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In her 8 year career in IT, Mephala has worn the thinking hats of a web developer, information architect, webmaster, usability consultant, copywriter, and content producer. She has since retired to become a professional mother to her son Jack and 5 cats, and lends her experience and expertise to this blog.
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Reviewing the Web ~ one pixel at a time
Killer apps, cool widgets, sweet gadgets, hot fixes, nice web thangs
March 18, 2007
Review: Backup Platinum 3.0
Today we test run Backup Platinum 3.0, a complete backup solution for both individuals and companies by SoftLogica. Backup Platinum boasts nifty features such as 128-bit Blowfish encryption, disk spanning, and multiple storage options and is compatible with Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003.
Key features of the Backup Platinum 3.0:
* 128-bit Blowfish encryption.
* Backup and synchronization to LAN or FTP site, external hard drive, CD, DVD, or other storage device.
* Multiple storage options from batch single file encryption and/or compression to multiple file encryption and compression.
* Disk spanning breaking up large transfers to multiple disks.
* Powerful backup management system with item tracking logs and a scheduler.
* Runs in service mode on Windows NT/2000/XP.
The first thing that impressed me with Backup Platinum was the swift installation and startup. The New Item Wizard pops up right away to help you set up either a Backup or Synchronization. The latter is especially helpful if you, like me, work on several computers and would like for documents to sync across all of them instead of sending them via email to myself or using an SD card as a floppy.
For this test, I decided to back up some miscellaneous files to my 40GB Cutie portable hard drive. Cutie has been a reliable friend for the past 3 and a half years since I had it so I felt fairly secure sending it a copy although its storage is nearly full. What I realised next was that I could add as many folders as I wanted to Backup in one storage instruction (called “Item” in the interface). Then I created a second batch of documents (images and RTF files), encrypted each file, and timestamped them.
The latter 5 documents were backed up securely within 3 seconds in the Cutie, and the 3989 files which were in 10 folders backed up with minimal lag to the computer in 2 and a half hours. The only time I experienced any lag was when I clicked on the interface to check on the progress, which for trigger-happy fingers like mine are unavoidable.
Now, I deliberately set up the size of the files to be transferred to exceed the capacity in the Cutie to see how Backup Platinum would handle it. It stopped the operation and asked me what to do. I chose to terminate the backup and a message was logged:
3/17/2007 2:12:02 AM FAILURE:> Cannot write to a file "F:\xx\xx\xx\xx.doc". There is not enough space on the disk. 
3/17/2007 2:12:07 AM FAILURE:> Operation was stopped at user request. [A0040100]
3/17/2007 2:12:07 AM STATUS:> Summary:
3/17/2007 2:12:07 AM STATUS:> Files processed: 3989
3/17/2007 2:12:07 AM STATUS:> Folders created: 104
3/17/2007 2:12:07 AM STATUS:> Status: STOPPED
3/17/2007 2:12:08 AM STATUS:> Backup operation stopped
3/17/2007 2:12:08 AM STATUS:> ==============================================
3/17/2007 2:12:08 AM STATUS:> Refresh operation started
3/17/2007 2:12:34 AM STATUS:> Backup set summary: 139 directories, 5,177 files, 6,410,131,665 bytes.
3/17/2007 2:12:34 AM STATUS:> Refresh operation finished
3/17/2007 2:12:34 AM STATUS:> ==============================================
I deleted some unwanted files in the Cutie, clicked the folders which were identified as "Not backed up", and the backup continued again.
All the files all transferred without a hitch. To retrieve the encrypted files, I simply had to click the safe icon and type in my password to bring the backup item back to the program before right-clicking it to restore the files.
So what's the score:
The good: The program is very usable and the user interface is one of the best I have seen in any backup program. The step-by-step wizard is comprehensive and the content labelling easy to understand for a layperson. When you start the program up again, there are helpful tips that you can disable if you choose or enable again (reminds me of Arachnophilia, another fave program I still use).
Through the whole backup, Backup Platinum logs which files are backed up so you can track the progress of the operation. Each item has its own log so you need only click that item to view the history. Great for trackaholics like me.
The bad: It would have been ideal if Backup premium could also calculate the total size of the files to be backed up. At the moment, it displays the number of files to be processed, original size of a file but not the folders or the total size of the files to be transferred. This is, as of now, the only bad, which is really good in the sea of good.
Conclusion: Backup Platinum is probably the best backup program I have come across in the past few years. Maximum points for usability and functionality. The one-time expense of $67 for a single user license will definitely be well-spent to keep your files secure and intact.
Technorati: backup, Backup Platinum, encryption, Cutie, trackaholics, technology
March 16, 2007
Broadcast Free from Radio Free TriBeCa
It's time to make a broadcast.
Yes, that's right, you over there. Broadcast your own pro or amateur radio talk show, radio programme, or 24/7 streaming channel. It's 100% free at the very cool Radio Free TriBeCa which promises no fees, no exclusivity clauses, or any of that.
It has an On Air listing of today's programmes on the left nav bar that guarantees traffic to your broadcast. Hey, that's free advertising too. :) What a great deal.
So go register, review their comprehensive tutorial, and set up your own show. And remember to leave your programme URL back here so I can pop by to listen to you.
This post was proudly sponsored by Radio Free TriBeCa.
Technorati: broadcasting, radio show, radio programme, 24/7 streaming channel
March 15, 2007
This policy is valid from 15 March 2007.
This is a personal blog written and edited by me. It accepts all forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation.
The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics, or posts made in this blog, which may or may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content, but all reviews will receive my unequivocally honest opinion, findings, beliefs, and/or experiences on the said topics, products, and/or services.
I will not knowingly endorse products and services that endorses cruelty to any animal or human, such as fur, shark's fin soup, recreational fishing, fois gras, and bear bile.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party in question.