Finding applications


Howard Brazee

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  1. I use Time Machine to back up my Mac. I only have the one backup disk.
  2. I only use that Time Machine disk for Time Machine. I have never used it for anything else.
  3. I must have misunderstood your advice. If I buy a second drive, back up my computer, reinstall the minimum stuff in order to get my passwords and whatever apps need to know that I have paid for them, I may miss applications that need to be installed. That is my fear if I don't just restore from my Time Machine. If so, I want them available sometime in the future when I discover I need them. I'm still afraid that some of the information that the apps need is in system files that I don't understand. I'm afraid I'm way too ignorant to restore just what I need.
  4. I hope my answer for 3 is the right answer for 4.
  5. OK.
  6. Every month or so, I have run disk utilities to correct what it can correct.
 

honestone

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Unfortunately, some of your answers are somewhat "incomplete".

Regarding #1, when you do your Time Machine backups, how often do you do that? And when you do it, does the "newer" backup replace the old one, or just adds things that have changed (that would be an incremental backup, which is what I asked about). For example, let's say that today is the first time you use Time Machine to make a backup. If you then do it again 2 days later, does that one replace the one you did today, or does it just add things that have changed in the intervening 2 days?

For #2, I asked if there is anything on the backups that is not currently on your machine, and if so, are such items critical?

For #3, it would be best if you an entire restore, so that you capture everything. Why would you do a partial restore?

For $6, you really need to do disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs more frequently than once a month. Along with that, after you delete an EMail with your EMail program, do you anything else with such deleted EMails? If you no longer need them, you are taking up valuable disk space by leaving them on your machine (again, my notion of "lean, mean, and clean"). Also, if you have a version of a program saved someplace, and you download a newer version of it, what do you do with the old version (assuming the new version works fine)? Again, why keep that older version around, if you don't need it anymore.

Just for your information, besides doing daily disk cleanup (about 98% of that is having deleted EMails permanently removed right away), I do more extensive disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, and backups, once a week, for both of my Macs. I do that on Saturdays. What I do is:

1. Run Onyx.
2. Run certain tasks of Tech Tool Pro.
3. Run SuperDuper! for my backups to external drives (actually SSDs). Those backups COMPLETELY replace the one done the prior week, and are bootable. That means I can boot either of my Macs from those backups. It's just about the same as having another machine!

One more thing: have you insured that all your third party software (ie, non-Apple) is compatible with the Mac OS you are running?
 
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Howard Brazee

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1. Time machine is automatic. I don't think there is a way to control it. It backs up everything incrementally as we use it. When it fills up the backup drive, it clears up space by itself. When we get a clean system, Migration Assistant asks if we want to migrate from the Time Machine backup. If I mess up a document, I enter Time Machine to restore the document from this morning or last week or whenever.

2. Time machine backs up everything unless we specifically tell it not to. I told my Time Machine to not back-up my downloads folder.

3. This is where I misunderstood you. I inferred that the issue with a full restore is that I would be restoring the problems that caused you to recommend a clean install and restore.

6. In my mail, I have a folder that has mail that I keep for a month, another that I keep for 6 months, and twice a month I delete messages in those two folders that don't meet those criteria. I delete my "deleted" messages more often than that. I have an old version of QuickTime (which works differently from the new version), and two versions if kJams (one which is the same as my friend's version so we can work together, and one that is more capable), otherwise I don't have two versions of anything.

I can see the advantage of having a bootable backup drive, even if it is not as up-to-date as my Time Machine drive. If it is only used once per week, it can be stored off-site. But I'm retired and don't have an easy off-site, and I have to budget my allowance. I now have Onyx and have run it a couple of times. The first time I ran it, it resolved the issue of phantom programs in the "open with" drop-down menu. Other than that, I did not observe any changes. What do you use Tech Tool Pro for?
 

honestone

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As I mentioned, I don't use Time Machine, nor do incremental backups. So, some of the questions I am going to ask are somewhat "basic".

