Slightly later than advertised (I’ll get to why later) here are my thoughts on Apple’s Time Capsule, although actually it’s not Apple’s, it’s mine. I paid for it. £199 for 500GB. I have no need for the 1TB model and the 500GB seems to be better value for money anyway.
The Time Capsule was easy to set up and installation consisted of plugging it into the power socket and flipping the switch! Airport Utility jumped straight onto the Time Capsule once I had joined it’s wireless network and walked me through configuring the device in a simple but not patronizing way. It even pointed out potential security flaws like allowing configuration over ethernet
I had read plenty of reports claiming that the Time Capsule produces a lot of noise, but I found it to make no more noise than any other hard disk. I also read plenty of reports stating that they spend most of their time on the edge of spontaneous combustion, that like the MacBook Pro, they would be uncomfortable to use on your lap for a long period of time. Why on earth would you want it on your lap? A complete non-issue – a bit hot, but it didn’t give me a tan!
The USB connection can be used for a printer or an additional hard drive, I’ve only tested it with the latter. Again, a complete cinch, the drive simply pops up in the Finder along side the Data drive (the non Time Machine part of the Time Capsule). The only problem here was that I was unable to copy my Time Machine files from the old drive to the Time Capsule (take note Apple).
The first backup takes forever! I cannot stress this point enough (and stress is definitely the right word). Whatever you do, ensure that the first backup is done over ethernet and that you don’t plan on using your Mac for the several hours that the backup will take. Interrupt it at your peril – it will start from the beginning again, except it will take even longer as it does some strange scanning business to see what you’ve changed (?!?). Now you see why this post was delayed – it obviously had nothing to do with Man Utd winning the Premier League, Grand Theft Auto IV, or my search for a new car. :-)
I don’t think there is a single product to rival the Time Capsule – other things are better at certain aspects, but nothing is as truly multi faceted as the Time Capsule. It’s pretty too, but then again it’s an Apple so what did you expect, even my Linux fanboy colleague Andy looked upon the Time Capsule with lust!
Surely this is the beginning of the convergence phenomenon?