Is Apple a loving, caring company that wants us to enjoy computing? Or, is Apple an autocratic control freak bent on hiding the real world of computing complexity from customers?
My guess is Apple is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde company. They make things simple for us which makes us work hard to find the complex within. Take Time Machine. What could be easier? But what’s going on inside?
Inside Time Machine’s Simplicity
I love Time Machine on my Mac. It’s typical Apple. Set it and forget it. Time Machine backs up whatever is on our Mac while we work, hour by hour.
When a file is created or changed, Time Machine tracks it, and makes a copy.
Finding a file in Time Machine takes a bit more effort, but Apple is always ready with plenty of futuristic (or, is it back to the futuristic) eye candy to make Mac users feel like something cool and special is happening.
The only problem is that we have no clue what’s happening in Time Machine. It’s that simple. And that complex.
Unraveling The Complex Is Easy
When you stop to think about what Time Machine is doing you’ll start to come up with a bunch of questions—easily answered by BackupLoupe.
For example, did Time Machine back up what I thought it backed up? If I did delete a file or a folder full of files (whether backed up or not), when did I do it? Time Machine should know, but it won’t tell me.
If I’ve worked on a file for a few days, how many different revisions of the file have been backed up and how can I get to it. Another favorite: why does Time Machine take so freakin’ long to back up a few files?
See what’s going on? No, you don’t. Time Machine doesn’t want you to know. That’s Apple’s autocratic side. BackupLoupe is a Mac utility which peers inside to give you the details.
BackupLoupe answers all those questions with typical Mac-like efficiency. You can browse Time Machine back ups like you browse through your Documents folder. You can search the backed up files just like using Spotlight.
BackupLoupe keeps track of everything you want to know via Statistics.
Even better, BackupLoupe works like your Mac’s Finder so you can see how many of a specific file or folder really exists in the Time Machine back up. The interface is a breeze. Click on the Time Machine back up listed in the left column (think of it as iTunes playlists—it’s a list of back ups). Then, column view takes you in drill down mode to whatever files have been saved in that back up.
The drill down is neat, as is Finder-like integration. Finding files takes a little work, mostly because Time Machine stores so much over a period of, well, time. The general Statistics area is less than I want but details on individual back ups are handy.
Quick Look works in BackupLoupe, as does drag and drop. You can even open files without restoring them to the Finder.
If you use Time Machine, but you’re curious to know what’s going on inside, BackupLoupe is a geek’s delight.