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Local copy of iCal and Contacts?

1082 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2012 2:27 PM by TZ RSS
Blue Wammer Calculating status...
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Apr 9, 2012 2:31 AM

I am considering whether to switch to iCloud when I upgrade my iPhone 3G (I also have an iMac running Lion and an iPad).  However I am concerned about the security of my data, particularly iCal and Contacts.  Am I right in thinking that in iCloud the only copy of these is stored on Apple's servers?  Call me paranoid but I would not be happy with the only copy of important files existing on a third party's servers, even if that third party is Apple.  After all, not having multiple backups flies in the face of good backup practice.  Is it possible to have a local copy/backup of iCal and Contacts when using iCloud?

iMac (21.5-inch Mid 2010), Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)
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    Apr 9, 2012 2:40 AM (in response to Blue Wammer)

    Yes, it is possible to create local backup copies of your contacts and calendars, and is in fact recommended as part of your usual backup routine.

     

    Having the master copy of your data online is how most of the modern cloud sync contact and calendar solutions work using the industry standard, cross platform CalDAV and CardDAV protocols.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,085 points)
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    Apr 9, 2012 2:42 AM (in response to Blue Wammer)

    You can export each calendar as an .ics file - you have to do this individually, unfortunately there's no way of doing it with all calendars at once. (File>Export)

     

    In Address Book you can select all your entries and then from the File menu choose Export>Export vCard (or Address Book Archive but probably vCard is preferable - you could of course do both).

  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)
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    Apr 9, 2012 2:42 AM (in response to Blue Wammer)

    Here are Apple's instructions for backing up your iCloud data from the iCloud website, from your Mac applications or from Windows applications:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4910

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,085 points)
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    Apr 9, 2012 2:59 AM (in response to Blue Wammer)

    It is possible to restore from Time Machine if the locally cached files have survived intact, though the syncing process is likely to remove them the moment you restore them, depending on the circumstances. This page describes the workaround for this:

     

    http://www.wilmut.webspace.virginmedia.com/notes/icloudtm.html

     

    However I shouldn't rely on this; you should do the manual backups as described to be safe.

  • tjennings Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Apr 13, 2012 1:15 PM (in response to Blue Wammer)

    I've read the link Julian posted. Seriously? (Nothing personal, Julian.) This looks like a monumental pain in the behind. I just got done with a Cisco networking class, I'm a web developer and security geek (one thing I know is that the "cloud" is not stable enough or secure enough), and I've been using MobileMe long enough to know that server stability is not Apple's strong suit (I never used me.com for my email for that reason). Heck, I have my Mac Pro backing up to three different places, in case one or two or three resources fail. Redundancy is the word of the day.

     

    What are my alternatives for backing up so my iPhone, Mac Pro, and MBP are all in the info loop at the same time? I don't mind backing up my phone to my computer once a day, but from what I've read, it looks like doing so might hose my hard files on my computer.

     

    This is a gigantic step backwards from MobileMe. As we approach June 30, I'm feeling pretty anxious. I've tried Google, but I don't trust them and their privacy policies.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)
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    Apr 13, 2012 2:10 PM (in response to tjennings)

    Don't know whether this suits you but I use 2 backup methods, a daily clone (incremental) so that I can reboot to the clone and continue to work during disasters coupled with a real-time file backup, Time Machine could do that but I have no faith in it so I use an online service which backs up constantly, I can lose the last 3 or 4 minutes of work, no more.

     

    In an emergency I just reboot to the clone and let the online service synchronize the files since the last clone occured. In a non emergency I can browse to the online file store or the clone and grab the files I need. If my computer explodes I can log the new one into the online service and watch as my files are restored.

  • tjennings Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Apr 13, 2012 2:33 PM (in response to Csound1)

    I backup via SuperDuper to one external hard drive, Time Machine to another, and Backblaze offsite. So yeah, it suits me. <grin> Clients are entrusting me with their stuff. A wonderful woman with AppleCare showed me how to just use iCloud for sharing specified info and not backing up to the cloud. I'm a happy camper.

