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Re: "in-program" backup facility

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  • Subject: [mg111912] Re: "in-program" backup facility
  • From: peter <plindsay.0 at>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 07:07:14 -0400 (EDT)

Understood, thanks to all who responded.

On 17 August 2010 06:20, David Bailey <dave at> wrote:
> On 16/08/10 10:55, Bill Rowe wrote:
>> On 8/15/10 at 7:36 AM, plindsay.0 at (peter) wrote:
>>> I've seen a few posts about this and I'm wondering if I am missing
>>> the point [ again ]. Surely folks are managing their own backups -
>>> perhaps using "Time Machine" on the mac or whatever. The arguments
>>> in favour or regular backups surely extend beyond the use of
>>> Mathematica and apply generally to the use of a personal computer ?
>> Undoubtedly, such backups are done by many users here. But, such
>> backups don't entirely resolve the issue.
>> Time Machine and the like backup the entire hard drive. The
>> default interval for Time Machine is 1 hour. With Mathematica, a
>> substantial amount of work can be lost when restoring a notebook
>> to what it was 1 hour ago.
>> And note, Time Machine backs up the file as it exists on the
>> hard drive. If you have not saved your work periodically, the
>> file backed up by Time Machine could be quite a bit more than 1
>> hour old.
>> Creating some sort of script to automate periodically saving the
>> state of a notebook and decreasing the interval Time Machine
>> uses for backups isn't a viable solution either. If you decrease
>> the interval between backups enough, then Time Machine will be
>> perpetually running and never complete a backup. Further, with a
>> scheme to automatically save notebooks there will be the chance
>> Time Machine will be writing the notebook to the backup at the
>> same time it is being modified (saved) by the automated save
>> script. And the probability of this occurring clearly increases
>> as the interval between backups is decreased. The result of such
>> collisions will be the copy of the notebook in the Time Machine
>> backup won't be stable and likely is unusable.
>> Programs designed to backup all files that have changed on a
>> hard drive really aren't replacements for what is being asked for.
> I'd say some sort of 'nag' function that just reminded the user that he
> had been working on a notebook for x minutes, and wouldn't he like to
> save. An automatic save can easily happen at the worst possible moment -
> say half way through a long series of find/replace operations!
> I like control over what is going on.
> David Bailey

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