Time Machine

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Time Machine

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:04 pm

I don't have iPhoto 8 and Leopard running, but here are some comments.

TM acts in a special way when you invoke it from the Menu Bar while iPhoto is the frontmost app.
In that case, TM shows an iPhoto window. It may take a good deal of time for that window to show images, because TM has to load the images from the backup volume. For example, my backup volume is often spun down, so I have to wait for TM to spin up that backup, then for it to process and show me the images for a particular view.

Now to the important point. TM shows the album you have selected. For example, let's say you are looking at Last Import. Now you invoke TM and you see a blank screen. That just means that the last time TM backed up, there was nothing in Last Import. You can still click Photos or Events.

I suspect that all your photos are backed up in TM. But you have to remember these things:

TM only backs up once per hour. So you could easily download a card full of photos, then delete them all, then quit iPhoto and TM would not have backed them up at all.

Also, TM only saves one hourly backup per day.

I suggest you start iPhoto. Make sure it's the frontmost application (iPhoto in the upper left corner, next to the Apple icon). Now explore the (admittedly strange) interface. You can navigate around in iPhoto just as you normally do, only much more slowly. Remember, TM is accessing an external disk.
Last edited by Stephen Hart on Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Time Machine

Post by JerryFreilich » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:12 pm

I would just do the most basic test of Time Machine before getting involved with iPhoto, albums, or any other specific problems. With the Mac desktop showing and no other windows open, click on the Time Machine icon in the menubar or open the Time Machine app in some way that makes sense to you. You should see Time Machine open and you should see the current desktop in front of you -- and a sheaf of "pages" stretching back into the past showing the desktop at those times in the past. You should also have a series of yellow ticks along the right hand edge of the screen each representing a date when a previous Time Machine backup was made. Do you see that?
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Re: Time Machine

Post by JerryFreilich » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:39 pm

OK, so that means that TIme Machine is working properly and the various instructions provided by Stephen above then come into play. You can click on any object in the Time Machine window and that item will open and behave basically as it does in your day-to-day computer. iPhoto stores its pictures in the iPhoto Library which is, by default, in the "Pictures" folder on your desktop. So to keep things very simple, it would make sense that you open TIme Machine and then navigate to your desktop and from there to your pictures folder, and then open "iPhoto Library." You should see everything as it was at each day in the past.

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rickj
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Re: Time Machine

Post by rickj » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:55 am

Bob Johnson wrote:Thank you Jerry :: When I get a reply to a question I usually write down the solution in steps that I can follow. In this case you wrote
3. From there go to Pictures Folder
I tried to find the PF in the Desktop and was unable to see it. The Pictures folder is not on my desktop.
The pictures folder should be listed in the sidebar of the Desktop Window. It should look similar to this:
pictures_folder.jpg
Pictures Folder in Sidebar
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Time Machine

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:43 pm

Bob Johnson wrote:Thank you Jerry :: When I get a reply to a question I usually write down the solution in steps that I can follow. In this case you wrote

1. Open TM
I did that, with no apps open.
This is like a computer game ;).

You need to go back to my earlier message. I'll try again here in the hope of making it more clear.

Time Machine and iPhoto interact in a special way. That's because iPhoto is a special type of application that hides a lot of what it's really doing to make things easier and more foolproof for the user. Normally, you never look under the hood. You just use iPhoto and ignore where the photo files are really hiding (see text below). Time Machine makes this easy.

So to find a photo in iPhoto that you deleted, you start out by being in iPhoto, not in the Finder. (In OS X, under normal circumstances, you can't really have no applications open. There's always the Finder, which is just another OS X app.)

[Wait. I just realized that I'm not sure what happened when you say you lost photos. Have you opened iPhoto and clicked on Trash in the Recents category? If your photos are there, you can just select them and drag them to the Library section at the top of iPhoto's left sidebar. iPhoto doesn't really delete photos until you select Empty iPhoto Trash from the iPhoto menu. And even then, it just moves the files to the Mac's trashcan.]

You can tell if you're in iPhoto if you see iPhoto in the upper left corner of your monitor (see first image below). While you're in iPhoto--that is to say, it's the frontmost application--invoke Time Machine from the menu bar.

Now Time Machine will slide all the windows off your monitor and show you the special Time Machine space-age interface. iPhoto will be there, not the Finder, and you can look at Photos, Events, Last Import, etc., all, seemingly, within iPhoto. You can navigate back in "time" to the last saved Time Machine version of iPhoto's database, the next one farther back, etc. (see second image below). There's no need to figure out where iPhoto actually hides images on your drive. (see further explanation below)
Note that if the album you're in when you invoke Time Machine is empty in the last-saved backup, you'll face an empty window.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

iPhoto, for the last several versions, uses a special kind of folder called a package. A package looks like an application icon in the Finder. You can't see inside it without learning the secret handshake. The secret handshake, in this case, is the Control key. So if you look in the Finder, when you're using your Mac normally, you can navigate to yourhome > Pictures and see listed there iPhoto Library. (Technically, you can keep your iPhoto Library elsewhere, or even have more than one iPhoto Libraries, and keep them anywhere you like, but let's stick to the defaults for the moment.)

