Troubleshooting a 'busy' Time Machine backup

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Ernest Wilson is in earnest when he says he’s having problems with Time Machine. He writes:

My Time Machine backup has stopped working and I don’t know why. I see a message about a “sparse bundle” being in use. How do I fix my problem?

This is most often associated with a confused AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule (more often with a Time Capsule that’s used to back up more than one Mac). The first thing I’d do is launch AirPort Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities), select your base station or Time Capsule in the resulting window, and click on it. In the small window that pops up take a peek at the version number. If it’s not 7.6.4 you should update it. Among the changes wrought by this update is: “Resolve(s) an issue that may cause AirPort Time Capsule to report that the backup disk is in use.”

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iTunes iOS syncing gone? Solve it with Server!

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Readers X, Y, and Z are unhappy with Mavericks and iTunes. They write:

We recently read that you can’t sync your iOS devices’ contacts and calendars with iTunes. We are very, very angry. What can be done about this outrage!?

I understand and sympathize. Given the ever-greater concerns over privacy it does seem short-sighted to allow only contact and calendar syncing via an online service such as iCloud. I do have a solution. But it costs $20 and it might elicit responses along the lines of “I can’t believe you are suggesting that I…” followed by a string of obscenities. To help protect my delicate feelings I provide the Anger Trough™ below. I hope that those who find it difficult to harness their most fervent feelings will purge their emotions into it before we proceed.

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How to configure Calendar’s Email and Open File alerts

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Dennis Malloy finds himself lost in Calendar. He writes:

When I used Calendar in Mountain Lion I could configure events so I was alerted via email. But now that option seems to be missing. Is there some way to bring it back?

It's still there as are all of Calendar’s other alert options. It’s just that they’re not as obvious as they once were. Let’s run through it.

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Bugs & Fixes: A roundup of Mavericks troubleshooting tips

Ted Landau Senior Contributor, Macworld

Apple’s latest operating system update, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, is out. If you own a Mac that supports the OS update, you should get it. Now. You certainly can’t beat the price: free!

While Mavericks is a stable release, it’s not bug-free. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. No operating system can ever make that claim. If you search Apple Support Communties, you’ll find a typical assortment of “1.0” problems. Most are minor and affect only a very small subset of OS X users (sometimes just the one person posting the report). A few items appear more serious or affect a wider range of users. These have often been picked up by the Apple news media. In a few cases, reported problems are not really bugs; rather they represent confusion over how new or upgraded features work. The confusion typically stems from Apple neglecting to document the changes (another common aspect of OS X updates). Incompatibilities between Mavericks and some third-party software represent yet another source of problems. After combing through the pile, I've put together a round-up of what’s been making the rounds:

Text Expander. If you use Text Expander and find that it no longer works after upgrading to Mavericks, there’s an easy, although not obvious, fix. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility. From here, in the list of apps that you can allow to “control your computer,” enable the Text Expander items. You’ll find more details in a Smile blog posting.

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How to restore your old iWork documents

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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A concerned reader writes:

The other day you said that once you open and edit a Pages ‘09 file (or another kind of iWork ‘09 document) that file becomes irrevocably linked to the newest version of the application. Is that really true?

No. As has been pointed out to me by a reliable source, there is a way back. I’ve updated that article to explain how, but it’s an important enough bit of information that I want to give it its due.

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Dealing with Pages' file-conversion and email-attachment problems

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Chris Watkins, like some other people, has a couple of bones to pick with Pages. He writes:

I downloaded the new version of Pages and I discovered that when I opened an old Pages document and made a change, I could no longer open it with the old version, which I find more capable. Also, I can’t seem to send these file through Gmail. Can you offer any help?

Some. As has been widely reported, today’s Pages differs from the Pages of old in significant ways—most troubling to many people is that features found in the previous version are missing in this year’s Pages (the other iWork applications have received the same criticism). And, as you’ve discovered, when you open an old Pages file in the new version and make even a single change to the document, the file format likewise changes and you seemingly can’t open that document in Pages ’09. What to do?

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Why Mavericks' movies may not preview properly

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Arlen Andrews has a concern about his movie files. He writes:

I recently upgraded to Mavericks and now when I attempt to preview a movie file I see only a window telling me that the movie is zero KB in size, which I know isn’t true. When I double-click on the movie, it opens in QuickTime Player X but then immediately converts. What’s going on?

This appears to be another under-the-hood change designed so that the Mac OS better mimics the iOS. If you have one, find a movie file that ends with .m4v. Dollars-to-doughnuts, if you select that file and press the space bar, Quick Look will behave exactly as it should and show you the movie. Now try it again with one of your .mov files. No dice, right?

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