Friday, April 02, 2010

Yay I'm up and running again!

I seem to have recovered all of my data from my disk crash, thanks to Apple Time Machine. First time in my life I've ever had to restore from a backup and had it actually work! But then, that's why I like buying Apple stuff... it Just effin' *works*.

Still a few things to do -- lost my RHEL5 vm, so I'm installing Centos 5 into a VMware virtual machine -- but that is a situation where I told Time Machine explicitly not to back up my VMware directory because everything there is disposable. Can't fault Time Machine for doing what I told it to do!

-- Badtux the Geeky Penguin


  1. Tux
    You got me..Mac Fan here. I got the pro. There's so much to it all. If you have time please explain the time machine thing. Like how often and stuff.

  2. Yep, mine is the MacBook Pro 13.3". I hook it up to a big monitor and keyboard at home and at the office, and it's just the right size for traveling, I can open it up on those cramped little airline trays, unlike a bigger laptop.

    TIme machine is simplicity itself. Go buy a big USB hard drive -- I got a 2 terabyte one for $140 at Fry's Electronics -- and plug it in to one of the USB ports. The Mac then pops up the message, "do you want to use this drive for Time Machine backups?". Answer "Yes", and you're done. Yes, you're done. No configuration, no nothing, it just does it. Leave it hooked up for four or five hours the first time it backs up your drive, then from then on it'll fire up once an hour for a couple of minutes and keep everything all up to date (unless you tell it not to!). You don't have to configure anything, it just does it. Assuming you have MacOS Leopard or Snow Leopard, anyhow (prior versions of MacOS don't have Time Machine)... you can tell because they have the purple Time Machine starscape on the login screen :).

    When I installed my MacOS on the new hard drive to replace the crashed one, the last thing it asked me was, "Do you want to restore from your Time Machine backup?" And I said "Yes", and it just did it. And got me back to where I was at my last Time Machine backup, at around 8PM the previous night. I didn't have to select anything or do anything, it just worked!

  3. BadTux & Tim; years ago I was a Mac and PC tech at a small outfit out of Solana Beach, CA. We mainly had artists and such whose whole body of work was created (and stored) on their computer. You don't want to see a clients face when you tell 'em the drive is toast -- and you did backup your files, right? (And they *never had*). There are outfits that can take a drive apart and try to recover the data, but it costs big bucks. Time Machine is a godsend. As you say BadTux, it just works!

  4. Tux
    I think mines a 10.3?
    I have a lot of stuff on it like photo shop and dream weaver. I'm not sure but I think it can do pod cast.
    Pod cast is something I'm thinking about. Thanks both of you for the time machine info. I have to ask..IPAD
    what do you think about it. Almost got one today.
    Thanks again

  5. I'm a bit paranoid about data loss, having lost it all in a drive blowup about ten years ago. I have a WD 1TB Firewire 800 drive that is used by Time Machine and also has a nightly clone made by Super Duper, so I can boot off it in case the internal on my iMac dies. Unlike your MBPro, the HD in an aluminum iMac is not something that can be replaced by mere mortals.

    Even without Super Duper, TM is a fantastic utility and it's so bloody easy to restore from it after a drive belch or if you want to nuke/pave and install a fresh copy of the OS. Being able to time-travel back a month to recover something you trashed by accident is no small feat either.

    I would suggest a Firewire 400/800 drive over USB; it's much faster and there's little system I/O overhead. If you need to boot from an external, a USB drive is glacially slow.

  6. @Tim if you have 10.3 or anything older than 10.5 and you don't want to update, you can buy Super Duper.

    "SuperDuper v2.6.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is fully Snow Leopard compatible.

    Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.2) users can download v1.5.5, and Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) users can download v2.1.4, the last releases available for those older versions of OS X."

    Also, PowerPC Macs cannot boot from USB drives.

  7. Tim: 10.5 is what first came with TIme Machine. I'm personally running 10.6.3, which runs much better with my Intel Mac with 8 gigabytes of memory. You can see what you have by clicking on the bitten apple at the top left of the screen and selecting "about this mac".

    Unfortunately updating from 10.3 to 10.5 (the last version available for Power PC) is not all that feasible.

    42, I agree that FIrewire drives are significantly faster in reality, though from the specs it appears USB 2.0 drives should be just as fast. The deal is that Firewire allows asynchronous communications with hard drives, which allows overlapping command execution and data transmission. Fire off a read transaction to the drive, and while the drive is processing that read transaction, suck in the results of the *previous* read transaction. USB2.0 is synchronous -- you fire off a read, then wait around doing nothing until the result comes back, nothing else can happen on the USB bus until that result comes back.

    Thing is, USB2.0 is even worse for sound communication, so my Firewire port is taken up by my PreSonus Firebox. The Firebox is a first-generation professional-quality Firewire sound interface. It works quite well (at least if you have a mixer in front of it and go in through the back ports, the front ports lack headroom, something they fixed in their 2nd-gen interface), but it doesn't like chaining off of a hard drive, you can get the Red Light Of No Sync that way. So for the sake of reliable sound I stick Time Machine on a USB drive. Shows what my priorities are... I value reliable sound more than I value a faster backup / restore. But then, if you recall several years ago, that's why I bought my first Macbook in the first place -- Windows was driving me absolutely batty with the unreliability of its sound system, I'd have a good idea for a song, I'd hit record, I'd think I recorded it but I hadn't, grrr! A penguin has his priorities, and being driven batty by unreliable sound isn't one of them. Besides, have you ever seen a flightless waterfowl stumbling around blind emitting little "meep! meep! meep!" sounds to find his way around? It's tragedy, my friends, pure tragedy...

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  8. at first i didnt mind Windows 7 (thinking i would hate it)

    guess what
    i hate it

    Mozilla crashes at least 8x a day. I bet IE doesnt

    that bill

  9. Oh my computer is a 15.5 with Mac OS 10.5.8. leopard the only reason I found out is my son came home from

  10. "It's tragedy, my friends, pure tragedy..."

    Wait, isn't that a song?


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