a note from the backup fairy

About a month ago, I switched away from WinZip. The only problem I had with WinZip was the nag-screen (which, given that it's not freeware, is not an unreasonable addition to the program). After testing out a couple of freeware archive utilities, I've been using ZipGenius for most of the past month.

But no more. Yesterday, faced with an hour left of my shift, no patients in the waiting room and quite literally nothing to do (I had even caught up on all my filing!), I fired up the USB drive, figuring I could peck a little at my manuscript. To my horror, I discovered the zip file contained an out of date manuscript — missing at least one day's words, if not two. (Which, you know, isn't a whole slew of words or anything like that. 'S just, I've already written them, you know? No point writing them again if I don't have to.)

At first I thought I simply hadn't copied the latest copy of the zip file across to the USB drive. But I use Windows' Briefcase utility to guard against that, and all the other files on there were up to date as of that morning. Then I thought maybe I hadn't added the latest copy of the manuscript to the zip file. But the tally sheet (a spreadsheet I use to keep a record of word counts on novels in progress) was up to date. (And, strangely, ZipGenius had added two copies of it.)

It was the last straw. ZipGenius has poor shell integration and a bloated install size, and there's no point putting up with that if the backups it provides me aren't reliable.

So ZipGenius is gone, and I've reverted to IZArc. I struggled with its interface initially because it employs one-click navigation (which I loathe). But it has better shell integration, a smaller install size, and it actually loads the files I want into the zip file. So I can put up with one-click navigation, for a zip file that's up to date and reliable.

3 thoughts on “a note from the backup fairy

  1. I'll remember not to try that program out. Youch.

    I've been using Syncback a lot — doesn't zip/archive, but even the freeware version (they have a fancier, paid version, too) is a sophisticated syncing program with a ton of options.

  2. I don't think it's a bad program so much as it doesn't live up to its own promises, if that makes sense. Anyway, the 15mb install size has been bugging me for ages, and I've been looking for an excuse to walk away. Yesterday's little fright was it.

    And strangely enough, I downloaded SyncBack just today. I haven't done a real run, just a simulated run, but so far I like it. I'm not planning on using it on my home computers so much as ensuring my desktop pc always has an up-to-date backup of my website files. (Guess who had to upgrade WordPress today?) Although I suppose I could use it to make sure the laptop and the desktop are synched happily without the Briefcase doohickey. Must think on that.

  3. The thing I love about Syncback — you can set different kinds of syncs, so that, say, I can have it sync to my external harddrive by copying changes from the PC without going the other direction (so if I delete something in My Documents, it gets deleted there, too), or have a true sync going both ways (nice for the flashdrive), etc. Nice little piece of work. Depending on what features the paid version has, I'd definitely be willing to give them money. If I needed said features, of course. And had, you know, money. 🙂

Comments are closed.