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“Backup” Worse Than No Backup?

Apple’s backup software, cleverly called “Backup” (I kid you not. Why not “iBackup”?) has come in for a lot of scorn lately here, here, and here. It’s only available as part of the .Mac package, which I don’t have, so I’ve never tried it. My point is that I’m surprised that an app that has reached version 3 could ever come in for criticism for failing to handle its basic mission, but apparently it has. Anyone trying to restore a file is in for some nasty surprises (see the links for the gruesome details). I say that Backup might be worse than no backup, because the restored file can stomp on your current version. That may—or may not—be what you want.

I used Retrospect when I was self-employed and making regular backups to a tape drive, and Anne has been using it regularly as well to back up to external USB drives. She’s been very disciplined about backing up so naturally she’s never needed to restore anything. I’ve never liked Retrospect (specifically its interface), but at least it was reliable. Anne recently discovered a new backup program called SuperDuper! which we are using with our new 200-gig backup drive.

In other news, I upgraded to 10.4.3 without incident. Unfortunately, my bug wasn’t fixed. When I wake the machine up, it’s in a different app than the one I was in when it went to sleep. Sure it’s trivial in the scheme of things, but annoying and perplexing nevertheless.

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