Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Create a change tracking file for Time Machine Backups System
One thing that's been bothering me lately about Time Machine is there are no labels or descriptions or any way really to tell what's been done to the system between backups. Really, what's the point of having 40 or so backups just for the last month (rather than maybe just 1 or 2 or even 4) if the only way to tell the difference between them is to look through each file??

So I sort of came up with a solution that I thought I'd share: I decided to just keep a text file somewhere in which I can log important (or not so important) system changes, such as system updates or important file deletions. I wanted to have it so I can go into Time Machine and use Quick Look on this text file to see the most recent change that I logged at the top of the file, followed by a history of changes. That way, if I'm looking for a particular change, I will know how much further back to go in my Time Machine history.)

So what I did was use Automator to create an app that will prompt for some text, then just insert it (with a date/time stamp) into a predefined text file. The first action in my Automator Workflow is 'Ask For Text,' then the second one is 'Run AppleScript' with the following code:
on run {input, parameters}
  set theFileReference to open for access ((path to home folder as string) & "Time Machine Labels.txt" as string) with write permission
  set txt to (read theFileReference for (get eof of theFileReference))
  write ((current date) as string) & " - " & input & return & txt to theFileReference starting at 0
  close access theFileReference
end run
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
  • Currently 2.43 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (14 votes cast)

Create a change tracking file for Time Machine Backups | 4 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Create a change tracking file for Time Machine Backups' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Create a change tracking file for Time Machine Backups
Authored by: rjbailey on Oct 06, '09 08:38:46AM
Create a change tracking file for Time Machine Backups
Authored by: batmanppc on Oct 06, '09 08:44:26AM

I like using a program called BackupLoupe to explore my TimeMachine backup disk. It allows me to see which which files were backed up, large backups, etc.

Mohammad A. Haque

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use Quicksilver
Authored by: davidm on Oct 06, '09 05:40:19PM

Every time I install an app or a plugin, I use Quicksilver to append its name to a plain text file called "installed apps.txt". Very fast and easy, an requires no code or setting up in Automator. Just a file (and QS, of course).

[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a change tracking file for Time Machine Backups
Authored by: everkleer80 on Oct 07, '09 03:25:19PM

Yea, I have TimeTracker and that helps with what I want. But I don't want to only see what files changed; I want to know why they changed.

davidm's solution is pretty much what I am doing, but I just like being able to use automator to design my own little solutions! :-) Ideally though, I would like to have something like TimeTracker that also listed the latest addition to my file with each backup. Maybe I'll write something sometime...

[ Reply to This | # ]