Daily del.icio.us for February 8th through February 9th

Goodbye Carbonite – Hello Mozy

I have or should say had been a Carbonite user for almost an year but issues after issues finally got to me and the lack of new features that were long promised but never delivered forced me to start looking at the automated online backup again and I am so glad I did, as I’ve found Mozy. I’ve had numerous problems with Carbonite and their customer service was crappy. So I decided to give up on Carbonite even though I had already pre-paid for 2 years – I guess it’s better to lose $80.00 than all your data.

Mozy is similar to Carbonite in some regards but has a much richer feature set that makes it a better offering. Like Carbonite, Mozy installs a small client on your Windows XP/Vista or OS X desktop that runs in the background and backs up files over the Internet using your broadband connection. But that’s where the similarities end. Carbonite is a fairly bare-bones offering which may be ok for most novice users but Mozy offers several configuration options like creation of backup sets, file versions, access to your files via the web and many other features.

One of the best and most important feature that set Mozy and Carbonite apart is the fact that you can actually get your backed files back. Wow! What a concept – I know I know. When I first installed Carbonite, I did several test restores and they worked fine but when I had been backing up for several months and really need to restore something, Carbonite let me down. Mozy on the other hand has never done that. Another awesome feature of Mozy is that fact they don’t really throttle your bandwidth after you’ve uploaded 50 GB. Carbonite seems to limit upload bandwidth to about 2 GB a day and then throttle it down after you reach 50 GB. Mozy doesn’t seem to play any of those games and allows uploads that are supported by your bandwidth. On an average day, I think I was uploading about 5+ GB.

Another recent event that makes Mozy even more attractive to me is the purchase of Berkeley Data Systems, providers of Mozy online backup by EMC Corporation. As you probably know, EMC is the leader is the storage market and owns Documentum, VMWare, and RSA among other technology companies.

So if you are looking for a great, reliable and affordable backup solution for your home computer, you should check out Mozy.

Carbonite Rocks – Backups Made Easy

Update (Oct 6, 2007): I have stopped using Carbonite and switched to Mozy for a while now. I’ve had numerous problems with Carbonite and their customer service was crappy. So I decided to give up on Carbonite even though I had already pre-paid for 2 years – I guess it’s better to lose $80.00 than all your data. Mozy rocks and I haven’t any any problems with them and EMC just bought them and so they are now part of a much larger storage company. I think this will be great news for all Mozy users. Mozy is at http://www.mozy.com/

I’ve been using Carbonite in addition to my local backups to external drives and Carbonite really works great. Carbonite is basically Windows backup software tied to an online automatic backup service that uploads and backups your data over your broadband connection. Your data is encrypted and stored in their remote data center and can be restored using the same broadband connection.

The nice thing about Carbonite is the set-it-and-forget-it nature of the software. Once you decide what items you want to backup, you just forget about Carbonite and it backs up your data. You can back up unlimited amounts of data for $5.00 per month or buy a yearly subscription for $49.00. I purchased a 2 year subscription and just finished up backing over 90 GB to the Carbonite servers. Carbonite typically backs up about 2 GB a day and then slows down to .5GB per day once you have backed up 50GB of data.

Carbonite Backup

The only issue I’ve seen so far with Carbonite is the lack of Windows Vista support. While Carbonite was backing up my system, I upgraded my box to Windows Vista and Carbonite continued to work. But I am not sure I am going to be able to restore things correctly and it’s not Carbonite’s fault. It’s another stupid thing Microsoft did in Vista where all of the user settings documents were moved from "C:Documents and settings" to C:users to make it look more like MAC OSX. My Documents become Documents and My Music became Music. Why – No one knows? I am working with Carbonite support and they hope to have an update to their software for Vista and I hope they have a fix for this issue.

If you are interested in trying Carbonite free for 15 days, click this [link deleted].

Essential Software for Windows

You know the old routine – You get a new machine and then you spend weeks looking for and installing all the applications, tools, utilities, etc that you had on your old computer that made you so productive. There is always that utility that you use once in a while but you just can’t seem to find it.

I recently bought a new computer and decided to make a list of all the software I installed on the new computer so that I’m ready to do this again for my next machine. I wish I had discovered Belarc Advisor before I rebuilt my old desktop as a Linux (Ubuntu) desktop. So here is a fairly complete list of what’s installed on my machine and if you see something that I should have, please leave me a comment:
The Essentials

Development

Audio, Video & Graphics

Browsers & Extensions

Utilities