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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:35 pm 
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Totally confused!! Help please. Sorry to (yet again) be so wordy.

I back up my iPhone to our travel MBP. I also backup to iCloud. I haven’t yet updated to 11.3 (or 11.4 for that matter)
I don't have (and don't want to have) the phone sync with the computers - each one has a separate slightly different set of messages depending on when it was turned on.

I do now have things set up so that when a message comes in, it comes to the iPhone and to my iMac and also to the travel MBP if it is turned on [lots of dings and harps and crickets letting us know this ;) ] I can't remember how I did this, but it works that way and I like it. I hope it continues to stay this way.

Yesterday morning, I accidentally lost a bunch of messages from son: he changed his email addy and I changed it in contacts. Unbeknownst to me, removing his old email addy contact from contacts deleted the conversations from the old addy in iMessage!

EDIT 7/29/2-18 - it appears after the fact that I discovered the "lost" messages migrated and integrated into the long conversation including messages with his iPhone number. Prior it showed 2 contacts in messages - the iPhone number and the email addy.

Glad most of the conversations were using his iPhone number.

In Messages it used to show 2 sets of conversations - one from his phone number and one from the old email addy. I should have left well enough alone.

And, of course, I hadn’t seen that the conversations had disappeared until after I made a HD backup to an external yesterday afternoon.

I just made a .pdf copy of the current year’s worth of conversations with him from the iMac so as not to lose that and I’ll do the same with the many year’s worth stored on the MBP.

NOW here’s my main question. I have an older HD backup of the iMac from a few weeks ago, which should have the old conversation thread from his old/defunct email addy - but it doesn’t have many of the new messages so the database file is outdated.

How do I get to see the old messages from the old backup on the HD so I can make a .pdf of them?
When I connect the HD to the iMac and open iMessage from the HD, it takes me to the Messages stored on the internal of the iMac.
If I follow the route that gets me to see the location of the messages on the iMac’s internal HD in folders by date ~Library/Messages/Archive - on the external I only see Plugins and db in Messages folder and I only see Attachments on the travel MBP - no Archive folder in either! (I did read somewhere on Apple Discussions where someone said they have found the Archive folder in one of the Attachment folders, I admit I didn’t look into all of them)

How do I get to open the HD’s Messages app and see the older version of the messages including those from son’s email addy - will booting up to the HD help - or can I not access iMessages at all if I do that?

IF I can access the various iChat files which is what are in each of the dated folders in Archive on the iMac, I bet I can’t just copy them to the iMac because the database won’t match the newer one stored on the iMac (and the older one can’t be copied because it’s missing the newer messages) so it’ll probably screw things up.

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Last edited by Mrs H on Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:45 pm 
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The only way I could see this working is if you disabled all internet access prior to booting the iMac backup and leave it disabled long enough to disable WiFi or ethernet or whatever method(s) the iMac uses to connect to the internet. Because as soon as it connects to the internet its going to sync its copy to the latest copy on iCloud.

Now, that being said, I don't even know if you'll be able to open iMessages and look through old saved conversations without an internet connection. As far as I know its all icloud-based, there is no local copy, or at least none that can be accessed w/o an internet connection. Its not a copy so much as a cache, and a cache doesn't necessarily include all messages, it could just include recent ones. There's really only one way to find out (by doing it), and I certainly hope I'm wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:28 pm 
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But in that ~library route to Archive that I showed above, I am able to see ichat "documents?" for each of the messages still on the iMac - stored on the iMac. I don't know how to find them on the MBP - maybe they aren't there and follow what you said above.

I can't remember how I set this whole thing up and why the devices don't sync - but I'm glad they don't. Nothing on the iMac is saved in iCloud. And I have iCloud sync not yet available for Messages (that starts in 11.3 I think) but when I backup to iCloud for the phone messages are supposed to be stored there.

In fact, i don't know how/why the messages come in to both or all 3 devices without going through iCloud - but just through the great Apple server in the sky. I suspect this will all change when I bite the bullet and update to 11.4.

I can't do any more tonight - rain and possibly thunder (first rain in weeks - severe drought here) I am unplugging everything as soon as I finish typing.

Thanks and I'll let you know what happens...

Here's one place where I found how to find messages on the iMac:
https://appletoolbox.com/2012/12/qa-whe ... es-stored/

bye for tonight...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:17 pm 
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iChat isn't Messages. iChat is the older AOL-/ICQ-style chat app. It's been phased out in favor of Messages which uses iCloud. Messages never could communicate over the AOL IM network, which is just as well since it was shut down last year, and iChat never could connect to Messages clients. They do kind of the same thing but the actual connection is made by different technologies. Short of installing a third party AOL IM compatible app on an iPhone there was no way to talk iPhone to iChat.

