eXtensions - Wednesday 11 January 2017
Improving Connections to the new MacBook Pro - Backups and Data Loss (Bangkok Post, Life)
By Graham K. Rogers
My look back at 2016 is available at:
As this week is the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the iPhone and I was there, I also put online some comments about the event.
With most documents in the cloud, the main space hogs are iTunes libraries (music, video and apps), and images. Although many of my pictures are accessed through Apple's Photos, I choose to store them on the computer. There is also a sizable collection of DSLR images and scanned negatives in Aperture libraries. The libraries contain albums and the photographs are in the albums.
I have several libraries going back about 10 years with most stored on external disks: several disks actually, both at home and in my office. The most recent files are also backed up on three Time Machine disks: two at home and one in my office.
If you have never lost data you might not understand this almost-obsessive concern. But you will. Whether through theft, natural disaster or a failed disk, one day you will run screaming down the street when a disk is no longer available. Trust me. Buy a disk. Buy a couple. Back up today.
In one of those nasty coincidences, a local reader wrote yesterday (Tuesday) asking for help about a disk containing all of a friend's data, including irreplaceable photographs, that was dropped and no longer works. He is seeking data recovery services right now (see below).
I had a burglary in 2007 and lost all my data. Since then a couple of failed disks and several moves to new computers have been carried out using backups. A harsh reminder came for Canadian photographer, Johany Jutras, who lost her life's work when all her disks were stolen (John Aldred, DIY Photography). This is why I keep additional copies of all my files offsite. The cloud is another solution.
Meanwhile, in another room I was working on the 2013 MacBook Pro, which I no longer need. With the arrival of the new MacBook Pro computers, I had not used this Mac for a while, although I had kept the battery charged. I just opened the lid and went back to where I had been working. There was a reminder that I had not backed up for several weeks.
The oddest experience when going back to this older Mac was the spongy feel of the keyboard: these new Macs have a crisp feel to the key strokes. It was like trying an older monitor after the experience of Retina displays: you know you have moved on.
I used the Recovery Partition (Command + R at start) and opened Disk Utility. I highlighted the main disk and used the Erase tool. I have bought a lot of software which I will not pass on to the next user, so wanted to start with a fresh installation. The main panel of the Recovery Partition gives access to a download of macOS which took a few minutes, but the Mac is now set up as a new machine.
Readers have pointed out that another USB-C hard disk has been seen here. This pales in comparison with the numbers available elsewhere. Amazon sent details of the Glyph Atom Silver, 275GB SSD ($129.95 - 4641 baht) which, like the LaCie disk, connects directly to the USB-C ports of the Mac. There are also 525GB and 1TB Atom SSD options, but these do not ship here. This was reviewed by Jeff Benjamin on 9to5 Mac.
MacBook Pro with LaCie Porsche Design disks both connecting using USB-C
USB-C to micro-USB (left) and USB-C to USB-C
Data RecoveryFollowing the user problem with a hard disk, I put out a query to some local users who made suggestions where this might be possible. The services (not endorsed by me) are:
My thanks to those users who took the time to seek these out.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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