What Time Machine leaves behind

April 4, 2008

Time Machine
I mentioned earlier that while I like Time Machine a lot, depending on it as your sole backup is rather fraught with peril.

This post on macosxhints gives another good reason — apparently some applications (including notably, VMWare) silently exclude data files from Time Machine.
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How to back up your Mac – Remote Backup

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups

Remote Backup

If you’ve followed along this far, you know we mentioned previously why you need several styles of backup, you’re rocking a solid clone backup, and you’ve got Time Machine covering multiple versions of at least your most important files.

That should be enough, right?


What could possibly happen to your Mac that could also affect the backups sitting next to it (or even in the same office or home)? Wait — let’s not cite potential specifics and jinx anybody; surely you’ve thought of some ugly possibilities.

That’s why we need the remote backup.
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How to back up your Mac – Time Machine

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups

Time Machine

As I mentioned previously, Time Machine isn’t enough — you need a good clone backup first. But once you have that, Time Machine provides a safety net, as well as giving you the ability to go back and recover older versions of your files.
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How to back up your Mac – Clone Backup

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups

Clone Backups

As I mentioned previously, a good clone backup is your FIRST line of defense — in case of disaster, it’s simple and flexible, and gets you back in business FAST.
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How to backup your Mac – Easily and Securely

April 2, 2008

Easy and Secure Mac Backups
I used to be a “real men don’t back up, they learn data recovery” kind of guy. After a few trips through the canyon though, data recovery begins to lose it’s appeal.

Over time I’ve gotten a lot more religious about backups, and have came up with four rules that have to be followed before I feel like my stuff is actually secure:

  • Backups have to be automatic
  • Recovery needs to be simple
  • Some stuff needs to be recoverable from older backups
  • Important stuff needs to be backed up off-site

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OS X Online Backup (Configuration)

March 20, 2007

If you’ve made it this far, that means that you’ve successfully configured your encryption keys, connected to your backup server, and used rsync to backup some test data — congratulations!

(If you’re just joining us, you’ll probably want to look at Part 1 and Part 2 of this series before continuing.)

The next step is to configure our actual backup.

What to backup?

It’s worth taking a moment to consider what you actually want to backup. While it’s possible to backup your entire Mac, it adds somewhat to the complexity (there are files you have to exclude if you want to backup an entire running Mac), it takes a loooong time, and there may not be much point.

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OS X Online Backup (Connection & Test)

March 19, 2007

I’m assuming that you’ve gathered the materials indicated in Part 1 — specifically, that you’ve got an account set up with Talanov or a similar service, and have an FTP program that supports Secure FTP (SFTP) handy.

Our rsync transfers will be made over the Secure Shell protocol known as SSH. This insures that all of your data is transmitted in an encrypted fashion.

We could log into SSH with the username and password provided by our backup vendor (and we will while setting this up), but this would be a little annoying if we had to do it every time we backed up, so instead, we’re going to exchange encryption keys that will allow our Mac to automatically identify itself to the backup server (and vice versa) when our script is run.

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OS X Online Backup (Intro)

March 19, 2007

Online backup lets you backup your Mac to a secure remote server, using “spare bandwidth” from your broadband connection when there isn’t something else going on.

It’s a great idea, and there are really only three problems with most of the options out there for Macs — they usually exhibit some combination of being expensive, slow, or having limited capacity.

Linux server jocks, on the other hand, often take advantage of rsync, and a couple of great online storage facilities that support it — cheaply.

Rsync is a wonderful tool — it quickly compares files on both ends of a connection, and only sends the differences. This works clear down on the byte-by-byte level – if two copies of a file are different by 100 bytes, that’s all that gets sent.

Several firms specialize in selling industrial quality rsync backup cheaply. One of the best known is probably BQ Backup, who will sell you 100GB of rsync-able storage for only $20 per month (or 10GB for $5). There are competing vendors, and even those who resell BQ Backup at an even lower price.

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Windows MCE 2005 – 4 Tuner Hack

May 6, 2005

Got 500 channels and too much on? It’s your lucky day!

Someone over to TheGreenButton has figured out how to Use up to 4 Tuners in Windows Media Center Edition 2005.

This removes one of the remaining features that SageTV has over MCE 2005; you can still do even more tuners in Sage (if you’re brave, lucky, and have good cooling), but four should accomodate all but the most determined PVR builder.

This does involve a registry hack, so make good backups and be careful!

Microsoft Search – Now Live and Direct

February 1, 2005

Microsoft officially launches their new search engine — how are your results?  Thus far, I’m seeing about 30% more traffic from Microsoft Search than from Google.

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