Equally surprising is a piece in Tech Republic extolling the virtues of Windows XP’s built-in backup software. The author, Erik Eckel, claims that “Although many criticize Microsoft’s native Backup tool for its lack of sophistication and flexibility, the Windows utility’s lack of complexity is its greatest strength. Windows Backup provides a simple and proven method for safeguarding data. Further, it’s a capable tool for backing up data to a medium that’s easily stored offsite.”
The primary advantage, of course, is that if you own an XP machine, you already have this tool installed. Eckel provides 10 tips for effective use of the program, including “The Wizard Is Your Friend,” “Advanced Options Are Key,” and “You Needn’t Overcomplicate Schedules.” If you currently use, or are thinking of using, the XP backup tool, head on over to Tech Republic for all the details.
The other big backup news is Time Machine, the backup software built into the latest OSX release, currently known as Leopard. Sci Fi Tech calls Time Machine “the future of data backup.” Adam Frucci, author of the “Shift” column, explains: “What makes Time Machine so noteworthy is the fact that it backs up data automatically, and then allows people to recover it, piece by piece, very easily.” He goes on to add “With Time Machine, the only hassle is buying a second external hard drive to dedicate to backups — after all, you’ll need enough space to store everything twice.”
Now, I’m a big fan of external drives, and looking to get a new, larger-capacity version for myself. And a good backup tool that ships with a system can only help. I do know that some people balk at the idea of buying an external drive (despite relatively low prices for high storage capacities), and that external drives are just as vulnerable to hardware failure as internal drives (though they usually suffer less wear and tear). And I’d like to wait and see how Time Machine stacks up against the other Mac backup options.
I’m not in any position to compare Time Machine to Windows Backup, because I don’t have a Mac, never mind a beta version of Leopard. If anyone out there can write a feature-by-feature comparison, I’ll be more than happy to publish it here.
If nothing else, though, Apple gets credit for giving their new product a great name.