Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Leopard Fever

For those of you who have Leopard Fever and will install 10.5.0 in the Mac that you use for work (big pause here so that you can digest all the hidden tigers in this last sentence), be smart and at least use some protection.

Some links that might help:

  • jwz on backups: a basic dual clone setup, the same setup I use for disaster recovery;
  • SuperDuper!: I use this for my clones, not rsync;
  • Carbon Copy Cloner: I used this before SuperDuper!. Recently upgraded, worth a look. I prefer SuperDuper! because the UI is simpler.

The basic point is: do not upgrade to Tiger without a tested full bootable clone of your current hard-drive.

By the way, cloning is not backing up. Backing up means that I should be able to retrieve deleted and previous versions of any file. Cloning does not allows me to do that. Think of cloning as disaster recovery only. You'll quickly be up and running again, but it will not save you from accidently deleting some files you worked on yesterday.

For backups, right now, I can't really recommend anything. I don't like any of the solutions out there. At first I would recommend Retrospect but in recent times it has been lagging (there still is no Universal version for example). Also I don't trust Apple's, not yet.

With Leopard, you'll get Time Machine which has some interesting features (mainly the frequency of backups it allows), but do not forget that this is the first release of Time Machine, and if you have one piece of software in your laptop that must always work, its your backup solution.

So take Time Machine with a grain of salt. Do not depend solely on it for your backups.

The best thing about Time Machine is that it forced Apple to create a infrastructure inside Mac OS X that will allow backup applications to do incremental backups with ease, speed and therefore with greater frequency.

I do hope to see some big names in the backup software field to use the same fs_events magic that Time Machine uses. EMC insignia is talking about a new version of Retrospect for '08, lets wait to see what will come of that.

If you really want to take your data seriously, I would recommend you spend $10 and buy this book: Take Control of Mac OS X Backups (updated September 27, to include Leopard stuff).