Bad design, by Apple

The Apple Time Capsule together with OS X’s Time Machine provide a backup and restore solution of incomparable magnificence. About five minutes’ easy setup produces a backup solution you can forget until you need to restore something, for all the computers on your network.

That is, until your Time Capsule dies. It appears the unit runs sufficiently hot to destroy the power supply in a year or so.

The bottom of the Time Capsule is one large, thick rubber boot:

If you remove that boot and unscrew the bottom, this is what you find:

What you see here is a perforated base with a cooling fan, which, by design, sucks uselessly at sealed cooling holes in order to blow air pointlessly at the solid side of the hard drive.

Having obtained a new Time Capsule free from Apple, I cut the boot down to four feet on the corners, cleared the perforations of glue and rotated the cooling fan to point at the power supply. I also drilled out the surface covering the fan intake. The base of the unit is now quite ugly, if you pick it up and look at the underside, which you don’t. Let’s see how long it lasts…

No doubt this has invalidated the warranty, so choose for yourself whether to do likewise.

Is this a triumph of aesthetic design over engineering? Possibly: Apple have form.

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