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Revision as of 22:43, 3 July 2012 by Fahed Jbarah (talk | contribs) (How to set up backup to the SUPALab TimeCapsule (aka DataVortex) on MacOSX: added a bit of info about preferred backup times.)
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Alex Holcombe
Polly Barr
• Charlie Ludowici
• Kim Ransley
• Ingrid Van Tongeren
William Ngiam
Fahed Jbarah
• Patrick Goodbourn


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SUPALab has a TimeCapsule in the Westie booth. The TimeCapsule allows you to wirelessly backup important files through Time Machine (or an equivalent backup program on other systems). Follow the instructions below to set up backup on your computer.

Note: At present instructions only exist for MacOSX. Instructions for Windows and Linux will hopefully be added soon.

Registering your Mac Address with the TimeCapsule

The TimeCapsule is locked to only certain MAC Addresses for security reasons. Before you set up backup, you'll need to register your wireless adapter's MAC address with the TimeCapsule.

  • Open a new Terminal window. Type the following exactly as you see it (the '$' represents the prompt that appears automatically in terminal. It indicates a new line):

$ networksetup -getcomputername

  • Take note of the resulting name, exactly as you see it (capitalisation is important!). This is your computer's name on the network
  • Next, type the following into terminal, exactly as you see it:

$ networksetup -listallhardwareports

  • This will list all of the network ports on your computer. It should look something like this:

macpro-alexh-02:~ supalabufo$ networksetup -listallhardwareports

Hardware Port: Bluetooth DUN

Device: Bluetooth-Modem

Ethernet Address: N/A

Hardware Port: Ethernet 1

Device: en0

Ethernet Address: 27:cd:34:a8:f2:9g

Hardware Port: Ethernet 2

Device: en1

Ethernet Address: 27:cd:34:q8:aa:c6

Hardware Port: FireWire

Device: fw0

Ethernet Address: 27:cd:34:fg:fe:58:11:f4

Hardware Port: Wi-Fi

Device: en2

Ethernet Address: d1:23:8d:f3:e1:e2

VLAN Configurations


  • Search for the 'Hardware Port' named 'Wi-Fi' (OSX Lion +) or 'Airport' (OSX SnowLeopard -) and note down its 'Ethernet Address' (E.g. in the output above, the 'Ethernet Address' you would note down is 'd1:23:8d:f3:e1:e2').
  • Register these details with the TimeCapsule:
    • Attach your computer to the TimeCapsule via Ethernet (network) cable.
    • Open 'AirPort Utility' (Applications>Utilities>AirPort Utility).
    • Click 'Other AirPort Base Stations' at the top and make sure 'Ethernet' is selected.
    • A TimeCapsule should appear called SUPALabDataVortex. Click on it and select 'Edit' in the bubble that appears.
    • Switch to the 'Network' Tab, and select 'Timed Access Control...'. A new dialog should open.
    • Under the 'Wireless Clients' list at the top of the dialog, click the '+' sign. A new entry will be added. Put your computer's network name (which you extracted above) in the 'Description' field. Put the 'Ethernet Address' of your Wi-Fi or AirPort in the 'MAC Address' field. 'Save' the changes and 'Update' the TimeCapsule options. A dialog will pop up telling you that the TimeCapsule will be temporarily unavailable, click 'Ok' and wait.
    • Once the TimeCapsule reappears in AirPort Utility with a green 'light' you're good to go.

How to set up backup to the SUPALab TimeCapsule (aka DataVortex) on MacOSX

This process has been made extremely simple and rather automatic. It shouldn't take longer than about 10 minutes to set up and test.

  • Unfortunately the first step is the most time consuming. The way Time Machine is set up, it tries to back up everything on the harddrive. This is not space efficient (especially if everyone in the lab is using the same drive) so you will need to select only the folders with important information to backup. Again, the way Time Machine is set up, you will need to exclude all the folders that you don't want backed up :roll eyes:.
    • Open System Preferences (on the dock bar, or in the Apple menu (click the apple in the top right hand corner), or in the Applications folder).
    • Click Time Machine (which is in the 'System' group in System Preferences). The System Preferences pane will be replaced with the Time Machine preferences pane.
    • Click 'Options...' and an options dialog will pop up.
    • Click the '+' sign and a file browser dialog will pop up. In this dialog, starting at the level of MacintoshHD, you will need to select all the folders that you do not want to back up. I.e. those folders you want to exclude from being backed up. Keep in mind that if you select a folder for exclusion, you will automatically exclude all of its sub-folders as well.
    • You may need to follow the above step 5 or 6 times to successfully add all the appropriate files and folders to the exclusion list.
  • Once you've set up which folders should be backed up, the rest of the process is simple. In the SUPALab Admin collection on googledocs, you will find a zip file (SetUpTimeCapsuleBackupOnOSX.zip) which should contain 2 AppleScript script files (.scpt) and 2 Terminal shell script files (.sh). One of the AppleScript script files sets up and runs backup, the other disables the Airport (see below for more info on this). Although you won't need to interact with the Terminal shell script files, they need to be kept in the same folder as the AppleScript script files. Download the zip file and extract the contents into a folder in some known location.
  • At this point, you have 2 options. You can manually run the AppleScript script file that runs backup, or it's possible to integrate it into iCal and have it run automatically at a particular time every day. To do this;
    • In iCal, set up an event representing the onset of backup at some time (Note: If you are setting up backup on one of the computers in the lab which is used to run experiments, make sure backup is set to occur at a time when no experiments are going to be run - I.e. late at night). You can set the frequency of backup using the 'repeat' feature. Set the 'alert' feature to 'Run Script'. A new field will appear allowing you to select the script. Navigate to the AppleScript script file that you downloaded above and select it. Note: iCal automatically sets the script to run 15 minutes after the event time.
    • If you are setting up backup on one of the computers in the lab which is used to run experiments, it is important to note that the airport should be switched off to avoid timing issues. To do this, add another event in iCal, a few hours after the one which runs backup, and get it to run the 'DisableAirport' script that you downloaded above. This way backup can occur automatically and return the computer to its original state. Just be sure to leave enough time for backup to complete. A couple of hours at least is best. At present, backup is set to occur every day at midnight, and the airports are automatically turned off every day at 7 am, giving ample time for backup.