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Messages posted by: Steven Haver
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James Bucanek wrote:I regularly use SSDs for testing new solutions—because they are so blindly fast—and I have to say it's a sweet solution if you have money to burn.)

+1 to this. It's really amazing actually. I have both ends of the spectrum and nothing in the middle: My daily backup is to a dinosaur NAS but it's *so* slow that I've stopped doing anything other than the capture actions. Merging isn't so bad but compacting and verifying are almost intolerable. So my new plan is to just let it get full and then delete the archive and start again.

Additionally, I keep an archive on a 2TB Samsung T5 SSD which I only capture monthly or whenever I finish a big project or make an important change. I can plug that thing in and go make a sandwich and by the time I'm back it has captured, merged, compacted, and verified. Usually it's less that 20 minutes, compared to the 20 hours it would take to do the same thing on the NAS. Now that the Samsung T7 is out, there are a lot of good deals on the T5. It's still expensive compared to an HDD but the gap is slowly closing. At the time of this post a 2TB T5 is $219, which is still a lot, but a lot less that it was a couple years ago.

If I really had money to burn, I would get an Envoy Pro FX or something similar.
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!
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
Ok, great. Thanks. It hasn't come back yet but it's not an issue because I don't look at the status window very often anyway. I was mostly just curious.

I do have another question if it's ok to ask it in this same thread:

What is the most efficient order or operations? Capture, merge, compact, and then verify?

My main archive is on a NAS so the operations all happen at different intervals (captures every day, but merges, compacts, and verifies happen less frequently) but now I have another archive on an external SSD. The SSD is only connected every once in a while (usually after I've finished an important project), so I want it to do all operations while it's connected.

It's set to do operations as soon as the disk is connected so it captures right away and then I changed the "delay run" settings so that after the capture it will merge, then compact, and then verify (each of those operations is delayed a minute later than the previous one—in other words, merge is delayed one minute, compact by 2 minutes, and verify by 3 minutes).

Is that a good way of doing that? Is there there a better way?
Thanks!
Hello,
Silly question here: I was playing around with the Status Window and told it to "forget" one of my archives. Now I can't figure out how to add that archive back to the Status Window again. How can I "remember" an archive?

Thanks!
That is awesome. Thank you for such a thorough reply. I am going to try the alias approach first. I think that will work perfectly but I won't know for sure until I work through a project. I don't use aliases very often, so I hadn't thought of that as a solution.

The exclusion pattern approach would also work. And, in fact, I can think of another good use for it. So thank you so much because I had never set up an exclusion pattern but now that I see how it's done it makes perfect sense. Really appreciate it.
Hello, I am trying to keep some large files out of my archive. My question is: is there a way that I can exclude files in a specific path (folder and sub folders) above a certain file size?

A couple of times per month I receive some large video files that need to be edited. They are usually over an hour long but only about 5-10 minutes of the content is actually useful and the rest can be deleted. Sometimes the files are as small as 5GB but they can easily be 70+GB depending on their length and how they were recorded. So what I usually do is decide which parts need to be saved, make the edits, and then render those clips into new files so I can delete the original file. Also, at the same time I receive the large files I also receive a lower resolution file that contains all of the important clips which could be used as a backup in the event of sudden data loss.

My old workflow was to put all the files (the large video files but also all the other files associated with that project) into a TEMP folder which is excluded from my archive. Once I have made the final edit and everything is in its final form I delete any unneeded files and move the project to the folder where it belongs (which will be captured). This used to work great because I would usually complete the projects within a couple of days, so there was no real risk of data loss because there would still be copies in the cloud if something bad happened. But during the pandemic I started falling behind and the undone projects have been piling up, so I decided it would be better to have just the large video files in the excluded TEMP folder and all the other project files are in their normal location (and therefore get captured).

Unfortunately, that is proving not to be an ideal solution either because when the files are not all together it increases the chances of me making a stupid human error and deleting the wrong file etc. So, ideally, I would be able to leave all the project files together in the same folder but exclude the large files from being captured to the archive. Any ideas? Thanks!
Sounds amazing! Thanks for the update.
James Bucanek wrote:With any luck, version 3 should be out by this summer.

We haven't had too much luck as a planet this year, but I was just wondering if there has been any progress on the new version? Totally understand if there hasn't, but since I hadn't seen anything in the forums I was just curious.

Thanks!
Great. Thank you so much.

There should be very little duplication between the two volumes, so I'll start with separate archives to start and then adjust over time if needed. Really looking forward to it and really appreciate all of your advice!
James Bucanek wrote:That's a lot of questions, but I'll see what I can do..

Thank you so much! I'm much clearer on everything now and I hope others will find your response here on the forum and it will answer their questions as well.
Now that I understand about Catalina's read-only system volume that clears up a lot of confusion and I don't feel the need to back up that volume.

A clean operating system is always reinstalled from a safe, reliable source.

