Saturday, August 12, 2006

EMC Retrospect Professional: Does anyone use it?

EMC Insignia: Retrospect for Windows is one of the survivors of Dantz corporation, a Macintosh software vendor that flamed out after years of declining product quality. I use an earlier version to backup a mixed LAN of Macs and PCs to an XP box.

The version I have works most of the time, but it is an ugly piece of software. It goes wrong in a myriad number of ways, with cryptic error messages or no error messages at all. Sometimes I can figure out what happened, sometimes I can't. The network backup has to hack deep into the client OS to work, so it's vulnerable to all kinds of security patches or OS updates.

Alas, there are no alternatives. I have to hope Google does backup and decides to support OS X in addition to Windows -- but I fear they won't.

So I'd like to upgrade -- if I thought the new product was better. It's cheap enough -- $100 or so via Amazon. But is the current version any better? How can I tell?

EMC bought Dantz's products, likely at a firesale price. They eliminated the Dantz user forums. How can I tell if their current version is any good? Amazon has exactly one credible review, and it's pretty negative. Versiontracker has no credible reviews. EMC offers trial versions, but they say:
Do not download evaluation software for an EMC Insignia product if you are already a licensed user of that product. In order to upgrade your retail version of an EMC Insignia product, please proceed to the Upgrade page or contact your local EMC Insignia reseller.
Hmmm. Maybe I'll hold out on my current version a bit longer -- though I'm sure OS X 10.5 will break it. I can't hold out indefinitely?

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