How to keep using Time Machine without AirPort or Time Capsule

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flux-capacitor
This is what makes Time Machine backups possible.
Photo: Morgan Sherwood/Flickr CC

Apple’s AirPort routers introduced one game-changing new feature to the world: easy backups. Time Machine is Apple’s automatic backup utility, and it made backups easy enough for non-nerds to use regularly.

The easiest way to use it was to buy a Time Capsule, a wireless AirPort router with a hard drive built in. Before Time Capsule, nobody backed up. After Time Capsule, anyone could keep hourly, daily and weekly backups without even thinking about it. But now that Apple has stopped making Time Capsule, and AirPort routers in general, how do you keep using Time Machine?

How to free up disk space in macOS High Sierra

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space mountain
There's some free space right up there.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

MacOS High Sierra upgraded the Mac’s under-the-hood file system, replacing the decades-old HFS+ with the shiny new APFS. What this means for the user is way faster file copying, the ability to revert to previous versions of your documents, and several other neat features. But it also means that you may have a lot less free space left on your storage disk, thanks to APFS’ habit of using it to store special ‘dark matter.’Today we’ll learn what this dark matter is, and how to free up disk space.

How to stop Time Machine backing up every freaking hour

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flux-capacitor
This is what makes Time Machine backups possible.
Photo: Morgan Sherwood/Flickr CC

I do wonder who might need their Time Machine backups to run every single hour. With the versioning tools built into Dropbox, or into text editors like Ulysses, and the reliability of SSD drives, hourly backups may be overkill. Or they may just be annoying. Or, if you have an older Mac, they may slow things down while you’re trying to work. Whatever your reason for complaining about hourly Time Machine backups, then, TimeMachineEditor has you covered. It’s a free utility that takes control of Time Machine scheduling.

How to browse all the auto-saved versions of your Mac documents

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versions twin zebras
Like these twin zebras, the Mac auto-saves versions of your files. Twins!
Photo: Marta Miguel Martínez-Soria/Flickr CC

Did you know that your Mac keeps older versions of the documents you work on, auto-saving them in the background so you can go back to a previous revision, any time you like? It’s just like Time Machine, Apple’s Mac backup feature, only it’s for individual files. It even lets you compare old and current versions of your file, side-by-side. It’s called file versioning, and it’s pretty rad.

How to get your iPhone and iPad ready for iOS 11

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iOS 11's one-handed keyboard
Get your iPhone or iPad ready for the new iOS 11 update.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 is available on Tuesday September 19th, and if your device is compatible, you can go ahead and update, by just tapping the button in Settings>General>Software Update. If all goes well (and it should), then you will wait for a while as the update downloads and installs, then your iPhone or iPad will restart into the new version of iOS, with all the cool goodies it brings.

But things sometimes can go wrong, so it pays to take a few precautions. You might also like to take the opportunity to clean up your device a little. Here’s how to prepare your iDevice for iOS 11.

How to download your SoundCloud music all at once

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Download your soundcloud
Grabbing your own SoundCloud music is easy with this free tool.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

SoundCloud faces a do-or-die vote Friday. If you uploaded a bunch of your own music to the service, and have no idea where your original copies are, you should probably download your SoundCloud music now, just to be safe.

Incredibly, there’s no built-in way to quickly grab your own files from SoundCloud. Thankfully, though, somebody built an easy-to-use tool to get the job done. Today we’re going to see how to use it.

Save 88% on a lifetime of cloud backup from Skyhub[Deals]

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SkyHub offers an easy way to get a lifetime of backup with a terabyte of cloud storage.
SkyHub offers an easy way to get a lifetime of backup with a terabyte of cloud storage.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

A terabyte is a huge chunk of digital real estate, likely enough to keep your whole computer backed up for years. Mechanical hard drives don’t always last for years though, which is why adding a cloud-based backup is key to keeping your digital stuff safe. Right now’s a good time to do it — SkyHub is offering lifetime access to 1TB of cloud storage for just $49.99.

Get Automated USB Thumb-Drive Backups With Flash Drive Backup [OS X Tips]

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Flash Drive Backup

A lot of us use our USB thumb-drives (flash drives, data sticks, whatever you call them) as little repositories for our daily document work. We keep Word docs, text files, photos, and other daily data ephemera on the small four to eight gigabyte drives, making it easy to shuttle stuff between computers at work, home, and on the go.

But what happens when that little drive stops working, or gets lost? That’s where Flash Drive Backup, a five dollar investment, can come in handy.

Mountain Lion Updates Time Machine With Better Multi-Disk Backup Support

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Time Machine

Time Machine, Apple’s amazingly simple backup solution, debuted in Mac OS X 10 Leopard and changed the way a lot of us kept our Macs backed up. No longer were we tied to complex software like Retrospect, or easily forgotten manual backup systems. Time Machine made backing up our Macs easy and automatic. Even more importantly, it just worked.

Flash forward to today’s release of Mountain Lion, and Apple has quietly added a feature many of us have been wishing for, whether we knew it or not – multi-disk backups. One of the best practices in data backup plans is to create more than one backup, and then take one of them off site (if at a business, say) for safekeeping. At home, having more than one cheap, capacious hard drive to backup to is added peace of mind, considering how often those cheap, capacious drives can fail.