I hooked up a spare USB drive to my Mac a couple of weeks ago and turned on Time Machine. Seems to be very easy to use; certainly the process of making backups is painless, and while I haven’t tried a restore yet, the GUI looks easy to manage. My only complaint so far is that it doesn’t seem focused on people like me who are only plugging in a backup drive at sporadic intervals: it wants to back up every hour, at 48 minutes after the hour, and insists on that schedule even if I just plugged in the backup drive for the first time in a few days. (So if I attach the backup drive at, say, 9:02, then I have to wait 46 minutes for my next backup, even if I haven’t backed up the computer for days.)

If you have a Mac, I highly recommend it: spend 100 bucks (or whatever) on a USB drive, set up your environment so that drive is near a location where you frequently use your laptop, and get in the habit of connecting the two periodically. (If you have a desktop, then just leave it plugged in all the time.)

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