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Script for automated backup of a notebook

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Hey Guys,

last evening Mathematica crashed and hours of work were gone, because I forgot to save my notebook. During homework today I just pressed Ctrl+S every few minutes, to make sure that I don't loose my progress again. However, after a few more hours I discovered that my first approach to the problem has been much better. Sadly I've overwritten my notebook every time with Ctrl+S, so my calculations from the morning were also gone.

So I decided to look for a auto-save function for mathematica. At a coding internship I once used some software, to track down all changes and create a nice version history, which led me swap between different versions of my code easily. Unfortunately I was not able to find something like this for Mathematica (if you know an existing method, please tell me!). Thus I thought I could try to write a code to autosave my progress every 10 minutes into a new file.

Basically the code can be used inside every .nb file. It creates a new directory in the notebook-directory with the name "filename_versions.. Every time you execute the code it looks up the current time and exports the notebook into the versions directory with the name filename_yyyy_mm_dd_hh_mm.nb. However, only a new version is created if the last backup-file is older than x minutes (I used 10 minutes for x).

I tried out the code a few times (I simply copied the code to the top of my homework mathematica notebook). Since I often use Ctrl+A Shift+Enter to evaluate all cells at once I also execute the autosave every time. The result was pretty nice, I had a nice history of my progress in the versions-directory and was able to look up old stuff I deleted in my code.

I want to point out, that I am a beginner at Mathematica, so if you have any suggestions how I could improve my code please tell me (It's not the most beautiful code, but it works.). I already thought of putting the code into a package, but first I want to try it out more often.

I'm looking forward to hear your opinion on this problem and my approach to solve it.

Best regards, Tobias

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POSTED BY: Tobias Mitterdorfer
Answer
15 days ago

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