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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

 
 

XBit 1.0 Browses TidBITS

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Those of you who have been around for a decade or so probably remember Easy View, Akif Eyler's free text browsing utility. Easy View understood a number of text formats, including the setext format that we use for the text edition of TidBITS, and provided a three-pane view into TidBITS. One pane listed issues, the second listed articles in an issue, and the third large pane displayed the actual text of the article. Alas, Akif moved on to other things, and although he donated the source of Easy View to anyone who wanted to update it, nothing ever came of it.

<http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi? tbtxt=Easy%20View%20Akif>
<ftp://ftp.tidbits.com/info-mac/dev/src/easy- view-src-260.hqx>

Now, however, Kevin LaCoste of ZenVilla Software has released XBit 1.0, an Easy View-like utility for Mac OS X that provides a triple-pane approach to viewing the setext issues of TidBITS. Although XBit doesn't have some of Easy View's flexibility in indexing multiple formats, it uses a better pane display, can mark articles and issues as read so you can keep track of your progress, and it can download new issues from our FTP server automatically. XBit can search inside an article, but not across multiple articles.

<http://zenvilla.com/>

At $15, XBit isn't free, but you can download a fully functional, non-expiring demo. To be clear, I have no problem with Kevin charging for this utility; he's not making money from TidBITS itself (which would be a no-no), and he developed XBit entirely on his own with no help or input from us. I don't know that there's much of a market for XBit, given all the other ways people can receive, read, and search TidBITS, but that's Kevin's concern. I do need to make clear up front that I can't guarantee we'll continue to use the setext format or provide issues for download via FTP indefinitely, although Kevin will always be able to access whatever public formats and services we do provide just like everyone else. Still, if you're a fan of browsing text collections offline in a dedicated program, XBit is worth a quick look.

 

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