Backing Up XTension on a Remote Monitoring Mac

You've been using XTension for a while now, and you have a considerable amount of time invested in your scripts and database. But how often do you backup the important XTension files? If you're like me, it will probably take a little "accident" to help you realize how much work it is to recover lost scripts, but hopefully this little Tech Note can help you avoid that kind of trouble.

This set of extensions, scripts, and scheduled events will automatically copy your XTension database and Attachments file from a Host Mac running XTension to a remote Monitor Mac via AppleTalk. The idea is that having a copy of these important files in two places greatly reduces the chance of a permanent data loss. Here's how it works:

A Scheduled Event called "XTension Backup" fires off a script called "Backup" that moves a copy of the Attachments and XTension Database files from the Host Mac to the Monitor Mac. These files first find their way to the Monitor Mac Desktop Folder via the Receiver program and the AutoGuest Init. From there, the Move XTension Backup Files script is executed (on the Monitor Mac) to move the files off the Desktop to a folder of your choosing. When everything's done, a line is written to the log confirming the backup. If there was an error, it will also be written to the log.

You'll have to do some diddling with the scripts to get them to work on your machine. In the Backup script inside XTension, change the paths to the files to reflect the layout of your hard disk. You'll also have to change the name of the two Macs. "Tonto" is the name of the Host Mac running XTension, "Honcho" is the name of the Monitoring Mac where the backups will be stored. "Tonto" is also the name of the hard disk on the Host Mac, and "Great Wide Open" is the name of the hard disk on the Monitor Mac.

You'll also have to make similar changes to the Move XTension Backup Files applescript, then compile and save it as a stand alone program. Make sure that the paths and file names in Move XTension Backup Files are appropriate for your system, and test the script in a stand alone mode before you try to execute it from the Host Mac.

Now here are some prerequisites that must be in place before any of this will work:

This is not an exercise for the faint of heart. It really helps alot if you're familiar with Michael's Multiple Mac tutorial, since most of the ideas for these scripts came from there. The changes to the scripts require that you have at least passing familarity with AppleScript, Script Editor, and the script editor within XTension. It also helps if you have a lucky rabbit's foot and a little garlic around your neck.

This software is offered "As Is", and no claim is made for its fitness for your purposes. Hack it, improve it, or throw it away, but please follow the instructions closely and understand what is happening here before you ask questions on the XTension mailing list. I may or may not be able to help you via email as my time for this sort of thing is extremely limited.

Punch here for the download package.


Good Luck


Scot Marburger