Exhaustive/exhausting Sunday, April 23, 2006

Maurits, of plasticsfuture, has posted an exhaustive, two part review of backup programs on Mac OS X. The first part focuses on the general issue of backing up files on OSX, and the second contains an extensive analysis of more backup programs than I’ve seen covered in one place—freeware, shareware and commercial.

In my blog, I tend to talk about the usability aspects of SuperDuper!, because that’s where I focus my efforts. I can only do that because Bruce and I have very high standards for the rest of SuperDuper!, and Bruce’s copy engine is second to none. In fact, in this review of 16 tools, SuperDuper! was the only tool that worked correctly:

The surprising conclusion is that almost all Macintosh backup or cloning programs do not fulfil (sic) their primary purpose, i.e., they are not able to restore files with all associated metadata. This is despite the fact that many of the tools are advertised as “safe”, “accurate”, “bug-free”, etc. The tools that fail are harmful because they generate a false sense of security. Even more exasperating is that many of these tools cost (significant amounts of) money. The only laudable exception is the great SuperDuper application, which performs flawlessly. (Emphasis mine.)

Many thanks to the pseudonymous Maurits for putting this whole thing together: it couldn’t have been easy to do.

Amusing myself Sunday, April 23, 2006

Today, I spent some time testing out the soon to be released update to netTunes along with Salling Clicker’s “Clicker Network”. My setup here is different that most, no doubt, but here’s what was involved:

  1. Music server running iTunes
  2. Various AirPorts running a WDS network bridging all over the house
  3. My main PowerMac, which I’m logged into, running the netTunes client, controlling my Mac mini, which is connected to my stereo
  4. iChat, set to show my current track
  5. My phone, running the Clicker Client, connected via Bluetooth to the PowerMac, but bridged over Clicker network to the Mac mini
  6. The Mac mini, which has no local music, using shared playlists to connect back to the music server
  7. Two Intel Macs connecting to the Mac mini’s netTunes server
  8. And, finally, the netTunes server, running on the Mac mini
OK, so—sitting in front of my PowerMac, I could see what I was playing on the Mac mini, because netTunes was showing me the iTunes running over there. And I could control it from that or the two Intel Macs also viewing the same thing.

Clicker—even though it was connected to my PowerMac, was showing me what was playing on the Mac mini, since it was using Clicker Network… and it updated properly when I made changes with netTunes.

My iChat status was showing the track I was playing on the mini, even though I was on the PowerMac, because netTunes is smart enough to act like iTunes and send out the proper notifications to make that happen.

And—no matter what I used to interact with the music—Clicker, netTunes, whatever—everything just worked exactly the way you’d expect.

I’m telling you, my smug sense of self-satisfaction was probably detectable from space.

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