How to rename your Magic Mouse?

Strangely enough, the System Preference mouse menu does not allow to rename your Magic Mouse, typically called “John Smith’s Magic Mouse”. In order to rename it, go to the Bluetooth menu in System Preference. Right clicking your Magic Mouse in the list of Bluetooth devices, opens a contextual menu where your can select “Rename”.

That’s it. As simple as that.

Comment renommer sa souris Magic Mouse?

Etonnament, le menu de gestion de la souris dans les préférences systèmes ne permet pas de renommer la souris, typiquement appelée “Magic Mouse de Jean Dupont”.

Pour la renommer, passer par les préférences système Bluetooth. Un clic droit sur la souris dans la liste des appareils Bluetooth disponibles, offre la possibilité de renommer la souris.

Et le tour est joué.

iCloud drive not syncing?

Recently, after replacing the hard drive (SSD) of my iMac, and after restoring its content from Time Machine (see my post on the best backup strategy), I realized that my iCloud folders (Documents & Desktop) struggled a bit and didn’t seem to sync with iCloud anymore. Some documents edited on my MacBook Pro were not up to date!

Clicking on the circular progress bar icon of the iCloud folder shows a progress bar but it does not appear to progress at all. I hope that it will be better tomorrow. But nothing helps. The next day, the bar did not move by one inch. It is true that I total 30 GB of files in iCloud and after all, after a restore from Time Machine, with a potentially older version of some files, one could wonder how iCloud can handle this. That restored Excel file from yesterday appears to have been placed on iCloud just now. What about its more recent version on the Macbook?

Let’s take an example, the File.xlsx file was modified on 3/16/2021 at 4:09:23 PM on the Macbook. The Time Machine restore File.xlsx from 3/15/2021 at 9:37:43 PM, but the restore operation took place on 3/16/2021 at 5:00:00 PM. What will iCloud do? The most recent version of the file is the Macbook’s version, dated 03/16/2021 at 16:09:23.

Well in my case iCloud seems a bit lost and doesn’t sync anymore. Is this dilemma the cause of this hesitation? Who knows.

How to fix it?

Apple recommends, when iCloud no longer synchronizes, to close the session and reopen it after restarting the Mac. Closing the session, displays an alert: your files will be deleted from this Mac! You can keep a copy if necessary. In my case, no need for a copy, I still have my Time Machine backup and the cloud version. So I opt out and uncheck the local copy and close the session.

After restarting my computer, and reconnecting to iCloud Drive, surprise: my files are instantaneously restored to Documents and Desktop, but still not synced! Strange. I decide to try and log out of iCloud again, making sure I have unchecked the local copy option. I restart the Mac, but before reconnecting the iCloud session, I check the contents of my folders. Documents and Desktop are empty as expected, but there is a folder at the root of my account on the system drive: iCloud Drive (Archive). That’s my guilty party!

Yet I did not ask for it. So I rename this folder to “My iCloud Drive (Archive)” before I reopen the iCloud session.

This time it’s okay, my Documents and Office folders are both empty…. but they remain empty! I would at least expect to see the structure of these folders appear from iCloud, but no! Let’s pretend to not care and carry on with other things, while keeping an eye on my files. I create a “March 16” folder on the desktop, just to see. I open my MacBook Pro and see that this folder doesn’t seem to appear there … No iCloud cloud icon on the iMac either … No syncing!

And then suddenly, without any warning, my folders fill up again from iCloud. “March 17th” folder appears on the MacBook Pro and all the other documents and folders come down from the cloud to the iMac. Phew! Syncing has resumed. My File.xlsx is dated 03/16/2021 at 4:09:23 PM, i.e. the latest version loaded in iCloud from the MacBook Pro. All OK as expected!

Conclusion

iCloud management seems to be delivering to expectations. However, Apple leaves users in the dark. A dashboard that would show the status of iCloud syncing would not be a luxury, with a button to restart it and even manage possible conflicts. Let’s dream!

iCloud ne synchronise pas?

Récemment, lors du remplacement du disque dur (SSD) de mon iMac, et après avoir restauré son contenu à partir de Time Machine (voir mon post sur la meilleure stratégie de backup), je me suis rendu compte que mes dossiers iCloud (Documents & Bureau) avaient un peu de mal et ne semblaient plus se synchroniser avec iCloud. Certains documents modifiés sur mon MacBook Pro n’étaient pas à jour!

