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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


Chapter 6 of “Take Control of OS X Server” Now Available

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I’ll be honest — one of the reasons we approached Charles Edge about writing “Take Control of OS X Server” was that I wanted to improve our internal file sharing system. We’d been using Mac OS X’s built-in personal file sharing for years, and while it worked, we occasionally ran into irritating permissions problems (where I couldn’t work with a folder Tonya created, for instance, without twiddling permissions on the server drive). In Chapter 6, “File Sharing,” Charles explains how to turn on file sharing, which protocols to enable, and how to customize permissions. It’s not hard, but you want to do it right to avoid exposing sensitive information to the wrong people.

Happily, now that we’ve created a group for our respective network users, shared the external hard drive that contains the necessary files, and assigned appropriate permissions, file sharing just works, with no annoying permissions lockouts.

Well, there is one thing that still doesn’t work well, but it’s unrelated to OS X Server for the moment — what we really want is a coherent method of sharing music ripped from our CD collection so we can each play it from the server without having to waste 54 GB of space on our relatively small SSDs. Michael Cohen and I wrote about this almost four years ago in “In Search of the iTunes Media Server” (14 October 2010) and the situation hasn’t improved at all since then. If Apple could build media serving into a future version of OS X Server, its $19.99 price would become a no-brainer for many of us.

As in the past, we encourage everyone to read Chapter 1, “Introducing OS X Server” and Chapter 2, “Choosing Server Hardware,” to see where the book will be going, but Chapter 3, “Preparation and Installation,” Chapter 4, “Directory Services,” and Chapter 5, “DNS Service,” are available only to TidBITS members. If you have already joined the TidBITS membership program, log in to the TidBITS site using the email address from which you joined. The full ebook of “Take Control of OS X Server” will be available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete.

Publishing this book in its entirety for TidBITS members as it’s being written is just one of the ways we thank TidBITS members for their support. We hope it encourages those of you who have been reading TidBITS for free for years to help us continue to bring you more of the professionally written and edited articles you’ve become accustomed to each week. For more details on what the membership program means to us, see “Support TidBITS in 2014 via the TidBITS Membership Program” (9 December 2013).


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