I’ve been using the OS X Time Machine for over 2 years now, and it has proven itself to be hassle free and easy to use.
I found a few tweaks though I would like to share with you. Applying them might make your Time Machine backup even faster, and also smaller.
In the Time Machine Preferences I’ve excluded some directories for backup.
To do this, go to your Time Machine preferences and click the “Options” (or Opties, in Dutch) button:
The following screen appears:
As you see, I’ve added some directories which I do not need Time Machine to handle, because I take care of the backups myself. Simply press the “+” sign button and enter a location.
Other locations only contain cachefiles, which are ok to loose in case of emergency. The most important are:
This contains all the OS X cachefiles (for user data and application data). They help you speed up OS X performance, but will be rebuild when they are deleted or lost. Because this directory may contain gigabytes of data, it’s a good candidate for exclusion. I read somewhere the caches directories are already excluded by TM by default. Ah well, better be safe than sorry.
When you use Adobe Lightroom, you may also want to exclude the Lightroom Catalog Previews. The filename may have a slightly different name on your system, but it is located in your Lightroom catalog directory, probably something like:
<your lightroom catalog path>/Lightroom 2 Catalog Previews.lrdata
This file contains a preview cache for your Lightroom images, is at least hundreds of megabytes in size and changes everytime you open a file in Lightroom.
Another culprit for filling up your backup drive really quickly is iTunes’ Podcasts directory. Exclude it and it’ll save you at least a few hunderd megs.
Additionally, you can do the same for your Garageband data ( /Library/Application Support/Garageband ) and iPhoto themes ( /Library/Application Support/iPhoto ). Don’t worry, you can reinstall them from your iLife disc, if necessary.
When you quickly want to create an ISO image from a CD or DVD disk, simply do the following:
- insert the disk in your optical drive (yeah, I know this is obvious!)
- open the Disk Utility (Schijfhulpprogramma in Dutch)
- Go to Folder in the menu (Archief in Dutch)
- Then select New > Image from “<diskname>” (Nieuwe > Schijfkopie van “<schijfnaam>” in Dutch)
- Choose the options “Dvd/cd-master” with encoding “None” (Schijfkopiestructuur and Codering in Dutch). Save it to your Desktop (default location), and give a name, for instance DiskImage
- The Disk Utility will create a DiskImage.cdr at your desktop. Grab a coffee, there’s plenty of time.
- Now we will convert it to an image, with some help from the command prompt.
- Open a terminal window. Type Command+Space, then type Terminal, and press enter.
- In the terminal window, type the following commands:
cd ~/Desktop hdiutil makehybrid -iso -ov DiskImage.iso DiskImage.cdr
This will take a few minutes, again. When it is finished, you may close the terminal.
If you foresee that you will need this disk in a Windows environment, you might want to consider making a joliet hybrid.
To do this, change the command above to the following:
cd ~/Desktop hdiutil makehybrid -iso -joliet -ov DiskImage.iso DiskImage.cdr
You’re done! Now you have created an iso image of your disk. You can write it to a recordable at a later time, or open it directly bij doubleclicking the file. This works in both OS X and Ubuntu Linux. Windows has no built-in solution for opening .ISO files.