Steve Howe
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Steve-Howe reviewed on 27 Dec 2010
I have been using this software for around a year or so now and have long gone away looking for iPhone apps that offer more filters and effects, I tried desktop equivalents too, and yes I do use Photoshop, but I keep coming back to this application, because I keep forgetting that it has all the filters and more over the alternative options.
It offer non destructive editing too, I recently got arty with 2 family snaps, I created some effects in a fraction of the time it would take in anything else, they are now professionally printed and framed hanging in our kitchen.

What I am trying to say is that this application does alot, but it does it all extremely well. It offers both fun and professional looking processes from one application.

It's very easy to use and has the a golden rewind feature for when you process the hell out of a shot, integrates perfectly with iPhoto and web services.

One feature that for me that would really make this a killer one stop app would be a nicely developed plug-in and preset sharing facility...

Plugins where professionals can create a plugin set that offer camera specific styles or filter sets, similar to how the competition advertise their software.
These could be downloaded or purchased to further expand the features.

Presets a place where users can create and share their own presets with other users maybe adding a community presets area on the devlopers website where people can upload, share and rate presets, again adding to the features and possibilities of the software.

But to wrap up, this really is a well rounded application that performs well and is easy and fun to use I would highly recommend adding it to your shortlist at the very least.
[Version 1.0.6]


Steve-Howe reviewed on 14 Sep 2010
I think people are turning to this product when its not the right solution for them in the first place.

This software works and works well, it is not a replacement for locally managed user preferences (MCX) or a alternative to having a server-client infrastructure, as others have said this fits a very niche and specific area, its not for home users, that's what Apple's parental controls are for, its not for kids or one time users That's what the Apple's Guest account is for.
Apple have implemented a perfect array of utilities into Mac OS X that if your looking at this product hopefully you have already ruled them out and know why your looking at this product.

This is in my view is a 2 scenario product;

1) For a computer residing in a public-ally accessable area.

2) Ensure that the computer is the same every time on reboot.

I have used this at internet cafe's, exam rooms, museums, conferences, trade shows, libraries, shops / demo environments and a few more.

It does what it says on the tin and does it well provided you know what your doing and why.
[Version 4.51.2200.0365]


Steve-Howe reviewed on 11 Aug 2009
Too little too late.

Having come from a Retrospect background in the past, I always try to be agnostic in the backup tools I use, well you have to be. No single product can do every job, so, a wide knowledge of tools to do the many different jobs that various clients may require is fairly essential.
From offsite duplication, archival, synchronization, de-duplication, DLM/ILM systems, Disk to Disk to Disk or Disk to Disk to Tape, Virtual Tape Libraries and devices, SAN's and NAS systems, backup and recovery, backup plans, redundancy or resilience even Legal and Data Compliant systems including Sarbanes and international data transmission compliancy. The requirement list is endless but I have yet to find one product that can do everything for everyone and do it ALL exceptionally well.

For me Retrospect originally sat in the home to SMB market, for those people that might have a tape drive or library, it never really got any further.
BUT that doesn't mean it can't do it! up until now I have seen it backing up clients, servers, RAIDs in all sorts of manners and do it well, the Mac community took this product far beyond its original vision but it handled the punishment well, the problem is other products came along and offered more or the same and were much more simple to backup, why send an engineer out for half a day 'tweeking' retrospect to do AB & Z when you can deploy a solution in fraction of the time with a product designed to meet the modern needs of a backup solution.

So Retrospect came, and never really went, it lingered, in my opinion it was that guest at the party that didn't know when to leave, the guy that talks about a load of crap and consumes the free food and drink but doesn't really have anything to offer in return.

Retrospect became dormant, many mac support companies were stuck with it, but didn't know of any other option, they had either invested so much time in getting to know the product that anything else was too much of an investment or risk, or they didn't believe any other product was available for the Mac that really delivered on what it offered.
The updates slowed, and devices stopped working.

More and more alternatives came along, PresStore, Atempo, NetVault (Bakbone) and many other contenders, none of which seemed to take advantage of the situation, yet many offer competitive cross grades! I bet you may not have known that.

They all offer different solutions and alternative features, but most can easily replace Retrospect if you let them, yes you have to let them into your company first before they can help.

So along comes Retrospect 8 and what do we have?

To be honest an application which has some nice ideas but fails in so many ways, that it didn't come as a surprise.

