[OS X TeX] OT: Backup software

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Oct 10 12:36:39 CEST 2006

Le 10 oct. 06 à 11:56, Rick Zaccone a écrit :

> Personally, I'm waiting for Time Machine <http:// 
> www.computerworld.com/action/article.do? 
> command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9003885&pageNumber=1>.  If you  
> haven't seen the WWDC demo of it, take a look.  It's impressive.

Same here.

For the moment I'm sticking to Apple's Backup: I make a full backup  
of my home directory to an external hard drive, once a month say  
(actually it tends to be once every three months, due to lack of  
time, but that's clearly not often enough), and one incremental  
backup every day. But a .Mac subscription is required, otherwise  
you're limited to 100 MB in one go.

I'm very impressed by Gary's backup strategy: if I understood  
correctly, incremental backups every hour to different hard drives in  
the day and in the evening, plus a bootable clone of the whole hard  
drive every day. Unfortunately that doesn't seem possible here:  
first, it requires several different hard drives, which moneywise  
isn't possible; and it requires configuring several pieces of  
software rather precisely, which I'm not sure I can manage.

Another concern is size and time: my home directory is about 20 GB,  
and making a full backup with Backup takes already about 2 hours,  
which is why I am not able to do it as often as advisable. And even  
doing a daily incremental backup takes most of my PowerBook's CPU  
while the backup is being performed. That's why I'm skeptical about  
attempting to backup more often. Not even to say cloning the entire  
hard drive!

Two more things:

- With the MacPro in which you can put several hard drives, I think  
I've read somewhere it's possible to create a software RAID with  
these drives. I've no idea how this can be done, or whether it's  
built-in somewhere in OS X or requires 3rd-party software, but that  
might also serve as backup. The only problem would be, of course, the  
fact that all the backups would live within the same machine, so that  
if something bad happens to that machine (theft, fire, water, ...)  
then all the backups are lost.

- Last week I just got a MacPro. Given the difference in speed with  
my venerable PowerBook G4, I will move to the MacPro as my main  
computer. The only significant problem is email: when all my mail was  
living on the PowerBook, I could read and send mail from everywhere  
(home, McDonald's, ...), having all the past correspondence available  
all the time. Now that I'm reading and sending mail from work on the  
MacPro during the day, this means I don't have most of the  
correspondence of the day at home in the evening on the PowerBook: I  
can't see the Sent messages, stored on the MacPro, and all the  
messages that were transferred upon arrival to local mailboxes  
through filtering rules (like moving all OS X TeX messages to a local  
OS X TeX mailbox) are also stored on the MacPro.

This is certainly a trivial problem, but I haven't yet figured out a  
satisfactory solution -- other than forgetting about email at home in  
the evening, which on the other hand turns out quite good for my  
social life ;-) Given my email directories sum up to about 2.5 GB, I  
doubt OS X synchronization could deal with it transparently: for sure  
it would take ages to synchronize mailboxes on two computers every day?

Bruno Voisin

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