Snow Ventura Tuesday, September 26, 2023

As surely as spring follows winter, and summer follows spring, macOS release season follows summer.

And with that, nearly always, a new version of SuperDuper!

I'm happy to announce the immediate availability of SuperDuper! v3.8, which bring Sonoma compatibility, along with some other minor changes.

You can read about the changes in other blog posts here, but for now, you can use the built-in updater to install v3.8 or, if you'd like, you can

Download SuperDuper! v3.8

and install all on your own.

Enjoy the new version!

Prompting Problems Monday, September 18, 2023

tl;dr - SuperDuper! v3.8 B2 now available. Includes some fixes for pre-Sonoma users, and a UI enhancement.

Download SuperDuper! v3.8 B2

Guidance vs. Annoyance

Designing UIs involves a certain amount of compromise. You want to give the user the freedom to do what they want...but you also want to guide them to do the right thing if they're going to make a mistake.

Sometimes, that's easy: you disable items, provide sensible defaults, and minimize areas where mistakes can be made. For example, we disable the "Repair Permissions" option when macOS doesn't support it; you can't make a copy until you've selected a source and destination;

Other times, you are warning them about a bad situation. This is usually done with a confirmation prompt, such as when you're going to run a copy. Here you just want the user to make sure they understand what they're doing.

Of course, you don't want to over prompt, and you don't want to annoy the user. (Looking at you, Apple security prompts.)

The Problem

One thing I see sometimes are schedules set up with "Erase, then copy".

Generally—as in 99+% of the time—you do not want to schedule an "Erase, then copy" backup. It's more dangerous, it's slower, and, on Big Sur and later, it will typically fail if the screen is asleep due to weird behavior of Apple's replicator.

I usually want to do "what the user asks". But here, they're asking for something bad. And while they may know they want to do my experience over the last almost-20-years (omg), they usually don't.

But Sometimes You Need UI, Part 2

So, I finally resolved to do something about this situation.

Now, when you try to schedule an Erase, then copy backup, you'll get a prompt that explains that you probably don't want to do this...and a few buttons that let you schedule a Smart Update instead, schedule the Erase if you really want to, or (of course) Cancel.

It won't be shown very often, so hopefully it won't be annoying. We'll have to see. I'm sure those of you who are annoyed will let me know.

Clicky click

So there you go. New beta, new fixes, a UI update. All there's left to do is

Download SuperDuper! v3.8 B2


Sonoma! Monday, September 11, 2023


v3.8 B1 is out, with support for macOS Sonoma! You can download it from here:

Download SuperDuper! v3.8 B1

It's Beta Season!

Hey, folks! We're back and we're happy to be bringing full Sonoma support to SuperDuper.

In general, v3.7.5 works well with Sonoma already, and this release is focused on fixing the few issues we've run into and polishing things a bit.

What's New

Sonoma is a little bit of a "Snow Ventura" release and hasn't affected SuperDuper a lot. That's both good and bad.

Good because it means that we haven't had to change a ton to get things working properly.

Bad because Apple has not improved its support for bootable backups. Their tool, required for copying the OS, remains quite fussy, sometimes doesn't work, etc. It's something we have no control over, though, so we're doing the best we can with the options available.

Backing Up on Big Sur and Later

As has been the case since Big Sur, the general way to use SuperDuper is:

  • Start with an Erase, then copy backup, which will use Apple's tool to replicate the OS.
  • Update that backup with "Backup - all files" with "Smart Update" in between OS updates.
  • When you want to update the OS on the backup, repeat the "Erase, then copy".

One thing that's important to remember is that you can install the OS over the backup at any time to update it. That will update the OS and system applications, while leaving your data, settings and applications intact.

This means that even if you forget to update the OS, you can do it later...and, you can restore even if you don't have an OS on the backup at all.

Wait, What?

That's right. Even if the backup has no OS on it, as long as it's a "Backup - all files" with "Smart Update", you can restore. The process is easy:

  1. Clean install the OS to the drive you want to restore to.
  2. During first boot of the new OS, you'll be prompted to restore.
  3. At that point, select the SuperDuper backup. All your applications, settings and data will be restored.

Yes, it's that simple.

Concluding Thoughts

We think you'll have success with this new Beta release. As usual, once you've installed a Beta, you will be offered additional Beta releases of v3.8 until the final release. At that point, you'll only receive "regular" updates until you install some future Beta.

Enjoy, and let us know if you have problems.

Download SuperDuper! v3.8 B1

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