Security and backup seem to be hot topics these days. Just when you thought it was safe to backup, along come two new Mac utilities that do more, do it different, do it for less.
What’s a gal to do? Try ‘em out, of course. It’s the Mac lot in life. Download. Install. Try. It’s not a lot, but it’s a life.
I’m perfectly content with Tera’s backup and synchronization solution of SuperDuper! to clone everything on your Mac to another hard drive, and ChronoSync to synchronize files between Macs.
Add .Mac to that system, and you’re sitting pretty. Still, there’s this nagging feeling every time I read of a new Mac application. It’s the feeling of “Is There An Easier Way™.” We all suffer, you know.
In our never ending quest to find cool new ways to move faster into the Age of Mac Senior Citizenship™, Mac360 is dedicated to become a test bed for all sorts of Mac applications.
How about this? Let Our Pain Be Your Gain™? I’ve got a bulk discount from the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The topics are backup and security. The platform is the Mac. The objective is peace of mind (or, piece of mind; it depends), ease of use, low cost, cool logos, and Point Click And Forget About It™.
Alright, I’m done. There’s nothing left to trademark. After all, Microsoft has a patent on the double-click. I’m sure I’ll be challenged in court, though my friends and family say I’m challenged already. It’s a blonde life, but someone has to do it.
What we did was find two more ways to back up files on your Mac. I know what you’re thinking; “127 ways isn’t enough, Bambi?” Well, once is never enough.
It’s just that Mac application developers keep thinking different and coming up with cool new ways to do the same thing. We have to keep up.
First on the list is the latest Martian Technology. No, it’s not from Mars, but the idea is cool enough that if there were Martians, they would have thought of it already.
Martian Technology has a nifty little Mac backup application that uses the old Publish and Subscribe style. What? You don’t remember that from earlier Mac operating systems?
Good. I only know about it because Tera told me and, in another life, she cut hair for the original Mac development team.
Martian Slingshot is the name of the technology and it adds an interesting wrinkle to backing up files from one Mac to another, and another, and another.
Uh huh. Slingshot makes it easy to backup files from one Mac to a number of other Macs. Yes, you can do that with other Mac backup applications, but not this easily, and not from a Mac developer with such a cool logo.
For example, let’s say you have a PowerMac and that’s your main Mac. You also have a PowerBook or iBook, and someone else in the family has an iBook or iMac.
There are some files you want everyone to have and keep updated regularly. Those files and folders are Published on your main Mac. The other Macs then Subscribe to your Mac’s Published files, and they’re backed up.
Hmmm. Imagine the possibilities. That old Mac in the corner than no one uses can become an excellent center backup machine by doing the Reverse Martian Tango™ (sorry, I couldn’t help myself; I’m blonde and high on Starbucks; call me), and subscribing to each of the other Macs on your network, and backing up their files.
What? Me Worry? About security? Yes, and Slingshot adds 256 bit AES encryption to the network so files remain secure in transit.
Is Martian Slingshot worth $29.95? Hey, if a Double Latte Espresso from Starbucks can get you through the morning for $6.95, then what’s a few months of worryless backup worth to you?
Yes, I mentioned two ways to do cool backups, and I intend to deliver. Just as soon as the morning Starbucks buzz begins to subside.
Next on the list is another unique approach to backing up select files on your Mac. It’s BackityMac from WhimsPlucky. See? I saved the best for last. And you thought Martian Technology was cool? Who could compete with WhimsPlucky?
It turns out that BackityMac makes childs play of one particularly cumbersome aspect of backing up certain files on your Mac. In this case, BackityMac finds special files on your Mac and backs them up to a disk image. Point and click.
Restoring the files is point and click, too. There’s not much in between. BackityMac lists such difficult to find files as Apple Mail, Entourage Mail, iCal calendars, AddressBook file, Keychain file, Safari bookmarks, and so on.
In a couple of clicks you’ve got all that and more backed up to a disk image on your Mac, another Mac, another hard drive. “And more, Bambi? How so?”
BackityMac also backs up your entire Documents folder, your iTunes music library, your iPhoto pictures library, and your iWeb files. For no extra charge, MackityBack will even back up your entire Home directory (make sure you have enough hard drive space).
Wait a minute. Is it MackityBack or BackityMac? Hmmm. The latter, but no matter because there’s no charge. The folk at WhimsPlucky have BackityMac as true shareware. If you like it, give them some beer money.
The fact that there’s 127 decent ways to backup your Mac doesn’t mean someone, somewhere can’t think of two new ways. Martian’s Slingshot (doesn’t that sound like the name of an alcoholic beverage?) and WhimsPlucky’s BackityMac are worthy of consideration.
There’s no perfect solution to secure backups, but the recent flurry (I hesitate to call it a storm, despite the attention afforded the subject by Mac360 this week) of Mac backup utilities are leaning in the right direction.