CNET’s Reisinger: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard’s Time Machine interface is perfect

“When you click the Time Machine icon [from Apple’s new Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard’s] Dock, you’re brought to one of the most beautiful interfaces you have ever seen on an operating system. Once there, you’re given a view of the computer at this instant and can work your way through the hourly backups by clicking the arrow to the right of the view, or by clicking each of the windows to get a specific time. If that’s not good enough for you, you can also use the time tracker to your right, which allows you to choose the specific backup time and go right to it,” Don Reisinger blogs for CNET.

“Simply put, this interface is perfect and I honestly don’t know how Apple could actually improve on it,” Reisinger writes.

“My only issue with Time Machine is the utter lack of options. I understand Apple was going with a ‘fire and forget’ mentality with this program, but I still would have liked to force the system to ignore some files and folders from backing up. That said, Apple wasn’t going for that kind of customization and if you’re not either, then don’t worry about,” Reisinger writes.

Reisinger gives Time Machine an overall grade of 9.5 out of a possible 10.

Full article here.


  1. Oops, Reisinger blew it. You can indeed tell Time Machine to ignore whatever files and folders you want to. Just select Time Machine in System Preferences, and hit the “options” button. You get a list you can fill in of folders to ignore.


  2. The developers I’ve talked to say that in the builds in which this worked, even on a fast all-N network, backing up to a network drive was excruciatingly slow. I hope it’s something they can fix on the software side, but it’s possible that it will just never be fast enough for reasonable use…

  3. Slow? It could be that the initial backup is slow. Under Tiger,
    I found that to be true using Backup to .mac at first. I backup settings and documents. They complete in not more than a minute each now.

    I do a daily backup of 30 gigabytes to a USB connected auxiliary and it does take 2-5 minutes if there was a lot of incremental activity. The first time I did it was 30 minutes for a full backup.

    Sure beats losing everything because I did not back up at all, which happened to me. Although it was only my 2nd hard drive failure since 1988.

    I waited to just about a year ago to upgrade to Tiger. I will not wait that long for Leopard.

  4. Why would anyone want a backup program that is customisable so it can ignore certain file types????

    Does that not deafet the point of backing up??

    Backups are exactly that – BACKUPS – and that includes backing up ALL file types.

    I cannot understand the mentallity of some people!

  5. petey: Who are you to say what people should and shouldn’t back up? For example, what if I didn’t want to back up my music using Time Machine, as all my music is also on my iPod and I could retrieve it easily enough from there if needed?

  6. By “perfect”, he must mean almost perfect because 9.5 ain’t quite it. Then he criticizes the software for lacking a feature that in fact it doesn’t lack. They really shouldn’t allow people like this to have writing jobs.

  7. Citsacras said, “But how was he supposed to know that the options for Time Machine were under Time Machine > Options? And they says Macs are easy…”

    It’s true. How to operate Time Machine is not genetically inherited by us humans. I guess that’s why Apple PUT IT IN THE FREAKIN “WELCOME TO LEOPARD” MANUAL THAT CAME WITH YOUR DVD. It’s on page 27 if you’d care to look.

    “Click Options to select items you don’t want to back up.”

    Really, Cit, if you want to complain about Macs I’m sure there are more valid points to bring up, if you look hard enough.

  8. As long as Time Machine doesn’t allow the user to start a backup by choice, then it’s worthless.

    Obviously the way Time Machine works as released WAS FOR the use of a network drive or Air Disk.

    For a MacBook Pro mobile user, where is the convenience and safety of HAVING to find a desk or go to your desk, and plug in a hard drive. As one currently needs to do. As such, Time Machine is no easier better than any backup application. Less so IMO. Because the user can’t start a backup when needed or wants too. A user now just has to hope the backup start time is near when the drive is plugged in.

    As it is now, Time Machine is designed for a non-mobile computer. A desktop, tethered to wires, usb cables firewire cables etc… A backup hard drive always plugged into the computer.

    Time Machine is basically worthless in this implementation. One of the biggest reasons for a Mac user to upgrade to Leopard, is crippled.

  9. Time Machine works flawlessly, but I have to disagree about the “beautiful interface”. While intuitive, it kinda looks like a cheesy kid’s wall mural from about 1975.

    I don’t think that Johnny Ive was brought in on this one…

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