Normally, you never want to mess around with the actual files in the Finder because iPhoto doesn't know what you're doing there, so you can mess up its database pretty bad.

In Time Machine, you can certainly start in the Finder, go to Time Machine, then navigate to yourhome > Pictures, and you can see iPhoto Library there, but you cannot open it within Time Machine. (At least I didn't see any way to do so.)
You definitely do not want to replace your current iPhoto Library with an earlier version.

By the way, Mail also interacts with Time Machine in a similar way. If you're in Mail when you invoke Time Machine, you'll see a Mail interface.

And Time Machine itself is an application like iPhoto and Mail, in that it shows you a special interface, not how it's really storing the backups.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Time Machine

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:53 pm

Bob Johnson wrote:First thing is I can't figure out how you get images of the desktop while in TM. I have to take a picture of my screen with my digital camera, "developed' it and then capture it again with snapNdrag. and so on...
I used SnapzProX to make a movie as I opened Time Machine. I couldn't get the usual screenshot shortcut to work either. SnapzPro is great for situations when a screenshot is impossible or doesn't catch the screen you want.
Bob Johnson wrote:However I can't get the same TM desktop that you showed Rick. I do not have "Pictures" located on the left sidebar under Places.
and when I am in iPhoto the TM shows only the NOW, page and everything behind that "page" is black. I cannot get a picture of anything in iPhoto further back than that first page. I wonder if others can get all their pictures that were taken back in time.? I sure can't. I thank you all for your time and replies.
Rick was in column view, hence the different look of the Finder window. What appears in the sidebar is a matter of preferences. You can add or subtract whatever you want. The Pictures folder, however, is a standard OS X item, visible if you click on your home icon or navigate to Go > Home (Shift Command H). That's where your iPhoto Library will be by default.

I don't know why you can't see any past iPhoto days. It appears that you can see other past days. How about if you check the following:

System Preferences > Time Machine > Options

Is it possible that your iPhoto Library is excluded? Below you can see that I've excluded some Adobe Classroom in a Book files from TM.
Also, is Time Machine switched on?
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rickj
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Re: Time Machine

Post by rickj » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:01 pm

Bob Johnson wrote:First thing is I can't figure out how you get images of the desktop while in TM. I have to take a picture of my screen with my digital camera, "developed' it and then capture it again with snapNdrag. and so on...
SMUG1.jpg
I will give up on trying to get back any pictures that I may be missing from iphoto as I think I have them all by going back through my sent Mail, as I mentioned.
However I can't get the same TM desktop that you showed Rick. I do not have "Pictures" located on the left sidebar under Places.
and when I am in iPhoto the TM shows only the NOW, page and everything behind that "page" is black. I cannot get a picture of anything in iPhoto further back than that first page. I wonder if others can get all their pictures that were taken back in time.? I sure can't. I thank you all for your time and replies.
To take a picture while TM is open, hit COMMAND-SHIFT-3. This will place a picture of the whole screen on your desktop, with a name similar to Screen shot 2011-04-27 at 1.21.23 PM.

I'm not sure why Pictures isn't in your sidebar, but you can easily get to the pictures folder by clicking on robertjohnson under Places. The Pictures folder will appear along with other folders in the main part of the window. That said, Steven is right, you shouldn't mess with the iPhoto library in the Finder.

Is your iPhoto library actually on your main hard drive? I seem to remember an earlier thread where you had multiple copies of your iPhoto library. Was that you, or am I misremembering? Maybe the library you ended up keeping is on a different drive. Time Machine usually only backs up your main hard drive. That would explain why there aren't any backups.
Rick

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Time Machine

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:02 pm

Bob, I would strongly recommend that you get Dave Hannon (or someone) to get this fixed for you. I'm pretty sure Rick is on the right track. Multiple iPhoto libraries are OK for SuperPowerUsers, but not for us mortals. I'm sure you can get them all coalesced into the default iPhoto Library location, but you don't want to lose pictures.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Time Machine

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:10 pm

rickj wrote:To take a picture while TM is open, hit COMMAND-SHIFT-3. This will place a picture of the whole screen on your desktop, with a name similar to Screen shot 2011-04-27 at 1.21.23 PM.
Hmm. I can't get that to work. But maybe that's because I'm running SnapzProX.
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Re: Time Machine

Post by rickj » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:36 pm

Stephen Hart wrote:
rickj wrote:To take a picture while TM is open, hit COMMAND-SHIFT-3. This will place a picture of the whole screen on your desktop, with a name similar to Screen shot 2011-04-27 at 1.21.23 PM.
Hmm. I can't get that to work. But maybe that's because I'm running SnapzProX.
Does SnapzProX use CMD-SHFT-3? If so, then it must be intercepting it before OSX does, and maybe SnapzPro doesn't work when TM is open. I'm running a screen capture program called Layers, but it uses different key commands than OSX, so it doesn't interfere with the built-in screen captures. By the way, CMD-SHFT-4 to capture a selection does not seem to work in TM.
Rick

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