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View Full Version : Backup your OS X home directory to your iPod with iPodBackup...


MacBytes
May 27, 2005, 09:41 AM
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Category: 3rd Party Software
Link: Backup your OS X home directory to your iPod with iPodBackup v1.5.1 (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050527104116)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

nagromme
May 27, 2005, 10:52 AM
I back up my home directory--AND my OS X system and Applications--to my iPod and the portability is GREAT. Any Mac I plug into (and then reboot to my iPod) is MY Mac.

SFVCyclone
May 27, 2005, 10:57 AM
I back up my home directory--AND my OS X system and Applications--to my iPod and the portability is GREAT. Any Mac I plug into (and then reboot to my iPod) is MY Mac.

So the mac will actually boot off of the ipod? thats sweet. BUT is any one like me? i was used to the system 7,8 and 9 way of having a "documents" folder on the desktop instead of the "HOME" folder so in OS X i just made a documents folder on the desktop and throw pretty much everything in there or in my other hard drive. I rarely use the folder in the home folder.

azdude
May 27, 2005, 11:10 AM
I've been using iPodBackup for a long time now... it's extremely simple, and extremely reliable. I love it.

nagromme
May 27, 2005, 02:03 PM
i just made a documents folder on the desktop and throw pretty much everything in there or in my other hard drive. I rarely use the folder in the home folder.
Your desktop IS inside your Home folder, technically, so anything that backs up your home folder takes your desktop with it :)

When I boot my parents' Mac off my iPod, it comes up with MY desktop files on MY desktop picture with all of MY settings, keychain, bookmarks, emails, etc. etc. etc.

It's like my PowerBook is in my pocket. Except of course that speed and screen res vary.

I ran like this for a couple weeks once while getting my PowerBook repaired. Even with the iPod (60 GB) in its case for hours of heavy use, virtual mem swapping and all, it never overheated or failed. I moved my iPod from one Mac to another at will, and kept working seamlessly on all my stuff.

The first time I did this, all I did was drag System, Applications, and Users onto the iPod! That's it, it booted!

The second time, oddly, that didn't work. Wasn't bootable But Carbon Copy Cloner did the job. Probably that's a better method, but CCC is slow.

SFVCyclone
May 27, 2005, 02:08 PM
Your desktop IS inside your Home folder, technically, so anything that backs up your home folder takes your desktop with it :)

VERY TRUE, can't believe i forgot about that. Thats pretty awesome that you can do that, makes me want to get a 60 gig ipod just for that, and the coolness factor too. ;)

24C
May 27, 2005, 02:18 PM
I thought this facility was being touted as an Apple OSX future feature, which AFAIK has never surfaced...so are these guys gonna cry foul aka Konfabulator when Apple does so?

nagromme
May 27, 2005, 02:37 PM
This util doesn't give you home "portability" a la the rumored Home on iPod feature. It's just a backup. Plugging it into another Mac well let you get to your files, but you won't be logged in AS you, with your settings. You'll still be working from "someone else's home."

Nonetheless, you can achieve home portability already, as I did, as long as you BOOT from the iPod. The "real" Home on iPod feature, if it ever emerges, would let you log in to your user account on your iPod WITHOUT having to reboot the Mac. Their System and Applications, your Home. (Which would save a lot of space on the iPod, too--although in my case, having my whole system and apps be portable--not just my Home--is a good thing.)

SFVCyclone
May 27, 2005, 04:10 PM
I thought this facility was being touted as an Apple OSX future feature, which AFAIK has never surfaced...so are these guys gonna cry foul aka Konfabulator when Apple does so?
So what ever did happen with konfabulator? are they still around? The "real" Home on iPod feature, if it ever emerges, would let you log in to your user account on your iPod WITHOUT having to reboot the Mac. Their System and Applications, your Home. (Which would save a lot of space on the iPod, too--although in my case, having my whole system and apps be portable--not just my Home--is a good thing.)

maybe thats what all the apple tablet rumors are about, a product that does just that, would be pretty cool i think. but what use could it really be? minus well just buy a laptop, unless the price is wayyyyyyyyyy down, sub 60gb ipod price. :)

nagromme
May 27, 2005, 05:10 PM
I don't think a tablet would quite be that. A portable home folder uses an existing Mac--and that Mac already HAS a screen. So all you'd really need is a hard drive, for Home on iPod/etc. to work.

