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Time Capsule MC343LL/A - Uses?

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I just received as a donation from a friend a never-opened Time Capsule 3rd generation. I have a fairly robust, latest-generation AirPort network in my home. I also use some small AirPort Expresses as bridges for my old Macs to be able to join the network. I was curious: is there any way to configure the Time Capsule as a network drive that could possibly be reached by at least OS 9? Does it support AFP that old, or would it be strictly OS X alone? Other suggestions are of course welcome.

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Unfortunately, I believe that Time Capsules will not serve AFP versions old enough to be used by OS 9, so you're best off using this as-is as a Time Capsule for networked Time Machine or as a generic file share, or for generic networking purposes.


From browsing around, it looks like some of these support fairly large disks, although  it doesn't look like anybody has categorized the information for all of them at once. One thing that I haven't found yet is whether or not they can do, like, mirroring or a backup from the internal disk to an external one, so it might  be worth using caution if you use it as a generic network share.



If you don't need its disk/time machine functionality: The next best overall use for it would probably be if you wanted an unsecured 802.11B network, you could pull the disk out and use it that way. (or leave the disk in, to be honest). (Airport Expresses as ethernet bridges are probably an overall better idea, especially anywhere with any kind of density at all where running an unsecured network without other precautions, can be a bad idea.)


EDIT: W/re Mac backup functionality, I'm using/trialing a 2011 mini for this, with its internal boot disk upgraded to a 2TB model and a 3TB external disks for backup of the internal disk, and it's slow, but it does work. MacWorld has suggested people look to move away from Time Capsues - though, I don't think Apple has given any indication that they're going to stop supporting them.


Also, looking at info on how to upgrade these flat models, it looks like this is, not futile per se, but a really annoying process, so maybe just leave the original disk in place until it dies, if you decide to do anything with it.

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Unless the problem is really bad regardless of age, this would probably be ok. The shrink-wrap has not even been removed. I was hoping there was some way to modify or hack it as far as software to use as a shared drive for my classic machines. As for normal backup, I've got a 6 TB RAID drive on my Mac mini with mirroring...I'm all set in that department. This was just to see if there was anything I could realistically do with it for my old machines as some sort of file server.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/26/2020 at 9:23 PM, johnklos said:

You can use AFP over TCP/IP on pre-X Mac OS to connect to a Time Capsule

Does this work?


I would have presumed that this device, being from after 10.5 launched, would have an AFP server that matches 10.5's capabilities, and to the best of my knowledge, 7.5.5-9.2.2, even with the OT/AS updates, cannot connect to 10.5 server.


I agree fully though, that MacWorld is being moderately alarmist in this article. I would bet that Time Machine/Capsule in Mac OS will hang out for a number of additional years. Heck, Mac OS 11 still connects to the AFP server in 10.4, so Apple's retaining a moderately surprising amount of compatibility there.


I've been tempted to look for a Time Capsule, myself, or an AirPort that can have a USB disk attached, for this use, but I ended up landing on a 2011 Mac mini with 10.3 on it to serve a Time Machine volume, with its internal disk backing up to an external disk, just to be super safe. (To be honest, that is arguably unnecessary, but I had it laying around.) I would be compelled to go buy one for realsies if iPhones could back up directly to a Time Capsule, but Apple would also have my $40 if iPhones could back up to a USB-attached hard disk connected through the USB+power adapter, originally meant for iPads.




yeah, you can use the time capsule as a file server, it can't hurt to pull it out, I just don't have a lot of optimism that it'll work for Classic Macs.


I suppose you could pull it out, set it up and see, at worst, it doesn't work and you have some options to split your time machine load, or you've got an extra access point to use for old Macs.


The other suggestion I've seen online is using a Time Capsule or an AirPort Disk for external sharing, although I forgot what I had searched to find that. You could also just do that with a USB disk on your current Time Capsule, and, if you already have a file server then you probably don't need that, per se.

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On 10/27/2020 at 2:54 AM, LaPorta said:

Unless the problem is really bad regardless of age,


I suspect that it's less about some really dramatic systemic problem and more that "the oldest of these things are  going to be getting close to a decade old now" and, well, disks do ultimately die.


The disks in these things should sort of be replaceable, and I've seen hints that they work with bigger disks than what they shipped with, but whether or not it's worth doing that really depends. Those rubberized bases do come off but they don't go back on well. Unfortunately, this applies to the flat time capsules and the newer tall ones.


The other thing the article mentions is that the person they're referring to is in a "growing business" scenario and Time Capsule is really a home product, not, arguably, a business product.

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