I Love Time Machine

I’ve had backup means in place before Leopard came out. Specifically, a snapshot based setup using rsync and hard links on my linux box. Nonetheless, it hasn’t been half as useful as time machine – if for no other reason than the ability to do bare metal restores.

I’ve had to do them twice now.

The first time was when my laptop was dropped shortly after closing the lid while still writing out. The drive had to be replaced and restored from an external TM backup. I’m writing this on it now, as a matter of fact.

The second time was the other day – discovering my desktop hung up (which has effectively become a household media server and sandboxed surfstation for the kids). Turns out the boot drive was suffering from a string of communications errors, though the diagnostics and file repair programs said everything was fine. One trip to Staples and a few hours later and I had a restored desktop.

I’ll say it now. It isn’t perfect. Super Duper would have allowed me to have a bootable replica of the entire drive that I could have switched to and continued to work off of. It would have been just as effective for a bare metal restore if that had been needed. I’m a huge fan of super duper.

What SD doesn’t do is snapshots. Changes in files overwrite old files. Deleted files are never erased and just accumulate. There is effectively no way to go back and recover the email, file, picture, or system state that existed at time x before you accidentally made the wrong change and hit “save”.

Ideally, I’d use both.

edit: cut down next-to-last paragraph to save space and clarify meaning.

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