But in general, I can imagine any Apple tablet prototype might well have been SOME kind of computer companion, rather than a standalone computer in its own right.

cgratti
May 27, 2005, 06:05 PM
How much space does the average HOME folder take up on a backup? I have less than a GIG left on my iPod.

nagromme
May 27, 2005, 09:11 PM
The home folder is just what you put in it. I think a brand new user account has a home folder under 20 MB... in fact, I have the number 6 MB in my head but don't quote me. Then your documents, music, photos, individualized prefs, and maybe some apps (if you've installed any "just for you") get added.

So it's going to vary for everyone--but just Get Info on your Home and it will tell you.

solvs
May 28, 2005, 02:51 AM
Let me be the FIRST to say, this is great news for anyone with an iPod!
Seriously dude, FIRST and that's great posts don't go over so well here.

I was excited to here about the Home On The iPod thing, but the more I thought about it, the more I wondered about reliability. I mean, even forgetting the speed hit, do you really want to burn up a $200-$500 iPod to run your OS. This could be a nice compromise, but wouldn't it be better (cheaper, faster) just to get a portable hard drive? Maybe this is just a convenience thing that I'm not getting.

At work, our PCs have roving profiles. No matter what computer you're at, most of your settings and documents come with you. It's not as nice as it sounds, lots of issues, but you'd think Apple could make it work better than M$. Maybe we're just not there yet.

redAPPLE
May 28, 2005, 03:14 AM
This could be a nice compromise, but wouldn't it be better (cheaper, faster) just to get a portable hard drive? Maybe this is just a convenience thing that I'm not getting.


the iPod IS a portable hard drive. does it work with Panther and Tiger?

Abstract
May 28, 2005, 06:30 AM
^^Yeah it is, but what he meant is that if you boot from your slow-ass iPod, your iPod's harddrive will die quickly. Its okay to use it to store documents and photos, but its not really meant to be used like regular HDs, or external portable HDs are meant to be used. The iPod is even slower than 4200 rpm, although I forgot the exact rotation rate of the disk. ]


@Nagromme: So all you need to move is System and Applications and Users? WHat about System Folder and Library? Wouldn't you basically be copying your entire HD over from your desktop/laptop?

nagromme
May 28, 2005, 03:03 PM
I mean, even forgetting the speed hit, do you really want to burn up a $200-$500 iPod to run your OS. This could be a nice compromise, but wouldn't it be better (cheaper, faster) just to get a portable hard drive? Maybe this is just a convenience thing that I'm not getting.

The convenience is great--sometimes a life-saver for me. A portable HD isn't AS portable as the iPod in my pocket. More to the point, I ALREADY have my iPod in my pocket--so adding a bulky external standalone HD is no answer for me. I just wouldn't have it with me--and then there's no point much of the time.

As for "burning up" your iPod, everything I've read suggests that this is a myth carrying over from the very earliest micro HDs. Manufacturers specs on these drives now allow for heavy use that a first-gen iPod wouldn't handle well. And I've done so without ill effect myself. iPods ARE meant to double as data HDs, and Apple offers no warnings to the contrary. Yes, they're slower RPM, but that hardly affects your productivity compared to not having your stuff with you at all.

Doesn't mean you don't want a backup in case you drop your home folder in the sewer grate :D Any HD can die, and portable/iPod/laptop drives take extra abuse. So in my case, it's a COPY of my home folder that I sync every now and then. I don't use it when I'm at my main Mac, but I use it when it's useful.

BTW--for privacy/theft concerns: try File Vault, or else just put the most criticial files into an encrypted image. Then anybody who steals/finds your iPod doesn't get your data.


@Nagromme: So all you need to move is System and Applications and Users? WHat about System Folder and Library? Wouldn't you basically be copying your entire HD over from your desktop/laptop?

You're right--Library too. But not System Folder unless you need Classic, which I generally don't.

And yes, if you want YOUR system, YOUR home/data, YOUR settings, and YOUR apps... that's pretty much your whole HD :D Now you know why I got the 60 GB iPod. (And even so, I don't always put every app on my iPod--sometimes it's everything BUT games. And not every user account, sometimes just my main account. Being selective makes the copying quicker.)

A side effect of this practice is of course having a backup copy of my important stuff. If my PowerBook dies, I'm still in business! Plug into my old eMac and go. I don't keep my iPod up-to-date on a daily basis, but it doesn't get too far behind.

amake
Jun 9, 2005, 08:27 AM
I'm the author of iPodBackup.

iPodBackup was never intended to mimic the fabled "Home on iPod" feature, but you can use it to achieve a similar effect. If you install OS X on your iPod, making sure that the user on the iPod has the same name as your user on your Mac, you can keep the iPod user's home in sync with iPodBackup.