Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.



Pick an apple! 
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


Mac mini Inspires Web Sites

Send Article to a Friend

Looking at the Mac mini's technical specifications alone, the computer sits firmly in the middle of Apple's computer offerings - it's essentially an eMac without the monitor, keyboard, or mouse. What's notable about the mini is its physical size, a diminutive rectangle only slightly larger than most external hard drives.

Interestingly, that small size has become a large canvas where people are projecting their imaginations about what the Mac mini could be. With its small footprint, the Mac mini is more welcome in the living room, passing the "spouse test" of being a discreet media device without looking like a, well, computer. It's also found a home in automobiles, where enthusiasts want access to music and video (for passengers, hopefully) without spending a fortune on dedicated components.

Oh, and then there's the price: the stock Mac mini costs $500, which is apparently wooing non-Mac users to the Mac OS X platform.

These factors have led to an unexpected surge of Web sites dedicated to the Mac mini. Obviously, some of what's at play is the phenomenon of catching something insanely popular at the ground level, but not since the original iMac has there been so much interest in an otherwise unremarkable computer.

I recently went looking for Mac mini-themed sites to see what was propelling so much activity and to answer the question: does an explosion of niche Web sites promise success for a product, or is it gold rush opportunism? Time will tell, of course, but in the meantime it makes for an interesting trip.

News and Information -- The site that started my exploration,, was created by Robert Cassidy and frequent TidBITS contributor Andrew Laurence. Despite its name, the site so far isn't focused as much on mods (modifications) in the same sense that others are (for example, Mac minis embedded into old iMac or even Centris cases). Instead, it tackles practical considerations such as setting up the mini as a DVD jukebox (with movies stored on the hard drive) and adding AirPort and Bluetooth - both build-to-order items - after receiving the Mac mini.


If you're looking for more of a daily news and information site, and (Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse ) provide ongoing doses of news (Mac mini-related product releases, as well as general Mac OS news) and reviews. They both also offer discussion forums where people can swap stories, tips, and ask the instantly age-old question: "Mac mini or [insert name of any computer here]???"


Home Theater -- The Mac mini quickly became the low-cost, low-profile computer of choice to anchor the digital hub, and several sites have sprung up with information specific to building a media center. MacHTPC,, and Home Theater Mac provide news and reviews with a slant toward using the Mac mini as a home theater, plus general Mac news where applicable.


Also noteworthy is the CenterStage project, which isn't necessarily tied to the Mac mini, but it was inspired by the tiny Mac. CenterStage is an open-source project for developing a home theater environment running on the Mac that can be run from a remote control (think TiVo with all the features you really want). Development is still in its early stages, but a 0.1 alpha version is available for download.


If you sometimes feel as if your car is your home, be sure to check out MacVroom, where you can "Mac your ride" with Mac mini car integration. MacVroom is all over the efforts to put Mac minis in cars, including information on working with small-size LCD screens, alternative power supplies, and more.


Mac mini Community -- All of the sites mentioned above include discussion forums or weblog-style comment features, but two sites have been set up solely for the purpose of hosting online communities of Mac mini owners and enthusiasts. Macminiforums includes forums on using, troubleshooting, and modifying Mac minis, as well as classified ads. MacminiCenter is a community-contributed Mac mini wiki (which is just fun to say out loud three times) with information and links to specific hardware (such as LCD projectors), software, and other categories.

< title=Main_Page>


An extra display for just ten bucks!
Air Display 2 lets you use your iPad, iPhone, or nearby Mac as
extra screen real estate for your main computer. Now smarter,
better, and 50 percent faster. <>