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Old 01-05-2009, 12:03 PM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Time Capsule or just a big drive?

I am finally preparing to switch to Leopard (OS X 10.5). I want to run the built-in Time Machine backup program, but also want to keep my 750 GB external for other purposes (mainly to help me sort out my mess of fonts and files).

So: Should I just buy a second jumbo drive? Or spring for the Apple Time Capsule?

I already have an Airport Extreme wireless router — is the 802.11n wi-fi in Time Capsule sufficiently better? If so, the Time Capsule price is more reasonable.

   
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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You can use the Time Capsule as a hard drive, so you would be able to put other stuff on it. As I didn't have a wireless router of any kind, I decided to get the Time Capsule so I would have both in the one box.

FWIW, I also have my Time Capsule mapped as a network drive for my Windows laptop, so I tend to use it for files I often want to share between the MacBook Pro and the Lenovo.

   
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
I am finally preparing to switch to Leopard (OS X 10.5). I want to run the built-in Time Machine backup program, but also want to keep my 750 GB external for other purposes (mainly to help me sort out my mess of fonts and files).

So: Should I just buy a second jumbo drive? Or spring for the Apple Time Capsule?

I already have an Airport Extreme wireless router — is the 802.11n wi-fi in Time Capsule sufficiently better? If so, the Time Capsule price is more reasonable.
If you already have an Airport Extreme I would only buy a Time Capsule if you want to backup multiple Macs.

   
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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If you already have an Airport Extreme I would only buy a Time Capsule if you want to backup multiple Macs.
As opposed to a plain old 500GB or 1TB drive from someone else, you mean?

   
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:14 PM   #5
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Kathleen--

You can plug any USB2 hard drive into the AirPort Extreme base station and access the drive from any ("compatible") computer on the network. (With a USB hub, you can plug in multiple hard drives and use them all). So in effect--in combination with Time Machine--you already have a Time Capsule, and buying another one would be of little advantage. I think that's what Sky was getting at.

I guess one advantage of a Time Capsule would be that since it's a standalone box that doesn't need to be plugged into your Base Station, you could put it anywhere that has an electric plug-in, as long as it's within range of the Mac. Therefore, you could hide it somewhere (in the rafters; behind a wall in the basement; in your potting shed) and keep it out of sight of bad guys who could nick your computer and connected hard drives, but would have no clue that you even owned a Time Capsule.

If you installed your AirPort Extreme software in the default location, there should be a setup guide ("AirPort Extreme Setup Guide.app"--it'll launch a PDF) in your Applications/Utilities/AirPort Extreme folder, that explains this stuff about connecting hard drives.

Cheers

BTW: I don't think you'll be sorry you upgraded to Leopard--for me, it was completely painless. It's never given me a lick of trouble.

   
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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you could hide it somewhere (in the rafters; behind a wall in the basement; in your potting shed) and keep it out of sight of bad guys who could nick your computer and connected hard drives, but would have no clue that you even owned a Time Capsule.
I imagine that in Kathleen's case, she'd need to be sure the location remained within the temperature guidelines put out by Apple. Mine gets quite hot, here on the western side of a house in the subtropics, but still within the operating temperature guidelines.

I think it's a good idea, though, in Kathleen's situation. Because I'm using mine as a router, I'm stuck with keeping it close to the modem.

   
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:56 AM   #7
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Thanks. I know I can use Time Machine with any drive. But I wondered if it had any other virtues (other than the self-contained router). And whether my Airport was too old and needed replacement (sounds as if it doesn’t).

If I can just get any old [good] drive, it will save a bunch of money.

I am ready for Leopard. Now if I could only find the software, which I am pretty sure I acquired shortly after it was announced (then got cold feet). I may have to clean up the entire office to find it!


   
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:20 AM   #8
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whether my Airport was too old and needed replacement (sounds as if it doesn’t).
Sorry, Kathleen, I may have misread your original post. I had gathered that your AirPort Extreme was 802.11n, but re-reading, I see that may not be the case. I think the only difference, if yours is 802.11g or older, would be slower access speed and shorter range--which might be issues, especially if the speed is too poky for a hard drive. I dunno. I have one of the newest ("n") AirPorts, but I've never tried running a hard drive on it, so I don't know what the performance is like, compared to direct connection, so I can't even guess how fast it would be on a "g" or earlier router.

   
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Howard Allen View Post
Sorry, Kathleen, I may have misread your original post. I had gathered that your AirPort Extreme was 802.11n, but re-reading, I see that may not be the case. I think the only difference, if yours is 802.11g or older, would be slower access speed and shorter range--which might be issues, especially if the speed is too poky for a hard drive. I dunno. I have one of the newest ("n") AirPorts, but I've never tried running a hard drive on it, so I don't know what the performance is like, compared to direct connection, so I can't even guess how fast it would be on a "g" or earlier router.
No — not 11N.

I am not aware of many problems with it, but will mull on it. It is tempting to reduce the number of objects around here.

   
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:03 AM   #10
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You could always create some space for TM on your big drive by creating either a partition or a sparse disk image.

I would favour FireWire over USB2. It is more reliable for self-powered drives, has faster read/write speeds and is a lighter load on the CPU than USB2.

TM is brilliant. Though bear in mind that when the drive is full, it will get rid of the earliest stuff.
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