Time Machine...why bother?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by JesterJJZ, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #1
    Sorry if this has been brought up. Am I the only one that doesn't really care about the Time Machine feature? I do video and film work and have been fine without it all these years. I backup regularly and feel very comfortable with my workflows. Suddenly it seems like every other post here is about...

    "I gotta get a new external drive for Time Machine, can't wait!"

    It just seems to me that Time Machine will only make people lazy. I can't justify getting a whole new drive for such a feature. I didn't need it before, why should I need it now?
     
  2. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Don't you backup onto another drive now?

    This feature is primarily of use to people who don't already do backups.
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #3
    You backup. A lot of people don't. You don't need it now. Not all features will be used by all users. I still don't use parts of Expose and have no intention of using Spaces.
     
  4. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I was really getting excited about TM until I started reading about all of these problems with it. Based on discussion on the Apple forum, files that are deleted after an hourly backup but before the next daily backup will be lost after a week; similarly, files deleted after a daily backup but before the enxt weekly backup will be lost after the next month. I can understand from the somewhat technical descriptions of the way TM works that files in an hourly backup that are deleted before the next daily backup are going to be unavailable after some time (I think it was 1 week); similarly for files that don't last a a full week. However, if average users get caught in this trap they will blame Apple, and it will be a support nightmare. If TM does not work the way Apple says that it does, then they should not advertise it as such. The problem is that trying to explain these intricacies to the average user could be harder than simply fixing TM in the first place.
     
  5. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #5
    I backup all my important stuff to DVD, and some to a HDD that only gets switch on for backups.

    But Time Machine is doing a great job at keeping little bits and pieces safe. I don't know how useful it will be in the long run, but if it keeps a photo I accidentally deleted or anything like that safe. Then I'll be happy.

    My parents don't back up to disc or HDD, Time Machine is coming in very handy for them.
     
  6. projectle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    #6
    Personally, I can't wait for WWDC08 so that we can get a developer seed of TimeMachine working on ZFS. That way, we can have the whole Time Machine snapshots thing showing every change that happens to a file is always accessible.
     
  7. vansouza macrumors 68000

    vansouza

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    #7
    Please remember

    Time Machine, is there mostly for those who do not backup at all, so something is better then nothing. For the rest of us, don't stop using what ever you were using before TM showed up. Personally I have always used at least three backup solutions.
     
  8. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    Just don't get caught in the scenario that I mentioned above. The way Apple advertises TM every file that you have ever had on your Mac will always be available to restore (unless you run out of backup space, then it starts deleting file, which is understandable). Even files that have been on your computer for years can be lost if you delete them after an hourly backup but before the next daily backup, or after a daily but before the next weekly.

    I agree completely, but the problem is that TM will lull average users without another form of backup into a false sense of security. Then when they can't find a file that they deleted but thought was safely in TM, they will call Apple. If this happens enough it may well result in lawsuits. I'm just saying that it may be easier and cheaper for Apple to fix this before it becomes an issue.
     
  9. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #9
    Time Machine isn't going to make people lazy; it's for people who are lazy, which is most of them. Most people don't back up, and then are horrified when their hard drive dies and takes everything with it. Time Machine is a way of making backups simple enough that people finally start doing it.

    --Eric
     
  10. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Round Lake, IL
    #10
    I tried the Backup software that you get with a .Mac subscription, and not only did I find it confusing, but the 2 backups I had done with it were unrecoverable. I ran into a situation where I need to get some of the data off of the backups, and they both failed when trying to restore them.

    Time Machine on the other hand, is set it and forget it, simple. Setting it up just required selecting a drive for it to use, and that's it. I don't have to schedule anything, leave my system on at any particular time, or deal with an obscure process for recovering data.

    Time Machine deserves all the praise it gets.

    That said, I don't rely solely on TM. I also copy data I don't want to lose to a 2nd external drive manually. I could probably use some piece of software to do the copying for me, but it's a trivial amount of data so I just do it myself.
     
  11. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #11
    No software or feature works for everyone. But kudos to Apple for making a serious attempt at addressing the fact that far too many users do not make regular backups.

    For my Mac Pro, with 4 internal drives and 4 external drives, I will stick with SuperDuper and Mozy. But, for my wife's iMac, TM with an external drive is perfect.

    Look at it this way -- hopefully every one of those "what external drive should I buy" posts is written by someone who won't be writing next month "oh crap how do I get my data back."
     
  12. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #12
    You are a prudent computer user, and that's why Time Machine won't really give you much. However, there are a lot of users who aren't 'lazy' per se, but ignorant of why and how to perform regular back-ups properly. For those users, Time Machine is perfect because it does everything (nearly) for them.
     
  13. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Danville, VA
    #13
    Huh? That paragraph made my head hurt :confused:. I don't quite get it?
     
  14. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #14
    Simple yes, forget it no. Try an experiment if you will. Create a file and wait for it to be backed up by the next hourly backup. Then delete the file. Wait a day and see if that file can still be restored after the next daily backup. According to what I have been reading it will be gone for good, even though you saw it get backed up; you won't find it in TM because it isn't there, it got purged.

