A couple of years ago I wrote a piece describing my ideal backup system. It was essentially a jog-shuttle wheel allowing you to scroll back to any point in your computer’s past.
Just a few minutes ago, Steve Jobs announced the backup system that’s going to be built into Leopard, the upcoming operating system for the Mac. It’s called Time Machine, and – hey! – it lets you scroll back into your computer’s past, on a coarse granularity at least. Of course, it also looks very pretty!
Can’t wait to see how well it works in reality. How do you look at the contents of a folder that’s no longer present, for example? How much work is it for application developers to incorporate this? And what’s the underlying storage mechanism?
It looks as if there’s lots of other good stuff on its way in Leopard too – calendars which multiple users can edit, sharing of presentations and slideshows, and desktops, through iChat, full 64-bit support, and so on… We have to be patient, though. The release date is Spring 2007.
Update: Steve’s keynote is now online.
It seems that they’ve extended the HFS filesystem to add version control to it (so yes, similar to VMS or ClearCase). I’m very tempted to buy a Mac soon; wonder if I hold off until Christmas whether I’d qualify for a free Leopard upgrade? It does look even more compelling, especially with Parallels for the occasional Windoze programs I use (Visio, MSMoney, Worms) which haven’t been ported (Firefox, Thunderbird, Google Earth, Skype — all the important ones have gone native now).