Forwarding Address: OS X

Friday, February 08, 2002

For those of you moving to OSX from any non-Mac OS, one of the "well-known secrets" of Mac land is that Retrospect is by far the best backup program ever. (Quite frankly, it's the best one I found for Windows too.) They haven't finished their OSX version because Dantz is much pickier about restrotation than other backup systems, and they want to be sure that all the file permission stuff that is new in OSX works.

The good news is that you can try out the "preview" of the OSX version. Even if you don't have a removable backup medium, back up over FTP. Macs aren't nearly as disaster-prone as Wintel, but they aren't impervious, either. Download it, learn the interface, practice good backup hygiene.

BTW, one complaint that people have about Retrospect is that it is slower than other backup software if you turn verification on. It turns out that is because they do a much more careful verification. Many backup systems just do a checksum of the backed-up files on the backup media; Retrospect actually does a full restore (to a null device) to be sure that the backup medium is actually readable by the restore system. So restoring takes almost as long as backing up, but it prevents nasty surprises later.