Originally posted April 20, 2007, now archived here.
For further explanation why this post exists, see Intro to Experience Dump. This is the section for backup, compression and associated or related software. It was going to be the various backup software only, then I realized that burning a CD and using something like Winzip are related things, and it would reduce the size of the “and other utilities” category. I may be forgetting some that would fit here, but you get the idea…
Veritas Backup Exec
Stomp PC Backup
NERO Burning ROM
Stomp and my first look at Retrospect were help with evaluations or troubleshooting by my partner for someone he had as a personal client without putting them through the business. The big client used ARCserve from way back, original under Novell. Later they switched to Veritas backup Exec, which I liked even better and which, at least at the time, had a reputation as best of its kind. The people we outsourced their upgrade to last fall completely ignored the presence of the infinitely superior Backup Exec, replacing it with Retrospect, now an EMC product, which gave me some experience fighting with it and trying to puzzle out how anybody could have created such an obscure maze of unusability.
I used to be able to make PKZip dance and sing, and even resisted Winzip for a while. Eventually I bought five Winzip licenses to reward them for being so good and useful. I don’t recall ever using a Winzip competitor, but I did do a support call once with a guy who told me his product competed with them.
NERO is my favorite CD burning software. I found it entertaining when Microsoft adopted Roxio as the native software for XP and made sure NERO as packaged with CD burners wouldn’t work. The archiving and CD burning computer at the big client still has Adaptec software, which works just fine. That machine has a fancy SCSI Plextor burner in it, which added over $200 to the cost of the machine back when ordinary CDRWs had already fallen below $100.
Putting Stacker into this list is a bit of a stretch, but I did use it heavily in its heyday, and was entertained by the whole Doublsespace/Drivespace thing. I never used Stacker or anything similar again after it killed my original 60 MB MFM drive, which was cannibalized out of my Packard-Bell 286 to build my original 386. I still have the corpse of the 286, the 386, which probably still runs, the MFM drive, the MFM controller, and I think I may have bought a replacement MFM controller in case that was ever the problem. I had a grand scheme of making the 286 work again, as original equipment as possible, as a “museum piece” of sorts. Heck, I still have the Color Computer 3, which as far as I know is primarily afflicted by partial failure of the external floppy drive. I loaned it to my brother for a while, circa 1989 or 1990, and he had fun but it wouldn’t write to disks. Ah, the other problem was it stopped sending a video signal to my old 13″ black and white TV, which apparently had more to do with the TV or the splitter box than with the computer. But I digress.
Experience Posts (links to reposts):
Intro to Experience Dump
Word Processing Experience
Spreadsheets and Accounting
Graphics and Presentations
Database and RDBMS
Communications, Internet, PDA, Blogging
Legal Industry Software
Backup and Compression Software
Security, Spam, Malware…
Call Center and Tech Support Tools
Languages and Programming Tools