Whew! Well that was a narrow thing, and nervvy. I became aware about a week ago that my main backup drive, a 3-TB Apple "Time Capsule," had developed hardware failure of unknown extent and unforseeable consequence; the discovery put me on notice, and on edge. The Time Capsule is a Wi-Fi router with a hard drive in it for making automatic backups using Time Machine, "Time Machine" being the backup software application that comes with the Apple macOS computer operating system. The two are designed to work together, seamlessly and easily and without bothering anyone, which, when things are going well, they do. Anyway, I received the replacement Time Capsule a few days ago, and yesterday and last night completed copying the data and swapping in the replacement. I can't say that it was a huge risk at any time, but it made me anxious all the same...one of those things that seems large when it's looming over your head...you know. The actual task was less of a hassle than I thought it would be when I was reading the how-to page, which gave me the cold sweats.
I've mentioned before that one of the reasons I got into photography in the 1980s was so I wouldn't have to work with computers. That's gone well.
I give Apple very high marks for customer service. They sent a replacement Time Capsule under warranty (it's possible they won't accept the old one as a return, because I wrote on it to remind myself which cable goes where—if so, that will prove a very expensive mistake), and then a Senior Applecare Advisor walked me through the procedure of making the switch.
...And it worked. I feel like doing a front flip!
...And speaking of which, and while we're off topic, you must see this absurd yet amazing thing:
The remarkable event happens following the two-minute mark, so either skip ahead or hang in there. Granted, he wrecks the truck immediately afterward, but the feat is astonishing all the same.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm going to guess that things like monster trucks and tractor pulls are a peculiarly American thing, and that they don't have this sort of thing in Britain, or Switzerland, or, say, down on the French Riviera. What you might not realize is that the ritual seems equally peculiar and foreign to certain classes of Americans as well. The primary audience is apparently little boys, to whom a monster truck rally includes pretty much everything that's important in life.
Back to work now, Mike.
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Featured Comments from:
Eric Rose: "Both my brothers-in-law are huge into tractor pulls up here in Alberta. Since they are farmers by trade they just happen to have a few tractors to play with. They prefer the old ones. I think half the fun for them is restoring the old beasts and seeing them beat the new stuff."
Dogman: "I bought a Time Capsule last year at the same time as the new iMac. It replaced my previous backup device...nothing. Nothing since both backup drives on my old Mac Mini died at the same time, likely due to a storm that caused power spikes.
"About three months ago, the Capsule started making loud, screeching noises. It actually woke me up one night the noise was so loud. Being the computer-knowledgeable, handy type, I whacked the damn thing real hard and then laid it down on its side. It stopped screeching so I could sleep but I was pretty sure it was only a temporary fix. Turns out, it quieted down. That made me think it might have quit working but it has been functioning like new while still being silent. At the time, I switched it from automatic backups to manual so I now do backups when I remember it. I thought this might extend the life of the machine but I guess that's debatable. Anyway, all is well for the time being.
"Looking into the issue on the 'Net indicated to me that the noise might have been due to an accumulation of dust around the cooling fan—we live in a house built in the 1930s that has been constantly recirculating dust from the Roosevelt Administration. Whacking the Capsule hard might actually have shook the dust loose and fixed the problem.
Bruce McL: "Carbon Copy Cloner. Buy an external hard drive and clone your Mac HD with Carbon Copy Cloner. I don't say this lightly. I've been a Mac Consultant for many years. Time Machine does a good job of archiving—saving copies of old stuff. CCC does an excellent job of backing up. You can plug a hard drive cloned with CCC into any Mac and run the Mac from that drive. All of your settings, all of your apps, everything will be there and will work. Time Machine does not do that. Restoring a complete system from Time Machine is more difficult. I have three backup hard drives that I clone with CCC. I alternate between two of the drives each week, and the third one is in a safe deposit box in my bank. I swap that out every two or three months. If you want to save a little money, you can buy bare 3.5 inch internal HDs and run them in a Voyager hard drive dock."
Gordon Lewis: "I'm trying hard not to reveal my biases, but what the hell: Are you really at such loose ends in Penn Yan, New York that you've resorted to watching monster truck demos on YouTube? I suspect it's time for a small group of your most devoted readers to knock on your door and deliver a much-needed intervention."
Mike replies: It was clickbait on or near a Jay Leno's Garage video, and I do watch those sometimes when I'm at loose ends. I'm a big fan of Jay Leno...not particularly as a talk show host, and not particularly as a comedian, but as a great car guy.