May 2012 – Tip of the Month

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Tip of the Month

You probably have or know of someone who has a story or two about some terrible loss of data at some point. See Pixar’s own recap of how they almost lost Toy Story completely after an entire year of work

It’s not fun to loose data, be it work, creative endeavors, financial records, the list goes on. With our dependency on computers and the data within going up, so goes the importance of having an up to date and reliable back up strategy.

The point is that most of these stories or situations are preventable and the misconception that your back up is up to date can be very costly and painful.

The simplest and most straight forward kind of Back Up available to a Mac user is using Apple’s own Time Machine software built right into OSX 10.5 and above.

As per Apple:

Time Machine is the built-in backup that works with your Mac and an external drive (sold separately) or Time Capsule. Connect the drive, assign it to Time Machine, and start enjoying some peace of mind. Time Machine automatically backs up your entire Mac, including system files, applications, accounts, preferences, music, photos, movies, and documents. But what makes Time Machine different from other backup applications is that it not only keeps a spare copy of every file, it remembers how your system looked on any given day—so you can revisit your Mac as it appeared in the past.

For more details: Click here 

To use Time Machine plug any external Hard drive into your Mac, as long as it’s capacity is larger than the internal drive of that Mac. OSX may prompt you to use an external hard drive when initially plugged in if Time Machine is already switched on – this is fine to choose this way.



Otherwise you will have to open System Preferences under the Apple menu, select Time Machine and turn the switch on. It will prompt you to choose an external Harddrive to use – select the one you have specified for this purpose and let Time Machine do it’s work. By the way this can take quite a while so best to do it over night the first time.


After the initial back up, Time Machine backs up every hour and only grabs the new or newly modified files. Not only is it very economical on hard disk space but restoring files is easy through its own interface.


How to check that it’s working and up to date. 

To check and/or restore files, click on the Clock icon at the top right of the screen: The drop down menu will tell you the latest backup or that it’s either backing currently.

Click “Enter Time Machine” to enter the Time Machine interface allowing you to view previous versions of your file system through Finder to find the file you were looking for.

In fact it is a very good idea to try to restore a file and make sure it restores correctly – try it on something unimportant so as to make sure you don’t lose anything valuable.


Everything is going to be okay. 

Congratulations if you have made it this far then you have a working and up to date back up. Now please do make sure to keep it up to date which is very easy, just plug it in and let it do the work. For the desktop users out there, just leave it connected and for you portable people ie MacBook Pro users, make sure to plug it in from either every night to once in a while.


A final mention.

While having a backup is fantastic it is not the be all and end all. Having a back up that is not in the same location as your computer, effectively an “off site” back up offers the best protection from theft or fire damage.

Any backup questions are welcomed here at Mac Aid. We want to make sure your data is safe.



Mac Aid welcomes a new staff member

We are pleased to welcome another technician to our line up: Mr Sergio Pacheco.

Read more here.

Daylite 4 released

Marketcircle have released Daylite 4, their business and productivity management application for Mac OSX and iOS. The new version, released today, is a major upgrade from previous versions offering some fantastic changes including a more streamlined workflow and interface and enhanced integration within the Daylite eco-system of applications. Read on for more info.
Read more here.


Filemaker 12 available

FileMaker, Inc.have released the FileMaker 12 database software line. FileMaker version 12 has proved to be a serious update providing some great features but requiring some thought into the upgrade process. Read on for more info.
Read more here.