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Messages posted by: Charles Watts-Jones
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As always, I'd love to see log files and any crash reports (Help > Send Report...).

On its way asap.

-- Charles
I've recently added a FireWire 800 external drive to my Intel iMac running 10.5.4. QRecall is scheduled to run at night when no-one is logged in and, using Cocktail, I've set my external disk(s) up to mount without user login.

Normally all runs OK. On occasion the Firewire 800 drive fails to 'mount' at login and usually I find that it has also failed to mount when QRecall tried to run during the night. When this happens, the login process is blocked and I have to resolve it by turning the drive off/on.

Today QRecall tried to run its back-up when the drive was mounted again. It could not do so, I guess, because it had lost contact with its scheduler service. I launched QRecall and tried to re-initiate the service by running a Verify. This failed with the message 'Action not scheduled'. The message went on to advise me to quit and reopen QRecall in order to reinstall the scheduler. Following this advice several times failed to resolve the problem however. Resolution required a restart.

It would be good if QRecall could survive disconnection/reconnection of an external drive. I appreciate that disconnection/reconnection is not ideal but it happens; in my case I suspect an intermittent problem somewhere in the FireWire 800 'chain' as it has never happened with a FireWire 400 drive.

-- Charles
James Bucanek wrote: If you have a chance, please send a diagnostics report (Help > Send Report...) or e-mail the relevant log files.

Report on its way.

-- Charles
Around 11 July Verify started to report 'Missing names in index'. I'm not sure which beta I was using then, I'm now using 1.1 beta 15. Anyway I took little notice as I was busy and the warning was not marked as serious. Today I have reindexed my archive. I followed this with a Verify. This still reports 'Missing names in index'. Previously opening that notice yielded a list of files, now it gives a list containing only several instances of 'Folder: (null)'. Should I run a Repair? Or may I safely ignore them?

-- Charles
Please send me your log file.

On its way separately and direct.

Out of curiosity, did you follow the installation procedure at <http://www.qrecall.com/download/>

No in that I didn't trash the current version (in my defence I'd add that I had never read that page before), I just tried to instal over it which is my usual practice with upgrades. Following the beta advice works as you would expect, I guess.

-- Charles
I have QRecallMonitor running. The beta complains about this and won't instal. And the instal then complains about 'Resources'. I can't find that in Activity Monitor, is it the same as 'QRecallScheduler'? If so, should I have Activity Monitor kill them both?

By the way Bookdog ships with a Terminal script that does the necessary before updating. Something QRecall might have too?

-- Charles
I have a firewire drive attached to my Mac. QRecall is set to back up my files early every morning and to run a Compact and Verify weekly, following the Sunday morning back-up. I don't read the Log every day so it was not until Tuesday that I saw that Sunday's Verify had failed and that Monday and Tuesday's back-ups had run OK.

I tried to Reindex and then Repair my archive. No success. James suggested that I copy the archive to another drive. The Finder was unable to do so. After trying some other utilities, I set Data Rescue to recover what it could of my archive to a second external drive. Eventually I was rewarded by a file that QRecall's Repair was able to work on. And to start my regular back-ups again.

I then had TechTool do a surface scan of the first drive. It found a number of bad blocks. How and why these arise I don't know. Some may have gone bad after QRecall had written to them but I wouldn't know that until a Verify had run. What I have learnt is to run Verify and to check the Log more often than I have been. Perhaps I might also ask that QRecall email me the results of Verify?

-- Charles
I use Bare Bones's Yojimbo. There has been recent discussion on its list about using Time Machine to back up its database. A recent message from a Bare Bones person states:

> Before things get too far out of control, I want to clarify some
> facts about how Time Machine and Yojimbo.
> Yojimbo is built on CoreData, the same underlying technology as
> Aperture, and several other products. Because of issues related
> to how Time Machine and CoreData manage files on disk, Apple
> recommends excluding Aperture data from Time Machine backups,
> and managing Aperture backups independently:
> <http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=306853>
> For the moment, we are recommending the same thing.

This leads me to wonder whether QRecall faces the same 'problem' as Time Machine does, and that it should therefore not be used to back up such data when a programme that uses CoreData is running.

In my case this is a hypothetical question as I have QRecall set to run when I am logged out. I imagine however that some users may want it to run while they are logged in.

