Retrospect Express 4.0

Retrospect Express 4.0
Company: Dantz Delevopment
Estimated Price: $49.95

Retrospect Picture 1

Retrospect Express is available directly from Dantz for $49.95, by calling 1.800.225.4880, and is also available through catalogs and retail stores, effective July 1.

The Dantz Development Corporation is one of a very small group of premier sharp-focus software companies. Their Retrospect and DiskFit software applications have been been the standards for safe and effective disk backup and restore procedures, period.

I have been using DiskFit Direct (DFD) since the day it arrived with my Zip drive. On the first of every month I back up my entire hard disk using DFD. I keep duplicate sets of Zip backup disks in a different building from my computer, for added safety. On a daily basis I keep “TEMP” working versions of everything on more duplicate Zip disks.

I consider this procedure the *bare minimum* for adequate backups. Many computer users are much more industrious about backing up than I am, which is great. If you are not yet diligent, start doing so today. No exceptions. One day you will thank me.

Previously, Dantz produced “baby” and “teenager” versions of DiskFit, with Retrospect being their “big daddy” product. With the introduction of Retrospect Express, the line now consists of two levels of backup software: super-duper Retrospect (heavy duty, and a wee bit expensive, but well worth the cost), and rock-solid new Retrospect Express, which is adequate for most individual users and is priced very reasonably.

Retrospect “senior” deserves its own review. For now, let’s look at “junior”-Retrospect Express.

The answer is easy: it performs backups, and restores to and from removable cartridges, CDs, optical disks, and floppy disks, of whatever you want it to backup. I refuse to discuss either the relative merits of different media, or defend removables versus partitions or separate hard disks (except possibly to emphasize that if you are backing up to a partition or another hard disk and it crashes, you will lose all your files and the time you have spent wisely backing up will have been wasted). My experience is with removable media, and you have a ton of choices from a variety of cartridge and magneto-optical manufacturers. Please note: if you need backup to tape or network backup support, you’ll need the full-featured Retrospect application.

The installation is a breeze, the Quick Start manual is tiny (eight pages each, in English, French, and German), and the on-screen help is adequate. There is a small learning curve, if users are accustomed to either DiskFit application, but by taking your time you will figure out the process before you know it.

From this quick look at the opening screen, you get a sense of the logical, powerful features of Retrospect Express:


Retrospect Picture 2Its step-by-step approach quickly walks you through creating a StorageSet of your preferred removable media, and in a few minutes you are backing up up whichever files you desire. Excuse me for appearing to over-simplify, but there is not much more to it. Performing a restore is equally convenient. Users can also automate the backups to launch automatically and run unattended on any schedule.

Retrospect Express is fully compatible with System 7 or later, including Mac OS 8 and 8.1. Before you make the transition to a new OS, a solid backup is vital. Make a visit to the informative Dantz Web site for additional information, if you wish. Try this URL:


Retropsect TextIN SUMMARY
This one is a no-brainer. If you are not currently using a Dantz product to perform regular backups onto removable media, purchase Retrospect Express immediately and put it to work for you. If you are satisfied using either of the DiskFit applications from Dantz, keep using them religiously, with the option to upgrade to Retrospect Express whenever you want or require the most current and efficient version of Dantz’ basic backup software. Remember the Dantz motto: To go forward, you must backup. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

MacMice Rating: 4

John Nemerovski


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