OK, so Time Machine cleans up "older stuff" by itself, according to what you said: "When it fills up the backup drive, it clears up space by itself". Hence, that implies that except for your Downloads folder, there is nothing "unique" on your Time Machine backups that is not on your machine. Is that a valid statement?

Next, if you delete a document between incremental backups, does it get deleted from your Time Machine backup when the next incremental backup runs? (I understand about modifications to documents).

When you say "When we get a clean system, Migration Assistant asks if we want to migrate from the Time Machine backup", I get that whenever I do a clean, fresh installation of the Mac OS. (It actually says "Time Machine or other backup"). I assume that is what you mean by that. But does that happen when you do a Mac OS upgrade "in place"? Given that the only "in place" OS upgrades I do are within the same version of the Mac OS (for example, I upgraded "in place" from OS 10.14.2 to OS 10.14.3 via the Combo Updater, but I don't remember getting that message), not sure what happens when one upgrades in place say from the last version of High Sierra, OS 10.13.6, to whatever version of Mojave.

For #3, the assumption I made was that you would start to use either SD or CCC for your backups, and that there was nothing unique on your current Time Machine backups that you need. The process would involve 1) doing some more "intense" manual cleanup, 2) run Onyx, and 3) use a more advanced tool like Tech Tool Pro. Assuming that gives you a complete clean system, you would then use SD or CCC to make a full backup. That backup, obviously, would be clean also. From there, it becomes an issue of whether you need to do incremental backups or not. As I mentioned, for my needs, I don't need to do that, and my weekly backup completely replaces the prior one. So, when I do my disk cleanup/maintenance/repair, and backup tasks tomorrow, SD will replace the backup I did last Saturday with a new one.

Again, though, I am meticulous (and dedicated) about keeping my systems "lean, mean, and clean" between backups. If I were to do incremental backups, I of course would do the same.

I don't know what kjams is (seems to be something to do with karaoke: https://karaoke.kjams.com/). When you receive an EMail that you do not need at all, do you delete it right away (that is what I do), or do you first save it in one of your folders? If you delete it right away, it does not get permanently removed unless you take additional steps. Those additional steps (or step) depend upon the EMail program you use. I use Thunderbird, and it is a simple, one step process to do that.

If you use SD or CCC in addition to Time Machine, you do not need to store that backup off site. You just need a separate external drive that you can keep somewhere near your machine. I actually have 2 external devices (each of them house Samsung SSDs) that I use for my backups. The cases are nice, slim Orico enclosures that take up very little space, and I connect them via USB to either or my Macs. I even take one with me whenever we travel someplace (I take my MacBook Air with us).

As for Tech Tool Pro, this link has a good description as to what you can use it for:


Given that I have SSDs inside both of my Macs (and my external drives are SSDs), I don't run Volume and File Optimizations (that's a no-no with SSDs). The Surface Scan feature is useful for detecting issues with a drive (internal or external, SSD or traditional HDD), but I only run it about once a month or so. The tasks I run every week with Tech Tool Pro (after running Onyx) are:

Memory Test
SMART Check
Partition Map
Volume Structures
Video Memory
Sensors Test
File Structures
Fans Test
Battery Check (only for my MacBook Air; not for my Mac Min i)
Volume Rebuild

Again, by doing a lot of disk cleanup on my own between my Saturday backups, then running Onyx, Tech Tool Pro, and SD (in that order) on Saturdays, I rarely, if ever, have issues.

Finally, for your Downloads folder, how "clean" is it? Are there any items in it that you no longer need?
 

Howard Brazee

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If it fit my budget, I'd have two backup drives–but with only one, I'd use Time Machine. If I discover I deleted a document a minute ago, or a week ago, I can restore it. I've used it to back out of program upgrades. Incremental backups are continuous.

When I have upgraded my MacOS in place, I just tell it to upgrade, and it does it. It does not look at any backups.

kJams is a Karaoke player that I use twice per month at our Senior Living. The author is working hard to replace it with a 64-bit version, which will be needed when Mojave is replaced.

I use MacOS's native e-mail program. I delete junk-email a couple of times per day. I delete "trash" messages over a month old every month.

