Evaluation of Personal Backup X (PBX) by Intego
The guts of this program are functionally excellent. I would buy it again (clear choice) over the other half dozen backup programs I evaluated.
The organization of its functions and presentation to the user depart, in my opinion, from KISS and WYSIWYG practices. Technical support is poor. You can wait half an hour on the phone (no 800 number) or wait forever for no reply to an email.
Re ?Functionally Excellent?
This program will do a fresh clone of a complete 1GB system (made small for test purposes) to an external FW drive (fresh erased) in about 20 minutes on a G3 PowerBook (both drives being IBM 40GNX). Thereafter it will do a complete system clone in about 4 minutes per GB (for its scan) plus 3 minutes for every 100 MB of changes. Synchronization takes about 50% longer. Backups and synchros are reliably bootable whether cloned to ?erased? media or occupied media (erased via disk utility & be sure to test the competition the same ? some flunk). It works reliably in the background (the only way I found to stop it was to stop my PowerBook and OS X has made that properly difficult). What Intego calls scripting is nothing more than a step by step process of selecting the sources, destinations, exceptions (types such as invisible, aliases, apps), filters (by file name or path), scheduling, and options (such as backup to a sparse image). Nothing to learn here other than terminology and the simple procedural process. It seems to work equally well with all media including Disk Images you create. Nothing worse than a dangerous backup program and PBX never made a mistake or promoted one by me during my evaluation.
Re Failure as to KISS & WYSIWYG
My opinion on this begins thus ? with the above excellent ability to clone & synchro why get complicated and add backup and restore functions that exclude system files (anything an Admin can?t do), operate differently, and operate in arcane ways? I presume this was to accommodate non-admin users (a small fraction of Macintosh users) Intego failed. Even Admin users will find it difficult to follow and accommodate methods presumably used to benefit non-admin users. As you would expect, for a clone you get what you see. But for the backups (instant or script) you get a folder with the name of the source volume. Next your ?restore? of backups must always occur from ?destination? to ?source? and because of the folder created at backup there is no other (easy) way to restore from a backup to the original source. The manual has lots of good information but does not headline (IN LARGE BLOCK PRINT) this key information. Pending KISS and WYSIWYG revisions of the program I recommend that the reader and Intego put the italicized words above in a bold block at the beginning of the manual and the beginning of your thought process.
(1) The provision (via script) for creating (as part of the backup) a sparseimage (minimum disk image size) is not available for cloning. It would be good if Intego added this feature for cloning and made it available by a simple check at the selection of the destination.
(2) If you click too fast PBX quits. Perhaps this is the best way to safe operation but, if possible, simply ignoring impatient users would be better.