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SimpleBackup - a Finder alias-based backup utility

v1.6 © 1996 by Roland Gustafsson, All Rights Reserved

What is SimpleBackup?

SimpleBackup is a very simple and easy to use file backup utility. I wrote it because I wanted a quick-and-easy way to back up all those files that are spread out over the hard disk, in the preferences folder, in the documents folder, certain folders and files in the applications folder, etc... I decided that I didn't want to write a user interface for the utility, so I got the idea of letting the Finder do the work for me by using aliases. The result is a backup program that is actually easy to use! You simply navigate through your hard disk and find the files or entire folders that you want to backup that are buried in the System Folder, Applications, Documents folders etc., and tell SimpleBackup about those files/folders by using aliases.

Here is the step-by-step process:

1) Create a new folder on the Desktop and name it "Backup Aliases".
2) Place a copy of SimpleBackup in this folder.
3) Navigate your hard disk and find those folders and files that you want to backup. For each folder or single file, create an alias and place it in the Backup Aliases folder.
4) Open the SimpleBackup application. The folders referenced by the aliases are scanned to determine how many files and how much space is required for the backup.
5) SimpleBackup will next ask for a destination folder. This folder should be on a different volume than the folder/files represented by the aliases.
6) There are four options that can be set: "Remember settings" remembers the destination folder name and location, "Don't ask next time", "Skip unchanged files"* and "Delete Destination Folder"
7) Click "Backup" and the backup process is started. If the folder already exists on the destination volume, you are asked if you want to use that folder for the backup.

* A file is assumed to be the same if it is exactly the same length (both data & rsrc forks), same type/creator, same creation and modification date.

Version 1.6 changes:

* added a "Progress Bar" option which allows you to turn off the progress bar.
* if a backup is made to a volume that isn't mounted when SimpleBackup starts up, ie: you inserted the disk or the AppleShare volume wasn't mounted, when SimpleBackup is done, it will automatically unmount and eject the volume.

Version 1.5 changes:

* added "Delete Destination Folder" option which automatically deletes the contents of the destination folder before the back up takes place. The result is a "clean", exact copy. This option was added because using the same destination folder causes files to accumulate in the destination folder even though they have been deleted from the source volume.
* uses System memory instead of application heap for copy buffer, application size now set to 200k. (75% of free system memory is used during copy process, with a minimum of 128k.)

Version 1.4 changes:

* if an alias is not resolved becaue the volume is not mounted and "Cancel" was hit in the "Please insert <volume>" or the AppleShare login dialog, backup proceeds anyway, just doesn't back up that one alias
* barbershop pole animation during scan

Version 1.3 changes:

* if destination folder is on an unmounted volume and "Remember settings" was set, prompts to insert volume, or if on AppleShare, asks for password etc... (uses internal alias)
* saves settings in separate file instead of in app's resource fork (safer)
* new application icon and settings document icon

Version 1.2 changes:

* "Don't ask next time" option allows you to set up SimpleBackup once and from then on, just double-click to backup

Version 1.1 changes:

* prescans files and calculates total space needed (but still doesn't check dest vol for space)
* progress bar when copying
* help available (very basic)
* preserves Finder icon locations and folder display mode (small icon, icon, name, etc..)
* option to remember settings (dest folder name, dest folder location, skip unchanged files) The settings are stored inside the SimpleBackup application itself, so simply make extra copies of the app for each backup aliases folder.
* allows use of existing folder for backup with option of skipping unchanged files (very useful feature that saves a lot of time... if a file doesn't exist in the dest folder, it is copied. If a file exists in the dest folder, but not in the source, it is ignored.)

Pros: Faster than the Finder, easier to use than commercial backup programs, no cost, free, gratis, no charge, ThankYouWare!!! Easy to create multiple backup "sets" by keeping a copy of SimpleBackup in each folder along with the aliases to backup.

Cons: Does not check to see if there is enough room on the destination volume (I may fix this, it is a bit more complicated than you might think!!! Different volumes have different allocation block sizes which significantly impacts the amount of space required for small files, especially. When I come up with a simple solution, I'll include this feature.)

System requirements:

System 7 or better
Should work on any Mac with at least 1 meg free RAM
(I've tested on a Quadra 800, Mac ][ and PowerBook 100)
Although SimpleBackup will work with floppy disks, it is better suited for backing up to volumes with plenty of space such as ZIP, SyQuest or Bernoulli removable disks, a second hard drive or even an AppleShare volume.

SimpleBackup is "ThankYouWare". If you find it useful,
all you have to do is say "thank you."

My email address is ""

ThankYouWare Home:

Original file name: SimpleBackup Read Me - converted on Friday, 10 September 1999, 22:56

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