2BrightSparks: Newsletter. October 2012


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Welcome to the October newsletter from 2BrightSparks. In this issue, enjoy the latest updates to SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE, read about WIndows 8 compatibility, and enjoy the best technical guidance using SyncBackPro out there.

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 V6.2.15.0 and SyncBackPro V6.2.15.0 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.

SyncBackPro V6 is a free upgrade for all customers who purchased a full Pro (or SE to Pro upgrade) license on or after 1st January 2011.

SyncBackSE V6 is a free upgrade for all customers who purchased an SE license on or after 1st January 2010.

The following upgrade prices apply to those who purchased a license outside the qualifying periods. This may apply to you if you have paid for multiple licenses over a long period (volume discounts also apply):

SyncBackPro > SyncBackPro V6 = $15

SyncBackSE > SyncBackPro V6 = $20

SyncBackSE > SyncBackSE V6 = $10

Note that the number of upgrade licenses you choose may not exceed the total number of existing licenses you own.

Check whether you qualify for a Free Upgrade Today!

Download SyncBackSE V6

Download SyncBackPro V6

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

Review the full list of changes for SyncBackSE & SyncBackPro

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 used in V6.
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 you offer technical support for V5?

Technical support for V5 is officially ended, however all V6 customers enjoy support ticketing.

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 SyncBack Freeware

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

Compare the freeware and commercial versions

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Windows 8 and SyncBackSE/Pro

As we prepare all our commercial programs for the imminent release of Windows 8, we are pleased to report that everything works with one exception: SyncBackPro and raw CD/DVD burning. There are no compatibility issues that we found with SyncBackSE or any other SyncBackPro feature or function. This article will therefore be dedicated to reviewing CD/DVD issue.

The current version of SyncBackPro, to the best of our knowledge at this time, will only be able to create CD/DVDs when run in Windows 7 compatibility mode. We therefore want to engage the views of the SyncBackPro user community to see whether continued support of raw optical disk burning continues to be valuable given the plethora of newer and more convenient storage strategies, including Cloud storage.

SyncBackPro first supported CD/DVD burning over four years ago with the release of V5.0.0.12. In those days, a DVD could still be counted as a relatively large capacity storage option, but things have changed, and we're now all used to 2 TB drives. Let's have a look to see how DVDs stack up.

The most common kind of DVD is called a DVD-5 (1 side, 1 layer) having 4.7GB of storage. Double-sided DVDs are rarely used, but here are some other options - if you can find the disks:

DVD-9 8.54GB Single sided, Dual layer
DVD-10 9.40GB Double sided, Single layers
DVD-14 13.24GB Double sided, One side single layer, one side dual layer
DVD-18 17.08GB Double sided, Dual layer

So as we can see, the largest possible capacity for DVD is a little over 17GB. Some may have a Blu-Ray writer, and that does provide a little larger capacity at 25GB (single-layer), or 50GB (dual). The capacity of the Flash drive on a digital camera here at 2BrightSparks HQ is 64GB, so it's not hard to see why CD/DVD/Blu-Ray are quickly becoming redundant for data storage.

DVDs are costly, generally take longer to backup to as compared with an external drive, and are not as reliable media as external high capacity hard drives, which are now commonplace and relatively inexpensive. This all adds up to a strong case against SyncBackPro's continuing support of CD/DVD burning. The release of Windows 8 has forced the issue as although it will be possible to continue to use SyncBackPro to burn disks, it will only be able to do so in Windows 7 compatibility mode. This is far from ideal, and we are considering whether, in the next version of SyncBackPro, we stop supporting burning altogether.

If you have comments on this article, please Contact Us and express your views

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Digital Archives: Have Your Say

Last month we wrote to you about Digital Archiving, and although we've received some valuable feedback, we're hungry for more. We want to know how digital archives are important to you so that we can try to meet your needs.

Backups are primarily for files that are currently being worked on. In contrast, digital archives host the permanent and secure storage of files that are not going to change and only need to be accessed infrequently.

Digital archives consist of evidential materials, legal documents, and creative media (eBooks, music, photos, movies) etc. which are stored in a way which allows their reliable retrieval over a very long term (years or even decades).

Do you use digital archives? What do you most want from an archive? How important is archive reporting? What kind of reports would you like? We very much look forward to hearing from you about these and any other comments you might have about digital archiving.