Off-site is always safer, but that can be done on-line now. If your house burns down, you still have your data.

I don't know if I have other issues beyond the one Onyx changed. Well, I have issues with buggy software—primarily iTunes. But I can't do anything about iTunes.
 

Howard Brazee

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Oh, Time Machine also can open up within Apple's Mail app instead of the finder.
 

honestone

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Regarding your drives:
  1. Maybe you mentioned before, but what exact Mac model do you have?
  2. How big (in terms of space) are your internal and external drives? And are they traditional HDDs (Hard Disk Drives), or SSDs (Solid State Drives)?
As for your backups (wish you'd answer the question directly!), it seems that there are files/folders, etc. on your backup that are not on your internal drive, but you need them. Simple yes or no: is that correct?

Upgrading in place carries with it risks, especially if that is what you have always done. And it does not address the issue of compatibility of any third party software you use (still have not seen an answer to that question I posed earlier).

As for your EMails, when you say "I delete junk-email a couple of times per day. I delete "trash" messages over a month old every month.", I suspect that does not remove them permanently from your machine (unless you place them in a completely separate folder from your EMail program, and then move that folder to the Trash, and finally get rid of it).

What about your downloads folder? How "clean" is it?

The backups I do are, in a way, "on line". But they are not incremental ones, and when those backups are running, the machine is not doing anything else (and I am doing household chores (mainly cleaning) when those "static" backups are going on). Having those bootable backups in those small, slim, and convenient enclosures is definitely the way to go!

Finally, while Onyx is good, it is best to have a more robust program like Tech Tool Pro, and especially when one does very little disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs. Again, thin k of the car analogy I mentioned earlier.
 

Howard Brazee

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Late 2013
Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac14,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 3.2 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 8 GB
1.12 TB Fusion Drive
Boot ROM Version: IM142.0123.B00
SMC Version (system): 2.15f7
Disk Utility shows my Mac (Fusion) Drive has Used: 823.4 GB, other volumes 11.59 GB, Free 286.13 GB
It shows my Backup drive has 1.97TB used and 1.03TB Free.

I used to have more space used on my main drive until I deleted some movies I had.

No. The backup drive only has my backup, which is everything except my downloads folder.

I believe when I delete stuff from my trash folder, it's gone (it's still on Time Machine).

I delete my downloads folder maybe 3 times per week. I empty my Trash 2-3 times per day.
 

honestone

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OK, thanks.

So, you have a good sized internal Fusion Drive, and your external drive is 3 times its capacity, which is good. The only "minor" concern is that you have a little over 20% of free space on your internal drive. That's "OK", but it's getting close to having less than the "recommended" amount of free space, which is about 20%. What "items"/folders, etc. take up the most space on your internal drive (I suspect a lot of it is iTunes "stuff").

Regarding your downloads folder:
  1. Reasons why you tell Time Machine to ignore it.
  2. When you download items, but don't delete them, do you just leave them there?
Another possible concern is the age of your Fusion Drive. Being that it is 5+ years old, and that you do not do "too much" (in terms of frequency) disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, that could be some cause for alarm. That is one reason why a more advanced disk cleanup/maintenance/repair program would be very helpful. Given that you have a backup, you could run Disk Utility from the (hidden) Recovery HD partition, and have it analyze your internal drive and/or repair it (if it needs repairs). This link describes that partition, and what you can use it for:


While Disk Utility is a "decent" program, it is still not as extensive as something like Tech Tool Pro.

As for deleted EMails, I don't think an EMail program "places" such deleted EMails in the Trash (I just tried it with my EMail program, and the deleted message did not appear in the Finder's Trash "bin. It was in the Trash folder maintained by Thunderbird). So as I suspect, your deleted EMails from your EMail program are "placed" inside some folder maintained by that EMail program.

Finally, once again I'll ask the same 2 questions, and it would be good if you answer them directly:

1. It seems that there are files/folders, etc. on your backup that are not on your internal drive, but you need them. Simple yes or no: is that correct?

