Set up time machine, set up time machine, set up time machine!

had two more calls today of users with damaged files, one had an OS failure, the other had water damage.

One had time machine set up and was able to recover their work, the other didn’t and is SOL.

please for the love of god, if you use rhino for mac, set up time machine right this second it is a CRITICAL part of the mac os Save and back up mechanism.

Without it you are risking LOSING YOUR WORK PERMENANTLY.

set up instructions here-

how saving works rhino for mac (read this!!!)
Auto Save and Versions in macOS (autosave) [McNeel Wiki].


another mac user on tech just lost files because they don’t have time machine set up. On a mac its your life line, please do it now.

1 Like

Most of my students never back up but a few will do it, usually with something like Time Machine. None of that will matter if your computer (and back up drive) gets lost / stolen / burned in a fire.

I even had a relative who was using a 15-year old hard drive as a ‘back-up’. Seriously? It cost me $500 and a month to get everything back … and we were lucky.

The best thing anyone can do is get a back-up service that is (1) off-site and (2) automatic. I like Backblaze. It’s $7 per month for unlimited data. Yup, you read that right. Seven bucks. Unlimited. Automatic.


Kyle is right.
As a Rhino support tech, it is heartbreaking to tell a student that their project is gone with no chance of recovery.
I’ve had more than one sob when they understand that all their work is gone.

PLEASE! Spare your Rhino support techs the agonizing ordeal of telling you your project no longer exists!


1 Like

This is a systemic failure in the education system. The first thing I teach a new employee/trainees is that anything saved only in a local computer is not saved at all, and that computers are only a temporary cache of files. Files don’t really exists until they are backed up in a reliable, secure, back-rollable and state-restorable backup system.

Also you should only keep working and rewriting the same file for as much time that you are willing to let vanish at any point. Saving over and over progress in the same file for longer than a few hours, without making a new file version/revision is another sign of lack of basic computer literacy.

Setup a Dropbox, or Time Machine or any other restorable always-connected, always syncing backup system even before you install any other software on your computer. If you run a program and hit file>new without a backup setup, you already lost that file. You just don’t know it yet.

Also for heavens sake, setup everything you do, with 2-factor authentication.



Hi Dave,

Can you comment on downloads of large files from Backblaze?

We often have backup files in hundreds of GBs that we want to download (or send customers a link to download) but it is problematic.

It’s great that BackBlaze is unlimited but if your ISP or any intermediary is throttling bandwidth, then “unlimited” is only a relative term if you cannot restore the files. This is becoming an increasing common problem.

Are you segmenting files (ie Zip or 7Zip), so you have a Max. file size?

I generally advocate for 2 types of Backups:
1- OS native level backup, like windows or mac.scheduled monthly, this is served me If my machine behaves abnormally during the night of my deadline.
2- File related backups, I always suggest cloud backups like @schultzeworks suggestion, I live in earthquake prone area and I may stay alive while my data is gone.

Hey @cdordoni

I download individual files and folders all the time from backblaze. This is when I forget files and I’m away from the office. Their backup file system is an exact ‘mirror’ of your office system, so finding and downloading is fast and easy.

For a full recovery, it all depends on your ISP speed and the amount of data. Option 1 is to download everything, which obviously may take a while. I have 3 TB of data, so that could take a full day, but I never tried!

Option 2 is pretty cool and works for organizations with way more data. They will copy everything on to a HD and FedEx it to you.

I hope that helps and answers your questions.

1 Like

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the info about Backblaze, its definitely worth looking into. I can ask their Support some additional questions, I was hoping to get an honest opinion from a user first.


I have a unpleasant update and @gustojunk might have some tasty words to share as well.

This semester, I made it a point to educate my 31 students on the importance of back-up. I even shared a story about one former student who lost a flash drive towards the end of the semester and had to repeat several classes.

We discussed why back-up is important, how they can do it with various cheap cloud services, and why every office you work at will do it. I covered the topic for three weeks in a row as an experiment. Each week, I said 'So, if you don’t want to back anything up, help me understand by completing the sentence, “When I lose EVERYTHING, I plan to do the following ___” ’

A few students made a joke, like “I will cry” or “scream loudly.”

And yet, after three weeks, no one implemented a back-up system.

Feel free to comment.

1 Like

Some lessons are harder to learn than others.

1 Like

3 comments here:

  1. On average, worldwide, about 80% of industrial design students are unsuitable for employment in their own field, it’s a combination of a lack of proper preparation/training + being a very small and very competitive market. These are proven numbers, I’m just reporting it here, don’t shoot the messenger.
    It looks like you have an underperforming class where 100% of them are unsuitable for the job market if they cannot care enough for their own work, or follow instructions from their teachers.

  2. “When I lose EVERYTHING, I plan to do the following ___” is the wrong premise IMO.
    I’d would say, “I don’t have ANYTHING, it’s all held in a temporary machine that will blow up any day. The only way to make this ethereal work mine is by _____________”

  3. Schools are part of the problem. At our company whenever we have a major fuckup I always say: “It’s my fault because I didn’t put in a system in place to make it absolutely impossible for this to ever happen”. So you learn, and you put processes and safeguards in place. Employers do not leave it up to employees to implement a backup system. We care too much about consistency, time, productivity, and money. Schools on the other hand…


Ah kids these days, they didn’t have to work in the time of Zip Drives, that 100% would eventually fail.

1 Like

The click-of-death! Ah … I remember it well.

This is how I learned my lesson on the importance of Data backup :frowning:

Date : June 18th 2008

That’s looks to be a large capacity doorstop. :ok_hand::neutral_face::+1:

1 Like

Anyone remember when it was cool to put tiny 15 000 rpm Seagate Cheetahs in workstations? I got a couple of those, finally started a basic backup regimen, and within 3 months they started dying. And their RMA replacements. So, Phew.

Now I don’t have the bandwidth for full online backups so keep them on a NAS and projects are synced online. Remember “sync isn’t backup” so I’d like to get a second NAS and scale up my networking to speed up restores (as I seem to all-too-regularly need due to doing something seemingly innocuous that breaks Windows or incomprehensibly actually physically damages my computer) and do more-often-than-daily backups.

1 Like

Hard drives are cheap compared to your time. You owe it to yourself and your client to always back up. There are also cloud based options but either way there are too many options available so there are no excuses. Personally I have dual back ups AND I back up to an online server . I also save daily versions of my work so I can go back to any day and recover previous versions of my work in progress ( it creates a lot of files) however its saved my …… well you know.

didn’t have cheetahs but ran 10k 36gb raptors in raid0, which died regularly, and nearly necessitated hearing protection while working

after that came the intel x25s … what a revelation