Tim(ing) Ma­chine

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

Af­ter about five years of de­lib­er­a­tion I’ve made the switch from a Win­dows lap­top to the new MacBook. My first thoughts are that it’s ex­ceeded my ex­pec­ta­tions by miles! I love the way the OS looks and it’s great to use, and the switch was far more seam­less than I could have hoped.

On to my ac­tual point. The ar­ti­cle in is­sue 288 about back­ups was very in­for­ma­tive and solid ad­vice; as an IT worker, I fully ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of reg­u­lar back­ups. I’ve set up Time Ma­chine to use my NAS drive, but that’s quickly fill­ing up. Is it pos­si­ble to con­fig­ure Time Ma­chine more than just on or off? Ideally I’d like to have it do a ‘delta’ backup a few times a day and then a full-drive backup once a week. If this isn’t pos­si­ble with Time Ma­chine, could you rec­om­mend a tool or util­ity to do this for me? I don’t mind pay­ing for a good tool that meets my needs! Mike Witts

Alan Stone­bridge says Time Ma­chine per­forms a full backup the first time it runs (ex­clud­ing any­thing you ex­plic­itly tell it not to in­clude). From then on, OS X tracks which files change and backs up in­cre­men­tally on an hourly ba­sis. Time Ma­chine uses ‘hard links’ to main­tain mul­ti­ple ref­er­ences to data that re­mains un­changed over time. This en­ables it to keep a com­plete record of your Mac’s stor­age for each point in time that it makes a backup with­out un­nec­es­sary du­pli­ca­tion of un­changed files. With a lit­tle time spent con­fig­ur­ing it, Car­bon Copy Cloner (bombich. com) can be sched­uled to per­form back­ups to mul­ti­ple des­ti­na­tions and at what­ever in­ter­vals you choose, such as ev­ery four hours, not just hourly.

Time Ma­chine al­ter­na­tives such as Car­bon Copy Cloner are also able to back up to a sched­ule, and not just hourly.

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