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Spyder 03-14-2008 12:13 PM

Advanced scheduling
I have two backup drives, one offsite that I rotate weekly. I've been using SuperDuper for a little over a month and for the most part it's great. I didn't think I had a particularly strange setup, but the use of cron for SuperDuper's scheduling system is driving me up the wall :)

After futzing with 2 scheduled copies for the last month or so I've finally worked out that the only way to make this work is use 4 schedules. 2 primary backup jobs scheduled for most of the week, and another 2 that adjust for the differences between weekdays and the numbered weeks used by the crontab.

To give you an idea of what I'm doing, I backup at 11pm daily and swap drives on Friday. For March, my schedules are now:

Backup to drive 1 on the first and third weeks, except friday
Backup to drive 1 on the second and fourth weeks, only friday
Backup to drive 2 on the second and fourth weeks, except friday
Backup to drive 2 on the first and third weeks, only friday
(if you think about it in cron terms - this is the only way to make the first backup 1-6, 14-20, 28-31 and the second 7-13, 21-28).

I've had to set a calendar reminder to adjust these schedules on the first of each month, April will probably require a 50/50 split between the two because the 1st is a Tuesday.

Are there any plans for a better scheduler? As well as proper weekly schedules, I'd love a "start but wait for drive" option on my mum's laptop. She finds it a hassle to remember that her backup drive must be plugged in at a certain time otherwise SD complains and the backup doesn't happen.

[edit]Just noticed this post suggesting iCal for scheduling. I can possibly solve my scheduling woes with that, but it'd be better if SD could handle it for me ;)[/edit]

dnanian 03-14-2008 12:21 PM

There are plans for all sorts of things... when we get an opportunity to execute those plans, though, is hard to say. :)

Spyder 03-14-2008 12:31 PM

That doesn't help me much :p

Is there a priority list of your plans or do you just pick features for the next release out of a hat? ;)

Now that I've worked out how to adjust the schedules once a month instead of doing it every week, it probably won't bother me a whole lot. It's still annoying though and seems awfully arcane / outdated compared to the rest of the app.

dnanian 03-14-2008 12:39 PM

It's not designed to be a complex scheduler, no question, and we're working within the constraints of what cron -- which is what's available in all the versions of OS X that we support -- provides.

Now that v2.5 is Tiger-and-later, we can investigate using alternate methods for scheduling, though.

Spyder 03-14-2008 12:50 PM

Ah of course, I hadn't considered that. I've been using macs for years but only recently had one of my own, so I have no idea what life is like under the hood on older versions of OSX.

Thanks for letting me know :)

rlfsoso 03-14-2008 02:04 PM

Limitations of scheduling

I remember having asked about this when I first got my licence for SD (2.x then) so I want to bring it back up. I do understand the current limitations of programming time in your company (just looking at the forum is enough –, personally I experience no problems with SD 3!) but this should be addressed at a point in the not to far future I believe:

When missing a scheduled cloning job because the mac was not awake or could not wake due to necessary security reasons (asking for password on wake) that scheduled event is skipped rather than executed when it is possible again. This is, what Retrospect is doing by the way. I really think that ability would greatly enhance the usefulness of the program and assure happy customers who will more often now have a current backup available…

Please put this high on the list of things to add!!



Spyder 04-01-2008 07:04 AM

I'm going to bump this, because I found some rather bizarre behaviour.

I thought I would get creative and simply edit the cronjobs to let me use 2 backup scripts instead of the 4 I was using (SD's idea of a week fell over in the 5th week of March). Unfortunately, if I do that SD fails to load. For whatever reason, the backup script checks the cronjob when it's loaded and does nothing if it has been modified from the original schedule.

Should I be following the OneTouch FAQ and copying the script to the saved folder first? Or is this just a bug in SD?

dnanian 04-01-2008 10:22 AM

That depends entirely on what, exactly, you did. But if you added two references to the same saved settings, it won't work because it'll find the first one (and the names need to be unique).

As far as the '5th week' goes, though, it's included in the 4th. That is, the 'weeks' are days 1-7, 8-14, 15-21, 22-31.

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