digitaldiscipline: (clank)
Having declined to participate in a few Bzz campaigns due to lack of applicability, I thought that it would be interesting to see what an automated remote backup would be like, especially with potential hardware upgrades in my future.

Enter Carbonite. First off, props for a clever name. Nice to see this technology is becoming available to people not on Bespin or Hutt. ;-)

As far as use, it's rock simple. Install client, select files/drives/directories to back up, click go, and forget about it. Wanting to stress-test the service, I backed up a whole lot of stuff (about 45 of 175GB). Because it works inobtrusively and tries not to hog bandwidth, this took just under three weeks. Call it ~2GB per day.

The client just sits quietly in the toolbar (yellow for "backing stuff up," green for "everything's backed up," and red for "Lord Vader, the rebels are approaching"), letting you know it's doing its thing.

It integrates with the Windows right-click menu and My Computer - the former gives backup options (variations yes/no, pretty much), the latter allows you to restore files. Having used similar software for remote file storage at the office, frankly, I like this better. No user config required, nothing fancy, no flaming hoops of barbed wire to jump through, just open the Carbonite folder like any other local hard drive.

Recovering files is also easy - find the file/folder/etc you want to recover, right-click, and there you go. It even (and this is what caught my eye) offers a full restore mode - you build a replacement or resurrect a system via nuke and pave, all you need to do is install the Carbonite client, prove you're you, and enter recovery mode, and it will go to town, putting stuff back the way it was before Bad (or Expensive) Stuff Happened.

My only quibble is that it didn't, for whatever reason, backup all the subdirectories in certain folders (it did some, but not all), and never said the first thing about it.

Giving more granular control over this would be good - I assume most users will be more selective about things - merely selecting "My Documents" and "Favorites" and "My Pictures" and "Goat videos" rather than "everything but the porn, R2." ;-)

They're offering free 30 day trials (use offer code BUZZ or BZZ) to friends of BzzAgents, if anyone wants to give it a go. (obviously, heh).
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... and as I typed that, the world blew up.

Be that as it may, this remix of Heaven's Earth rocks my box/socks/bagels and lox.

In any case, last night was my first foray into the official BzzAgent action. Along with Angelsil & El Uno, we hit the "snob mall" (International Plaza) in search of the Sony Store. Fortunately, Angel knew right where it was, so the mutual exposure of yuppies::me was kept to a relative minimum. Heh.

I had every intention of doing a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine with Angel (since she is a card carrying Sony Whore, and proud of it, whereas I don't trust any pc that doesn't have at least some of my skin and blood involved in its genesis). However, the tech guy seemed to have eyes only for me (why, I wonder?). I dunno if it was giving Sil the wrong impression, but I was keenly aware of the fact that it was "guy talking to guy" rather than "guy talking to everyone" most of the time.

After a rather surprising bit of stand-around waiting for our Vaio expert to shepherd us among the laptops, it was refreshing to see that, despite the Apple-ness of the store, they're not fundamentally bad hunks of equipment (shiny points were earned for both carbon-fiber construction and the extreme niftiness of a 1ghz windows-based ultra-portable the size of a thick paperback... as well as the gunmetal grey microfiber uniform shirts the employees get).

Our presenter knew his patter, and quickly pointed out the differences between the various models in their lineup despite a completely nonlinear and non-intuitive naming convention for their devices. I blame AMD & Intel for starting this idiocy with their processor ratings scheme after moving beyond the Pentium III generation of hardware (at least carmakers have a modicum of logic to theirs - LS430 = "luxury sedan, 4.3 liter engine" and so forth).

He also cleared up a misconception on my part, gleaned from reading their promotional material too quickly (you get trade-in value towards a new laptop by bringing them your old laptop, not any old PC... so my nascent scheme to find something more useful to do with the P3-800 in my office foundered on the rocks of reality); he also said that they're looking to do something similar with camcorders (already launched on the sonystyle web site, eventually to trickle down to their B&M locations).

Bob and I then talked about HDTV while Angel perused digital cameras after they'd made a purchase decision.

In a frightening bit of confluence, I had mentioned David Hasselhoff's music videos (this will be inflicted on them tomorrow at Casa Critus *muahahaha*) as we made our way in from the parking lot, and lo and behold, who was on all the big-screen tv's when we walk in, than the Hoff hizzownself, as Adam Sandler's boss in "Click," (which, naturally, I had to check out (it was in the promo loop for Blu-Ray) because of the gratuitous slo-mo shot of a delightfully stacked blonde jogging).

On the whole, I still don't see myself as a Vaio owner, but, as I told the Sony folks, this was about as close as I've come to wanting one since seeing the first Dell XPS; I don't want a toy. If I get a laptop, it'll be as a desktop replacement, and that's still a tall order as far as specs are concerned (not RAM/CPU these days, but until there's a TB of storage in one of them, I don't see myself making the jump, because I have too much crap stored on my main rig for easy migration... also, I don't care for the difficulty in upgrade path a laptop represents; I'd much rather have the ability to yank and replace devices as finances warrant, rather than dropping a used-Miata sized chunk of change on something I can only do minimal tweaking to down the road).
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