OS X SIG - Oct. 23

From: Todd D.
Sent on: Sunday, October 21, 2012 4:32 PM

[IMPORTANT: Venue changed tonight from Macquarium to Mellow Mushroom.]


When: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.

Program: OS X SIG (Special Interest Group) -- Where we discuss all things Apple! Bring your questions!

Facilitators: Charlotte Ford and Tom Baley

Description: We call it the "OS X SIG" but we actually cover everything related to Apple products, including third-party software and hardware. Our meetings are informal and guests are welcome. Bring your questions and see you there!

NOTE: In fairness to the restaurant, please buy something.

Location: Mellow Mushroom - Midtown (NOT Macquarium), 1770 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30309, [masked]

Questions: Todd Daniel - [masked], cell [masked]


The President Speaketh

Backing Up Across Networks

This question regularly comes up: Can I use my backup program to back up over my home network?

The answer is "YES," but if you go to the documentation for programs like Time Machine, SuperDuper, and Carbon Copy Cloner, they recommend creating a Sparse Disk Image.

First of all, a disk image is a single file on your hard drive that is sort of like a hard drive within a hard drive. The advantage of the sparse option is that your disk image grows as you ad files to it, so you are making efficient use of space. Note that these disk images automatically grow but they DO NOT shrink once you remove data from them.

Once you create your sparse disk image on your networked hard drive, you can then make backups using most major backup programs. If you have created a clone backup and the sad day comes when your hard drive crashes, you cannot restore from a disk image. You will need to mount it and restore its contents to a physical hard drive and THEN you can create a bootable external drive.

If you are backing up to a networked hard drive where PCs also back-up, this is more complex because the hard drive may be formatted in the old FAT32 format. This is a problem since FAT32 has file size limitations. In this case, you will need to create a Sparsebundle as opposed to a Spraseimage. The difference is that the sparsebundle retains its data in may smaller chunks, which can accommodate the limits of a FAT32 drive.

Now, lets say that you are at your work or college and want to create a Sparse Disk Image. Or, say you have a nosey uncle living with you. In these cases, you'll want to encrypt the data and add a password.

As mentioned, sparse images can be created from some backup software programs, or you can make one yourself using Disk Utility. Click on "New Image," and one of the prompts will be for the type of encryption. Choose 128-bit AES because not even the most hard core nerds can crack it.

One other thing I've discovered with network backups is that some backup programs will not keep the computer awake, and the network backup will simply pause when the computer goes to sleep. You will need to go into Preferences --> Energy Saver and select "Never" for Computer Sleep, although you should still leave Display Sleep on.

Happy computing!

-- Todd Daniel, AMUG President


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