[OS X TeX] OT: Backup software

Gary L. Gray gray at engr.psu.edu
Mon Oct 9 20:21:27 EDT 2006

On Oct 9, 2006, at 7:56 PM, Alain Schremmer wrote:

> I dutifully backup with Retrospect, say every hour, but just now I  
> needed one of yesterdays versions of one of the over 10000 files  
> that make up the Magnum Opus. And I couldn't get Retrospect to  
> cough-up the file even when given the path name. Of course, I know  
> a Retrospect "expert" who will get me the file but I am fed up.
> I just spent over an hour googling for backup software (over  
> FireWire or Ethernet) to an external hard drive and, most  
> important, one that is idiot-proof.
> SuperDuper ($27.95) ,  Data Backup ($49),  Intego ($70) all appear  
> reasonable but of course they each claim to be the best. The only  
> Open Source I found was on the terminal so that ruled it out.
> I would very much appreciate any suggestion.

Hi Alain.

Most changes (on a scale of minutes or hours) occur in my home  
directory, I back it up every hour or two (it depends on what  
external drive I am connected to) using ChronoSync. I do this to a  
portable drive that I always carry with me when I am not in my office  
and I do it to a large external drive when I am at my office. To make  
sure I have a fully bootable clone, I clone my entire disk daily  
using SuperDuper! to a drive I have at home.

Chronosync is very configurable and is easy to set up and configure.  
I have different backup schedules for each of the above-mentioned  
drives and if the drive isn't there when ChronoSync wants it, it just  
moves on. You can also set ChronoSync to archive deleted or changed  
files and it will keep as many copies as you like for as long as you  

As for SuperDuper!, it has always gotten fantastic reviews and the  
developers are very helpful. It is the only cloning software I would  
use and is incredibly easy to use.

I should add that each clone operation in SD! takes about 5 minutes  
after the first one (which takes about 90-120 minutes) and each  
scheduled backup in ChronoSync takes about 5-6 minutes and I am  
usually not even aware that it is happening.

The thing that I like about my backup routine is that home directory  
backups are never more than an hour or two old and a complete restore  
is never more than a day old. If my drive were to die right now, I  
would copy the most recent backup of my home directory to the clone  
and then boot from the clone. The only reason it wouldn't be  
immediate is that it would take a while to copy the many 10s of GBs  
from the home backup to the clone.

I hope this helps.

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