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mbizer

The state of Retrospect/Macintosh today

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I just read this in a thread about backups on Macintouch:

 

"Unfortunately, I have to agree with Ken Lubar about Retrospect's progress (or lack thereof) over the past few years. I've used Retrospect since it began as DiskFit (so I think that was pre-1990). It used to be that people like Walt Hays and Craig Isaacs were interested in hearing about the few problems that were encountered. Today one encounters many barriers when trying to deal with this product.

 

It's a shame, really. When it works, Retrospect is a great product. 5 years ago, I used to tell people that it was the best backup solution I'd ever encountered in my 20+ years in the industry. Today I find myself recommending that people look for a different solution. I wish it wasn't so."

 

I heard the same thing from other IT professionals who deal with Macs. I wonder whether Dantz realizes how much dissatisfaction there is with their Macintosh version of Retrospect?

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I have yet to find an alternative to Retrospect which provides the flexibility and feature sets currently available. Years ago, the variables Dantz faced in the Macintosh market were few; nothing compared to today. It's no wonder pleasing everyone has become significantly more difficult. When all is said and done, Retrospect continues to get my vote and remains at the top of the list.

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Hi

 

We are indeed aware that we can do much more to improve Retrospect for Macintosh. Larry Zulch has addressed this issue directly on the Retro talk mailing list. We are still very much committed to the Mac platform and are working hard to build new versions on par or better than Retrospect for Windows.

 

Thanks

Nate

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This if VERY nice to Hear....now I hope it doesn't take 2 years to come to fruition, because I think at this point 6 months would be to long.

 

Here's hoping..

 

-ric

 

Quote:

Hi

 

We are indeed aware that we can do much more to improve Retrospect for Macintosh. Larry Zulch has addressed this issue directly on the Retro talk mailing list. We are still very much committed to the Mac platform and are working hard to build new versions on par or better than Retrospect for Windows.

 

Thanks

Nate

 


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Hi

 

We are all excited about it too. I don't have any dates but the project is definietly moving forward. I can't wait either...

 

Nate

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Indeed, I share the sentiments of the first and last posters in this thread. I have enthusiastically recommended Retrospect for the Mac for years. But now, it's as if the company is just milking a good thing, paying lip service to new features but making no investment - or so it seems.

 

It's very disappointing. Perhaps someone in authority will comment.

 

-- Jim

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Yep, they are getting steadily left behind. All it needs is for someone else to crack something similar to the way Retrospect compares sources with the existing backup to determine files to be copied and then Retrospect is dead in the water - bearing in mind of course that several of the "someone elses" already have advanced stuff like disk-disk-tape staging and concurrent multi-client backups.

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All it needs is for someone else to crack something similar to the way Retrospect compares sources with the existing backup to determine files to be copied and then Retrospect is dead in the water

 


 

Well, except for the fact that Dantz (now EMC Insignia) holds multiple patents on the technology used in Retrospect. Specifically in catalogs and matching. Oops.

 

Dave

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Well, except for the fact that Dantz (now EMC Insignia) holds multiple patents on the technology used in Retrospect. Specifically in catalogs and matching. Oops.

 


Until someone either a) comes up with a technique that doesn't infringe their patent, or B) gets the relevant bits revoked. If they have a patent on "comparing two lists and only copying new stuff" then that's a load of b***ocks as there was plenty of prior usage before Dantz were involved.

One or other WILL happen, when it does then Retrospect is dead as a product unless they seriously upgrade it. It's the ONLY feature that's stopped me switching up till now.

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"a" seems straightforward enough, but I'm afraid that your description of "b" leaves me <b>affled.

 

>If they have a patent on "comparing two lists and only copying new stuff" then that's a

>load of b***ocks as there was plenty of prior usage before Dantz were involved.

 

It's unlikely that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent on a load of bullocks, so it's more likely that the technology used in Retrospect was unique at the time the invention was patented (1990).

 

The patent number is 5,150,473, and you can find it on the uspto.gov website.

 

The Catalog is unique, which provides the ability for Retrospect to match files already written to the storage media without having to go out and read the contents of that media. Since it doesn't use the "backup bit" of the file, Retrospect is able to create multiple, redundant backups. And identical files on multiple machines can be noted, but not copied, yet still be restored to the proper locations when needed.

 

There is no doubt that the program could be much improved, especially the Macintosh version when compared to the Windows one. But the unique abilities of Retrospect, especially in a multi computer environment, are still unavailable anywhere else (and likely to remain so).

 

Dave

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It's unlikely that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent on a load of bullocks

 


I wouldn't be so sure, there's been some rather notable bollocks patented over the years - a lot of it plainly daft, plainly obvious, or plainly covered by prior art. Also, there's been a few cases of established patents later being revoked under further scrutiny (NTP vs RIM for example).

 

Quote:

so it's more likely that the technology used in Retrospect was unique at the time the invention was patented (1990).

 

The patent number is 5,150,473, and you can find it on the uspto.gov website.

 


 

IANAL, and I've only had a brief look at the patent, but I can't help thinking (apart from the fact that ONLY a lawyer could write in that manner !) that much of what has been described could be claimed to be covered by prior art - a lot would depend on whether making it specific to computer files avoids the issue of the basic process actually having been in common usage for a LONG time prior to 1990, and probably prior to the invention of the electronic computer.

 

I can certainly remember employing the process of making copies of only the bits that weren't in the backup file - using the old photocopier. I can also remember applying a basic process of cataloging the contents of a storage file.

 

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The Catalog is unique

 


Err, I don't think so.

 

Quote:

And identical files on multiple machines can be noted, but not copied

 


Not with a Windows XP client

 

Quote:

But the unique abilities of Retrospect, especially in a multi computer environment, are still unavailable anywhere else (and likely to remain so).

 


Like I say, Retrospect only has the ONE unique feature, and if someone comes up with a way round the patent, OR successfully challenges the patent, then quite frankly (apart from this one feature) there are several better packages out there. If Dantz do lose this uniqueness then they are going to struggle to keep market share - I'll be one of the first out the door unless they seriously update Retrospect into the current century !

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