Thursday, January 31, 2013

Time Machine

I just saw the play Assistance at the Wilma Theater courtesy of my stage-manager-with-connections housemate. I dug it. Over-the-top annoying comedy in the first scene or two, but then it settled down a bit, and there was great chemistry between the leads.

Anyway, Apple's Time Machine is weird. It's on the mind because gf's hard drive crashed last weekend when she was visiting. And somebody asked me for some grad school materials, which I realized are no longer on my machine thanks to my reformatting in Kenya that one time. So I go into Time Machine to look for them, and post-Kenya backups are there and look fine, but pre-reformat ones look like this--Damn! The shift-apple-4 screen grab doesn't work inside Time Machine, so here's a pic from my phone:

Anyway, the point is that they're "there" but they're black or transparent and you can't click on them. If you look directly on the drive, they're there. Weirdly, if you search in the Finder menu bar inside TM, they become active, and you can then click on them and look through them, but you can't restore from them. As far as I understand it, whenever you reformat a hard drive, or anything like that, TM is no longer 'associated' with those back-ups. So the first time I backed up after re-formatting, TM did a complete back-up, instead of a limited smart one of only the files that had changed like it normally does.

There are ways to avoid this and the space it eats up, but they are complicated. This site seems to be the answer to all TM questions one could ever have. I mean, it's not like Windows isn't horribly worse, and it's not like I have time to learn how to do everything in Unix, but why can't Apple be all things for all people? Be simple and beautiful, but still give me options and let me do something remotely complicated.

I think the easiest thing to do will be to manually find which folders I didn't successfully restore in Kenya, then copy them manually from the TM HD.

UPDATE: OK, not that difficult. Just click on your computer in the sidebar of a finder window and then enter TM. (Why this matters, I don't know.) Or it might work if you alt-click on the TM icon in the menubar, and you can try to "browse other TM Disks." Whatever. I'm going to bed.

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