Time Machine

Inside: I’m back! Protecting your backups. OS X.

The last newsletter I sent started with those same words. Back in 2012! My Mom and many other readers have asked numerous times when I would start publishing newsletters again. Many long-time readers like Jac may have thought I retired to a tropical island. In reality, life and working on other people’s projects kept me away, but now I’m back.

A lot has happened in those three years. My son went off to college, I met and married a wonderful woman (and honeymooned a couple weeks on tropical islands!), and Apple upgraded their operating system THREE times (more on that below). They introduced a lot of changes, both major and subtle, so there are many new features, tools, and tips to discuss in future newsletters, articles, and videos.

There’s so much in fact that I could use your help prioritizing. Your answers to my very quick “Let Me Know What You Want” survey will help me decide what topics to write and record videos about. You can click on that link now, take the survey, and be back here in a minute or less. Thanks! I’ll wait… Really… [click to continue…]

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Mac Help For Mom readers obviously want to protect their computer files (photos, music, videos, documents) for the future. How can I tell? How to set up Time Machine backups to an external USB drive is the all-time most popular article on the website, has received the most comments, and is the most popular Mac Help For Mom video on YouTube with over 120,000 views!

A comment there from Darwin highlights one of the biggest weaknesses in backing up: What happens if the power goes out while files are being backed up?
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Inside: Bookmarks, Safari Reading List, Links, Web Archives, tooltips

There’s not enough room in this newsletter for me to adequately apologize for going silent for so long. In January I had a good excuse as I spent most of the month with a sore throat that made my voice very unworthy of recording new videos. But February just got away from me with other work and was over before I knew it. The important thing is I’m back in the groove and have FOUR new articles and videos to announce.

I did have a brief scare when the hard drive in my MacBook Pro got corrupted recently. Fortunately I can’t use that as an excuse because I was able to swap in a bigger drive and then restore everything from backup. Time Machine worked just how it’s supposed to and I was back running in a few hours, with nothing missing. If you still aren’t backing up your Mac, please use me as a cautionary tale. Drives can fail at any time. Mine gave me no warning. They ALL ultimately fail. My October article on setting up Time Machine inspired a few readers to finally start backing up their Macs, so if you still aren’t backing up, hopefully you’ll be inspired by my quick recovery from what could have easily been a tragedy. [click to continue…]

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There are two types of people in the world: Those who have forever lost important computer files, and those who haven’t…YET! Most people in the first group have learned their lesson (the hard way) and are now backing up their computer on a regular basis. If you are in the second group you have two options:

  1. Experience a painful loss of important photos, videos, music, emails and documents, and THEN start backing up, or
  2. Learn from the first group and start backing up your computer NOW!

It’s your choice, but don’t say you haven’t been warned. All hard drives will fail, it’s just a question of when. Even computer geeks accidentally delete a folder of important files when they meant to delete something else. If you back up your computer regularly and correctly, these otherwise devastating catastrophes become a minor hurdle that you can overcome quickly. And you’ll pat yourself on the back for being so intelligent for having a good computer backup.
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