Backup 3 QuickStart Guide

by Derrick Story

I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Apple's Backup software and its connection to my .Mac account. So when I read this morning's news that we now have Backup 3, I had to download it for a spin. If you're thinking about doing the same thing, I have a few quick tips for you:

  • First, log on to your .Mac account and reset your storage settings. (Tiger users can go to the .Mac System Preference Pane and click on the Account Info button under the Account tab). To take advantage of your 1GB of storage, you have to reset the split between email and iDisk. I like the 40MB email / 984MB iDisk combo myself.

  • While you're in Account settings, it's a good time to check that your credit card and personal info are current.

  • While still in the .Mac System Preference Pane, click on the iDisk tab, and you should see that your storage limit has been increased. If not, log out of that .Mac plan, then back in.

  • Finally, go to the .Mac homepage and download the new version of Backup.

Install Backup 3 and give it a spin. If you're an existing Backup user, I recommend that you choose the "Migrated iDisk Plan." Don't add anything to it at this point. Chances are your first backup might fail even if you go this conservative route. Mine did because Backup added all Filemaker databases to my migrated iDisk plan, and there wasn't enough room on my iDisk to accommodate them. (Don't know why; it just did.) I removed the Filemaker option and tried again. Ah ha, it worked!

backup 3

Existing Backup users might want to choose the Migrated iDisk Plan the first time they try Backup 3.

You might want to set aside some time for this initial run -- maybe bake some cookies or something. The first backup took 27 minutes for 67.5 MBs. But the second one, after a few hours of regular work, only took 6 minutes. Backups have been pretty snappy ever since.

There's lots more to talk about, because Backup 3 is really interesting software. I like being able to create custom "Plans." There are even "Plans" to accommodate your iPhoto and iTunes libraries. But I'll save those goodies and the other tasty tidbits for Friday's article on Mac DevCenter. Until then, it's testing, testing, testing. We can carry on the conversation in the Talk Backs below.


2005-09-21 03:38:25
Slow finding files
It seems to do an exhaustive search of your home directory if you choose the Word or Excel QuickPicks, which is silly.

If however you set up some smart folders in the Finder which match "kind" = "Microsoft Word document" and "Microsoft Excel workbook", you can get Backup to use those (drag the smart folders into the window) - much faster!

I also like how it doesn't crash any more :-)

2005-09-21 08:49:20
RE: Slow finding files
Yeah, I agree. In fact, it seems taming the exhaustive search is the key to happiness with Backup 3. I like your tip here...