Time Machine Overview Updated May 23, 2018

Time Machine

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24 'Time Machine' stories

June 2011 - May 2018


Time Machine is a backup application developed by Apple that’s distributed with macOS. Time Machine works with the now discontinued Time Capsule router/storage hardware solution from Apple, along with direct attached storage and NAS solutions.

Time Machine Stories May 23

Synology just launched its newest prosumer NAS box, the DS1618+. This 6-bay machine comes with a quad-core 2.1GHz CPU, and 4GB of DDR4 non-ECC memory that can be upgraded to 32GB of ECC RAM.

What makes the DS1618+ particularly special is its expandability — and not just eSATA storage expandability that we usually associate with Synology products. The DS1618+ features a PCIe 3.0 x8 expansion slot that can accommodate either an M.2 card for cache, or a 10GbE NIC for significantly faster throughput. Such an addition makes the DS1618+ ideal for connecting to machines with 10 Gigabit Ethernet, such as the iMac Pro.

There are many reasons why individuals and companies employ the use of NAS boxes. In household environments, they can act like a media server, storing high quality video rips for local streaming. Others, perhaps those in corporate environments, like to use NAS setups as a storage solution for video editing.

But there is another key reason why you might want to consider a NAS, especially in light of Apple’s decision to abandon its AirPort and Time Capsule products — Time Machine backups. In this hands-on video, I show you how I use the DS1618+ as a quiet and reliable Time Machine backup solution.

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Time Machine Stories August 22, 2017

Code42, the company behind CrashPlan has officially announced that as of today they are pulling out of the consumer market. CrashPlan for Home users will have to begin migrating away from the service as it will no longer be available starting in October of 2018.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Time Machine Stories April 3, 2017

Even with high-quality devices like Apple’s MacBooks and iMacs, it’s important to back up. No device works as expected all the time and there are many scenarios outside of drive failure when a backup is crucial to have (upgrading, accidents, loss, or theft.) Follow along for how to back up your Mac.

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Time Machine Stories November 22, 2016

It was reported yesterday that Apple is disbanding the division of the company responsible for its wireless networking products: the hard drive-equipped Time Capsule and both AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express routers. The report was given additional credence by recent discounts and the fact that the products haven’t been updated in more than three years.

On one level, the decision seems like a no-brainer for Apple. The company is in the premium product basis. Back in the days when Wi-Fi was a new thing, it made sense for Apple to boost adoption rates by offering its own products; now it’s ubiquitous, there’s no reason for the company to be in what is today a very mundane product category.

But if the news is confirmed, it will sadden me a little – and worry me slightly as well …

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Time Machine Stories March 15, 2016

I’ve recently been testing the brand new Synology DS-216+ NAS ($299), a network-attached-storage product meant for consumers. Although Synology products include a variety of features, I will be focusing on two primary functions that I consider most essential and most useful to people today: Mac backup and home media management (TV shows and movies).

With Apple no longer shipping optical drives in most of their products, I think now is a great time to convert your home movie collection of DVDs and Blu-rays to digital files, which a NAS is great for storing. The Apple TV 4 was another big factor: with an app, I can now view all the TV shows and movies, stored on my NAS, from my TV.

Before I owned a NAS, I was worried about two things: whether the features would be useful and how much hassle would be necessary to get everything up and running. Hence, my review starts with an explanation of the setup steps involved …

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Time Machine Stories December 15, 2015

Over the weekend a good friend of mine shared a screenshot of a really scary error message from Photos for Mac. Every photo and video taken over the last two weeks failed to open, saying instead that ‘An error occurred while downloading a larger version of this video for editing.’ The solution? ‘Please try again later.’ and press OK. What’s worse is he was relying on the app’s Optimize Mac Storage setting to fit the library on his local storage and trusting iCloud not to screw things up along the way. And he didn’t have local copies backed up, a mistake he for obvious reasons regretted.

Stories like these aren’t rare, which is why my colleague Jeremy wrote earlier this year that “iCloud Photo Library still isn’t worth the hassles,” despite Apple lowering iCloud storage costs. But I still recommend Photos and iCloud Photo Library, new features that topped my “favorite new Apple things from 2015 that will last for years” list, just not with the default setup. As with any cloud service, the one major caveat is ensure you have a reliable local backup (followed by plenty of patience at the start).

While there’s no turning back data loss, I shared my personal Photos plus iCloud Photo Library setup with my friend, which he’s moving to now for a hopefully better experience. Below I’ll detail each step, which required a little research before I figured it all out, so you can hopefully have a positive experience with Photos and iCloud Photo Library as well.

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