Personal Backup 1.2.1
Company: ASD Software
Estimated Price: $49.00
With the problems that all computer users face–crashes,
freezes, power surges, spikes, power failures, hard disk or
removable media breakdowns, and sometimes even just
forgetting to do what you’re supposed to do–backing up the data on your computer is very important. One doesn’t need to have that really important business presentation, research project or family history project lost for good because of an error or through no fault of your own.
I’m constantly on the lookout for products that can help make the “task” of backing up a little bit easier and something that I won’t forget to do. With that in mind, I downloaded Personal Backup from the website at http://www.asdsoft.com, and following the instructions provided, installed it on my system. No problems at all. Following the instructions located in the PDF version of the manual, I accessed the Personal Backup Control Panel and set my computer up to backup my My Mac files everyday at shutdown. When it came time to close up shop for the night, Personal Backup was right there, following the script that I had set up. No muss, no fuss.
The primary difference between Personal Backup and other programs like Retrospect is that it saves everything you back up in Finder format. In other words, exactly like what you have on your desktop–ready for you to access and work with, nothing compressed or tweaked to save space on the backup medium of your choice. When you first backup your data, Personal Backup copies your selected data onto the folder or volume that you’ve chosen. After that, Personal Backup only backs up new files or modified files since the last backup. It also allows you to leave the existing data that’s on the backup file there, even if you’ve deleted the same data on the original source file.
Personal Backup allows you to make several copies of the data that you’re backing up, all of which can be stored by date in different folders. This permits you, if something happens to your first backup copy, to go into another version of the data. Personal Backup also allows you to synchronize the data between two different computers, e.g., your PowerMac and your PowerBook. It will compare the contents of the selected volumes or folders, find the new items or modified contents, and will then update the other system automatically, again allowing you to omit items that you do not wish to update.
Personal Backup maintains a log file which will show the start and completion times of the backup scripts that it has executed, and will display any problems encountered while attempting to execute that backup. Not bad at all.
Personal Backup also permits you to store everything you type for each day by means of a Keystroke Recorder. If you experience a major system crash, your data can be recovered from the text file that Keystroke Recorder created, allowing you to use copy and paste a reconstruction of your information. Keystroke files are listed/named for the date that they were created. The Keystroke Recorder can also be programmed to delete its files after a set period of time so that you don’t keep the data indefinitely and waste disk space. It also includes the capability of encryption, permitting the Recorder files to be opened only after using your password to decrypt the files.
A Mac running System 7 or later, 2 Megs of RAM and a hard drive.
Personal Backup was easy to set up, easy to use and comes with an easy to read manual. The Control Panel is simple, permits you to set up the schedule that you want for backup, and does what it is supposed to do: backup your data. The Control Panel is also accessible through the Personal Backup icon on the menu bar, letting you immediately begin a backup or a synchronization script by just selecting it in the menu. The only problem I can foresee is if I wanted to backup my entire hard drive in Finder format. At a minimum, I would wind up using 12 Zip disks to back it up.
Other than that, I have had no problems with the product that ASD Software has made available to Mac users, and am actually quite impressed with it. Along with that recommendation, potential users should be aware that version 1.2.2 is now available online, an incremental version with a change enabling Personal Backup to handle hard drives larger then 2GB.