I am looking at Time Machine, and it looks great and really helpful.
It is. If there are any disadvantages to using it I do not know of any.
… Why would anyone not get it?
I have no idea. It has been included in each of the last four major OS X releases for free. External backup drives are cheap.
I ask the same question every time someone's Windows PC becomes infected with a virus or crashes or whatever, and they replace it with another Windows PC.
The only reasonable explanation I have is the possible existence of some weird mass hysteria.
I am looking at Time Machine, and it looks great and really helpful. Are there any disadvantages?
My needs for a backup routine include the ability to return the system to use in a few minutes or less, Time Machine does not do that so I use (as an additional method) a clone of the drive, updated twice daily. Should the internal drive fail I can reboot to the clone and return to work in 3 minutes, but this is in addition to another backup system providing longer term archival storage and real time backup. I do not use Time Machine and would not rely on one backup system only.
None of the above requires any more than opening the lid and plugging in one USB connector.
Martin Pace wrote:
You really need another computer if you need to be down for only a few minutes. A graphics card failure, motherboard failure or other hardware failure can knock you out for days without another computer to use.
Correct, and I do have multiples of computers at all locations that can't (shouldn't) go down for more than 5 minutes (I guarantee no more than 5 while aiming for no more than 3) I can meet promised uptime estimates either by switching machine or booting from clone, whichever is more appropriate. But for home use a duplicate computer is less of a requirement, a clone/archive combination will meet most requirements (house burning down excepted)
Unlike Mr. Galt, I don't use TM, preferring bootable clones made with Carbon Copy Cloner. Disadvantages?
1. not bootable, so useless if the boot volume goes south, without reinstalling the OS and hoping that restores the boot volume. Alternatively, you can wipe the boot volume, reinstall the OS, and hope the TM backup is restorable. Contrast with booting into a clone and immediately knowing if it works. If so, then you're back in business.
2. TM requires always having the ext HD connected and powered up. I prefer connecting ext FWHDs and updating clones on my schedule, not Apple;'s,
3, I've never had to retrieve something I changed or deleted, so TM holds no value for me.
To each their own. For more on TM vs clone, see http://pondini.org/TM/Clones.html
Finally, a google search for TM vs clone gives many hits. Peruse them.