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#1 DavidDoyle

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:46 PM

What a harrowing afternoon.  

 

As I was finishing my final prep for tonight's Bible study I lost my highlights file and my notes file.  I'm not quite sure how it happened and I don't think I can replicate it.  But I was able to get very recent backups from time machine and have 99.9% of my past 10 years work in Accordance.

 

So, I'm thinking I need a better backup system than to trust in Time Machine alone.

 

What do you do?

 

On a side note to the Accordance developers.  Perhaps you can build something into Accordance for regular and automatic backups.  You can't believe what I was feeling contemplating the loss of 10 years of notes.  It was so bad that I was contemplating going back to a paper Bible!

 

I don't think that Dropbox will work for backups because as soon as file gets corrupt it gets passed to Dropbox.

 

Looking forward to a better solution than I have which is copying the Accordance Files folder to a USB key.

 

Thanks.



#2 Darin Allen

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

Hi David,

 

We should have Dropbox sync available for Mac in the next Accordance update. This will allow you to sync notes and highlights in the cloud using Dropbox. I think this might be your best bet if you can bear with Time Machine for just a little while longer.


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#3 DavidDoyle

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

Darin,

Dropbox is a great syncing solution, but will it work as a backup? For example, if the My Highlights file became corrupted on my desktop wouldn't Dropbox instantly push the corrupted file to my notebook or iPad?

I think a good backup solution has to be somehow unconnected with the working files, or am I missing something?

Thanks

#4 rdtaylorjr

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

I use CrashPlan and I love it. It automatically uploads my files to the cloud as soon as I save them and it includes unlimited file versioning, so if one of your files gets corrupted and then uploaded, you can always just choose an earlier version of that file to restore. 



#5 Joe Weaks

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

Sorry you had a scare.

 

Why is TimeMachine not a perfect solution for this? You recovered 99.9% of your work. That's awesome. Why change?

Dropbox also works like time machine... you can restore older versions of a file you've saved over.

 

I use both.


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#6 Ken Han

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

Time Machine is good, but not perfect. I've had too many random "disk not available" error messages with TM, where it becomes impossible to find out just what went wrong and why I can't continue to back up to a disk that shows up as available in the Finder. Besides, it's always a good idea to have at least one offsite backup. So TM at home, and either an external HD you keep at the office or some kind of online service.

 

I use crashplan, and it seems to work alright. Upload speed for me is usually unbearably slow. I have 50mbs/20mbs connection, and backing up around 500GB of my iMac HD took more than a MONTH of the iMac running day and night, with the upload speed never getting better than 1mbs. The answer from crashplan tech support was the available upload bandwidth is shared by many connections, so if in the future they increase their capacity, speed will improve. Not exactly what I wanted to hear. It also requires java, and this may or may not matter. 



#7 DavidDoyle

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:23 PM

Sorry you had a scare.
 
Why is TimeMachine not a perfect solution for this? You recovered 99.9% of your work. That's awesome. Why change?
Dropbox also works like time machine... you can restore older versions of a file you've saved over.
 
I use both.

Joe,

TM isn't perfect because it's an hourly backup. I lost about 45 min of reading highlights. Surely glad to have the 99% back though!

I didn't know that Dropbox supported versioning. I just selected my folder and didn't investigate much further. That's why I asked here as the collected knowledge is much deeper than my own.

But, since that's the case, when Accordance incorporates Dropbox I think I'll be set.

DD

Edited by DavidDoyle, 27 February 2013 - 08:24 PM.


#8 Daniel Semler

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:53 PM

Hi ya,

 

  Been mulling this one over all day. I work on databases - well I used to but that's another story. People worry about individual txns not just the last hour - fractions of seconds sometimes. Anyhow there are many reasons why it would make sense to have a really short backup window when you don't have an RDBMS behind you. One thing I tend to do when I'm worried about disaster of a particular thing is to make a backup and then jump off the metaphoric cliff with whatever the operation is. So I wondered if an Automator Service linked to a hot key backing up to a known location might not provide one with a very simple highly targetted way of backing up things that might be at risk. Never having used Automator before it seemed like a fun thing to try. Well it can be done and you can save the Automator workflow as a Service and then whack a hot key on it. Appropriately configured you can get a new backup in subdirectories named with the current date and time making it very easy to work out what's what. And that backup location could be on a USB drive, punched paper tape, DropBox folder etc.

 

I do not yet know enough to export the thing and let you take a look at it. If you are interested in it I'll try to figure it out.