To make a connection from point to point you have to involve iCloud to set up the connection, at which point the communication used to be simply be point to point between the two devices. However I believe some time ago they bowed to pressure from the NSA and made it backup the conversation to iCloud which is why you can access those messages on other devices that are using the same Apple ID. Basically at one point they changed the way Messages works and broke compatibility with older versions, which was right after various big agencies started grumping about Apple using encryption. Ostensibly they changed it to introduce the ability to view messages on other iDevices, which would indicate the messages are being placed on Apple's servers (as those messages can be viewed later by powering on a system that was off at the time of the conversation, hence its not strictly point-to-point between two devices anymore).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:02 pm 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
iChat isn't Messages. iChat is the older AOL-/ICQ-style chat app. It's been phased out in favor of Messages which uses iCloud. ...

I'm heading off to bed now, just turned things back on to see if anyone replied.
I'll work on this tomorrow, but I had to add this to let you ponder and tell me what's going on here.
It's definitely the Messages app.

I must admit when I saw Chat I was amazed, but that's what it show.
Here are the visuals:
Attachment:
the route to "chat".jpg
the route to "chat".jpg [ 12.44 KiB | Viewed 325 times ]


And here is the place where I get the word "chat" (not ichat)
Attachment:


That long list of folders is on my internal HD. Each one can be opened and has files as you see in the one folder I've opened.
Click on the file and it takes me to messages.
This:
Attachment:
messages about.jpg
messages about.jpg [ 16.69 KiB | Viewed 325 times ]


That is Messages, is it not?

A while back I read that the messages stay on Apple servers until they are downloaded to the iDevice(s) (and this is before iOS11.3 where syncing to iCloud with OS10.13 may have changed everything and I don't know about any of that) and if they aren't downloaded because the device isn't on, but they are downloaded to other devices, they won't download to the turned off device if it is later turned on (hence our travel MBP does not have the same total messages as the iPhone nor does the iMac. But the phone is always on so has them all - except the earliest ones for 2 years before we had the phone and just were using Messages on Mavericks)

So - still totally confused. I'm reasonably certain what I am seeing is ON my internal HD in those folders in the screen shot. But I can't find the equivalent list of folders and Archive on the external - we'll see what happens when I boot from it tomorrow. Nor could I find a similar list on the MBP - and that's where things get confusing and where I did read that sometimes the Archived folders end up in the Attachment folder. All of this apparently also requires that you have "save history when conversations are closed" checked off to keep DB up to date - but I don't see how that is connected to the actual storing of the archives.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:52 am 
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iChat is the older OS X chat app. Since you kept mentioning iChat, I kept thinking you were talking about iChat. In the images you linked it doesn't say iChat, it says Chat. So we're just talking about Messages here, no iChat involved.

Unless those messages are stored as pure text, something Apple has been shying away from for the past few years for <reasons>, you're going to have to boot off that system to read the messages, and you need to have your internet connection down when that happens to avoid it wiping out your stored file. On the off chance it's stored as text you could drag one of those files on top of TextWrangler and see if they're at all readable. If its just a bunch of gobbledygook then you'll have to use my internet disconnected method to read them.

The only way I ever talk to people with iDevices is by periodically booting up my 10.13 partition on my MacBook Pro, and those messages always come flooding in. Periodically I'll look at my Mac Mini and they're present there too, though I usually don't look there because I don't have a free HDMI port on a display for it. But its cheaper to keep that going than run the G5 24/7 as a media server.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:26 pm 
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SUCCESS AND DONE
But still confused. :confused: :confused:

I turned off the modem completely, then booted from the eternal where I expected to find the missing messages.
There they were - just as expected - when I opened Messages on the iMac which was now booted from the eternal.

I saved the “conversation” that included the missing messages as a .pdf file and then copied that over to the internal on the iMac.

When I looked back at iMessage on the iMac it turns out ( :oops: :oops:) that when I had deleted the defunct email addy for son on his contact entry, Messages just took the "iMesssages" (is that the right term?) for that addy and put each message into the long years old conversation with him via his iPhone number. That was nice but, stupidly, I didn’t think to check if that happened.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:32 pm 
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So, to explain my continuing confusion with Messages--
How will it work once I update iPhone to 11.4? I never went to 11.3 . The update says Messages will work in a different way from what I understand from the ton of reading I’ve done about it.

I think a problem I’m having in understanding what is going on is that I mentioned but didn’t stress that I’m still in iOS 11.2 and El Cap on the iMac.

I am worried about the new sync feature for all iDevices (but it appears I can turn it off but since I don’t have 10.13 on the Macs, it shouldn’t even be an option on the computer) SO I don’t know how/where/if messages will be stored on my local devices as the messages now are.