2. What about compatibility of any third party software with each Mac OS you have gone through? Have you needed to upgrade any of them when "moving" to a newer version of the Mac OS?
 

Howard Brazee

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The age of my iMac is a reason why I'm budgeting more money on replacing it than in buying another drive or software. I suspect in another year I will have to upgrade.

1. It seems that there are files/folders, etc. on your backup that are not on your internal drive, but you need them. Simple yes or no: is > that correct?
I replied with a simple "No.", and followed up with a clarification.

2. What about compatibility of any third party software with each Mac OS you have gone through? Have you needed to upgrade any of > them when "moving" to a newer version of the Mac OS?
I keep getting notifications of 32-bit programs that won't be compatible. Some of these I don't recognize and don't find in either Applications folder. Before I upgrade past Mojave, I will run each of the programs that I find using https://www.macobserver.com/tips/how-to/macos-find-32-bit-apps/ , and see if they have updates and make decisions then.
 

honestone

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OK, addressing each issue separately:

1. Regarding getting another Mac in about a year, any ideas/thoughts about which kind of Mac, size of internal drive, etc.? And investing in a program like Tech Tool Pro or SD (or CCC) would be beneficial even with a new machine. I have seen Tech Tool Pro be on sale for $39.95 to $49.95, but that is typically "near" Christmas. I typically make posts about such deals on Mac Help, so you might want to monitor that.

2. So, if there is absolutely nothing on your backup that you need, and everything that is on your current internal drive is all you need, then you could completely "replace" that Time Machine backup with a backup created by any backup program, ie, Time Machine, SD, or CCC. That is kind of where I have been trying to get to with you.

3. That's to be expected for 32 bit applications, but what about 64 bit ones? It is necessary to monitor them also. As I previously pointed out, this site:


is an excellent resource for that. Also, you should check on your own about any updates to any software you use.

A couple of more questions:

1. Would you consider using another backup program like SD or CCC, or is Time Machine the only want you will consider?

2. How old is your external drive? Can you provide the make/model, etc.?
 

Howard Brazee

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If I had only one backup, it would be Time Machine. It gives me the ability to restore something that I had an hour ago. But better solutions would be to have multiple backups, and the best solution is to include off-site backup(s). My backup drive is a 3TB My Book drive. I am not finding anything telling me how old it is. (I wish the iPad & iPhone backups would go both on disk and iCloud without me having to manually switch them back and forth).
 

Lufbrarunner

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If I had only one backup, it would be Time Machine. It gives me the ability to restore something that I had an hour ago. But better solutions would be to have multiple backups, and the best solution is to include off-site backup(s). My backup drive is a 3TB My Book drive. I am not finding anything telling me how old it is. (I wish the iPad & iPhone backups would go both on disk and iCloud without me having to manually switch them back and forth).
Yes, Time Machine can be invaluable. I once deleted a photo that I later needed, just had to pop back in time and get the photo from the Time Machine backup, a lifesaver. But being a belt and braces type of guy I also make a Super Duper back up omce or twice a week.
 

honestone

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From what I understand, one can do incremental backups with SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner (although I don't need to).

Regarding your external drive, is this the one you have?


Whether it is or not, when did you purchase it, and did you purchase it new?

Also, not sure why you are so "hung up" on off-site storage. We are not working in a mainframe environment. My "on site" backups are more than sufficient. And as I mentioned, whenever my wife and I travel, I bring one of my external drives with us, so that I have a backup handy. And if we are gone long enough, I actually do my weekly disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, and backup for my laptop.

Unfortunately, still need some more answers to questions I asked:

1. Have you thought about your next machine?

2. What about that site I sent you the link for that contains third party compatibility information with whatever Mac OS you are using? It actually contains valuable information for both 32 bit and 64 bit applications.

3. What about your downloads folder? How "clean" is it?

4. As for permanently removing deleted EMails with Apple's Mail program, these links should be helpful:



Along with that, do you have an IMAP or POP3 account with your ISP?
 

