Windows USB/External HDD on OSX

It is such a pain to open any external hard drive or USB stick that has been written and formatted on a windows machine when trying to open it up on a macbook.  I was trying to access photos on my external hard disk that had been originally formatted using a Windows 7 OS (thus NTFS file system) and I could only read the files on my macbook but make no edits to them.  I read online that there are some paid tools that allow you to access the files on such drives but I try not to pay for tools that I’ve never heard of.  The other option is to re-format the drive on mac but that causes wiping out all data on the drive.

I came across the following steps that allow you to enable Mac OSX 10 to access files on such external hard drive without formatting it or losing any data.  Note: You need to have sudo rights (or be the administrator with root privilege) to perform the operation.

Run the following steps on mac OS terminal (can be started by pressing Command + space and typing terminal) :

$> sudo vi /etc/fstab

In the vi editor, add the following line:
LABEL=WESTERNDIGITAL none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

and then type :wq! to exit the vi editor window. On the terminal run:

$> diskutil unmount WESTERNDIGITAL
$> diskutil mount WESTERNDIGITAL

Note:  Replace WESTERNDIGITAL with the name of your drive in all lines above with the drive name as showing up in finder window.  If your drive name contains spaces, use quotes around the name e.g. “WD DRIVE”.  You can also find the name by running :

$> ls /Volumes/

There will be a Macintosh HD and the other will be your USB/External HDD. It might happen that the finder window will not show your drive once you have made the change mentioned above.  To open the drive with RW mode, run following in your terminal window:

$> open /Volumes/WESTERNDIGITAL
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The Demise of BlackBerry!!

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RIM (Research In Motion), was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Waterloo, Canada.  It pioneered in the development of many technological advancements but it’s success soared with the launch of Blackberry in 1999.  These were smartphones that revolutionized the corporate culture and there was a time that you could identify any corporate executive by checking if he carried the BB device or not.  These devices provided the highest level of security and enabling the user to send-receive push email and instant messages with other devices.  The company garnered market share based on these one business of emailing!!

Blackberries were driven by innovation but they took their success for granted.  Their innovation stopped and they went from driving the competition to just enjoying their success.  Gradually, devices like Apple iPhone rolled out which provided better interface and were easier to use for everybody.  Android launched their cellphones along the same time causing corporations to switch to iPhone or Android driven workspace.  Blackberry also rolled out their new OS around this time but they were late in the market and the BBs didn’t provide any advantage except for security.

Then in 2010-2011, the blackberry network faces outages of service that lasted days for some individual users.  The few drawbacks that I see in Blackberry are higher costing data plan for network usage, the requirement of BB network to access emails, data, etc and no major improvements over their past OS.  BBM has been copied and in use as iMessage.  The last major update to Blackberry came in 2011 with their OS7 rolling out and then they have only offered rumors.  No new devices, no new OS, the launch of the new OS keeps getting pushed to a later date.  Their tablet was a joke to even the most loyal fans of the company.

Today the RIM stock is at an all time low of 6$.  People are waiting for the company to be bought by either Dell or Samsung or some other manufacturer of handsets.  Will it survive and bring out devices that have people switching back to BBs?  Will the Blackberry 10 OS revolutionize the cell phone industry once again??  I also vision apple going the same path as RIM with no new device innovations after Steve Jobs demise but they have a huge amount of surplus wealth working in their favor.

I wish RIM does survive and bring out something awesome and new to the world!!