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Monday, June 17, 2024

Back it Up

About a year ago, a good friend lost his MacBook Pro — full of sensitive data because he had just prepared his tax information. Little did he know there were two simple ways he could have saved all of his information without even plugging in an external storage device. With the April 18, 2011, tax deadline approaching, you can make sure your information is secure.

Apple has created two levels of backup that have made my life less stressful, and they don’t even require any effort. All I need is a team of hardware (called Time Capsule) and software (MobileMe).

Time Capsule basically is a router and a server-grade hard drive built into one unit that uses Time Machine (a backup utility) to back up your data — in the background — without attaching any wires. So, if my MacBook breaks or is lost, I could easily restore my information onto a new laptop with Time Capsule: the entire hard drive, programs, music, movies, pictures, and all files.

MobileMe, by itself, makes life easier. Besides syncing your contacts, bookmarks, and calendar throughout your iPod, iPad, Mac, and PC, MobileMe has a feature called iDisk. Essentially, iDisk is a hard drive in the cloud. You wouldn’t back up your entire hard drive on it, but it’s great for syncing or mirroring your files with your computer.

I have set up iDisk so that when I use my iMac, my files are there; if I go to my MacBook, my files are there as well. They constantly are being synced to the cloud, so if I pull up a spreadsheet, add information, then save it, iDisk will sync that file without requiring me to manually transfer the information.

With Time Capsule and MobileMe, my friend easily could have restored his tax information rather than redoing a full year’s work. I use both of these products on a day-to-day basis, confident that should something go wrong, I will not lose any data.

— “Gadget Now” columnist John Nugent is an independent commercial real estate professional and an Apple
enthusiast. Contact him at jpnugent@mac.com.

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