En cliquant sur l’icône en forme de barre de progression circulaire du dossier iCloud, une barre de progression s’affiche mais semble ne pas progresser du tout. Je me dis que ça ira mieux demain. Mais rien n’y fait. Le lendemain, la barre n’a pas progressé d’un mm. Il est vrai que j’ai une bonne trentaine de Go dans iCloud et que somme toute, après la restauration des fichiers depuis Time Machine, donc d’une version potentiellement plus ancienne de certains fichiers, on peut se demander comment iCloud va traiter cela. Après tout, ce fichier Excel restauré d’hier semble avoir été placé sur iCloud à l’instant. Quid de sa version plus récente sur le Macbook?

Prenons un exemple, le fichier File.xlsx a été modifié le 16/03/2021 à 16:09:23 sur le Macbook. La restauration Time Machine a récupéré File.xlsx daté du 15/03/2021 à 21:37:43, mais cette restauration a eu lieu le 16/03/2021 à 17:00:00. Que va faire iCloud? La bonne version du fichier est bien celle du Macbook, datée du 16/03/2021 à 16:09:23.

Et bien dans mon cas, iCloud semble un peu perdu et ne synchronise plus. Est-ce ce dilemme la cause de cette hésitation? Allez savoir.

Comment y remédier?

Apple préconise, lorsque iCloud ne synchronise plus, de fermer la session et la rouvrir après redémarrage. Fermer la session, affiche une alerte: vos fichiers seront effacés de ce Mac! Vous pouvez en garder une copie si nécessaire. Dans mon cas, pas besoin de copie, j’ai toujours ma sauvegarde Time Machine et la version dans le Cloud. J’opte donc pour décocher la copie locale et ferme la session.

Après redémarrage de mon ordi, et reconnexion à iCloud, surprise: mes fichiers sont instantanément restaurés dans Documents et Bureau, mais toujours pas synchro! Etrange. Du coup je retente la déconnexion d’iCloud en m’assurant bien d’avoir décoché l’option de copie locale. Je redémarre le Mac, mais avant de reconnecter iCloud, je vérifie le contenu de mes dossiers. Documents et Bureau sont bien vides, mais il existe un dossier à la racine de mon compte sur le disque système: iCloud Drive (Archive). Voilà mo coupable!

Pourtant je ne l’ai pas demandé. Je renomme donc ce dossier en “Mon iCloud Drive (Archive)” avant de rouvrir la session iCloud.

Cette fois c’est bon, mes dossiers Documents et Bureau sont bien vides…. mais restent vides! Je m’attends au moins à voir la structure de ces dossiers apparaître depuis iCloud, mais non rien! Je décide de jouer la montre et je m’occupe d’autre chose, tout en gardant un oeil discret sur mes dossiers. A tout hasard, je crée un dossier “16 Mars” sur le bureau, juste pour voir. J’ouvre mon MacBook Pro et constate que ce dossier ne semble pas y apparaître… Pas d’icône nuage iCloud non plus sur l’iMac…

Et puis soudain, sans prévenir, mes dossiers se remplissent à nouveau depuis iCloud, “17 Mars” apparaît sur le MacBook Pro et tous les autres documents et dossiers descendent du nuage. Ouf! La synchro est rétablie. Mon File.xlsx est daté du 16/03/2021 à 16:09:23, c-à-d la dernière version montée dans iCloud depuis le MacBook Pro. Normal!

Conclusion

La gestion d’iCloud semble coller aux attentes. Cependant, Apple laisse les utilisateurs dans le noir. Un petit tableau de bord qui montrerait l’état de la synchro iCloud ne serait pas un luxe, avec un bouton pour la relancer voire une gestion des conflits éventuels. On peut rêver.

What backup strategy for your Mac?

The recent fire at an OVH cloud hosting data center has brought the security of our data and the need for backups back to the top of our concerns.

How many times have I been called for help by a friend or family member for a broken computer or a failed hard drive. My first question is always the same: “do you have a backup?” And often the answer is the same too: “Uh… no!”

Fortunately enough, Mac owners, you have everything you need at hand for a good backup strategy. As a general rule, it is advisable to always have at least two copies of our data, three is even better.

