2BrightSparks: Newsletter. December 2012


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Welcome to the December newsletter from 2BrightSparks. In this issue, find out about the latest updates to SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE, read about the release of the all new SyncBackFree, and enjoy some great tech tips about sending your logs and shared settings via email.

If you have any suggestions on what you might like to see in future issues of this newsletter, drop us a line with your suggestions.

V6 and SyncBackPro V6 are Updated

SyncBackSE V6.2.30.0 and SyncBackPro V6.2.30.0 are now available. For those who already have V6 installed, do not uninstall/re-install, or you will lose your profiles and settings. Simply install 'over the top' of your current installation.

Download SyncBackSE V6

Download SyncBackPro V6

Review the changes for SyncBackSE & SyncBackPro

Not Sure Whether you Qualify for an Upgrade?

Read the Article SyncBackSE/Pro V6 Upgrades Explained for the full details, or check whether you qualify for a Free Upgrade Today.

Note that this is not an upgrade to SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro from SyncBack freeware.

Why charge for the upgrade?

V6 offers substantial advantages over V5.

We continue to invest thousands of man hours actively developing and supporting SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro with new features, updates, and fixes.
We pay for powerful new components.
We pay for additional services every month.
We offer free resources: article updates, site improvements, an open forum, and freely available downloads.
We provide free support ticketing for current version licensees.

Do I have to upgrade from V5 to V6?

you are free to continue to use version 5, the latest versions of which can be downloaded using the following links:

Download SyncBackSE V5 | Download SyncBackPro V5

SyncBackSE, SyncBackPro, and SyncBackFree

There are three versions of our backup program: "SyncBackFree" which is freeware, and "SyncBackSE" and "SyncBackPro" which are commercial programs.

Compare the freeware and commercial versions

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SyncBackFree Touches Down

We are excited to announce the official release of SyncBackFree V6.2.30.0. Nothing has been removed: SyncBackFree V6 has every feature that the old SyncBack V3 freeware had and far more besides.

Download SyncBackFree

SyncBackFree V6 is a great improvement over the old SyncBack V3 freeware. The section below lists just a few of the many advantages of SyncBackFree V6 over the old freeware:

Unicode-Enabled The old SyncBack V3 freeware was not Unicode-enabled. SyncBackFree V6 can cope with filenames in any language. This isn't just valuable for non-English speakers, but for everyone as the increasing internationalization of communications has resulted in files being exchanged via email and the Internet from colleagues and friends that may be named using a broad range of characters.

Unlimited Filename Lengths The old SyncBack V3 freeware could not use files whose total path\filename length was over 260 characters. SyncBackFree V6 has no practical restriction on filename lengths. Read our KnowledgeBase article for more.

Selections and Actions SyncBackFree V6 allows you to select, in detail, which files and folders to include in a backup - for example:

The old SyncBack V3 freeware could not de/select files, only folders; SyncBackFree V6, like SyncBackSE & SyncBackPro, can do both, and also Include New or Ignore New folders/files at every folder level.

The old SyncBack V3 freeware could only use de/selection or folder-level filters. SyncBackFree V6, like SyncBackSE & SyncBackPro, can do both at once.
The old SyncBack V3 freeware filters could not handle full path\file name masks - SyncBackFree V6, like SyncBackSE & SyncBackPro, can (they can all handle combination folder\file masks).
You can now also review the Actions that are proposed after scanning and change them in a radically enhanced Differences window

Interface Consistency The new SyncBackFree V6 shares the same user interface as SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro, thus any eventual upgrade to the commercial versions will mean the interface is much more familiar.

Logging Radically uprated in SyncBackFree V6 to use the commercial HTML logging format, where successful operations are separated into different log pages from Errors, Non-critical Errors, Warnings, etc.

Compression & FTP SyncBackFree V6 uses more modern, faster components (and with FTP, should enable it to work with a wider range of FTP servers).

Note that SyncBack V3 freeware has been retired, not available for download, and the forum section relating to it is now locked/read-only. In contrast, the SyncBackFree V6 Forum section is available to read and optionally pose questions, exchange ideas with other users, etc., Plus, the software itself is of course available, and if improvements are made to common core functions, we plan to also update SyncBackFree V6.

It's time to move on, and we hope you'll follow!

Download SyncBackFree V6

If you have comments please Contact Us and express your views.

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A Brief History of SyncBack

The first version of SyncBack was released as freeware in 2003 by Michael J. Leaver. Michael wrote SyncBack by himself to backup his files as nothing else met his requirements. SyncBack V2 was released in December 2003 and V3 soon followed in March 2004. Around that time MJLSoftware became 2BrightSparks as Michael J. Leaver was joined by Mike de Sousa. In December 2004 the business was registered as 2BrightSparks Pte. Ltd. and we were joined by Richard Gascoigne who became the third Director of the company until his retirement in early 2012.

In February 2005 we released a new version of SyncBack freeware and also our first commercial software: SyncBackSE V3.2.7. SyncBackSE shared the same source code as the freeware version, but SyncBackSE also had a great deal of additional code that provided significant new features. SyncBackSE was a greatly improved version of SyncBack freeware. As more features were added to SyncBackSE we decided to separate the code of SyncBackSE from SyncBack freeware altogether, so SyncBackSE had its own source code and no longer used the code from SyncBack freeware. At this point they became two entirely distinct programs that did not share any code.

