I was in the dogbox midweek after the second disk head crash in just over a year – because once again I’d been tardy on the backups. This time we lost a month’s worth of photos; and a good deal of R.’s recent Ponoko work, amongst other even more precious and personal stuff.
So basically I can’t trust myself, or anyone else for that matter, to plug in the external hard drive to the MacBook and take a clone using Super Duper on a timely and regular basis. Something even easier had to be found. And that thing is a Time Capsule.
The things are damned expensive, but are nothing short of magic. Basically it just sits on the home wireless network, in the spare room, and every hour the MacBook sends it all the changed files to create a snapshot of the hard disk.
This means that not only do you have a once an hour backup service, but Apple also provide a user interface to go backwards through all the snapshots. So… two months later you work out you deleted a file you now need? Dial back and retrieve it from the Time Capsule.
Unfortunately the out of the box experience wasn’t quite as good as I’ve had with other Apple products – it was a bit hard to get it to work properly on our WiFi network; and our photo printer is still refusing to work when attached to the Time Capsule – but now that backups are working I feel mightily reassured.
The proof will be in the restoration of our data after some future disk failure. And I’ll still keep a disk clone off-site for an extra, paranoid level of protection. But hopefully I’ll avoid being in the data-loss dogbox again.