The problem with Time Machine

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The problem with Time Machine

I’m sorry but I have to interject a bit of negative feedback into the parade of praise about Apple's new operating system, Leopard (aka Mac OS X 10.5). I'm impressed with many of the improvements, but recent reports about the built-in backup utility, Time Machine, overlook a critical flaw: Trust Time Machine and you run the risk of losing all your data, period, if bad luck targets you and your Macintosh.

Fellow Texan Deni Connor writes here about how Leopard handles backups. Over at ComputerWorld, Ryan Faas (I don't know where he's from) writes a full review in "Inside Leopard's Time Machine: Backups for the Rest of Us." I strongly believe the new backup process does not deserve a positive review until Apple fills a huge gap in data protection.

Jesper Jurcenoks, CTO for NetVigilance, anchored the “Security 2008: What You Need Now” panel of experts during the Chicago ITEC conference. His company specializes in vulnerability assessment, the practice of checking company networks for holes that hackers could use to attack your systems. If NetVigilance helps you fix your network first, hackers can't get a foothold, or that’s the pitch.

To read Gaskin's column in its entirety, please click here.

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Leopard Wrap

ComputerWorld wraps up a good week of Apple OS X Leopard coverage with their report on living with the operating system for a full week. No doubt some Apple noses will be out of joint because the article title is “Leopard's Hits and Misses.” What a great opportunity Apple just squandered, with Vista stumbling and everyone primed for another OS X home run. Sigh.

Keyboards Bad and Good

You interface with your computer almost exclusively using your eyes and your hands. Good advice from the ergonomics world says to provide a quality monitor / graphic card set and a good keyboard. Most keyboards included with systems today fail miserably to attain “good” status. They may look nice, like the new Apple keyboard, but they don't provide ergonomic support or any improvement to the typing experience.

Hackers Jack with Macs

First, JJ (Jesper Jurcenoks of NetVigilance) told me to stop saying Macs were immune to hack attacks, and now Symantec says the same thing. I didn't put his Mac warning in this column about NetVigilance, but the news from other places reinforces what JJ told me.

New Voice over Internet Options

Despite the bad news from certain consumer Voice over IP vendors (Vonage), the business world continues to extend the technology, says "VoIP apps branching out." As new phone systems add more features, the prices continue to drop. Even better, small businesses can get the benefit of huge Voice over IP systems by using a hosted VoIP service.

iWork vs. Office?

Apple released iWork '08 about six weeks before they released their operating system update, Leopard. Big news then, now somewhat forgotten, is that iWork '08 includes a spreadsheet.

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