Mac OS X 10.5.2 is now out, and it has some very upsetting things about it in regards to Time Machine. Specifically, while 10.5.2 will happily talk to Apple’s Time Capsule, it still has problems with network-based shares on all other platforms. That includes AirPort Disk, Windows Shares, and Mac OS X network shares.
Here’s the economic reality. An Apple Time Capsule (1 TB) retails for $499.99. That’s within $100 for the typical MSRP for a Windows Home Server. I’m sure you realize, a WHS box has a lot more in it than a Time Capsule box. If Time Machine did back up to Windows Home Server properly… it would make Time Capsule look like a very overpriced offering.
And, what happened to AirPort Disk support? Apple touted Time Machine originally with AirPort Disk, for all the 802.11n AirPort Extreme base station buyers. I’m personally ticked off by this one, I bought an AirPort Extreme because of this. I refuse to pay for a Time Capsule. I bought what Apple told me to buy.
What I’m getting at becomes pretty apparent… Apple has directed attention away from ensuring Time Machine worked properly over the network, to fixate and force sales of Time Capsule units. This is a disgusting move from Apple, in light of the lack of comment on AirPort Disk support. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a class action lawsuit in the works… considering Apple sold so many AirPort Extreme units during the timeframe that they were advertised as “the ultimate companion for Time Machine.”
This needs to end, and quickly. If there’s an AirPort Extreme base station bug, issue new firmware to fix it. I can understand the flaws with Samba preventing Time Machine to Windows shares, but AFP shares (Mac OS X shares) this should be a no-brainer… unfortunately, it’s still buggy backing up Mac-to-Mac.
Worse, the hackers have continued to uncover Time Machine’s full range of support. Hacks cited previously on this blog work even better under 10.5.2. As Apple improves the code that was buggy, they still leave features like AirPort Disk disabled. If AirPort Disk does work properly under 10.5.2 (with a hack to enable it), then why doesn’t Apple enable it. Oh, wait, that’s right, there are Time Capsules to sell now!
But, here’s the real shocker. Time Capsules have started to arrive in stores. Guess what? You can use a USB AirPort Disk as a Time Machine target with Time Capsule… just not with AirPort Extreme units. Apple is now contradicting itself on its own support documents, since AirPort Disk does now indeed work with Time Machine… just not on the original box Apple pitched to prospective Leopard buyers.
Apple, please, fix this quickly. Your image is hurting.