Friday, May 21, 2010

Time Machine

If you have an Apple computer and are not using Time Machine, you are missing out. Time Machine is part of the Mac operating system (OS). Each day I come into my office, I just plug in my external hard drive. It automatically reads it and records any files that have changed. It will use up all the available memory on the hard drive and then delete the various versions so that it maintains a monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly backup. While plugged in, it will automatically backup each hour. The one caution as with however you back up, don’t carry the external hard drive with the laptop because if you bag gets stolen or lost, they both go.

Although this is a fantastic way to backup your machine, I was extremely impressed last week when I changed to a new computer. Again, a program within the Mac OS called Migration Assistant helps you setup a new computer. I simply selected setup machine with data from my Time Machine external hard drive. I started it up and let it run while I did some other things. In about 2 hours, the laptop was completely setup including my system preferences, account logins, printer and wireless settings, and even the desktop background. I just made a couple clicks and it was done. Very impressive.

My advice...use Time Machine if you have an Apple.


  1. I use time machine. Problem is when my external hard drive breaks down and all my stuff on there goes missing. I want some form of cloud backup bigger than mobileme so my gigabytes of stuff can be safe there. It's impossible in the US with internet infrastructure but feasible in Korea. I tried Mozy but the server is way too slow for anything more than 100 gigs.

  2. Good point and no easy answer for that. I definitely do not rely on the trustworthiness of my external drive but more on the fact on my external drive and laptop won't crash at the same time. One other precaution which I take is to simply dump my major critical files to another external drive/web server periodically (like monthly or every couple months) so if my backup with Time Machine crashes, I still have the raw files to go back to and I'm not totally up the creek. I think this is probably a good idea regardless of platform. I like uploading multimedia content to Youtube or Vimeo for this reason as well because it is another way to backup large multimedia.