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Time Machine and MacBook - What's the point?

708 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2007 3:47 PM by Russa RSS
Kerrstr Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 28, 2007 10:44 AM

I'm the proud owner of a new MacBook, and have been "toying" with the idea of using Time Machine.

I have to tell you... after reading-up about it, I'm wondering how ideal a tool it is for Laptop users. I mean, isn't the point of Time Machine to perform regular, scheduled backups? How is this feasible for someone who totes around his computer? Having a back-up drive connected all the time just isn't realistic. Isn't it just as easy to use Apple's Backup application?

I'm curious to hear from other Laptop users about their experiences with Time Machine. I'd love to begin using it (it looks so cool), but I wonder how practical it is for us Laptop users.

Your feedback is much appreciated.

Black 2.2 GHz Intel MacBook & G4 iMac (15" flat panel), Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • supwidat Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2007 11:07 AM (in response to Kerrstr)

    I have the exact same question! I use my G5 at work and have the time machine back up set up with the G raid. When I use my G4 laptop and want to backup my files, I use my imac account. So, ditto, what is the point for us laptop users?

    G5, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • jarik Calculating status...
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    Nov 28, 2007 11:25 AM (in response to supwidat)
    It provides for full backups of the entire disk, which you can then use to restore to a new disk in case of full disk failure. Also, it provides easily browsable hourly backups for restoring single files or folders in case of accidental deletion or corruption.

    Every time you come home, connect your external disk and Time Machine will automatically make a new backup for you. It's designed to be pretty much zero config, and easy to use. I haven't had the misfortune of having to test the restore feature, so I am planning to do DVD backups of all my data i.e. ~/{Documents,Library,Pictures,Music} to another disk, maybe monthly or so just in case they don't work.

    Message was edited by: jarik: Added second sentence in first paragraph.

    Message was edited by: jarik
    MacBook Pro, Powerbook G4, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2007 11:59 AM (in response to Kerrstr)
    You do not need to keep the external drive plugged in.
    When you do plug it in, it will "catch up" from where it was to the present.
    It will also contain a complete restorable backup of your original installation.
    Whenever you have the opportunity, you connect the external drive and let TM catch up.
    It's certainly better than never backing up. The most you could ever lose would be what you enter between TM backups.
    You might consider joining .mac and using that as an interim backup which you can access from anywhere in the world. It's more convenient than CDs or DVDs for remote backup.
    I am assuming that you do have some way of backing up while you are on the road. Stuff does happen.
    Dual G5, MacBookPro 15, MacBookPro3,1 17 Core2Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.1), Vista Ultimate 64-bit on MBP/17"
  • Russa Level 4 Level 4 (1,315 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2007 3:47 PM (in response to Kerrstr)
    I think you have to use the tool that fits best for your needs. Backup might be the way to go if you want to force the backup when you want or need to do it. On the other hand I am in my office about 4 hours a day, and then out of the office about 4 hours. Therefore, while I am there my drive is backing up. Its nice to know that when I return to the office, TM auto-magically backs up my drive with all the changes while I was away..
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.4GHz with 4Gbytes, Mac OS X (10.5.1), Cox cable, ZyXEL P-330W v1.7, PAP2 v2 for Vonage, G-Drive Q for TM


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