I don’t have enough free 5GB space for them to store (only?) in iCloud especially if I can keep it separate on all 3 devices.

btw - on the term iChat - I never would have thought to use that on my own. It appeared again. When I opened one of the little dated conversations in the folder I showed above - the thing that looks like a message icon - the name of the item is :

Attachment:


Look at the name of the individual "Chats" ...Sydney...11.34.52.ichat

And that’s where I got the word ichat from!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:21 pm 
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I think chat & iChat are like phone & iPhone.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Hi, BDA.

Chat or iChat is not an issue for me - just another confusion. Still I don't know what happens to messages once I upgrade to 11.4 and it looks like saved messsages are no longer the same as it is for me now. That's my current problem/question.

But, obviously, my using the term iChat got MB off in a direction other than the one I had hoped/expected my question would go. And I fear I wasted a lot of his time by using a term I shouldn't have:

MonkeyBoy wrote:
iChat isn't Messages. iChat is the older AOL-/ICQ-style chat app. It's been phased out in favor of Messages which uses iCloud. Messages never could communicate over the AOL IM network, which is just as well since it was shut down last year, and iChat never could connect to Messages clients. They do kind of the same thing but the actual connection is made by different technologies. Short of installing a third party AOL IM compatible app on an iPhone there was no way to talk iPhone to iChat...


MonkeyBoy wrote:
iChat is the older OS X chat app. Since you kept mentioning iChat, I kept thinking you were talking about iChat. In the images you linked it doesn't say iChat, it says Chat. So we're just talking about Messages here, no iChat involved...


Mrs H wrote:
...btw - on the term iChat - I never would have thought to use that on my own. It appeared again. When I opened one of the little dated conversations in the folder I showed above - the thing that looks like a message icon - the name of the item is :...
"Chats" ...Sydney...11.34.52.ichat

And that’s where I got the word ichat from!


BDAqua wrote:
I think chat & iChat are like phone & iPhone.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:32 am 
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Don't fear anything, it wasn't much time at all. It's just hard to figure out what the best course is when you can't work off a common framework. And I've been crazy busy at work lately. Someone wandering in and casually dropping off a 4 hour project 4 hours before we close kind of busy. And, oh yeah, they need it done ASAP. :upset:

As for Messages in iCloud, assuming that's what you're talking about, you should be able to disable that feature (or not enable it). The only Macs that can use that feature are ones running 10.13.5 or later, which is only a teeny tiny percentage of Apple's installed base. So there's bound to be people talking about it... in my 60 seconds of poking around I didn't see a peep about 10.11 and that feature but someone is probably talking about it, my Google-fu sometimes goes on the fritz.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:09 pm 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Don't fear anything, it wasn't much time at all.

Thanks for that. That should be my new mantra!

MonkeyBoy wrote:
As for Messages in iCloud, assuming that's what you're talking about, you should be able to disable that feature (or not enable it). The only Macs that can use that feature are ones running 10.13.5 or later,... in my 60 seconds of poking around I didn't see a peep about 10.11 and that feature ...

You are right, I don't have to worry about Messages in the cloud until (and if) I can go beyond el cap. And not sure I want to use it even if/when I go beyond EC.
I think I read somewhere it is off by default - otherwise, I will be sure to turn it off when I update the phone, which it seems I can now do trusting that this will not take effect.

What I'm curious about is you seemed to say that the messages don't live on the computer - just in the cloud(?)
But I am quite sure that they are right there on my Mac.
On the phone they must be there as well - Apple seems to say if you switch to messages in the cloud (NOT) that messages will be removed from your phone backup thus freeing up space. I'm hoping I'm reading this correctly, that if one doesn't use Messages in the cloud, that backup will continue to backup messages on the Phone: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH26887?locale=en_US
Turn off Messages in iCloud on your Mac
In Messages, choose Messages > Preferences, click Accounts, then select iMessage in the Accounts list.
Deselect Enable Messages in iCloud.
Choose one of the following:
Disable All: Turns off Messages in iCloud on all your devices. Messages are stored on the device instead of in iCloud.

[my bold & italics]
Disable This Device: Turns off Messages in iCloud on your Mac only. Messages on your Mac aren’t stored in iCloud. However, messages sent and received on other devices where Messages in iCloud is turned on continue to be stored in iCloud.



I found these interesting & informative as well (in case someone else wanders by here with a similar question:

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/06/20 ... on-icloud/
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/io ... d.2120609/

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:17 pm 
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A copy of the messages live on every computer. However that copy also exists up in iCloud servers, though not in your iCloud storage area (iCloud Messages is about shifting that data into space you have to pay for vs. space Apple maintains).