-- Charles
James Bucanek wrote:Footnote:

You can test to see if the scheduler can start an action by manually running any action from Actions window. Select an action (something harmless, like a Verify it good) and choose Action > Run Immediately. If the action starts, then the scheduler and helper are both working.

The Run Immediately command tells the scheduler to start an action. The scheduler uses, essentially, the same mechanism that's used when starting an action at a scheduled time, confirming that it can start and communicate with actions.

Clearly I misread the instructions on upgrading - senior moment? Have now run the Verify command as an Action and as an Archive/Verify from the menu. Both ran without difficulty. Also, having opened my archive, I found that this (early) morning's back-up ran; I'd assumed it hadn't as I'd seen all those error messages. Thanks

-- Charles
File upload failed. Trying again.

-- Charles
I'm running OS 10.4.10 on an Intel iMac. I upgraded to beta 54 yesterday, reauthorised and agreed the installation requested. I then restarted. I did not delete/recreate my Actions (a mistake?) and left QRecall to run early this morning when I was logged out, this is my normal practice. On checking the log, I found that the Helper had failed, as shown in the attached file (the full log has been sent to James).

-- Charles
James Bucanek wrote:OS X unmounts all ejectable volumes when you log out. So any action that use an archive on an external drive won't run while you're logged out.

I'm currently looking in to what it would take to remount a volume on an external drive when an action runs.

I think that I've cracked my problem. Using Cocktail I have set my machine to mount external disks without user login. The machine is woken one minute before QRecall is scheduled to run. QRecall finds the external (firewire) drive, the back-up runs OK. I should add that I had to restart after using Cocktail, a straight logout/login didn't work.

-- Charles
James Bucanek wrote:
Charles Watts-Jones wrote:this prompts me to ask whether it is possible to script QRecall so that it closes down another programme before running and, even better, will relaunch it after.

That's a feature I've considered adding. Let me throw out two other features I have on the drawing board and let me know if those might also meet your needs.

One is an Application launch/close event that could trigger an action when an application is launched or quit. You could use this to create an action that would backup your mail database whenever you close your mail application.

I like this though it would mean that I (the user) had to remember to close open databases before running QRecall.
James Bucanek wrote:The other is a some scripting support that would allow you to perform captures from AppleScript or a shell script. So instead of QRecall driving the process, you could have a script drive QRecall performing whatever actions it needed to before and/or after the capture.

I'm not so keen here as I'm not a good Applescripter though I guess I could modify example scripts OK.

I should explain my wishes (not wants) in greater detail. My main wish is to run back-ups with no significant databases open, in my case I define these as my email programme, my information gatherer (Yojimbo) and any FileMaker or similar database.

These wishes 'come true' if I run QRecall when I'm logged out. My habit is to log out night and put my Mac to sleep. I know QRecall won't run when the Mac is asleep so I've organised it to be woken five minutes before the back-up runs. This however fails because the 'wake-up call' doesn't mount my external drive and so QRecall can't find it. Here QRecall differs from Personal Backup which does spin up the external drive after the 'wake-up call'. Maybe I should add this feature to my QRecall wish-list(?). Having no wish to 'go under the hood' I have just found that Cocktail will allow me to set the mount of external disks without user login. I hope this will ensure that QRecall runs its back-up correctly early tomorrow morning. If not, I shall have to set QRecall to run on log-out but wonder if the external drive will be seen a minute after that occurs(?).

If all this fails, then I'm back to my first question with the addition of 'could QRecall mount external disks when needed'.

-- Charles

I have QRecall running a back-up in the evening every day when I am logged in. This means that a number of files are open. Of these I am particularly concerned about my email database. I use PowerMail which keeps email in one database. The PowerMail authors have recently advised that "making a backup of PowerMail's database while PowerMail is open (especially with a scheduled connection) can probably produce a corrupted backup." While, so far as I know, I haven't made a corrupted back-up, this prompts me to ask whether it is possible to script QRecall so that it closes down another programme before running and, even better, will relaunch it after.

-- Charles
James Bucanek wrote:Choose QRecall > Check for Update... to update the application. After updating and reauthorizing, you should restart your system.

Have followed instructions. All seems fine now. One very minor point, the Activity Monitor tells me that the next run is 'today' quoting a time that has already passed. Ideally it should say 'tomorrow' in this situation.

-- Charles
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