In August 2008 we introduced SyncBackPro V5. SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE share the same code, just as SyncBackSE had originally shared the same code as SyncBack freeware. Over the years numerous features have been added to SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro, and SyncBack freeware has continued to be updated. However, since 2005 the gulf between SyncBack freeware and SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE has become ever wider. To rectify this, in December 2012 the old SyncBack freeware has been replaced with SyncBackFree. Now the free version of SyncBack is built from the same source code as SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro. This ensures that when an improvement is made to a core function available in all versions, SyncBackFree, SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro, all three programs benefit from that fix, update, or new feature.

SyncBackFree V6 is a vast improvement over the old SyncBack V3 freeware. It includes many of the advanced features of SyncBackSE as described earlier in this newsletter, and now SyncBackFree V6 also has the same user interface and shares the same help file which aids in the evaluation of different versions of the software. The release of SyncBackFree V6 is therefore a win-win for everyone, as those who want a basic backup solution can now enjoy a program that inherits the up to date, rock solid reliability of its more powerful namesakes.

You can read the full history of SyncBack, from the very first version to the latest and greatest

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Support For Children's Charity

The Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) in Singapore is a non-profit organisation that seeks to improve the quality of lives of children with cancer. 2BrightSparks is supporting this charity with a donation of S$3,000 to help with their vital work which also provides assistance for children's families.

The CCF has grown over twenty years to not only become an important organization that provides services for children with cancer, but has also raised awareness of childhood cancer through its campaigns and educational initiatives. To find out more about the CCF please visit the Children’s Cancer Foundation website.

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SyncBackFree/SE/Pro Tech Tips
David Wilkins, 2BrightSparks

Emailing the log / Shared Settings

In this tech tip I want to cover a much under-used facility in all three versions of our backup software: the ability to email the log. Why might this be useful? Let's say the scheduled backup you've set to run fails because the external drive you have been backing up to has blown a fuse. If you email the log when there's an error in your backup, then you'll know the day the problem occurs - you might otherwise not check for some time, and when you do you might not be able to recover that file you wanted so badly. Note that in the commercial versions there is also an optional user-defined summary of the backup, instead of and/or in addition to the log file.

It may be that you know about the option to email the logs, but are discouraged from setting this up in each profile because of the number of permutations available. Keep the following two points in mind:

Quite often not all parameters need be set (and/or, they can be left as the default); this means configuration is often not as daunting as you think it might be at first sight.

You can make a specimen configuration and then record it/them as a Shared Settings collection; you can then set up all your other profiles to use the same settings with few clicks per profile (and no typing). See the captioned section below for more details on Shared Settings.

It should be borne in mind that it is entirely up to the user (or his manager/consultant) to decide whether regular emails would be welcome, good for their peace of mind, etc., or whether to rely on the 'only if errors' (etc) settings to warn of possible problems.

Bear in mind that to consider 'no email is good news' also means you may not know for some time if (for example) a profile is not running at all (maybe because of a Windows Scheduler issue). A profile that is not run (more accurately, 'a program that is not
started') cannot alert you of the fact.

The great news is that some additional options are now available in SyncBackFree (compared to the old V3 freeware) regarding the actual emailing process. These are:

Only send the log if there are differences (in addition to / in conjunction with the historic 'only if errors' setting).

Do not send if performing a manual run (you may not want an email to be sent if you are right there watching...).
Do not send if performing a Simulated Run (as above, which if Simulating you may well be...).
Header encoding (for use with mail servers with special encoding requirements)
Transfer encoding (as above).
Character set (as above).

Shared Settings have long been available in the commercial versions, but are a new concept in SyncBackFree (there was no such concept in the old V3 freeware). Many of the Shared Settings are now available in all versions:


Emailing the log
Zip filter

Additional shared settings are only available in the commercial versions:

Backup to email (Pro version only)

Backup of email (Pro version only)
CD/DVD burning (Pro version only)
Cloud (Pro version only)
Variables (both for group and non-group profiles) (SE/Pro version)

Note that you can set up as many sets of Shared Settings as you wish, and simply select by name the particular collection of settings as required for a particular profile. You can start from a single existing set of Shared Settings (per 'aspect' as per above list), make new sets from that (with the desired changes), then save each new set as desired. More detail can be found in Help > Search > 'shared' (without the quotes) > top hit.

Now there's no excuse not to take full advantage of emailing your logs!

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Lucky Draw Winners

Every month, ten lucky winners who complete the SyncBackSE/Pro survey forms receive a free license for OnClick Utilities. The link to the survey is contained in the order confirmation email. We will even allow you to transfer your license to friends or family if you've already got a license. Good luck!

To date, over 910 lucky people have already received free software from us just by simply completing the survey, so what are you waiting for?

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Until Next Time

Thanks for reading! Like/don't like this format? Let us know.

If you have any suggestions on what you might like to see in future issues of this newsletter, drop us a line with your suggestions.

The 2BrightSparks Team.
2BrightSparks Pte Ltd.

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