Howard Brazee

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Yes, Time Machine can be invaluable. I once deleted a photo that I later needed, just had to pop back in time and get the photo from the Time Machine backup, a lifesaver. But being a belt and braces type of guy I also make a Super Duper back up omce or twice a week.
I also use ChronoSync to synchronize some important libraries from my computer to my wife's.
 

honestone

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I guess I wasted a lot of time trying to provide assistance to you. I am honestly trying to help you, but again, it seems unappreciated (ex-COBOL programmer or not).

Whenever I ask questions, it really helps in trying to get you the eventual solution (or solutions). But without your cooperation, it is fruitless.
 

Howard Brazee

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I'm doing my very best to coöperate. I'm reading your questions and answering them as concisely and completely as I can. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I just saw one set of your questions I haven't read before, and will answer them now (I wonder why I didn't see an e-mail telling me about it). The picture of the drive you found looks like my drive. I paid more money for mine when I bought it new though. I haven't thought about my next machine. I expect the options and costs will be different in a year or two when I need to upgrade. I bookmarked that site, it looks very complete. My downloads folder is emptied a couple of times per day. Those links about e-mail basically say to do what I'm already doing. I use POP. I don't know whether it is POP3. My brother pays for the domain.
 

Cory Cooper

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OK, it looks like we may have strayed from the original question.

The 32-bit app warnings will become even more prevalent, now that Apple is no longer accepting 32-bit app as of January 2018, and the upcoming replacement for Mojave will not run them at all. Basically, they are just a friendly warning letting you know that these apps will eventually not run at all, and you should check with the developers of the apps to get info on future macOS compatibility.

You can use a function in OnyX to rebuild the Launch Service database, as Lufbrarunner mentioned previously, to remove the duplicate and discarded apps from the Open With.. contextual menus.

Some of the "phantom" apps may be located in other places than the Applications folder. QuickTime Player 7 is actually in the Applications > Utilities folder. If you would be kind enough to give a list of the apps you cannot find, and those that are giving the 32-bit warning, I would be happy to give you additional information about them. You don't necessarily have to use any additional software to find them, as mentioned in the link you provided.

Time Machine is an easy way to recover previously deleted files from a backup. SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner simply clone your drive, and depending on the settings used, are an exact copy of your current drive. Thus, you only have a bootable copy of your current installation and files, and cannot retrieve files from months ago. Yes, Time Machine, SuperDuper!, and Carbon Copy Cloner all require an external drive to backup to. Multiple backup drives are a very good safety idea, especially when you store one off-site. You can have as many backups as you want of your data, but if anything happens to your home where the computer and the backups are, then you're out of luck. ;)

Hope that helps a bit,

C
 

Howard Brazee

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Whenever I get a reminder of applications being 32-bit, I look for them. One time, I used a utility to look for the file, didn't find it, Googled it, and found it was for a Brother printer that I no longer have. I wonder if I looked for it in all .plist files, whether I would find it (I forgot its name). If I find the application, I open it and either check to see if it has an update setting, or if I no longer want it (in which case I trash it). When the replacement for Mojave is announced, I will check every 32-bit app again, in case there are some stragglers waiting to update. The longer I wait, the better chance the update will be ready. Converting to 64 bits isn't always as easy as just doing a recompile.
 
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honestone

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Regarding 64 bit applications, I already gave you a link to check those out regrading compatibility. If a 32 bit application that you own has a 64 bit version available, there is no recompiling of the 32 bit version. You simply 1) remove the 32 bit version completely from your Mac (that is where the excellent program AppCleaner is so helpful), and 2) download and install the 64 bit version. Sometimes, though, for some apps, when they say there is a 64 bit update available, you could navigate to the app's site for that version, and follow the download/installation instructions there. Again, no re-compiling. (We are not working in a mainframe environment here).

As for removing applications you no longer want or need, while finding the application itself does not require additional software, there are also a number of files/folders, etc. that are associated with an application that would also be good to remove. That is where an application like AppCleaner can help, and also doing a search using part or all of the application's name.
 

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