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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



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Inspiration 6 More Inspiring - To Kids

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Inspiration Software recently shipped Inspiration 6; TidBITS readers may recall from my reviews of Inspiration 4 and 5 that this program is an outliner sporting a diagram view, where each item of the outline can be accompanied by a picture, and lines with arrows and labels can run from one item to another.


For a complete list of the changes in version 6, consult the Inspiration Web site. None of them taken alone is major; they are mostly small interface tweaks. Nonetheless, taken together they are significant, because the overall effect is to make Inspiration much more fun and easy to use. For example, gone are the ugly, blocky diagram pictures of earlier versions; Inspiration 6's pictures are sharp, professional, colorful, and attractive. (Their logo, however, is still that dreadful green-and-purple picture of a man with the top of his head sawn off.) And Inspiration now comes with lots of diagram templates for charting concepts likely to arise in an educational context - for example, similarities and differences between two characters, or the structure of a fairy tale, or a science lab report, or the assignments and activities missed by an absent student.


Thus, instead of being rewritten, Inspiration has been refocused towards kids and those who work with them. This seems a splendid idea. I'd have no hesitation in giving Inspiration 6 to a child as a place for brainstorming, planning a report, organizing ideas or information, or just having fun with words, pictures, and arrows.

To be sure, I'm disappointed that Inspiration's underlying concepts haven't been given any new thought. In the diagram view, for instance, interesting and complex relationships can be drawn that a conventional outline would be utterly incapable of expressing: e.g., ideas A and B can both point to idea C, while idea C can point back at idea A. To cope with this, the Inspiration folks might have rethought the whole notion of an outline, creating some entirely new way to present such relationships in a text-based hierarchical milieu. But they didn't, and if you switch such a diagram to outline view, you get nonsense. Again, since lines connecting ideas in diagram view can also have labels, the Inspiration folks might have introduced some powerful mechanism for filtering out all but those ideas joined by some particular set of keywords, thus turning Inspiration into a new and sophisticated hypertextual tool for the storage, retrieval, and study of ideas and their relationships, like the old MacEuclid. But they didn't. Or they might at least have improved their HTML export functionality, whose wretched quality I mentioned in my review of Inspiration 5. But they didn't.


Still, an easy and attractive program for helping and enticing children to diagram their ideas is a fine thing. I can only applaud, and I hope that parents, friends, and teachers will be tempted to put it into children's hands.

Inspiration 6 costs $70 ($40 to upgrade from previous versions); a free trial download is available. It requires System 7, and occupies 30 MB on disk, 6 MB of RAM.



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