Get Time Machine right now with TimeDrawer

by Giles Turnbull

Introducing TimeDrawer...

One Leopard feature that a lot of people are looking forward to is Time Machine. Wouldn’t it be great if you could start using it right now?

If your answer’s “yes”, you might be interested in TimeDrawer. As you might be able to tell from the name, it’s an application that does a similar job, keeping an eye on changes to your files and letting you flick back through time to see what changed and when. You can even pick out two previous versions of a file and compare them directly.

What’s most appealing about TimeDrawer is the quality and smart design of the user interface. Instead of Time Machine’s cheesy cosmos backdrop, you just get a nice translucent overlay and a series of timestamped file icons to choose from.

There are plenty of extra helpful touches, such as a search box, a default setting that Time Drawer should ignore changes to anything in your user Library or in the system Library, and an option to make the recorded history Spotlight-searchable. Wow.

Time Drawer functions as a prefpane and requires use of an installer. You have to log out and back in, then enable it in System Preferences, for it to start working. I've only been playing around with it for a few hours, but I'm already wondering if TimeMachine's functionality and design might scoop that of Time Machine - we shall have to wait and see.


2007-07-25 07:52:04
I think you meant "Time Drawer's functionality and design..."
Bob Bonfire
2007-07-25 08:21:13
I'm not so sure that Time Machine's graphical treatment is "cheesy." Based on the screenshots, it looks like Time Drawer is "incomprehensible". Give me cheesy/usable over this any day!
2007-07-25 19:12:24
"Cheesy" or not, I think Time Machine's potential is huge. Time Drawer looks like all the same backup software that's currently in use. You have to remember the file that you "lost". How many regular users will remember what the file was named, or where it was located?

In Time Machine (from what I have seen from apple's web site), is a huge leap forward. Taking the application approach seems like a more intuitive approach. For example, an end user remembers they had that one certain picture, but they deleted it, and of course you use iPhoto for pictures. In Time Machine, and other current backup solutions, you have to remember the name of the file. So was that

2007-07-27 01:55:58
its very buggy and extremely unstable for a beta5-release.