Let’s imagine some possible and even probable scenarios:

  1. your 10 year old computer crashes, dead. Or your laptop falls into the water as you cycle across a bridge.
  2. you edit an important presentation for tomorrow to be video-conference in front of fifty participants including your boss, but you get tangled up and mistakenly overwrite it with another unimportant presentation. Ten days of work lost. Panic!
  3. a thief breaks into your home and takes your beloved computer with all your photos and videos inside. He also steals external hard drives piled up on your desk. Or worse, a fire breaks out in your house, which is reduced to ashes, from the cellar to the attic.

You are in great trouble, unless you have implemented a backup strategy, which we will describe here.

Let’s start with the different possible options:

  1. iCloud redundancy
  2. Time Machine backup
  3. backup in the cloud


iCloud redundancy

Your important files (Documents, photos) are stored in the Apple Cloud. This protects you in the event of loss, failure or destruction of your computer. Once the computer is repaired or replaced, signing in to the iCloud account will restore all of your documents and photos to the new device. This option has a cost, because the free version is limited to 5GB, which means not much. But it is very practical and comfortable, nothing to do, your documents magically reappear in their original location. Be careful, however, this redundancy does not protect against handling error (overwriting one file by another or throwing in the trash and emptying the trash), because the error is also replicated in the cloud.

Time Machine backup

If there’s one original unbeatable feature on your Mac, it’s Time Machine. Here is a backup system that works in an autonomous, transparent and simple way. All you need is an external hard drive plugged into the Mac and having chosen to make it the backup drive to have a real time machine at hand.

You deleted an important file or made irreversible changes in this document, your week’s work (if not your life). Click on the Time Machine icon and choose “Enter Time Machine”. And your Finder transforms into a true time machine, and shows you the past in perspective. Go back to a specific point in time using the timeline on the right side of the screen. Choose your file and click restore. Time Machine will resuscitate your file to the state it was in at that time. Phew, you are saved.

Try to do the same on Windows, it’s good luck!

Cloud backup

At one time, I used to make copies of my documents, photos and videos on DVD, then later on external hard drives, which I deposited (every 6 months) in a safe in the bank. But it was tedious and the 6 month distance didn’t protect me from losing the most recent data (less than 6 months old, that is).

But today there are solutions in the cloud. These are paid services (count around a hundred euros per year) but they will save you going back and forth to the bank and managing external disks. The principle is simple, these services send a copy of your files to a server in the Cloud, an encrypted and secure copy of course. A bit like Time Machine, but without the timeline: that is, we only back up the latest version of each file. But that is more than enough.

Be careful sending to the cloud is often very slow, because your internet “speed” is not the same going up to the cloud as it is down from the cloud. It took me 4 months for my 1TB of data to be backed up the first time. It takes a long time, but the process can be interrupted and picked up where it left off. We don’t care., it’s transparent.

This completely off-site cloud backup system protects you from your worst nightmare: the destruction of the house. Not only did you lose everything, your house but also all your belongings, but also your memories, photos and videos of your children and other memorable vacations. If you have opted for this backup in the cloud: your memories are safe and sound, provided you remember your password or encryption key. If you wrote it in your notebook in the third drawer, you’re screwed.

Back to our worst case scenarios

Your 10 year old computer crashes, dead. Or your laptop falls into the water as you cycle across a bridge.

In this case, iCloud redundancy or Time Machine backup are your lifeline. iCoud will magically make your files reappear as if you were on the same computer. Time Machine also offers the possibility of restoring all your applications, as long as their version is compatible with your brand new computer and its latest version of OSX.

You edit an important presentation for tomorrow to do on video conference, but you get tangled up and mistakenly overwrite it with another unimportant presentation. Three days of work lost.

Here it is clearly Time Machine that will save you the day. You will be able to go back in time to a little before that fateful moment when you committed the irreparable (not so irreparable after all).

A thief breaks into your home and takes your precious computer with all your photo and video memories. It also takes external hard drives piled up on your desk. Or a fire breaks out in your house, which is reduced to ashes, from the cellar to the attic.

Everything went up in smoke, including your small NAS file server in the basement which was so handy for your Time Machine backups and also served as a video server for your big screen TV (which also went up in smoke). Fortunately, you have subscribed to this cloud backup service. OK it will take a little while to download everything back to your new Mac in your new home.

In conclusion, you understand that the three solutions are complementary and you will not regret the annual cost of these if the worst were to happen.

Go ahead, don’t wait any longer.