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. “

    How about this one. It’s really popular with Mac users–or so I hear.

    As for space, I suppose it depends on how much you want to back up. If you figure you’re going to do your whole 120GB hard drive, I’m willing to bet you’re gonna be SOL. You probably will want to back-up your user directory, which will be quite a bit smaller.

  2. BrooklynNYC:

    Yeah, you’re right Time Machine won’t solve everyone’s problems… and backing up on the same HD is no backup. I just got back from pulling someone’s HD out of a fried HP and backing it up onto a new external I had him buy. Brought my own SATA enclosure and stuck his HD in there, put his new 300GB external next to it and backed his stuff up.

    My point is, Apple was dead on about backups. NOBODY DOES IT! I’m talking about real people here, not geeks. You don’t think about backups until after you’ve lost everything, sure those of us who’ve been around a long time have been there and done that, but most home users haven’t even considered the possibilities.

    Now all you need is an External HD sitting around at home, and when you come in from your long voyages with your laptop, just plug it in and go to bed and you’re all good. Don’t forget how important AUTOMATIC backups are. I lost a good month of data because I wasn’t running Carbon Copy Cloner everyday. Yeah yeah, I could have scheduled it, but there’s that odd bug where it would clone to my own HD if the external wasn’t plugged in. I’m on a MBP too btw.

    Also… perhaps this is Apple preparing people for downloading movies. Getting them used to the idea of having a large external HD to store all their massive files on. All in all this is great stuff and is really going to save a lot of people’s butts. As for your complaint that it requires an external HD… hello, it’s a BACKUP. It also can save to network servers if you are so inclined.

  3. Verbose,

    Actually I was think that Apple might want to wait till slightly after Vista is released and at the peak of the mostly bad reviews maybe even a few reports of a virus or two. From what I’ve read, Vista will at best be on par with Tiger (we’ll see). Racing to release Leopard ahead of Vista will not steal any thunder from MS as the only thing we’ll hear is a big SPLASH followed (soon I hope) by a FLUSH.

  4. Ken: “So its the 1st program that uses a 4d interface.”

    True. And if Apple engineers can squeeze one more into TM, it will play “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” while you search.

  5. @macromancer, if you really want a back up, you indeed need another HD. That’s the whole point.
    Previously I was hesitating to by an extra HD because of all the manual work needed. With Time machine, you bet I’ll get an extra HD!

  6. “Racing to release Leopard ahead of Vista will not steal any thunder from MS as the only thing we’ll hear is a big SPLASH followed (soon I hope) by a FLUSH.”

    I’m betting on a massive Fist-of-a clog and a HUGE plumbing bill.

  7. Hey MDN, Leopard is 3 to 6 months late so STFU you losers. I ask you; What’s the exact definition of “early?” Why are you so GD defensive? It’s not that big of a deal.

  8. me:

    Um, yeah, SFB, “spring 2007,” which usually starts around March 20, does technically qualify for the latter end of the range Mr. Jobs specified (“early 2007”). At least it can’t be DISqualified.

    Here’s how it works, see: The antonym of “early” is “late,” which means (technically) he’s got until June 30 2007. Since he didn’t state HOW early, anything short of that is gravy — a matter of personal interpretation, which is WHY folks making those kinds of announcements often phrase them that-a-way. Now you run on down to the courthouse and argue yourself blue, okay, Barney? (Don’t forget your big belt.)

  9. I would consider anything within the first four months of 2007 as “early.” Clearly January is earlier than April. Then there’s mid-2007 (May-Aug) and late-2007 (Sept-Dec).

    Spring, according to the calendar, is late March through late June, but in the minds of many, February through mid-May. YMMV depending on latitude, attitude, etc.

    I also feel the launch date is being timed with Vista, as Steve rather directly stated that at WWDC-2005. The question is, however, how long can Steve afford to wait before he has to bite the bullet and ship Leopard anyway? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Mac4lfe: What about the Backup program from Apple? Or is that only for .Mac users?

    Buffalo had a good point, but maybe not thought through sufficiently. Given that Vista is competitive with Tiger, there’s no huge incentive to get Leopard out there until Vista is around to compete with and steal the thunder from. OK, there’s all the slavering, howling geeks … I meant an incentive to the business. Why not take the extra <b>3</i> months and get a few more bugs squashed before it reaches Gold? Make 10.5.0 what you expected 10.5.1 would be. You can’t really hold it off until Vista gets out there … that could be another month, or another year, down the road. Three months ‘late’ is just more time for the viral marketing to whip the mobs into a froth. I’m already showing my wife the Mail ‘sneak peek’, knowing this will set HER level of expectation high.

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