Well I just went out and purchased a Time Capsule and it’s working just fine & dandy. Time Machine is doing its thing backing up. This is quite cool. Any and all Mac computers in the house (two currently) will fully back up their drives automatically, completely, wirelessly, in the background. I have an AirPort Extreme Base Station, purchased months ago on the assumption that the USB drive one can plug into it would work with Time Machine as a shared drive. Well, long story short: that was Apple’s plan; but it didn’t work reliably, so they ditched it right before Leopard’s release. I didn’t bother to research before buying, and, oh well; the integrated hard drive is a cleaner solution anyway.
I’ll take the AP Extreme up to the cabin where I installed an Apple TV last weekend. We rented, downloaded, and watched three movies in HD. HD downloads take hours on a 1.2 mbps dsl connection, but it did its thing overnight, so everything was ready to watch the next morning. However, I’ll probably just rent in standard def up there from now on. It’s just not worth the money for the higher dsl speed when it’s used so infrequently. Standard def movies ought to be ready to watch pretty shortly after being rented and download commences. Another alternative would be to decide what we’re going to rent before leaving San Jose, rent on one, other, or both of the MacBooks and then just move them wirelessly to Apply TV for viewing, which takes only minutes.
Back to Time Capsule. When I got it home I opened the AirPort Utility in order to copy down all the configuration info, just to be sure. Then I went about setting up the Time Capsule, and guess what? The utility essentially says, "hey, you’ve got an AP Extreme here; ya wanna join that network with the TC, or replace it with the TC?" Replace. So it copied all the config info over, told me to unplug the APE, and everything worked right off the bat without even having to re-connect the notebooks to it and enter the wireless password. Slick. As usual, they thought of everything and what you’d probably want to do. Sure, I didn’t have to spend hours "teching around" so I could impress friends and neighbors with my troubleshooting skills; but I’m secure in that way, after 20 years of teching around with MS clients and servers.
Speaking of MS, I am really
disappointed in pissed off at their Office 2008 release for the Mac, and I really hope Apple comes up with a good alternative that’s compatible with Office docs moving forward. My main reason for getting it (I had the previous one which was fine) was for Entourage, because one thing I’ve always liked is Exchange Server with Outlook and that’s what we run at the office. Long story short: its Exchange integration was crappy, so I got 2008 in hopes it would be better (RCP over HTTP, perhaps?). Not changed at all (uses OWA, and that gets you email, calendar, contacts; but no tasks and notes, and I still can’t get LDAP working so I can access Active Directory for internal office email addresses and other shit), and even more offensive is that the email client still won’t display complex HTML properly and even when it does, won’t forward it; you still have to save the email as a file and then include it as an attachment to a new email. Can you believe it? Pathetic; and Gates and MS can just go fuck themselves for that.
Hear that, Bill? Fuck you and your Office Mac 2008 scam.
So, I switched over to Mac Mail and I’m coming to love its simplicity. For email, the IMAP works fine, and it organized my .Mac and Gmail IMAP better than Entourage, so with three email accounts the overall experience is simpler, better. Mail is of course integrated with Address Book and iCal, and those each sync with Entourage, so all I really need to do is open Entourage each morning and it will sync any calendar or contacts changes with Exchange Server.
Later: Almost forgot; I also dumped all my feeds into Mac Mail, using it now as my default RSS reader. There’s a feature or two I might like added, but it’s simple and I like it.