I love Time Machine because...
...I don't have to think about backups.
Usually hard disk failures and accidentally deleted data happen without thinking. I only start thinking when something that's important to me is no longer there. Time Machine just chugs away in the background, backing up my stuff every hour.
...it's so efficient.
I'm not even aware that it's running unless I happen to glance up at the menu bar at the exact moment it's pushing out a change to my backup and the little clock is spinning for a few seconds. My system doesn't slow to a crawl, I'm not swapping disks, nothing. Backups just happen. It happened while I was typing this post!
...it's got a seriously cool restore interface.
Yeah, Okay, I'm a sucker for cool UIs. Time Machine has one of the coolest UIs I've seen when it comes to restoring files. The animation is first rate and it's not just eye candy; when I needed to get to a version of a file that I had made dramatic changes to I could roll back in hourly increments to the point I needed very, very quickly.
...I have a feeling it's going to save my ass.
I have always been horrible about backing up my personal data at home. At work it's easy - large scale shared systems that backup important data all the time. But there's always an IT guy at the office that worries about that stuff. At home, I'm the IT guy and backups are one of the things I hate thinking about.
If you have Leopard but are not using a backup system, start using Time Machine right now! Go out and get a cheap USB based hard drive (you can get a tiny 320GB WD Passport drive for $200), plug it in, reformat it to a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition and then point Time Machine at it.
If nothing else setting up an "always on" backup system will ensure the data gods look on you with favor and don't wreak havoc on your hard drive.
That reminds me - I better trigger my Windows backup!
The comfort of just knowing that everything is being saved for you makes any work you do on a mac that much more enjoyable!
I haven't done any important work on my MBP for the last little while, just sitting in my living room while I watch the Canadiens kick ass; I have only used it for non-work related stuff during commercial breaks at night.
I hadn't realized how long my MBP was away from my office in the next room (and therfore the external drive I use for Time Machine). I got a pop-up today that reminded me it had not been backed up in 10 days. Nice little reminder.
I have got 2 Macs, one Mac mini and 1 Macbook. I have got the Time Capsule, Apple's new wireless station with hard drive. I use it both as a wireless bridge and the Time Machine backup. My Mac mini is connected to the Time Capsule via gigabit ethernet, while the Macbook connects wirelessly. Both Macs Time Machine backups are flawless and all working in the background. All just work after the Time Capsule was configured correctly.
I think Time Machine is one of the most important new features of Leopard and should be used by every Mac user.
James Bond 007
If I were you I would make a stink about the Time Capsule problems you had though. 2 consecutive failures is really poor.
For me the problem came as I had used migration assistant to move over all my crap (Unix binaries, applications, settings, files) from my G4 laptop to my new intel laptop. Something I guess disagreed with wireless TM backups (USB drive worked fine however). I also updated the firmware on my Time Capsule.
Now that I reformatted my MBP everything has been great. I love the fact TM backs up on wireless, as I like to wander about my house while working.
Retrieving files has been a godsend - wirelessly to boot!
The fact it is automated and does its thing silently has reduced my stress factor. Instead of one more damn thing to think about (plug in my drive, run my rsync scripts) I now have one less thing. That is how it should be.
I have been massively underwhelmed with mac computing since I bought this thing almost two years ago and now find my safety net I thought was there isn't even there at all ? macs just work ? - I hate mac computing - When this passes away I will defo be going back to PC's .
Would appreciate any help recovering these photos - I suspect I may well have formatted the cards - I never lost images before :(
1) is time machine running? If you look in the menu bar you should see a time machine icon. Click it and it will tell you when the last backup was. If there is an error the Time Machine icon should have an exclamation point in it.
2) Open your time machine preferences. It should give you some details on when everything will be backed up and where.
3) Click the Options button and see if you have specific drives or folders excluded from your time machine backup. That may be why it's not backing up those folders.
Hope this helps track down where the problem is.
Thanks again :-)