BackupBuddyVFS Professional 3.01
Posted Feb. 2005 by
By Tanker Bob
No discussion of
BackupBuddy would be complete without a discussion of its sibling
for memory cards. The new BackupBuddy
2.0 which we reviewed here comes
with BackupBuddyVFS:Lite (now called BackupBuddyVFS Personal), which
will only perform a full backup or restore of your RAM. BlueNomad has
now released their update to BackupBuddyVFS 2.15, renaming it to BackupBuddyVFS
The initial entry screen comes up in Basic mode. Simply tap on the
center graphic and you’re off backing up your entire RAM. Tap
on the Restore button to restore your entire RAM. BBVFS Pro performs
incremental backups, so subsequent backups go very quickly. Tap Preferences…to
get the setup screen, which offers all but one of the options discussed
below. Bring up the menu, tap Advanced, and a wider world opens.
The main difference between Basic and Advanced
mode lies in the ability to select individual files for backup
and restoring, a feature by far not universal amongst on-device
Palm OS backup programs. The backup summary in terms of size or
number of files occupies the lower right corner. Tap the number
to toggle between the two. Simply tap on a file’s line to
select or deselect. The menu contains options to select all files
or none if you’re in a hurry. As
an added new benefit, you can also now delete or beam files using
the menu from this display. This fits my “off-label” use
for BBVFS Pro perfectly. I regularly use it to see what document
or data files are new on my device or leftover from a project since
my last backup screening. They stand out as island targets of non-highlighted
files in a sea of orange on my T3.
BBVFS Pro (and Personal) does not waste space or
time backing up a68k files. If you suffer a hard reset, the OS will
recreate these files anyway when you subsequently restore your RAM.
For simplicity, it still highlights these in the display though.
It also correctly handles the new PalmSource PIM databases on the
Tungsten E, T3, and T5.
The Preferences screen tells part of the story
of what’s new
in version 3.0. Backups can now be compressed either for speed or
size. That’s very cool and something for which I asked earlier
this year. The user may also encrypt backups using a newly ARM-optimized
encryption routine. As always, unattended backup times and content
can be set here as well. While BBVFS has always deleted orphaned
files (files in the old card backup set but not in RAM) from the
current backup set, now you can tell BBVFS Pro to save those orphans
in a special Archive directory in case you deleted something that
you may want back later. This makes archiving a sort of undelete
function. Of course, BBVFS Pro still maintains a complete log of
the most recent backup session.
The menu reveals other new features. BBVFS
Pro now allows users to set Checkpoints, which are essentially
multiple backups. So, if I do a major install and it crashes my
device while I'm away
from my desktop, I can recover a known good configuration from my
card and be fully operational again. Just hard reset, and then restore
the desired checkpoint.
Another new feature isn't obvious from
the menus. BBVFS Pro maintains separate backups for individual
user names. You heard right. You can swap a card between multiple
devices (as long as the user names are different), run BBVFS Pro,
and it will keep and track separate backups for each device on
the same card. This can be a real plus for folks with multiple
Palm OS PDAs, as you can now have one dedicated backup card to
share across your handheld empire.
Best of all, BBVFS Pro backs up and restores
as fast as ever. While “Thoroughly” compressing
my 52 MB backup set down to about 29 MB, BBVFS Pro backed up about
as fast as a normal full backup from scratch. I tried a competing
product some months ago that claimed to have the fastest backup compression
under Palm OS, but its compression was a negligible 5% and proved
incredibly slow. Blue Nomad got it right on both fronts. Subsequent
BBVFS Pro backups are incremental and take less than a minute even
with compression. All features worked perfectly on my T3.
Professional 3.01 stands as an outstanding upgrade for BBVFS
2.15 users at $9.95. The compression alone was worth that to me.
New users pay just $19.95 for the best on-PDA backup solution for
Palm OS. If you don’t need to select/deselect individual
files for backup or restore, BackupBuddyVFS Personal sells for
$9.95 and now features time-saving incremental backups as well.
BackupBuddy 2.0 for Windows and BBVFS Professional together provide
a fast and comprehensive backup solution that no user should be
without. This pair holds a permanent spot in Tanker Bob’s
small stable of bacon-saving tools, and we ain’t talkin'
'bout breakfast food.