Tag Archives: backup-software

Time Machine Bug

Philip Hendry believes he’s stumbled upon a rather disturbing bug in Time Machine:

I’ve been a long time fan of yours since your days at TechTV and am glad to see you answering questions again. I would like to inform you and the rest of the community to a bug I discovered in Time Machine on OS X “Leopard”. I have been using Leopard since it’s release (waited in line for 2 hours for one of the first copies) and have been relying on Time Machine for just as long.

Apparently sometime in the last few days, my Time Machine drive filled to capacity. Knowing that it would automatically begin deleting my old backups to free space, I was not concerned. However, this morning my backup failed to this error:

“Unable to complete backup. Unable to create backup directory.”

After exhausting my search of Apple’s support page and trying a few things. I resorted to calling Applecare for assistance. After about 45 minutes of troubleshooting and talking to other reps, my rep came back as dumbfounded as I was. I was told that instead of deleting older backups, as advertised, Time Machine instead begins compressing the older ones. If you run out of space before the compression can catch up, Time Machine will fail, as it does not have enough space to create a new backup directory. The only way to restore functionality is to completely erase your backup drive and start from scratch.

Hopefully this bug will be fixed in the next update to Leopard. Just thought I would share this with you and the rest of the community. Congratulations on your recent switch to the Mac. I hope that it goes as smoothly for you as it did for me (Got my first computer at 5 years old. Spent 14 years on Windows).

Or archive the drive and add another, which isn’t a full solution – but at least you won’t have to lose the archives you created already. Figured I’d throw this post out there for anybody else running into the problem (or for Windows users to understand that OS X isn’t perfect either).

Backup Online

http://live.pirillo.com/ – What is a good off-site storage solution for backing up my files?

Getting your data backed up and off site – either by storing a bunch of DVDs in a security deposit box or by using an online storage service – is very important in today’s digital world. The last thing you want to have happen is to lost all of your important personal information.

Backup solutions have been pretty expensive in the past: they required special SCSI tape drives and dozens or hundreds of tapes to store your data. Thankfully there are more and more services and software that will let you back up over the Internet.

JungleDisk backs up to Amazon’s S3 service:

  • Store an unlimited amount of data for only 15 cents per gigabyte
  • No monthly subscription fee, no startup fee, no commitment
  • Your data is fully encrypted at all times
  • Data is stored at multiple Amazon.com datacenters around the country for high availability
  • Access files directly from Windows Explorer, Mac OSX Finder, and Linux
  • Automatically back up your important files quickly and easily

MediaMax offers 25GB free storage:

MediaMax, powered by Streamload, gives you a private and secure place to upload, store, access, and share your personal videos, photos, movies, music, and files.

Mozy came highly recommended for its unlimited storage service:

  • 2GB of free, secure storage (Or go Unlimited for $4.95/month!)
  • Open/locked file support
  • Block-level differential backup
  • 128-bit SSL support (to secure your data during transport)
  • 448-bit Blowfish encryption (to secure your data on our server)
  • Continuous or scheduled backup options

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Free Software vs Free Trial

I don’t know if I’d call myself a software expert, by any stretch of the imagination – but I do know good software (and a good deal) when I see it. Window Clippings just went shareware, and I started an exchange with Kenny Kerr about this move – specifically, related to the new licensing structure (what it was, how it works, etc.). After sending him the following bit of text, he responded with a link to his earlier assertion.

I suppose the following is applicable to anybody who develops and releases software online as “free trial” or has software downloads geared towards on generating registrations.

So long as you don’t get picky about licenses tied to machines (please, don’t get me started about activation crap). If registration isn’t convenient for me (read: PayPal) , and if licensing is annoying (read: limited), and if the upgrade path is cost-prohibitive (read: paying for the same thing over and over again), I’ll walk – or, I’ll find something that’s open source and/or free.

Either way, subsequent licenses should be at *LEAST* half off (if not more). Let me put it to you this way: $10 isn’t much, but it means more to me if that covers a perpetual license that’s not tied to any one computer or another. It’s the reason I switched from UltraEdit (shareware, hellish upgrade path – even discounted) to PSPad (free).

Most shareware authors are mediocre developers and rotten marketers. They’re either too greedy, don’t understand their own marketplace, or they have absolutely no business savvy whatsoever. It’s the reason why I believe the entire shareware industry is in deep trouble. Deep, deep, deep trouble. The Web is killing ’em.

Exception to the rule? OS X.

You could do $10 once, $1 for each additional upgrade – and if you tie the registration into the user’s PayPal account, and you have a seamless upgrade path (all done within the utility itself), you could make upgrading painless and affordable. They could still upgrade without paying the extra buck for the new version, and the new version would fall back on its “basic” self. No harm, no foul. EVERYBODY can afford a buck, especially if it’s convenient.

Just don’t nag, man… ever. That’ll wipe you off my radar quicker than you can say “Milli Vanilli.” There are very few software titles that I’m willing to pay for – and even the ones I do pay for wind up disappointing me at some point. Right now, Window Clippings is nice to have – but not “$10 nice” yet, especially with a questionable upgrade path.

There are too many [X] utilities out there for me to say this is a slam dunk for you.