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Issue 12.5 ('Yosemite')
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Profile: Backup To Go

Issue: 12.5 (September/October 2014)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,628
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 12502
Related Link(s): None

Full text of article...

We all know we should backup our files more often, but it's such a chore. There's a real fine line between making a backup program simple and easy to use, but still powerful enough to be useful. Ohanaware's done a neat job with their free Mac App Store offering, Backup To Go, which was, of course, created with Xojo.

Backup To Go is based on a simple premise of plugging in a drive of some kind (external drive, USB stick, SD card) and having a backup process run automatically. What's neat is you can specify exactly which files are backed up, so you don't have to backup your entire computer. That way you could create different backup strategies for different disks.

For example, one thumb drive could create a quick backup of all your most precious work files, while another might backup your applications. The work one you might plug in at the end of every day, for a daily backup, while the other you could do once a week or once a month (since applications aren't as critical as you can restore them in other ways).

Backup To Go runs as a menubar application (no icon on the Dock). Once launched, it watches for external drives that mount. You can select each drive from the list on the left of the preferences window and fill the right side with folders and files to back up (just drag them in or use the selection button). This works great for folders: I have a folder called Projects where I store most of my Xojo development, so each time I put that disk back into my computer, those items are backed up automatically.

The design of the app is extremely simple, and other than a few typos, I have few complaints. I really like the concept, especially the way I can set different disks to backup different parts of my Mac—I love being able to use extra thumb drives and SD disks for backup and have each focus on a different kind of data. I'm not sure if the free price is a limited time offer, but it's certainly a great deal right now.

I did run into some errors during my backup tests—the app informed me that 479 files weren't copied. Finding the log of these errors wasn't the most intuitive (you click on a specific spot on the progress bar to open the log) and the log file seems overly technical for the uninitiated. In my case, all of the errors but one were due to permissions problems (it was trying to copy some funky low-level /Library/ files), so it would have been nice to just see those grouped by error category ("Permissions errors"). The other file that didn't copy was the screenshot I made of the app working—I moved it from my desktop to this article's folder before the backup was finished and that generated a "file not found" error!

Beyond these minor quibbles, Backup To Go is impressive. Check it out and support your fellow Xojo developers.

End of article.