Email Us or Visit the Forum with your comments and ideas.

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SyncBackSE/Pro Technical Tips
David Wilkins, 2BrightSparks

The New Queue Feature

SyncBackSE/Pro (just released and announced here) have a new 'Queue' feature that I'd like to discuss in this issue of our newsletter.

Normally, manually triggered profiles are run immediately they are triggered, without waiting for any currently-running profiles to complete. It is also possible to select multiple profiles, then start them both/all, and they will start simultaneously/run in parallel. Whether or not to actually do so with regard to the increased load on the PC resources, device conflicts, etcetera is something for the user to evaluate and decide upon.

If you want to avoid this, you can also/instead create groups to run profiles serially, i.e. you can create a group profile to run a profile and wait for it to finish before running the next profile in the group (and so on).

However, sometimes you may want to run a profile only when no other profiles are running. This may be because of resource constraints, e.g. low memory, low bandwidth, etc., or simply that you want an existing profile to complete before starting a new one. For example, you may want to start a Group of profiles, but a conflicting or resource-hungry profile is currently running already, meaning you may wish SE/Pro to wait till it finishes before starting the Group. Previously there was no easy way to do so, which could be annoying if the running profile will take an appreciable time to complete before you can start the other/s.

To improve the functionality, SyncBackSE/Pro now have a queue. Profiles in the queue are only run when no other profiles are running and profiles in the queue are run in a first-in-first-out (FIFO) order. For example, if you add profile A then profile B then profile C to the queue, then SE/Pro will run them in the order they were added (A, B, then C). You can add a profile multiple times to the queue and remove a profile from the queue but you cannot change the order of the profiles in the queue. Remember that you can create a group profile if you want finer control over the order of profiles.

The queue is a simple ad-hoc way to allow profiles to be run serially.

To add a profile to the queue simply select it in the main window and press Ctrl-Q. Alternatively you can select Queue > 'Queue profile' from the context/pop-up menu (accessed by right-clicking the profile or a selection of profiles) or via Task menu > 'Queue profile' from the main menu bar. This will add the selected profile(s) to the queue and run them attended, i.e. you will be prompted if required. If you want them to run Unattended, i.e. no prompting or Differences window, then choose 'Queue profile (run unattended)' from either menu. There is no keyboard hotkey combination to run Unattended, to avoid accidental triggering of profiles that may overwrite/delete stuff with little or no opportunity for a timely intervention.

Use the 'Queue profile (run unattended)' with care!

When a Queue is Running

You can see which profiles are in the queue by looking at the Stop column in the main window; if a profile is queued, an icon will be shown in that column for that profile. You can click this icon to remove the profile from the queue. You can also remove a profile from the queue by selecting it then using Task menu > 'Remove profile from queue' (or, the right-click context-menu equivalent). Note that removing a profile from the queue will remove all instances of the selected profile(s) from the queue (remember you can add the same profile to the queue more than once). For example, if the queue has profiles A, B, C, B, A in it and you remove profile B then the queue will become A, C, A.

You can also remove all profiles from the queue via Task > 'Clear queue' from the main menu (or right-click in the main window and use the context-menu Queue > 'Clear queue'). This will clear the queue but not stop any profile that is currently running and was taken from the queue. If you want to stop all the running profiles, and clear the queue, press Ctrl-Alt-S, or select Profiles > 'Stop all profiles' from the main menu, or right-click on the SE/Pro tray icon and select 'Stop all profiles' from the pop-up menu.

Note that there is no way to see or change what order the profiles in the queue will run in. Remember that if you want more control over the order it is recommended that a group profile be used instead.

Running Profiles Unattended

The sharp-eyed will have noticed there is now an option to Queue profiles to run Unattended (rather than needing to configure this at the profile level, or run it via a command-line trigger). There is a parallel option now available to do so immediately on the Task menu, namely 'Run (Unattended)'. Once again, there is no hot-key combination for this function, to minimise the chances of accidental triggering in Unattended mode.

Remember also that both in regard to the above and in general terms (throughout the software), running profiles Unattended increases the risk of unanticipated outcomes with no opportunity to be notified or to intervene. Doing so is always at the user's own risk, and we recommend such a mode is only inaugurated after thorough testing while monitoring the proposed actions

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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 900 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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