Tuesday, July 20, 2004
I have been looking at the four main backup utilities and drew up a feature comparison chart:
BBVFS is the only one to offer incremental backups. The advantage of this is often claimed to be speed, but for overnight scheduled backups speed is unimportant. However, if you are travelling without easy access to a charger, the incremental backups use up a lot less power, which is a big advantage.
Both BBVFS and Right Backup simply copy the original Palm files to a special directory on the card. This has the advantage of making the contents of your RAM accessible via a card reader.
The one unique feature of BBVFS, which might be worth the extra money to a few people, is teh ability to back up at power off. If one defines a back up set of just the most important databases, this only takes a second, but comes as close as possible to guaranteeing one's data. Perhaps this would be useful for medics working in hospitals where critical data is contunually being entered but accidents can happen to electronic devices.
Despite it being offered by 3 of the products, I cannot see teh benefit of backing up after hotsync. If you have just installed a rogue app which will crash your device, it would be useful to be able to roll back to before the last Hotsync.
CardBackup does not offer to keep multiple copies of scheduled back ups, but does allow one to create up to 7 schedules. This enables one to mimic the effect of multiple copies, but since the number of days in the week is prime, there is no easy and efficient way to keep fewer than 7 copies.
Right Backup has the option to restore data (.pdb files) and applications (.prc files) separately, and in either order. If you are the sort of person who partitions their hard disk to separate the system from the documents, this might appeal to you. But the only realistic situation I could think up for using it was if one wanted to reinstall the applications but preserve the data. There are other ways of doing this.