 

Thx
D


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Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
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      Accordance 10.4.3.2                     Accordance 10.4.3.2 and Aleph 10.4.3.2
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#9 Dan Francis

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:11 AM

I keep a 2.5 inch hard drive around and use SuperDuper (CarbonCopyCloner would work equally as well) to make sure I have a compete bootable back up. I try to hook it up and back it up ever Friday or Saturday. I start it before i head off to bed and usually it says  the backup has been brought up to identical status as my hard drive in 35-65 minutes (this is using a smart update method only changing files that need to be changed). I have never tried Time Machine but this is what i have done for many years (use to be external 3.5 inch disks but the bus powered 2.5" are great. Even though it will be a dramatic difference in speed, in a couple years when I have a MacBook with a SSD, I will still do that, and if my hard drive fails or something happens to my laptop I have a mostly ready back waiting to be hooked up. I needed to use it a while back when my MBP went in to have it's bulging battery replaced. I can tell you i found it so handy to just take the loner and hook up my HD to it boot up and go… and when i got my machine back within an hour my MBP was unto date. Now of course this is not as ideal as an offsite back up in a fireproof vault…. but it works well enough for me...

 

-Dan



#10 Helen Brown

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:01 AM

I use TimeMachine, but I rely on SuperDuper just as Dan describes. However, I keep a second SuperDuper backup (less often) on hand in case the one fails, and actually have an even older one in another location, just in case.
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#11 Boris Repschinski

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:37 AM

Hi David,

 

We should have Dropbox sync available for Mac in the next Accordance update. This will allow you to sync notes and highlights in the cloud using Dropbox. I think this might be your best bet if you can bear with Time Machine for just a little while longer.

Now this is really good news! Thanks


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#12 Julie Falling

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

I had a similar problem at one time.  I was nearly sick about the possibility of having lost all my notes.

 

Like many here, I use multiple back-up methods.  Surely they won't all fail!  At least not at the same time?  

 

I have two 1G 2.5" bus-powered drives for TimeMachine.  One is connected to my MacBook Pro when it's connected to an external monitor (that happens daily when we're in town).  The other is in a safe inside a heavy zip-lock plastic bag where it would have a good chance of surviving a fire or plumbing crisis.  They are switched out every few weeks, but it should probably be weekly.  I back-up to TimeMachine immediately when I've made several changes.  Who says we have to stick to the TimeMachine default schedule?

 

I regularly move critical files to my Mac mini.  AirDrop is great for this, because at that point my machines are side by side.

 

I make text copies of my entire user notes file on a regular basis and save it as an rtf.  That would mean a lot of reformatting if I ever had to do it, but that is better than a total loss.

 

Finally, I have one of those mini USB flash drives (Verbatim Store 'n Stay 4GB - http://www.newegg.co...61&ParentOnly=1) that lives in my laptop.  I can just drag my Accordance folder, or part of it, to the drive after each session and have an up-to-date copy at all times.  It's only USB 2, so the transfer can be slow.  I need to see if I can find one that is USB 3.

 

The 320G drive that came out of my MBP when I upgraded to a 750G drive is no longer large enough to accommodate a clone.  Guess I need to do something about that.

 

It would be better if more of these processes were automatic.  That the big advantage of TimeMachine.  But dragging and dropping doesn't take all that long, and it can happen while I'm doing something else.


Julia Falling

 

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#13 Daniel Semler

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

Hi Julie,

 

  I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I have worked on enterprise level data loss issues where dual redundant backups failed at the same time resulting in irrecoverable data loss. It does happen. Its certainly not common but it can happen. The point here was that backup testing or more correctly restore testing needs to be done. Create and forget backups don't always end up being available and correct when you need then. Backup disks go bad, USB drives can have faults etc. Now, at the level of the common user of home software this is not a great issue and a few redundant backups here or there is usually more than enough. You certainly seem to have gone way beyond the average in backing up and I doubt you'll have a failure you cannot mostly recover from.

 

  The problem with the multiple back solution for the case of the OP here is that backups weren't the problem. As Joe Weaks pointed out the backup worked really well - 99% of ten years data is a really good result. The problem was the amount of exposure at the particular time. If an hour is too long (in his case 45 minutes data loss I believe) then one needs either more frequent backups or backups on every change. The reason I proposed a hotkey backup solution is two fold - its cheap and easy enough, and it can be targetted to a very small number of files. You clearly already do such manual focussed backups yourself whenever you have a need. TM can't do that that I'm aware of. DropBox is problematic because it will copy bad files as easily as good ones thus destroying the backup for some failure cases, unless they have a way to support file versioning. People often don't realise all the different ways in which data can be lost. Simply doing the wrong thing, accidentally deleting a bunch of notes does happen I'm sure. And you don't want to overwrite your back with such a file. TM of course can handle that but it still has the hourly interval thing. And yes that can be lowered but how much system resource do want devoted to TM.

