Originally Posted by mungler
crees - Time Machine will do a backup every time you connect an external disk, if its overdue. This, i think, is a good solution for laptop users.
As much as I don't agree with all the whiners, your suggestion is not a good solution for laptop users.
The whole point of Time Machine is that it happens without your interaction, in the background, automatically. If you have to remember to plug in an external drive to do an occasional "catch up" backup, you're no better off than with any previous backup solution. Not to mention, your backups become so sparse that you'll probably miss files on occasion that get deleted before they are backed up.
This wireless Airport feature was not only posted all over the web site, it was featured prominently in Jobs' WWDC preview of Leopard. He had a slide with a HD hooked up to a Base Station, using Time Machine with an iMac. So it was reasonable for people to expect this functionality in the final shipping product.
However, I do think that persistent bugs must have made it necessary to temporarily disable it. My hope, and hunch, is that it will be a top priority for 10.5.1 to get this feature working again. As others have said, an unreliable backup system is worse than no backup system at all. It leaves you with a false sense of security. And the last thing Apple needs is hordes of articles talking about how Time Machine ate people's entire photo libraries, etc.
As far as TB drives, and Airport N being too slow for backups, I have to disagree. Sure, the initial backup will take a really long time over Airport. That's why I was planning on doing the initial one with a wire, and then moving over to wireless, as I did with my Apple TV. But the hourly and daily backups should be relatively small, file-size wise. On an average day, how many GBs do you change on your HD? I'm thinking that my average would be 100-500 MBs, factoring in iTunes, work files, preferences, etc. That's a few minutes over 802.11n. Sure, some days it will be more, others much less. But I've been using .Mac's Backup program over the air with my Base Station for months now, and it works fine. I can't see this being the real issue. You can still use Time Machine over the network if the drive is physically connected to another Mac. Isn't that still going over the air if my laptop is connecting to the network via Airport?
I suspect it's a bug of some kind in the base station itself, or in the Airport Disk drivers that they have to hammer out with a firmware update.