Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Released: September 2011
Pages: 210

Read along as backup guru Joe Kissell helps you pick the best backup strategy for your needs and understand the hows and whys of what you are doing, taking you far beyond the limited security of turning on Time Machine or copying a few files to a flash drive.

You'll learn the three key parts of a successful backup strategy, advice for backing up digital photos and massive video projects, and time-tested recommendations for setting up, testing, maintaining, and restoring backups. Whether you're running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, 10.6 Snow Leopard, or 10.5 Leopard, you'll soon have a reliable, up-to-date backup system.

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Although the 210-page ebook is organized so you can start backing up without reading every page, the full ebook will teach you to:

  • Design a reliable backup system. If you're developing a new backup system, you'll learn how to make it not only thorough, ensuring that all your data is safe, but also easy to manage. And if you're reassessing and redesigning an existing backup system, Joe provides detailed advice about how to evaluate it and offers guidance for improving and modernizing it.
  • Talk like an expert. You'll understand terms like "versioned backups," "push" and "pull" backups, "duplicates," "server," "client," "incremental," "hard link," "metadata," "mirroring," and "snapshot."
  • Shop for hardware. You'll discover the pros and cons of different backup media options such as hard drives (with USB, FireWire, eSATA, or Thunderbolt interfaces - and with or without full-disk encryption), flash drives, optical media, tape drives, RAIDs, Drobo storage devices, Time Capsules, and NAS and SAN devices.
  • Choose backup software. You'll learn about 14 key features and find overviews and tips for 8 noteworthy backup products (an online appendix covers nearly 100 options), plus several suggestions for online backups. You'll also get Joe's personal recommendations to help you sort through the possibilities.
  • Operate your Time Machine. You'll find what goes on beneath Time Machine's simple surface, and how best to make use of Apple's built-in backup system, including how Lion's local backups work when your Time Machine volume isn't available, and how to encrypt a Time Machine backup.
  • Make backups. No matter what backup software you decide to use, Joe provides a conceptual walk-through of the entire process, offering basic information for people who've never made a backup before and savvy, real-world suggestions for making the backup process as easy as possible.
  • Deal with special backup needs. You'll learn what to do about certain kinds of data that may require special backup strategies, such as large media archives, frequently changing files that need special versioned backup treatment, and Windows files and volumes hosted on your Mac.
  • Recover lost data. Use your backup to recover lost data successfully in the event of a hard disk crash or other calamity. After all, restoration is what's really important.
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