Jim Dalrymple on Apple’s Backup application

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
January 15th, 2004 • 12:05 pm

Jim Dalrymple, who is a regular Mac Web contributor, says that .Mac’s Backup application is “near perfection“. Funny how two people’s experience with the same piece of software can be so different.

I’d say Backup is as far from perfection as any unfinished beta version of something that Apple has put out in the past 2 or 3 years. (Early versions of iCal come to mind.)

To put it simply, in spite of my repeated attempts, I have been completely unable to get Backup’s scheduling feature to work reliably. I can get it to work reliably for a day or two, and then things go wrong. The Backup application launches at the expected time, and quits immediately after. Sometimes it tries to launch a few times, and then gives up. In all cases the backup fails. And Backup never says anything.

As I’ve said before, the very essence of backup software is that the user should be able to depend on it, and not have to remember to do backups manually! In that respect, Backup is nowhere near perfection. It’s way down at the bottom next to Useless Piece of Trash.

If I could, as a paying user of .Mac, I would ask for my money back. I probably will end up simply not renewing.

3 Responses to “Jim Dalrymple on Apple’s Backup application”

  1. brian w says:

    He also gave Font Book 4 stars. Remind me not to ever use any piece of software he likes!

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    I see :). Well, I’m always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but this is a bit much.

  3. Jaharmi says:

    Hm, I feel like I ought to come to the defense of Font Book. While it may not be what professional designers want, it works for my more limited needs — and I’m the kind of prosumer user who stockpiles every font I’ve ever gotten bundled with any application I’ve bought. So over the years, I’ve picked up lots of fonts from places like Adobe and Image Club and URW — stuff that was bundled with design apps.

    Anyway, if you don’t have huge needs based on projects and customers and stuff — I just tinker, really — I think Font Book works.

    It’s also better for multiple users on the same computer — a key selling point of Mac OS X in some environments (some homes, education, etc.) — than any other solution I’ve tried yet. And I would expect multiple users to get used even more now that Fast User Switching is here — and even that is Directory Services safe, so it can be used in more enterprise environments.

    Font Book is not meant for full-fledged professional use. It’s meant to take some of the sting about managing the font environment we have in OS X. The multiple “Font” folder thing may be decried in some circles, but it’s almost essential if you want to manage fonts in a multiple-user system — again, something that’s required by some of Apple’s markets. At the same time, the kinds of professional needs for management may be best suited to a third-party application that professionals get. (It bothers me that people rail on Apple for Font Book after wanting the company to bundle a font manager, and are mad that it doesn’t totally replace third party apps that cost 2/3 much as the OS.)

    I’ve recently started using Font Book more heavily and it has its good points. It’s really a front-end for managing type for the Font palette and in the various Fonts folders. And I wish more apps would use the Font palette — Carbon, Cocoa, whatever. The new features that are going into that palette, like text coloring, shadows, searching, etc. — are all very welcome to me, for my needs — and I’d just like more apps to adopt them. It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask to get some cool new stuff — the text shadows available in Panther alone are very neat!

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