eWeek: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard with 3-D Time Machine is amazing

“The Time Machine 3-D interface for backup and data recovery coming in Mac OS X Leopard is amazing. What’s more astounding is that a 3-D interface really works for users,” David Morgenstern writes for eWeek.

Morgenstern reports, “The Leopard update is due in the “spring” of 2007, Jobs said, which means it could ship anytime during the second quarter. ‘Time Machine is one of the best concepts for a backup utility anyone has ever had and one of the best user interfaces anyone has ever had,’ said Peter Glaskowsky, technology analyst with Envisioneering of Cupertino, Calif.”

“Unlike the System Restore feature in Windows XP that looks at the state of Windows and the Registry, Time Machine provides a granular incremental backup for all bits and pieces of the OS, as well as data files. Users can restore the entire hard drive or just a single file,” Morgenstern reports, “But it was the interface that drew the audience into the program. The recovery window featured a vertical timeline on the right hand side, and two arrows that floated in the frame, one pointing towards the user (the present) and the other into the screen (the past). Of course, the subject of the Time Machine restoration, whether a file or folder window, was presented in the center of the screen and behind it, were arrayed the older versions extending and shrinking into the past.”

“‘It’s the first app I’ve ever seen that has a real reason to have a 3-D user interface,’ Glaskowsky said. ‘We’ve seen this before with application switching and so on. But that’s an OS feature, not an app. This is a real app, and it’s the first one that really needed 3-D to convey the impression of what you’re doing,’ he continued. Glaskowsky is so right. Most 3-D environments have really been terrible. In the 1990s there was a vogue to emulate ‘real’ 3-D virtual environments for productivity, such as desks with drawers that opened, instead of folders and icon views,” Morgenstern reports, “And then there’s Flip3D and context switching. It’s all more of an effect, although Flip3D in Vista is a step forward from Windows XP. It’s just not in the league with Apple and Mac OS X’s refinements.”

MacDailyNews Note: See Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006

Morgenstern continues, “Apple can not only make sense of a 3-D interface, but it can make the trains mostly run on time. Since the release of Cheetah, the first version of OS X, Apple has executed on its OS plan. Except for the forthcoming Leopard, which is some three to six months late, depending on how you count, the company has released stable and useful iterations of its Unix-based OS on time to its developers and customers. Despite the resources, Vista is years late and pared down to an almost unrecognizable state. Hello, Redmond! Are you watching?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs announced Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” during his WWDC 2005 keynote presentation on June 6, 2005. According to Jobs’ statement, over 14 months ago, Leopard was due “at the end of 2006 or early 2007.” Yesterday, Apple announced that Leopard is “scheduled to ship in spring 2007.” So, how is Leopard “some three to six months late,” Mr. Morgenstern? What’s the exact definition of “early?” Is March 20th, the first day of spring, not “early” 2007? It must really depend on how you count. Want to know a secret? Talk behind-the-scenes is that Leopard will debut at MacWorld Expo 2007 (Jan 8-12). But, even if it doesn’t – say it matches the official debut date of Mac OS X on March 24 – it’s not “late” by any stretch of the imagination.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs at WWDC 2005 keynote spelled out Mac OS X Leopard’s release date as “at the end of 2006 or early 2007” quite clearly:

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005


  1. The only drawback that I see, to Time Machine, is that a person really needs a dedicated hard drive, or at least an external drive, in order for it to really work well.

    Since I am constantly travelling with my MacBook Pro, I don’t want to carry an extra hd. And since there may not be enough drive space for those backups it may wind up slowing down my computer.

    It’s still a great feature but I don’t know how good it will be for notebook users.

  2. But with 250 gig hard drives at $100, and 500 gig drives for around $200, how much space does one really need? Hell, my mom’s iMac with 5 years of pictures, something like 50,000+ photos, is not even eating up 1/2 of her 80 gig drive. In fact, I think there was 40+ gigs free on the whole drive (which holds the OS, other docs, etc).

    Is space even an issue anymore?

  3. MDN – you don’t have to be an Apple appologist – Spring 2007 is not the same as end of 06/early 07 so just suck it up. It isn’t a disaster. It’s not a big deal.

  4. I knew before the keynote that OS X 10.5 would be postponed until spring. In case I’m the only one who has noticed, Apple would like there OS to come out AT THE SAME TIME AS VISTA. How has no one else noticed this. In fact once Jobs even said that Leopard would be coming out about the same time as Longhorn (now Vista), then he went on to say that that sould be about fall 06 to spring 07. As it turns out Vista has slipped and Apple is using that time to continue to build more stiuff into 10.5. Apple will hold off as long as possible to release around the same time as Vista.

  5. I like the concept of Time Machine, and hope there is some way I’ll be able to use it, but I have a RAID 1 setup with manual backups (using CCC) approximately once a week to an external Firewire drive. For obvious reasons this drive is most definately not connected except for the period of time to do the backup.

  6. Isnt the interface really in 4D? the 4th dimension is really time…

    I mean, graphically, it is displayed in 3D, but we are also taking into account that there is a timeline along with the stack folders…

    So its the 1st program that uses a 4d interface

  7. HD space is an issue I was wondering about too. I assume it makes backups of everything until you run out of space and then starts deleting the oldest stuff to make room, but when does it start that delete process? If I have it backing up to an external drive I’d like it to use all the space available, but if its backing up onto my internal HD can I specify how much free space I want? I like to keep 10gigs clear even though OS X will only use 4-6 in virtual memory. I assume Apple won’t fill it up completely but I’m curious about how that decision is made and wether I get to make it. Also does it ever give you a warning that adding a 3 gig video file to your HD is going to erase the backups before date X, or does it just do it automatically and hope you didn’t want to keep those?

  8. this Time Machine thing is a great idea, but what really makes it amazing is how Apple implements their ideas in a way that makes people want to use it.

    Having said that, I think it could be a space issue for pros who have more 1-2GB Photoshop files than for the average everyday user. Sure they are likely to have their backups in their professional setting, but if a person uses this technology at home, with large files, I could easily see the need for another HD.

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