     

    I also don't use iPhoto (I'm not comfortable having my images wrapped up in Apple's proprietary interface). In April 2010, my system crashed hard (bad font), and there was no logical way to drill to my images (at least at the time). Much happier with a folder in my documents folder. I use Adobe Creative Suite's Bridge anyway, so I can manage my images there.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)
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    Apr 13, 2012 2:26 PM (in response to tjennings)

    Yes, I avoid iPhoto as well, does SD allow an incremental clone now? I used it but switched to CCC because of that, incrementing the clone takes 15-20 minutes as opposed to a new clone (too long )

     

    I also use multiple machines on a daily basis so the ability to connect them at will to the online service and have (almost) instant access to my files is invaluable.

     

    Glad to hear that you are one of the 'I Backup' fraternity as opposed to the I hope disaster won't happen' set

  • tjennings Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Apr 13, 2012 2:34 PM (in response to Csound1)

    SuperDuper has been making incremental, bootable backups since I started using it 2 or 3 years ago. I back up with it 3 times a day (scheduled, of course, so I don't have to think about it). A friend referred to me as a (I apologize if this offends anyone - she meant it in a lighthearted, humorous way) "crazy backup Nazi" (as in Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi") Awww, shucks!

     

    And BTW, I have had an opportunity to try out the clone. It was a beautiful thing.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)
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    Apr 13, 2012 2:38 PM (in response to tjennings)

    tjennings wrote:

     

    SuperDuper has been making incremental, bootable backups since I started using it 2 or 3 years ago. I back up with it 3 times a day (scheduled, of course, so I don't have to think about it). A friend referred to me as a (I apologize if this offends anyone - she meant it in a lighthearted, humorous way) "crazy backup Nazi" (as in Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi") Awww, shucks!

     

    And BTW, I have had an opportunity to try out the clone. It was a beautiful thing.

    Shucks, I must have missed that (or maybe the freebie didn't do incremental) no problem though CCC works fine for me and its ability to do a block copy is handy if there is a bootcamp partition involved. A backup nazi is a useful thing to be, when your friend has a disaster she'll appreciate your routine.

  • tjennings Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Apr 13, 2012 2:49 PM (in response to Csound1)

    She and I are in the same biz. It was a compliment.

  • Mike Strohmeyer Calculating status...
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    Apr 16, 2012 10:16 AM (in response to Roger Wilmut1)

    It is difficult to overemphasize Roger's advice in his last sentence.  I've owned all manner of Apple gear over the years and have been incredibly lucky -  I never quite got over the "remove from box, connect pieces, turn on" mantra from the early days, even as the process got more and more complicated.  And even though I am now retired, I was an IT professional who knew almost innately that the key to keeping things going was to have an adequate backup strategy.  Yet at home I basically trusted that my various and sundry disk drives would somehow take care of themselves well enough to not need to be backed up.  All of that went well (except for some bumps during the cutover to MobileMe) until this past Friday, when I somehow managed to screwup a sync process and watched in horror as my calendars slowly disappeared from iCal.  Thank God for the upcoming iCloud - I had just make a disk image of my entire laptop in preparation for cutting to iCloud from MM and so could retrieve the calendars from there.  It took me a while to figure out that I couldn't just copy the Calendars folder out of the disk image and expect to be back on the air.  Thanks to the patience of one MadisonP, who provided a detailed procedure for recovery, I'm now back to business with a BIG lesson learned.  I've probably got too many calendars and so the backup (export) of of the total bunch seemed like a daunting task, but it beats missing important appointments that you can't remember after your calendar bites the dust.

  • TZ Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
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    Apr 16, 2012 2:27 PM (in response to Mike Strohmeyer)

    Another fail for iCloud. MobileMe always kept local copies of you calenders and contacts that were then synced into the cloud and also backed up by TimeMachine or whatever was used to backup the HD.

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