I use time machine on all my macs. For the MBP that stores my DTPO FILES/database, I back it up to a TM ext drive at home and another one at work. When traveling, I use a third portable drive. I have done many full restores over the years and never lost any files, in DTPO or other files on the system. I also keep a portable drive that has a bootable partition, a copy of the internal boot drive from some point in the past. Once, on a 3 month sabbatical on an island, my internal boot drive crashed. I merely booted off the external and restored (updated) it to my latest hourly TM backup on the TM external. I may have lost a small amount of work due to the hourly interval. I then continued to use the external boot drive for the remaining 2 months to continue my research. Not using TM is like driving your car without a spare tire.
I use to sync several (external) “local sync stores” at least made of (but not limited to):
- one on an small (but huge capacity) USB-Stick on my keyring
- one on a big (“inside” and outside) USB-Stick I usually carry in my jackets pocket
- one at a NAS which will be automaticaly mounted if I am “on premise”
All set to hourly sync. Advantage: Several copies in crypted stores on portable media.
Additional: TM to NAS, TimeCapsule and portable Device. All crypted.
Advantage: Lots of copies in different locations (one should survive even fire) - crypted documents to disappoint eavesdroppers…
Last, but not least: DTTG on at least 3 128GB iPads with the possibility to export the database if nothing else will work.
So, if I personally will do nothing wrong by deleting and propagating the deletions (what for sure I had already tried with success… (but previous to “logical deletion-success” I had to answer “yes” to a related question, that I am sure to sync this huge amount of changes…)), I feel warm and comfortable as never before (…in “Paper Age”) with my DTPO…
For a Mac newbie, I think Time Machine is by far the simplest and most comprehensive measure you can take to protect yourself. Once you set it up (maybe a minute), you just have to plug it in. That’s all there is to it.
The suggestion about the Apple Genius bar and Devonthink support is spot on, but whatever the outcome, I think Time Machine is going to be a good idea.
Regarding the car analogy, my car was made to be driven without a spare, so I am not sure that is entirely analogous More generally speaking, Time Machine prepares you for problems, and because it is so inexpensive and easy, it’s a no brainer these days. You may never need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you had it.