But I started thinking about it more seriously recently, when a friend of mine's laptop died and he just happened to have copied most of the files he was working on (like his novel) to a USB key. Lucky guy, that key saved his sanity. And so it was with great pleasure that I received a CMS Products ABSplus (automatic backup system) review unit, and one that works with Macs, no less!
There are two really lovely things about the ABSplus: One, it's not just a storage unit; in case of a full system crash, you can actually boot from the back-up drive and recreate your entire system. Two, BounceBack promises to back-up only the files that have changed (saving time) since the last time you backed up. And you can program it to do this whenever; even if you're not around, it will even shut your computer down for you. And, like always, I champion products that are compatible with both Windows and Macintosh. (CMS won a MacMinute Showtime award at Macworld 2004.)
The ABSplus hard drive ranges from 80 GB to 400 GB, is sleek and unobtrusive next to my desktop (or laptop), and transfers files super fast with firewire (all my issue folders, up to 10 GB, in a few minutes). The BounceBack software was easy to install, simple to set up and works automatically.
When it works. I have had some trouble getting the software to work as effortlessly as it did in the beginning. I have it configured to back-up all the current-issue folders, as well as extra material I’m working on for later projects. At first it worked effortlessly, but then my trial version expired and when I went to download the professional version, it doesn't seem to remember my settings. The program doesn't start up automatically, and when I start BouceBack, it doesn't remember what my settings are. I’m sure these issues are a just a glitch with my installation, and will be easily fixed with a call to support services, but making that call is like backing up in the first place, not something I readily do without coaxing.