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Extract Directly from Time Machine

Normally you use Time Machine to restore lost data in a file like this: within the Time Machine interface, you go back to the time the file was not yet messed up, and you restore it to replace the file you have now.

You can also elect to keep both, but the restored file takes the name and place of the current one. So, if you have made changes since the backup took place that you would like to keep, they are lost, or you have to mess around a bit to merge changes, rename files, and trash the unwanted one.

As an alternative, you can browse the Time Machine backup volume directly in the Finder like any normal disk, navigate through the chronological backup hierarchy, and find the file which contains the lost content.

Once you've found it, you can open it and the current version of the file side-by-side, and copy information from Time Machine's version of the file into the current one, without losing any content you put in it since the backup was made.

Submitted by
Eolake Stobblehouse

 
 

Expanding Password-Protected Archives

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My aunt recently purchased a book on how to learn Spanish that came with a bunch of downloadable audio files. However, the files were compressed in Zip archives that used a simple password from the book itself. She knew the password, but when she downloaded the files using Safari, Mac OS X's Archive Utility sprang into action, tried to expand the Zip archives, and promptly threw a completely meaningless error dialog.


Stumped by the error dialog, my aunt asked me what to do. For someone like me who has been using the Mac for years, the solution was obvious: use a free copy of Smith Micro's StuffIt Expander to expand the file, since StuffIt Expander is perfectly capable of expanding password-protected archives. When I thought about it from her point of view, however, I could see how the problem would seem daunting, especially since the Web page that provided the downloads hadn't offered any suggestions for utilities to use.

Curious if there were other programs that would meet my aunt's needs as well, I poked around a bit and came across The Unarchiver, another free program that claims to expand many more formats than Mac OS X's built-in Archive Utility. When I tested it with a password-protected Zip archive, it too performed admirably.

I'm sure there are other options out there too, but how many free utilities do you need for the same simple task? Perhaps Snow Leopard will feature a more-capable Archive Utility that can handle more formats and password-protected archives, putting this minor confusion to rest once and for all.

 

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