Five lessons learned when switching cloud-hosted backups

I’ve been using CrashPlan for several years and have accumulated an enormous archive of files, online and in local storage, using their software. But over time, I’ve had so many troubles keeping CrashPlan running reliably on one of my computers that I was ready to switch that one Mac to a different cloud-storage system.

However, with terabytes archived online and on a local drive, and about 1.3TB of data that I’d ideally like to back up with a new service, that’s easier said than done. If you’re in a similar situation, or even trying to get started with a comprehensive backup plan, these lessons I’ve taken away from the transition will help.

The upfront, before we get into details? If you have a low-rate upstream broadband connection or your ISP caps your monthly usage or charges overage fees, you may not be in a position to swap services without some additional effort, described throughout. If you have 10Mbps or faster upstream and a cap of 300GB or more each month, you’re likely suited to make a switch without too much pain.

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How to access a Mac drive from a Windows or Linux system

Rakesh Shewale writes with a common question about formatting compatibility:

I bought a new external HDD for my mac about a month ago and formatted it to Mac OS X Extended Journaled. Now it has my all data. But the problem is I can’t access this HDD from my PC which has Windows and Linux.

The trouble is that the drive is already formatted—this limits options, but it’s neither expensive nor impossible to proceed. Paragon is a long-time developer of cross-platform Mac/Windows disk mounting software, and its HFS+ for Windows 10 works on Windows releases all the way back to XP and Windows Server 2003 all the way through the present Windows 10 release. It’s $20, but also has a 10-day trial. HFSExplorer for Windows is free and updated for Windows 10, but requires the installation of the Java 5 or later runtime environment (JRE), which can introduce security issues unless you configure it carefully.

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What to do when El Capitan sidebar's favorites disappear

Did you suddenly notice that the items you added to the Finder sidebar are suddenly missing either in the Finder or Open/Save dialogs or both? It’s not you: It’s a bug.

It’s a subtle thing, because nothing fails; rather, it dawns on you that when you’re clicking to navigate to a folder via your sidebar’s Favorites list, there’s nothing there. This happened to me recently, and I discovered it’s a routine problem people are experiencing.

While several solutions have been proposed, including deleting cache files and the like, what appears to work best—and worked for me—is to restart your Mac. When I had my sidebar faves disappear, I also had some other seemingly inexplicable slowdowns and system oddities. These went away with the restart as well.

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How to consolidate locked iTunes music linked to multiple accounts

On the issue of portability of music purchased from the iTunes Store, reader Hanno zur Loye writes in:

I read the article by Christopher Breen (“How to deal with two Apple IDs, well, kind of”) and I was hopeful and confused at this statement of “…if we’re talking only about music you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store in the last several years, that’s not a problem as music is no longer protected and can be played with either ID.”

I just realized that due to a change in email addresses, I have two Apple IDs and have purchased music on both and apps only on the later one, since that came with the iPhone that runs on the new email address. I just tried to listen to purchased music and it won’t let me play it unless I sign in on the Apple ID that purchased it. So it seems that the music is protected? Or am I doing something wrong.

I suspect you’re a long-time iTunes Store consumer because this is something that should only arise if you purchased music before 2009. Music sold from iTunes Store’s inception through 2007 was all protected by Apple’s DRM (digital rights management) encryption. Some labels began allowing Apple to sell without DRM in 2007, while the entire music catalog was converted in 2009.

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How to modify the creation date for pictures in Apple Photos for OS X

Dave Price writes in with a quirk of Photos related to exporting images he’s edited:

In the new Mac Photos app, I found that the only way to export photos and keep the original date that the photo was shot is to export the original. So after carefully cropping and adjusting the many editing options, how can I export the edited photo without losing the creation date?

It’s a strange omission from Photos for OS X, though you could think of it as philosophical in nature: Apple only exports a newly created version, rather than one that’s the original, modified. That’s probably too existential for software, however.

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How to use different iTunes accounts for different languages

Sarah Amundsen has a very reasonable query about movies:

I want to download French language movies on iTunes, but will be forced to create another Apple ID for this. I am concerned that I will potentially lose my previous iTunes (music and movies) bought under my original ID, or will have other problems. Can you advise how people do this? It is completely inflexible that Apple seem to assume that people don’t travel and don’t want content in >1 language!

This is one of those peculiar situations in which we live in a fully interlinked global economy with a worldwide super-fast computer network, and yet old-fashioned licensing agreements, cartels, and other rules prevent such simple things as offering easy and legitimate payment for media created or sold outside our home country.

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