We think making data backups is the most boring thing you can do with a PC. It's right up there with watching paint dry, listening to Blur, and people who go on about how great they are. Yawn.
Credit to Seagate and Apple for trying to make backups more appealing. Seagate has just released the 750GB Pushbutton Backup external hard drive for PC and Mac -- a device that can create copies of your entire hard drive at the touch of a button. Meanwhile, Apple has unveiled a new storage app called Time Machine, for its forthcoming Leopard operating system.
The 750GB Pushbutton drive has a (you guessed it!) push button at the front of the unit that automatically launches the accompanying 'Bounceback' software, which scans your disk drive for new or modified files and automatically backs them up. It's based on the awesomedrive and costs £320.
Apple's Time Machine feature is genuinely awesome, and not just because it caused a bunch of Mac fanboys to scream in delight during its unveiling at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). It lets you bring up a series of windows stretching towards a black hole in the distance, with each window showing the contents of that particular folder on any given day.
If a file has vanished from a folder, you can hit the timeline button and 'fly' back in time towards the black hole until a version of the folder is found containing a different set of files -- hopefully including the one that went missing. Time Machine works by creating 'deltas' (the changes from one version of a file to a newer version) on a separate internal or external hard drive, and is capable of restoring single files or the entire operating system.
So there you have it: two undeniably sexy methods of creating backups. They're so sexy, in fact, they're making us want to strip naked, cover ourselves in jelly and make backups like there's no tomorrow. We'll take a more in-depth look at both technologies sometime soon. -RR