    Sorry, read the experiment I described in #15.
     
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #15
    Where did you read that? Link? That doesn't sound right at all. If it was backed up even once, it will be there. Now if your drive runs out of space, then there's the chance that it will get deleted for good, but you didn't note that.
     
  16. jellomizer macrumors 6502

    jellomizer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #16
    After getting TM working I am kinda unimpressed with it. I was hopping that it would do differential backups with partial files, So my 4 Gig Parallels files would backup the size of the diff of the file. Say a couple of megs... But it did the complete file, each time... So to save my Backup Drive Space I had to stop that my parallels directory. Also I am kinda disappointed I was hoping that my Mac will keep track of the differential files changes so I could use TM without the external drive and it will keep track of my changes until I put them in the backup drive... So if I did an accidental delete I could use TM get my previous file.... It is better then what I had before which was a hassle to save my data, but still I was hoping for better.
     
  17. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Danville, VA
    #17
    I did read it, and Im with CalBoy, Im still not getting it, and don't feel like waiting 24 hrs to see for my-self :)

    This is taken directly from Apple's site

    "Every hour, every day, an incremental backup of your Mac is made automatically as long as your backup drive is attached to your Mac. Time Machine saves the hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. Only files created and then deleted before the next hourly backup will not be included in the long term. Put another way: You’re well covered."

    Are you saying that is an outright lie?
     
  18. JesterJJZ thread starter macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #18
    I backup what I need to backup. I hardly ever keep files on my boot drive anyway.

    I back things up and put them away. I use bare SATA drives like DVDRs. Two copies of the important stuff.
     
  19. vansouza macrumors 68000

    vansouza

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    #19
    4 Backup Programs

    TM backs up my internal and one external drive; I use the .Mac backup program, I use SuperDuper and DataBackup3. I am not obsessive nor compulsive; I have just learned from past mistakes.

    If it's valuable back it up... then do it again.
     
  20. Decrepit macrumors 65816

    Decrepit

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    #20
    Consider me lazy.

    I think Time Machine (once the graphics issues at high-res on Minis is fixed...) will be awesome.

    I'll still back extremely important stuff up to a DVD, etc. But my daily driving stuff can all sit on the TM drive and be happy.

    This feature alone may cause me to buy a Mac for my folks. There have been many reasons I wanted to do that already, but this might just do it. Once I've used Leopard for a month or so, we'll see if the folks are getting a Mac for Xmas.
     
  21. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #21
    For me, TM makes backing up simple, fun, and efficient. Before I never used to back up simply because it was too complicated keeping track of past backups and such.
     
  22. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    While I understand the importance of understanding exactly what is backed up and what isn't, I'm not sure how people are expecting more out of Time Machine than they are getting- it's not magic, after all.

    I don't recall Time Machine being advertised as 'back up everything you ever created or copied onto your computer, EVAR, even if you only had it only your computer for 5 minutes and then deleted the file.

    To even get both hourly AND daily backups at all is far more comprehensive than even the few users that do back up. If you're in any sort of professional environment, then you probably have something more pro-level in place anyway (such as OP.)

    I think the main benefit of Time Machine is going to be disaster prevention/recovery. First would obviously be for crashed hard drives, and then people who accidentally delete a folder with important files, photos, etc. Yes, there might be some files that are not recovered, but if you accidentally delete your entire photo collection I think you'll be pleased at getting 99.9% of it back.

     
  23. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #23
    I don't know if you remember - but I think it was at WWDC not from this past June but from the June before that where they were demoing Leopard - and the guy said that something as low as 4% of people back up regularly. (don't quote me on exact number and when this was said - but it was during a keynote) - 4% is VERY low. Think about how many people are at risk for losing their data.

    Now, consider new Leopard users. I say that over 50% of Leopard users are using Time Machine now to backup. Quite the improvement, eh?
     
  24. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #24
    Basically, yes. Read the thread on the Apple forums; they quote that exact phrase from Apple and then prove it to be false. That is why I said it would be a support nightmare and more.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1202502&start=0&tstart=0
     
  25. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #25
    See my thread here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=379216

    I really think that Apple simply makes the Daily backup from the very first Hourly backup of the day. Watch as the day goes on. The first hourly backup is kept all day, and hourly backups after that are the ones deleted to make room.

    In my example, I created a file on 10/31 at 10am. This file IS NOT in the daily backup for 10/31!

    And, I also created another file that day. I made sure that file got backed up in a few hourly backups, then I deleted the file. Well, since the file didn't exist at the time of the first backup of the day, now that 24 hours has past, my file is gone....not backed up at all.

    Seems to me that Apple should do a little more tweaking to how it does figures what goes in the daily/weekly/monthly backups, etc.

    I think part of the problem is, Apple doesn't explain it in detail enough. If TM is doing hourly backups, then I'd kind of expect a file I create and delete later in the day, to be included in a daily backup. That looks like it's not the case though.

    -Kevin
     

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