 

  Something like CrashPlan used in local mode, I like my own backups to be honest rather than on someone else's hardware, but that's a privacy issue, seems possible. But again you need to know that it won't overwrite a good back up with a bad file.

 

  So all that said then, and I apologise for the length, what one really wants is file versioning where each update to the file creates a new version of the file and you can easily go back to an earlier version if something goes wrong. You can then backup all these files using any normal method. File version does exist for OSX but it needs app support so Acc would have to do something to use it. What my quick hack up does it create version specific directories one each time a backup is done. And you can do it on a very small number of files. Now of course its a trivial hack done mainly for my own education (oddly like everything else I do with Acc). Its not a product, its not customisable, its not polished. And I believe it could be modified to use the same sort of triggering that DropBox uses to detect changes and make a copy. I just don't yet know enough about filesystem events and the like to do that.

 

Anyhow I have as usual gone on too long.

 

Thx

D


Accordance Configurations :
 
Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM
      Accordance 10.4.3.2                     Accordance 10.4.3.2 and Aleph 10.4.3.2
      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1

#14 Julie Falling

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

Thanks, Daniel.  Your method sounds to be the best.  What we want is auto-saving of an entire file, right?  And a new, dated copy with each change?  The user notes file is little, being text and not images (at least mine is).  Doing this manually multiple times in a session would be a complete pain.  Doing it daily after each session not so much.

 

I'm trying to maintain some kind of rational balance here.  This is not a national security issue.  This is not the diagnosis of a terminal illness.  No one's financial security depends on this.  However, much time and study has gone into our notes (& highlighting & user tools) and we don't want to lose them.

 

The things that change daily in my Accordance Files are my notes and highlights.  It would be a simple task to just make dated copies of those two items and have them go to TM, the flash drive, and Drop Box.  I would just be acquiring more files over time, not overwriting a sound copy with a corrupted one.  If the house burns down, we'll be more concerned with getting the people, the dog, and the cats out of here safely than we will be with data loss.

 

What a pain, but better to think about it now than after I find myself in a mess.

 

 


Julia Falling

 

Accordance 

MacBook Air Yosemite

mid-2013 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 (2 cores)

8 GB RAM; 512 G SSD

 

Mac mini Yosemite

late-2012 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 (4 cores)

16 GB RAM; 1.12  TB Fusion Drive

 

iPad Air 1 iOS 8.1

64 GB

 

 

 

 


#15 Daniel Semler

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

Your second para says it all. Everything in its correct proportion.

 

But when you need it or want it a few judiciously made manual backups will save considerable grief. I don't do it every time but then I think the Western world would be better off without a few lost translations of mine :) I probably would too :)

 

Thx

D


Accordance Configurations :
 
Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM
      Accordance 10.4.3.2                     Accordance 10.4.3.2 and Aleph 10.4.3.2
      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1

#16 Darin Allen

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:39 PM

Dropbox is a great syncing solution, but will it work as a backup? For example, if the My Highlights file became corrupted on my desktop wouldn't Dropbox instantly push the corrupted file to my notebook or iPad?

 

Gotcha, I understand. If there is not also a copy of your notes in the Documents folder (and I imagine the future Dropbox solution will just keep that one set of notes) then you are right that this won't suffice as a backup solution. Time Machine has always worked well for me as a pure backup solution, but other seem to have offered good alternatives as well.


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#17 craigminah

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:42 PM

Dropbox should serve as a stand-alone backup option as it keeps revisions in addition to the current version (use the Dropbox website to get older versions).  Dropbox with Time Machine should be nearly unbeatable.



#18 Larry Wing

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:58 PM

I'm paranoid I guess.  I use Time Machine 2-3 times a week and Chronosync once a week. I also use Chronosync to create a bootable clone once a month.  I also upload to Dropbox and Sugarsync daily.

 

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) I don't spend as much time as others on my computer so my notes, etc don't change as radically.

 

My biggest concern now if if I'll have enough time finding the last back. :-)

 

Larry



#19 Joe Weaks

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

For 99.something% of Accordance users, what craigminah said (and what I previously said) is what you need.


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#20 Bob Deacon

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:14 AM

Good information. Thanks for the insight!


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