back to article Apple NAS box ties in to Leopard's Time Machine

Apple today renewed its AirPort Extreme BaseSation Wi-Fi router, adding in a "server grade" hard drive to convert it into a network-attached storage box dubbed the Time Capsule. Apple Time Capsule Apple's Time Capsule: 500GB or 1TB NAS box As the name suggests, it's designed to work with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's Time Machine …

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Jobs Horns

Thinking about the user?

There is no doubting that when it comes to building beautiful, user centric hardware and software, Apple is tops. This device is yet another example of this. However, Apple seems to think that just because their products are great, they can jerk the customer around and get away with it. In their Leopard previews they touted Time Machine and over the air backups using an Airport Extreme base station and a USB drive. Then at the last minute they pulled this feature. Unfortunately I, and many others, went out and bought an AX base station and a big ass USB drive only to find now that instead of doing what is right for the end user (updating AX and Time Machine to handle OTA backups) they now require new hardware. Unfortunately I am not made of money and am not willing to replace a perfectly fine AX base station. Do what is right Apple.

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Ian

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

It works fine with a USB drive plugged into an Airport Extreme. I presume that there will be a slightly tidier fix coming: after all, an AX with a disk is the same as the new AX with a disk product, modulo the precise USB/[SP]ATA interface in the USB enclosure you use.

I can see why Apple pulled NAS Time Machine in initial releases, by the way (speaking as someone who's been doing enterprise NAS for nigh-on twenty years, and currently runs a bunch of Oracle databases and Clearcase onto a NAS Pillar). NAS boxes in the mass market means SMB, and it never means Microsoft SMB. Gambling on your much vaunted backup product working as you take a hacked Unix filesystem (HFS+ is case insensitive) and push it over your reverse engineered SMB stack, over a network and into a another box which most probably uses a reverse engineered SMB stack (Samba) into a Linux filesystem which might have been hacked to make it case insensitive, when you're trying to sell plug and play, is a stretch. Let's see how symlinks are working...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Warning - search sites like Mac OS Hints for more information on this - there are known data loss scenarios with that set-up.

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NAS backup

I hope that this does pave the way for a real add on/upgrade to Time Machine that allows it to work with all NAS devices.

To their credit, the price isn't unreasonable for a 500Gb NAS, especially given the fact it includes a wireless router of 802.11n spec..... if only they did a UK version with a built in modem i'd buy one!

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@Ian

just to correct you, whilst the AE does support SMB (using samba I beleive as you predicted) it also supports AFP, and apples own AFP at that so the backup would be from an apple supported filing system on an apple machine, over a supported apple network protocol to a supported apple NAS via a supported apple network protocol onto a supported apple filing system. all from the same vendor, nothing reverse engineered.

so really, it ought to work, now we just need apple to make it work and lets hope that the release of time capsule doesn't make them feel like they've solved the problem...

dave

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There IS a solution...

Not all NAS is FUBAR with Time Machine. It seems (from the scuttle on their forums) that the new NAS front end for the Drobo (DroboShare) which was just announced at MacWorld does work with Time Machine. SO, there is a good solution out there that doesn't lock you into a single drive embedded into your router (which sounds like a recipe for disaster!)

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