Airport Utility 6.3.1

I’m all for simplifying things. As a designer, we are constantly fighting for white space in crowded artwork or refining pieces to their most effective minimalist state.

Sometimes you can go too far though, as Apple’s Airport Utility proved in recent times. Back in the Snow Leopard days we were all used to a robust, multifunctional utility that allowed you to tweak various options for both wireless functions and connected Apple hardware including Airport Extremes and Time Capsules.

As we all know you need to have a sensible backup strategy, including off-site backup. For those of you like me who use a Time Capsule to backup one or more Macs, the easiest way of creating an off-site backup was to plug an external hard drive into the USB port on the back of the Time Capsule and use Airport Utility’s ‘Archive Disk’ feature to create a clone that you can store at another location.

Unfortunately when Airport Utility 6.0 came along, although having a lovely new interface, it was found to be missing several features including Disk Archive. Why Apple removed some bulky features is obvious from a design point of view, but not always practical. The result was that the Time Capsule, itself a backup device, couldn’t be backed up easily. Certainly quite ironic.

Of course there were ways around the problem, notably tricking your Mac into running the old Airport Utility 5.6, although these weren’t always entirely practical or reliable as versions and operating systems changed.

Thankfully now, as of Airport Utility 6.3.1, the Archive Disk feature has been returned. So there you have it, there’s no excuse for not backing up properly anymore.