Friday, March 26, 2004

BBVFS versus BackupMan

Kenny did some comparisons of BackupBuddyVFS and BackupMan and posted them at PDA24/7. I thought they were a little harsh on BBVFS, so took the time to respond. Here is our exchange:

TS: I think the BackupBuddy vs. BackupMan debate is very much like the Agendus vs. DateBk5 - they have different strengths so different people will find them differently suited to their needs. Which I why I replied to your posting, since for some people (like myself) BBVFS is better.

Kenny: I can understand how BBVFS works for you perfectly. I rate it next best after BackupMan ;-P

TS: It would be a good idea to get all the facts in the open. So in the spirit of co-operation, I will respond to your other points:

Kenny: First time backups are slower than BackupMan but incremental backups are faster (depending on what changed since your last backup).

TS: Any difference in first backup time is due to the fact that BBVFS makes no judgements, but BackupMan does not backup a68k files or the Netfront browser.

Kenny: Backup files are individual files with count and can be accessed by any File manager programme. BackupMan creates a backup image of just one file.

TS: In my view, this is the biggest advantage of BBVFS: I can make extra copies of individual databases in a backup in case I want to restore them at some indefinite future point long after the backup has been overwritten, and I can copy data from my Palm to another by simply swapping the SD card over and copying the file with Filez.

Kenny: I agree that this is an advantage in favour of BBVFS but since I also use BackupBuddy on my Mac I have no problems reinstalling archived backups of individual files.

Kenny: Deleting a backup is slow as it removed individual files from its backup directory. BackupMan deletes a backup instantly.

TS: True. But it is pretty quick to delete all or part of a backup with a file-manager like Filez. And since BBVFS does not keep multiple backups, this is not a thing one often needs to do.

Kenny: I guess when you only have 1 backup set, this is a non-issue, but in my beta testing, I have to sometimes have 2 or even 3 backups due to some tests that requires step changes and here is where BackupMan shines.

Kenny: Restoring individual files are possible with both programme but BackupMan is much faster in accessing the files.

TS: Probably the main benefit of BackupMan's approach - but who cares? The speed of backups is very important, because they use battery power on a regular basis and may interrupt workflow, but if you are in the business of restoring from a hard reset, an extra minute makes very little difference.

Kenny: Here is where BackupMan is advantageous to me because I often do individual restores when eg a beta version has bugs and I want to revert back to a previous version. Of course in BBVFS's case, I find it faster using a file manager to restore from it's backup directory than through BBVFS's advanced mode but this kind of defeat the purpose of having a restore individual file option in a backup programme.

Kenny: If you have network access, the link is broken after a restore. You will need to open Network's Detail screen to get the link back.

TS: And BackupMan is renowned for losing any Bluetooth pairings that you might have set up. See the reviews on PalmGear.

Kenny: I pair with up to 8 devices using Bluetooth and have never lost any pairings over close to 30 hard reset and restores since using BackupMan. Could it be a conflict with some other programmes?