Thinking Different: Time Machine

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Watching yesterday’s Steve Jobs keynote at WWDC, the thing that really surprised me was Time Machine. Where has this been all my life? I am curious about some of the tech details. For instance, does it store diffs like CVS or only entire files? How do I securely delete something? Can I exclude large files I don’t want to back up to save space? (Update: Yes.) Can I specify redundant backups across multiple hard drives and network connections? Are the backups compressed? Can you backup to removable media? Is a .Mac subscription required? Will this backup system files or just home directories? (Update: Yes.) Will it create bootable backups? Do different file types require custom support, as with .Mac Sync? Can I back up network clients too? But overall these are only things a geek would think of and half of them only a geek would care about.

I wasn’t so impressed when I just heard about Time Machine, but when I actually saw it I was astonished. What surprised me was the user interface. This is decades beyond any other backup program I’ve ever seen. Once again, Apple threw out conventional thinking and designed something that’s actually easy to use. I don’t think other backup programs have changed in any significant way in the last 15 years. Why is only Apple able to think of things like this?

Blue Dasher

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Blue Dasher dragonfly, perched with torn wing

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, August 4, 2006

Eastern Amberwing

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Eastern Amberwing dragonfly perched

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, July 26, 2006

Copyright is a Noun, Damn It

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

A recent article in yesterday’s New York Times demonstrates a growing grammatical irregularity that needs to be stopped:

In the complaint, the record companies contend that LimeWire’s operators are “actively facilitating, encouraging and enticing” computer users to steal music by failing to block access to copyright works and building a business model that allows them to profit directly from piracy.

Copyright is not an adjective, damn it. (more…)

Credit Card Foreign Currency Transaction Fees

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Would you use a credit card that added 1-3% off the top to every purchase you made? Sadly for the last year or so that’s exactly what you may have been doing when traveling outside the country or purchasing from foreign retailers like