Time machine - caveat?


Mac Ninja
This may be obvious to most of us, but for the typical dumb user... is this caveat going to be clearly stated in Apple's marketing?

From: http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/timemachine.html
"Backup Disk: Change the drive or volume you’re backing up to. Or back up to a Mac OS X server computer."

Default backup is to the computers OWN hard drive.

Time machine, no matter how advanced it is, can't restore a file from its own hard drive if the hard drive breaks, can it??? If your main drive fails, this "über restore feature" can ONLY work if you ALSO chose to backup to an external hard drive, provided that hard drive has not failed.... RIGHT???


Crotchety UI Nitpicker
Naturally. If you're using it on a local drive, it's not useful in the event of a disk failure; it IS useful in the event of user error, though. I can't begin to count how many times I've seen "How can I recover a deleted file???" posted on this forum!

But it would have to use ungodly amounts of disk space, so I don't know how practical it will be for most people. I wonder how you can trim the data it has stored.

Personally, I think time machine is absolutely NOT a backup solution for most consumers, since as far as I can tell it doesn't allow you to back up to CDs or DVDs. How many 'normal' users are going to buy a dedicated backup HD? And since Time Machine is cumulative, wouldn't that backup drive need to be replaced when it fills up anyway?

So it seems like OS X will still lack some of the 'advanced' backup capabilities that came bundled with my first Mac in the early 90s. *sigh*

That said, it still looks freakin' cool, and useful in its own right. But it will not be all things to all people (shocker! ;)).


Chmod 760
Staff member
Well ... maybe the point is to start selling XServes to the consumers to back up their baby photos and all the other non-professional data they have?

I wonder how the ACLs will be implemented in the system (not just for time machine but also for the spotlight search servers), plus how to erase something for good. Erase from system, the trash, AND from all the backup devices as well ...


Old Rhapsody User
In the Keynote it sure looks like they are talking about hooking up an external firewire or USB 2.0 drive for use with Time Machine... even a second internal drive could be used.

The main back up takes place once... and then everything else is done on the fly as files change (with a time index differentiating different versions of the same files over time). When a file is changed, Time Machine backs it up on the spot.

From what I can see, this is mirroring but with the addition of the time indexing... so rather than a straight back up or copy (which is one dimensional), Time Machine provides a two dimensional back up.

Quite a nice set up... I know a lot of people who would be willing to jump to 10.5 just for this one feature alone.