Then he discovered XellSoft’s SynchronEX.
“It kicks Karen’s ass, I say,” was his first remark. (This is a reference to Karen’s Replicator, a handy freeware program which I use for my daily file backups. No offense intended to Karen herself.)
“Note the XVS in the features. That’s what my custom scripts were designed to do, and what they do. No other sync/replicator tool does that, until this one, that is.”
What’s XVS? I couldn’t tell you what it stands for, but this is what it does: instead of just overwriting an older version of the file with the newer version, the XVS feature renames the older file and saves it so you can go back to it if you need to.
“I often find that I change something that later I want unchanged and once the changes overwrite a backup… they are lost. That’s why my scripts keep ‘multiple back copies’ and that’s what this XVS does, except this thing also does it in ZIP and ZIP paths while mine does not handle archives as targets.”
Versioning is particularly critical for those working with source code, but it can be handy for other things as well. Microsoft Word’s “Always create backup copy” command (under “Tools | Options | Save”) does this in a small way, but only for Word files.
XVS is optional, so you don’t have to save multiple copies of files, and you can choose which kinds of files to save versions of. There’s a wizard for setting it up, and while the interface isn’t completely intuitive and the documentation is written in a language tantalizingly similar to English, but it’s still pretty easy to set up.
I’m not yet sure that I’ll be replacing Karen’s Replicator, as I don’t really need versioning, but I’m going to keep SynchronEX on my system and continue to explore its possibilities.
If you’d like to check it out for yourself, download a free trial. The pro version is $29.90—almost certainly worth it if you’re a pro and need the extra features.