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Can anyone recommend some good software for taking full and incremental backups from a notebook computer running Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP?

I just got through a manual full backup of Numerramar - about 15Gb of files in 8 big 1.5-2Gb pieces, plus sundry large AVIs.

BTW: I've been hearing a lot and reading a little about WinFS, the new file system of Windows Longhorn, and what little has been put out about WinFX. It all looks interesting and promising, but not having laid my hands on any developer tools yet, it's hard for me to formulate a complete opinion. Have any of you done either (looked at dev tools or formed an opinion)?

(The reasons for my backups are left as an exercise for the reader...)



Jul. 18th, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC)
Microsoft is the new Carnivore!
I'm mainly concerned about stability and ease-of-use, as usual. To me, the small incremental gains in functionality through nifty or innovative features (even if they are things that other OSes have had for some time) are worth the small pain of upgrading.

OTOH, I hate bloat, and features are my bane, because banazir's user personality is to suck the marrow out of OSes by pushing functionality, new features, and most especially system resources to the utter limits of the hardware and kernel. More on this tendency later.

Jul. 18th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Microsoft is the new Carnivore!
Microsoft is the new Carnivore!

That may indeed be close to the mark. You may be mainly concerned about stability and ease-of-use, but personally, for me, Windows fails on both of those.

Stability. Does anyone in their right mind actually praise Windows on its stability WRT other OSes?

Ease-of-use: For one thing, everytime a new version of Windows comes out, they take the same programs/utilities and put them in COMPLETELY different places. Why? And then they take the same features within those programs/utilities and put them in COMPLETELY different parts of the program.

Another thing, MS programs have a tendancy to think that they're smarter than you and know what to do better than you. This tendancy is getting more and more pronounced with every new version. MS Word is a good (bad?) example of this. I find it almost impossible to get MS Word to STOP altering my text as I type. You have to make, like, 5 different changes in 3 different windows in order to stop it. And ever new version (or CURRECT versions; these days, there's, like, 3 different versions of everything every time something comes out).

These days, I do all my writing in OSX's TextEdit, set to PLAIN TEXT (it has the capability to do fonts and underlines and stuff). The only thing it does beyond a straight text editor is it underlines words it thinks are misspelled. It then lets me fix them on my own if I feel like. After I'm done, if it's a paper for class, I then convert it to an RTF with bold and underline and centered titles, etc.

But my main disagreement with Windows security. Quite apart from the fact that it's notably unsecure to outsiders, XP itself compromises your security quite on its own. As a "feature". It's like ET, it wants to phone home and will do so by whatever means are neccesary (including but not limited to co-opting a Speak 'n' Spell, an umbrella and who knows what else). Windows Media Player, IE, even Search feed data back to Redmond. And if you don't "activate" it by sending more data to Redmond, the thing won't even run.

My parents have XP and everytime I'm on it, it feels like I'm Aragorn with the palantir, trying to wrest control of the thing from Sauron.

IMO, Windows 2000 Pro is apogee of Windows. It was stable, it was secure, you could play games/music/videos/DVDs on it, and it didn't act like a tool of the MSA (Microsoft Security Agency). It's all downhill from here. And that's why I refuse to get XP.
Jul. 19th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
Did I say I LIKE Windows?
For the record, I don't think Windows is more stable than most other operating systems. I think that the application availability balances out its (considerable) instability, and that the slight edge it has in ease-of-use (commonality of interface, transparency) tips the scales slightly in its favor over other operating systems.

Right now, as much as I regret to say it: if I could run only one operating system, it would be Windows XP Pro. Fortunately, I am not limited to a single choice.

There's a lot to be said for simplicity, as you rightly point out, and a lot to be said against zhi2 zhuo2 cong1 ming2 (self-subposed intelligence) on the part of the OS, or of its designers, for that matter. "cong1 ming2 fan3 bei4 cong1 ming2 wu4", as we Chinese say (intelligence opposes itself, i.e., smart is as smart does).

Most Linux advocates point out, again rightly, that if you want to trust your OS, you should in principle know what it does, and be able to tell. More practically: you should not have to turn off things or constantly have to deny your OS the right to "spy" upon you or to report your doings, cookies, data, etc. without your explicit authorization.

And so I agree with your Aragorn analogy: "Long have you installed spyware; long have I endured it - no more."

Win2K Pro was indeed an apogee of Windows stability. I've actually gone back to it on two out of three of my working notebook computers because of this. As far as I can tell, WinXP's designers put a lot of thought and effort into security, but its feature bloat has opened up a commensurate number of holes. The frequency of updates serves only as demonstration of this. It has a smaller memory footprint, it is less of a power hog (very important on notebooks!), and it has a comparable response time. Some of my hardware (e.g., my Winnov Videumcam) doesn't even work on WinXP! To these, I will add that what scottharmon calls the "Playskool theme" is a minor incremental interface improvement (IMO; some such as zurich31 consider it a step backward).

Essentially, my only reason for using WinXP is to keep up with drivers and developer tools: I don't trust the Legacy Effect insofar as Visual Studio 2005, .NET framework, and server/Active Directory/WinFS features go. This is a big deal, a dealbreaker when it comes down to brass tacks. Eventually, I expect Win2K to be left behind. It probably will, deliberately if not because of genuine obsolescence. Long before that, I and many others will have despaired of maintaining three versions of Windows: Longhorn, XP, and 2000 (four if you count WinXP Home). Call it part of Microsoft's successful psychological warfare. And perhaps this reason, cynical as it is, rings truest.


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