Take Control of Mac OS X Backups 1.1
Posted: 15-Feb-2004

Mac Guild Grade

Publisher: TidBITS


Reviewer: Tony Brown $10.00

Take Control of Mac OS X Backups 1.1
By Joe Kissell
eBook in PDF format, 103 pages,
Dec 9, 2004, US $10 (
Free Excerpt)

What the Book is About
This eBook has great information concerning the general requirements and performance of data protection. The book speaks specifically about hardware and software that is directly applicable to Macintosh operating systems. It was excellent and, I felt, very thorough.

The book covers primarily four elements of backing-up your computer data.
  1. Development of a strategy appropriate for your needs (dollars, required time commitment, and data importance).
  2. Choosing appropriate hardware to meet your available schedule and desired level of protection.
  3. Choosing appropriate software that delivers the needed elements of your strategy, and
  4. Pulling it all together to establish and operate your personal backup system

The book has a very serious portrayal of what are very likely our own inadequate data protection systems. In general, we are not sufficiently protecting ourselves - I know I'm not.

Target Audience
The book was written at a level that would be understandable to a novice like me and yet, I believe, offers significant information to those who may be experienced with backup systems.

What I Got Out of the Book
I received motivation to establish, and knowledge of how to establish, an automated backup system. Likely I will purchase a separate hard drive and some basic software allowing me to manually protect my data against loss (perhaps a $200-300 investment). My current needs are very small (some documents and my digital photographs). The book discusses many potential causes of loss and depending upon the importance of your data, how it can be adequately protected from those losses.

A great discussion was offered on a wide variety of terminology and different backup methodologies. There are many different methods of protecting one's data and they are not equal. Despite them all being called backup systems, they offer significantly different methods and levels of protection - final version versus incremental changes; duplication versus archiving, push versus pull, etc..

Not only were equipment choices contrasted against each other, the performances of several software packages were also compared. After reading the book it would be easy to make hardware and software selections that will meet one's needs and have a general idea of your probable expense for those selections.

I considered the discussion of the wide variety of backup methods and their efficiencies extremely valuable. Copying everything onto CDs may be acceptable for your digital photos for a few years, but is not a very secure or efficient protection method for items that change such as documents, address lists, bookmark lists, etc..

Additionally, the book did not limit discussion to protection of an individual computer's data, but also included discussion of providing protection for networks whether at home or in a business office.

Mac Guild Grade
A (Outstanding)

Final Words
Even at 100 pages, it was a quick read, presented in a way that is readily understandable at many reader levels. I found it to be very thorough, and I believe it would be a valuable resource for everyone's data protection needs.