I honestly don't know how much the new update changes that behavior, although to maintain compatibility with older software they have to keep the server side running for as long as they're supporting the older software. In 10.11's case that means until 10.14 ships, although I don't think 10.12 works substantially different. More than likely the new Messages works the way they say it describes (essentially cutting out a feature if you disable Messages in iCloud), while the old Messages will work the way they were designed to work.

I don't much like updating iOS devices because in most cases there's no rolling back to the old version, but to maintain a semblance of security you have to keep them up to date.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:07 pm 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
...they have to keep the server side running for as long as they're supporting the older software. In 10.11's case that means until 10.14 ships, although I don't think 10.12 works substantially different...I don't much like updating iOS devices because in most cases there's no rolling back to the old version, but to maintain a semblance of security you have to keep them up to date.


Does this mean that when 10.14 ships (Sept/Oct?) I'll have to upgrade the El Cap iMac & newer MBP to keep getting security updates and the like? And to have things work with the iPhone at iOS11.x once I do the update now that I feel better about iMessage.

I know (at least I think I know that High Sierra will work on those 2, but I don’t know if it will be slower or glitchier than El Cap - but security updates are worth it.

iMac (2.5GHz i5 2011) 12GB RAM
MBP for travel (2.4GHz Core i5, late 2011) 8 (or 12?)GB RAM - I’m not turning it on to check - too hot 90° and too humid to do so. I know we bought an additional 8GB, but I don’t know if that would have been added to the previously existing 4GB or if the 8 replaced the 4).

Mr H's MBP mid 2007 -has reached the end of lift for upgrades with El Cap I believe. He doesn’t do anything where security is a big issue and there are no documents on it of a financial nature, and we don’t do email on it. I suspect once it’s not able to get updates I’ll disconnect it from the Sharing option so no one can get into his computer and thereby access the iMac, though I may be paranoid and things may not work that way…

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:39 pm 
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10.11 will be unsupported when or shortly after 10.14 ships. I don't like it but Apple moved from a 6 year support cycle to a 3 year support cycle and damned if anyone can convince them otherwise.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:10 pm 
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Thanks MB for the "good" news that 10.11 will no longer be supported (aka I'm not a happy camper)

I know I can't update Mr H's MBP, but the other 2 - my iMac and our travel MBP - look like they can go up to High Sierra.
EC works, but is sluggish sometimes on Mr H's MBP, which is stuck in EC anyway.
Will HS pose any major problems that I can't work around?

Recommendations?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:37 pm 
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Personally I didn't notice any new problems in Sierra that I didn't also notice in EC. My problem with High Sierra are all the applications that are broken. They are older legacy applications but I'm not in any hurry to spend money so I stay on Sierra. I have a High Sierra installation but I never stay in it for long.

As far as performance the biggest factor I've seen is installed RAM. 4GB is enough to run one or two programs without issues. You need to get up to 8GB or more to have a normal experience. 4GB is frustrating. 2GB is laughably bad.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:34 pm 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Personally I didn't notice any new problems in Sierra that I didn't also notice in EC. My problem with High Sierra are all the applications that are broken...

As far as performance the biggest factor I've seen is installed RAM...


I haven't found list of incompatible/broken apps with High Sierra.
[[EDIT TO ADD - I just re-found this which might help me:
https://roaringapps.com]]

The only app I worry about is Office 2011, but I've read that Word still works with HS, though sluggishly, which it is anyway. Photos I assume still works. My iPhoto 9.6.1 hasn't worked since Mavericks - and I still need to learn how to get access to the legacy folder of photos for Mr H. I have PhotoShop 12.0.4 and don't know if it'll work.

12GB RAM - so good to go??

Thanks as always for your help!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:00 pm 
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12GB should be fine in my book. I have some Mac Pros running 10.12 with 24GB and they're happy as a pig, and I know of a couple students running 10.13 on 16GB in 2012 MacBook Pros and they're happy too, though I talked them into upgrading to an SSD and 7200rpm HD combo so they're all kinds of right.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:15 pm 
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Thanks for the info, MB.
Do you think I should go directly to HS, or go first to Sierra and gain another year (?) on security updates and other updates before going all the way to HS now?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:39 pm 
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In my experience if you're okay with losing the software there's no much to lose going to HS.

You could always make a bootable backup then see how it goes. Worst case you boot off the backup and clone it back. If you have issues though you may also try to erase the internal drive then install a fresh copy of macOS (aka os x) onto the internal drive, then use migration assistant to copy data off your bootable backup. This can result in a cleaner installation versus an upgrade, although if you're having issues with your existing installation you can choose to selectively migrate data - don't copy system settings, but copy users and applications, for example.


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