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Growing Pains: Adding a new owner (machine) to an existing archive.  XML
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Steven Haver



Joined: 25-Mar-20 12:14
Messages: 14
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Hello!
I finally felt like I had everything with QRecall running perfectly, so of course I had to go and screw it all up! Haha.

My partner just got her first Mac (yay!) and I purchased her a separate QRecall identity key so that we can both capture to the same archive. The archive is located on a NAS on our local network (it's kind of slow, but it works well enough). She's on Big Sur and I'm still on Catalina but even so the first capture had a pretty high % duplicate data. So that's awesome. But in the process of setting up QRecall on her machine I totally screwed things up for me.


The three mistakes I made:
1) What would have been the ideal way to rename the archive? What I did: I renamed the archive in Finder so that the name would reflect both of our computers and then set up her machine to capture to it using the capture assistant. This all worked fine on her machine, but when I got back to my computer QRecall was lost. No big deal I thought, I can just update the name in each action. Who knows, it might have even updated itself to the new name had I not gone on to make mistakes 2 and 3!

2) I noticed in her capture settings that all of the excluded paths from my computer were listed. I thought "Oh, none of those paths will apply on her machine, so I'll just delete all of those." I wasn't expecting that deleting them there would also delete them from my capture settings on my machine. ? (I think I remember what all of them were, so no big deal).

3) To take things further, after a successful capture of her machine to the archive I patted myself on the back and then decided that I would prefer for her machine to have a more stealthy installation. I only want her machine to capture. I don't ever want her machine to do any of the merge, compact, or verify actions—I'll do those from my computer. So I deleted the Merge, Compact, and Verify scheduled actions. But when I got back to my computer, I had also messed up all of my actions.

So my main questions are:
How should I have done it? What would have been the ideal way to rename an archive and then add a new owner to capture to an existing archive?

Also, do you have any recommendations for settings I should select for the most stealthy install possible? I would love for her to almost never see QRecall or even know that it's there. It will just happily capture each night and then get out of the way. (I have show on startup unchecked, show when actions start (unsure), hide when actions complete checked, show in dock and menu bar unchecked, all spaces unchecked, and all notifications unchecked. I also have start and run actions while logged out checked, and unmount volumes checked—is there anything else you would recommend?) Is there an easy way for me to check the last time she captured from my machine?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Steven
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1526
Online

Steven Haver wrote:1) What would have been the ideal way to rename the archive? What I did: I renamed the archive in Finder so that the name would reflect both of our computers and then set up her machine to capture to it using the capture assistant. This all worked fine on her machine, but when I got back to my computer QRecall was lost. No big deal I thought, I can just update the name in each action. Who knows, it might have even updated itself to the new name had I not gone on to make mistakes 2 and 3!

You, mostly, had it right. Simply rename or move the archive. On any systems that already has an action for that archive, just open the (any one) action. If the bookmark is able to locate the renamed/relocated archive, it should happen automatically. If it doesn't, use the action icon next to the archive name to choose the renamed/relocated archive.

When you close the action, QRecall will prompt you to save the changes, and will then find any other actions that use the same archive and ask if you want to update them as well.

2) I noticed in her capture settings that all of the excluded paths from my computer were listed. I thought "Oh, none of those paths will apply on her machine, so I'll just delete all of those." I wasn't expecting that deleting them there would also delete them from my capture settings on my machine. ? (I think I remember what all of them were, so no big deal).

Excluded items stored in the archive (settings) are global to all owners. As a rule, items on your startup volume will apply logically to every user's startup volume. So feel free to just combine all of the items you want excluded, from every system, into one long list. And it's OK to have item in the list that might not exist everywhere. So you can exclude "~/Documents/Final Reports" from your captures. On a different system that doesn't have a "Final Reports" folder, that excluded item is simply ignored.

Now if you have a "Documents/Final Reports" folder that you want exclude from your captures, but your friend has an identical "Documents/Final Reports" folder that they need captured, then you have to switch to using local exclusions. This also applies to any global exclude items that are getting confused.

The easiest local exclusions can be set up using the Capture Preferences service. Make sure the "Exclude Items Excluded by Capture Preferences" is turned on, then select the "Final Reports" folder on your system. In the Finder, either choose Finder > Services > QRecall Capture Preferences, or right-click and choose Services > QRecall Capture Preferences. In preferences window, exclude the item. Now your "Final Reports" folder will get excluded, but your friend's won't (because the folder on their system wasn't excluded).

See QRecall Help > Guide > Preferences > Capture Preferences.

3) To take things further, after a successful capture of her machine to the archive I patted myself on the back and then decided that I would prefer for her machine to have a more stealthy installation. I only want her machine to capture. I don't ever want her machine to do any of the merge, compact, or verify actions—I'll do those from my computer. So I deleted the Merge, Compact, and Verify scheduled actions. But when I got back to my computer, I had also messed up all of my actions.

That doesn't make much sense (to me). Actions are stored locally in your QRecall preferences, and any change made to actions on one system shouldn't have any affect on another system. But other than that, you had the right idea. Regular maintenance only needs to be performed by one system, usually the machine the machine with the fastest I/O or resources to spare.

So my main questions are:
How should I have done it? What would have been the ideal way to rename an archive and then add a new owner to capture to an existing archive?

You pretty much had the right idea, maybe with a few minor missteps, but nothing that couldn't be easily sorted.

Also, do you have any recommendations for settings I should select for the most stealthy install possible? I would love for her to almost never see QRecall or even know that it's there. It will just happily capture each night and then get out of the way.

My recommendation would be to go into the QRecall preferences > Monitor and set the following:

  • Turn off Show at Startup

  • Turn off Show when actions start

  • Turn ON Show in dock [Only when active]

  • Turn off Show in menu bar


  • It's not completely stealthy, but I suggest leaving Show in dock on. If you turn it off, you'll need to arrange it so that a capture isn't running should someone shutdown or restart the system. With the dock icon turned off, QRecall can't interrupt the shutdown until the capture is finished, which means there's a slim chance the the shutdown will kill the capture action before it can stop, meaning a slim chance of damaging the archive which would require a repair.

    But that's admittedly a slim change of a slim chance, so you're free to ignore that recommendation.

    Is there an easy way for me to check the last time she captured from my machine?

    Not specifically. The status window will tell you the last time any item was captured to the archive (which includes both of your systems). Other than that, you might simply open the archive from time-to time and see if new layers have been added for the other owner.

    You might also consider leaving the "Action incomplete" notification turned on. This will post a notification if a capture fails. This isn't completely stealthy, but seems like a good idea to know if this is happening regularly.

    - QRecall Development -
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    Steven Haver



    Joined: 25-Mar-20 12:14
    Messages: 14
    Offline

    Thank you, as always, for the excellent reply.
    That doesn't make much sense (to me). Actions are stored locally in your QRecall preferences
    I didn't make sense to me either. And I can't recreate it now. I think that maybe it was just combination of weirdness from renaming plus the fact that I had been away so all of my actions had been paused for a month. I don't know. But all is well now, so onward!

    I suggest leaving Show in dock on.

    Ok. I did that. It doesn't need to be completely stealthy. I actually decided to turn back on Show when actions start, too. I want her to know what's going on with her computer. So I think that's a good balance.

    you might simply open the archive from time-to time and see if new layers have been added for the other owner.
    Ok, I'll do that.

    Thanks for everything!
     
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