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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A more powerful Time Machine!

One thing that I was disappointed about Time Machine is how little you can customize the preferences. There is a freeware called "TimeMachineEditor" that lets you change the default one hour backup interval. You can download TimeMachineEditor here from MacUpdate.

I think this solves a part of the problem, but there is still a feature that I would like to see and I really hope Apple will consider it for Snow Leopard: the possibility of limiting the amount of space Time Machine is allowed to use on the external drive.

4 Comments:

Blogger okcomputer said...

I guess a preference to limit the amount of space it uses would be useful... but there's a way to do that sort of thing already - partition your external drive and set Time Machine's portion to exactly how much you want it to use.

I have a 500gb Lacie drive, and 250gb is dedicated to Time Machine. If it ever fills that 250gb, it will start erasing the oldest backups.

I then have 200gb for storage and 50gb FAT32 for swapping things on my wife's PC.

November 6, 2008 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Good tip! Both my macbooks are the older ones without 802.11n, so backups over wireless can sometimes take a while and be a huge drain on the system - backing up less often is useful.

If you use a network backup, you can use the command line to set the size of Time Machine's sparsebundle. I have a 250 GB drive, with one sparsebundle set to 100 GB. Time machine uses the allocated 100 GB but no more.

But yes, it would be a nice feature to be able to set this in the preferences. Or even an option to trim time machine - you tell it to trim to 100 GB, and it deletes enough backups to meet that - making transferring to a smaller disk simple.

November 6, 2008 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

You can manually change the 1 hour backup: What I do is after I have uploaded a photoshoot, I tell TimeMachine to "back up now" without waiting for the 1 hour interval.

November 6, 2008 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Max Weaver said...

Or you can use SuperDuper. I like it much better than TimeMachine - fast and easy to use. Makes a bootable clone of your drive.

November 8, 2008 at 5:57 PM  

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