There’s no doubt that Apple’s automated Time Machine functionality is brilliant. It typically is a flawless experience with most external hard drives, and it is no doubt a brilliant piece of software engineering, allowing the user to scrub back and forth through dates while literally watching your hard rive change is ts contents to reflect the new date in question. Virtually every hard drive I have plugged into my laptop or desktop has recognized the dormant application, prompting the Mac to inquire if I’d like to use this external Hard Drive to back up the computer to which I just attached it. And though the first sync takes quit a while (even over a firewire connection), thereafter it is a seamless operation thanks to Apple’s elegant, data backup solution.
That is, until you try to get the thing to work with Time Capsule. My advice? Don’t do it. Buy a solid wireless router (and there are PLENTY of vendors out there from Belkin and Linksys, to name but two… Though Belkin’s recent admission of paying for positive user review on Amazon.cpm and elsewhere makes me trust their product a LOT less), and buy a separte hard drive to which you intend to back up individual machines. Hell, you’ll even have an easier time SHARING a non-Time Capsule drive with other computers than you will the Time Capsule’s allegedly designer- and otherwise idiot-proof wi-fi sharing capabilities.
Am I a designer? Yes. Somethng of a Web guru? Yes. An idiot? Well, given my choices in mates I’d have to say that’s a distinct possibility… But I digress. From this Designer/Webster/Probable Idiot, my user (and with Time Capsul, early adopter) verdict is this:
Time Machine: A+
Time Capsule: A-