Ok, this makes sense. It's tough only because half the year I have 300Mbps internet and the other half of the year I only have 5Mbps. In the first case, doing a fresh install via the internet is a breeze. In the second case, it's an overnight ordeal at best. But the future is bright. Either fiberoptic or Starlink will make its way here soon enough.

I remember once adding memory to my computer, only to find that Photoshop wouldn't launch anymore because it was convinced I had copied it to another computer.
Ha! And I imagine the new memory was largely to help with Photoshop. That's how they get you!

James Bucanek wrote:partitions ... they're soooo 1990's
Haha! I love this. Yes, I won't be adding any partitions to my Mac but I probably will add a second volume within the same volume container for my projects drive. It's just neater and easier for me to navigate when I can see all my folders right on the root of the volume.

Can QRecall capture two different volumes to the same archive? If so, are there any obvious advantages or disadvantage to doing it that way? Would it be better to keep them as two separate archives?

Thanks again for all of your time!
Hello!
I just bought my identity key, looking forward to making QRecall part of my backup strategy.

I've been reading through the help guides (which are great and have answered a lot of my questions, thanks). I do still have a few questions and this seems like a forum full of experts on the subject, so if it's ok to ask this question here, I'd like to get some advice on my new backup strategy. In terms of backing up data, QRecall is a huge improvement to what I have done in the past. But I'd like to understand better its limitations (if any) when restoring the entire start up volume.

Some background info: I just bought a new Macbook Pro and it's my first new computer since the early 2000s (Windows XP). Back in those days I was using a combination of disk imaging (PowerQuest Drive Image iirc) and manual back ups of important documents to an external drive (easily done in Windows Commander, later known as Total Commander). But my windows days mostly ended after XP and I've been a Mac user the last 15 years or so, although most of my time was spent working on machines administered by others. So, in other words, this is the first time I get to be in charge of my own backup solution on a Mac.

In my XP days I would keep the OS, applications, and all preference files on the main start up volume and then I would keep all of my data, documents, photos, music, audio and video projects, etc. on a separate partition. [Plus one more partition to make disk images of the first partition—the latest image was also backed up to the external disk.] I loved this set up back in the day because I don't love it when the OS (Windows or Mac OS) tries to manage my photos, music, documents, etc. I haven't done this yet on my new Mac but I think I would like to.

But so much has changed since last I did any of this that I feel a little lost.

As far as I can tell, there's not an easy way to create/restore static images on an APFS volume. Is there some utility that can boot from an external drive and then create/restore static images while the OS is not active? Is this not necessary anymore? What are recommended ways to be able to recover completely in the event of malware or some other failure to the start up disk?

I see that APFS supports snapshots but they seem limited to me: 1) the snapshot is stored on the local disk, so in the event of failure that snapshot doesn't exist anywhere else. 2) Is there a risk that some malware finds a way to escalate privileges and then mark itself as part of a previous snapshot? Perhaps that is a baseless concern. 3) The OS seems to have all the control over snapshots, so even if I make what I consider to be the perfect snapshot, OS X may at some point in the future decide that snapshot is old and delete it (keeping, perhaps, newer ones that it made itself but are not useful to me).

One of my concerns is for my software licenses. I do audio work, and I own quite a few audio plugins. Many of them are registered by a key and often that key is single use. So once the key has been applied, it can't be applied again without contacting the company and requesting a reset. So, ideally, a restore solution for the start up volume should not upset that apple cart, otherwise it's a whole day of work going online and requesting re-activations, etc. Bleh.

My other concern is about backing up while the OS is running. Are there any risks for doing live captures of Catalina? Would there be any benefit to making a bootable clone (with CCC or Super Duper or something—I've never used either) and running the initial QRecall capture from the clone so that the internal start up volume is not active at the time?

Sorry for such a long post. Just trying to wrap my head around 15 years of changes (plus I'm 15 years older than I was back then) so I appreciate your advice. Hopefully the answer is just run QRecall and be happy.
Great, thank you very much!

And I now have my new permanent key.
Hello!
I intend to be a new user very shortly and just wondering if there's any reason why I should wait for a version 3 release? I presume not. But since this was the thread I found when I was searching for an answer, it seemed more relevant to ask the question here than create a new thread.

It's been 4 years since this post and it seems that version 3 is looming sometime in the future. So I was just wondering if there has been any update to your licensing model? Will an identity key for version 2 work when version 3 comes out? From what I've read, it seems version 3 will be a pretty overhauled version, but you've also said in other threads that people would have plenty of notice if your licensing plans were going to change. So just curious. Thank you!


[Completely off topic: On the list of feature page on the website (http://www.qrecall.com/features.jsp) it only mentions working through Mojave, although it's clear from the home page that version 2.2 works with Catalina and APFS. So just sharing that from the perspective of a new customer looking at the website for the first time. ]
 
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