWare to this person.
One of the odd side effects of installing Leopard on this Mac is that the CD drive, which has never before burned a disc that was readable, now works.
And returning to the external hard drive, there were actually two options at the capacity point we went for; one was a simple "1TB" drive (actual capacity, in Finder, being roughly 930GB) while the other was $50 more and claimed to be a 1TB "RAID". As it turned out, when I read the box specs, it was indeed 1TB (decimal, rather than binary), but only in stock configuration, which was RAID0. RAID0, for the uninitiated, isn't actually RAID, since it's not at all Redundant. It's more FAIL: Fragile Array of Inexpensive Liabilities. The box could be configured to be RAID1, which does give somewhat of a performance boost on reading, but that would, obviously, halve the capacity. Since we wanted "excessively huge" and I actually trust Western Digital to not balls-up, we decided to save the $50. However, the price point ($250 for a 1TB box) astounded me.
And in closing, Leopard is shiny. Stroke the shiny Leopard, and try not to be amazed when it turns round and bites your hand off.