It's fundamentally an unstable product that manages to over complicate things.
Remember backup should be simple, know your Data, know its Information and back it up!
It can be enough to write a backup strategy for a client

If your looking at a Retrospect 8 box right now or you have installed it, then good luck, I am sure EMC will eventually release enough patches to make it at least stable enough for prolonged use. But at the moment having seen it consistently crash on both clean (new) and existing machines. No warning, no reporting option and even on occasions no log entries on the system to tell you it crashed!
I have seen it crash and wipe out its plans, forget it's sources and even completely screw existing plans up. Crashing during backup and corrupting a catalogue, even not crashing and deciding to recycle a backup when I didn't ask it too!

If it was stable then we get onto the over complicated areas of the product, you specify both destinations and sources in the sources section! why I have no idea, file paths are not clear so if you have 2 folders with similar or the same names (backup/backups/backup etc) you will need to double check them as Retrospect has enough quirks to make you question your own sanity.
Then we have the excellent way that you start creating a script but then you close it to define it further, with the very dangerous fact that you can modify scripts in a list without actually opening them!!

If you were one of the early ones to move away from Retrospect being your only product of choice then you will be pleased to hear that you, like me made a wise decision.

If you were contemplating it, but never did or where clinging onto the slim hope that EMC may actually take their product and market serious enough to warrant releasing a product worthwhile, then carry on with your hope or look at alternatives because you will be waiting for quite some time.
[Version 8.1.150]


Steve-Howe reviewed on 10 Jun 2009
I feel compelled here to defend the pointless 1 Star review of this product.

I have used Web Help Desk for many years now both deploying it as client based solutions and for myself, recently when the Free version became available I deployed this for my own use.

The install procedure is SIMPLE really no honestly if you use the imbedded Frontbase database that is.
although you can leverage MYSQL, MS SQL, ORACLE and some others, but you do need to know what your doing, even though the upgrades to adhere to external databases you still need to understand the process and how to support it.
Even with the Frontbase engine you can query it from other sources such as mysql, FileMaker and 4D.

Upgrades are child's play in most cases.

When reviewing your help desk solution, understand your requirements, future expansion and demands on the product and its scalability.

The support in the UK for this product is 2nd to none really, they use their own software understand it and are very understanding and knowledgeable, when they say they will get back to you they do.
The US counterpart I have had small dealings with and found them to be of the same quality.
The software is not open source or the dubbed 'Commercial Open Source' it is Software, a developed commercial product and now they offer SaaS solutions.

If you don't know what you are doing when installing a helpdesk solution, really honestly question what you are doing? are you the helpdesk support if so then lord help the users.

The software runs on ports as pretty much every piece of software does!!! including applications and web based ones, get with the program its nothing new.
You can change the ports, instigate url redirects, deploy bookmarks (you know those wonderful things that stop you typing web addresses out all the time!)
If you are concerned about the url of a helpdesk solution then I would like to think you have considered the other multitude of problems associated and have the luxury to indulge in such a small problem.

In terms of an actual review the main 2 downsides of the software are these;

1) Interface it always has been an issue for me, and yes it does not skin options.
2) Smartphone/iPhone support, imo re-skinning and interfacing will resolve this problem hand in hand.

Features - The product is very scalable for most users the standard licensing is most suitable and be careful not to over feature yourself beyond recourse.
Ticketing, tracking, client email and web ticket logging.
Tech assignment automation and SLA solutions.
Reporting, automated and manual, tech levels, groups and backups and managers.
Asset management, tracking and LanRev integration.

Ease of use - A learning curve but I have had teams of horizontal ticket based support groups pick this system up with zero training.
Getting your way round is intuitive but if you deploy all the features in one hit people will get overwhelmed, but then you shouldn't be doing this when implementing a process management driven solution.

Value - There are many many different help desk solutions on the market agreed WHD will not fit everyones requirement and for some larger concerns the interface may not even be an option if branding policies are in place.
But compared to most paid for software its very good value.
You can buy outright with 1st year support and thats your only commitment or you can enroll in the yearly maintenance and support program.
Stability - Very stable and backups are a breeze if you plug to a Microsoft SQL backend you can leverage Bakbone and the like for RDP and Recovery.

Overall I highly recommend WHD and strongly advise putting it in your final 3 if it ticks most of your boxes.

In terms of scalability I have deployed this solution for my own help desk needs (1 Person) and for small support agencies up to an enterprise level 30 strong support team.
[Version 9.2.06]

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