I Am Joe’s Blog:

February 27, 2007 • 8:45 AM

More New Backup Options

In this week’s issue of TidBITS, I have a review of CrashPlan, a new cross-platform online backup service. (See “CrashPlan: Backups Revisited.”) Bottom line: it’s very close to being extremely interesting. I mean that as a compliment; although there are a few annoying deficiencies right now, it’s definitely on the right path. I have every expectation that within a few months (or maybe less), it’ll jump to the top of my recommendations—at least for archiving.

Meanwhile, I should also note that a little over a week ago, Mike Bombich released the long-awaited first beta of Carbon Copy Cloner 3. CCC used to be the only Mac duplication tool worth talking about, but then it fell behind for quite a while and SuperDuper rose to fame and fortune. Now CCC is (almost) back, and it’s clearly taken some cues from SuperDuper: it has a simpler, cleaner interface with a lot more plain-English text about what it’s going to do. It can also clone over a network (a rare trick) and appears to use a different underlying file copying mechanism—no word yet on how the new version stacks up against SuperDuper in the metadata department. But, intriguingly, the next beta of CCC is supposed to add some sort of archiving feature. That would be incredibly spiffy. I’ll be eager to see how that turns out.

I’m delighted to see such active development in the world of Mac backup software. Yes, it’ll help me to sell more books, but mostly I’m pleased that the impending release of Leopard (and thus Time Machine) hasn’t taken the wind out of anyone’s sails. In fact, it seems to have done the opposite. Which is a good thing, because as nice as I expect Time Machine to be, it won’t be a complete backup solution, and won’t be ideal for everyone.