For some time I have been doing my backups manually. You can see in an earlier blog post how I did that using Automator. Now that external USB drives are so cheap, I have been meaning to invest in Time Machine or a Time Capsule for a couple of months. I really like the idea of having backups take place without having to think about it. A very shrewd move by Apple, and frankly I am amazed why no one has thought to produce such an elegant visual interface to the backup problem before.
In any case, a trip to Best Buy found a FreeAgent 1.5Tb drive for just $150. That’s a complete steal. I don’t need such a large Time Machine partition, since my main Mac drive is 40G and my other external drive is 300G and only half full. So I decided to partition the FreeAgent into an 800G and 600G. The 600G partition is devoted to my RAW files from my digital SLR, which I don’t back up as yet, and 800G should make a suitable Time Machine drive.
Time Machine is super easy to set up. Just turn it on from preferences and tell it which drive to use. Since it defaults to backing up every drive it finds, I simply added the RAW partition to its exclusion list, and voila… done. That easy! I know some folks have a desire to alter the backup frequency, but every hour works fine for me, after all, it doesn’t back up anything that hasn’t been altered. My typical backup takes about 3-5 minutes.
I haven’t had cause to restore from Time Machine yet, but every now and then I take a peek, just to make sure it is doing its job, and also just to play with the trippy interface. Wheee.
The only issues I have had (both at home and at work) are about once a week it will give an error whilst backing up. No big deal, since it always continues an hour later.