As with many of Apple's products, Time Machine assumes it is made for consumers who benefit from a limited number of options. The product, in an attempt to backup all your data regularly, comes preset to make:
- Hourly backups for the last 24 hours
- Daily backups for the past month
- Weekly backups until the backup disk is full
When I am at the office, away from my Time Capsule, I'm not backing up. But when I get home, every hour, for about 10 to 15 minutes, my laptop starts to slow as Apple's Time Machine whirs into action, backing up my MacBook Pro's 200 Gigabyte hard drive to the 500 Gigabyte time capsule. While I've told Time Machine to not back up some folders, to reduce the time and storage space, I can't set up Time Machine to back up with any other granularity. I can't tell it to back up every two hours, three hours or four hours. I can't tell it to only back up after 10 p.m., or in a window from 6 p.m. to midnight, if I wanted to. I can't tell it to exclude certain types of files (like MP3 or PowerPoint, if I wanted to). It's either on, or it's off. And it's on the way that Apple set it up. Not the way I did.
So If I have my Time Machine stuck in the "On" position, I'm doomed to have my computer slow down once an hour and stuff the network full of flowing bits once an hour. I've even switched over to my neighbor's open wireless once or twice just to make sure the backup failed and I could get my bandwidth back. While we've gotten further along than my August post where I couldn't even get Time Capsule to work right, I'm still quite annoyed that Time Machine seems to be designed so simply that I simply can't be happy with it. It's time to get more options.