More Goodies from the Expo - Part Two

More Goodies from the Expo - Part Two

 

Too busy to set up a backup system? Let MacBak take care of business for you.

 

A new company by the name of MacBak was showing a simple, easy-to-use, impressively versatile online backup system that it's just launching now.

 

According to Erik Ohlin, one MacBak's owners, "Our mission is to protect graphic designers and creatives from themselves. They went out and bought Retrospect and it's sitting on a shelf, and they went out and bought a FireWire drive and it's not plugged in. They want to do the right thing, but they're too busy creating."

 

Sure, there are a lot of online backup services available, but MacBak take a different tack with theirs. Ohlin, again: "Unlike other backup services, we provide additional storage every month - an additional 10GB per seat per month. The other guys, they sell a bucket - here's 5GB, here's 10GB - and then when that's full you have to buy more buckets. We thinks that's a silly way to do it - you're going to keep working, we're going to keep backing you up. As you create more files, you're going to need more storage, and we'll just keeping adding it on. We just automatically append 10GB to your storage every month for each Mac that you're backing up. So if you've got four Macs in your shop, that's 40GB this month, 80GB next month, 480GB at the end of the year, and we just keep growing."

 

The 10GB-per-month figure is just a guideline; if you need more, Ohlin will give you more - but you get the idea. The subscription service starts at $89 per month for one seat, with additional seats at $30 each. You don't pay more for more storage space - a subscription is a subscription is a subscription.

 

If you have more than one Mac to back up, MacBak with provide your shop with a Mac mini that manages the backup process. Sending files to the Xserves that comprise MacBak's data center is done through a simple Web based interface - drag and drop your folders onto the interface, and MacBak's client software encrypts your files at 128-bit strength and sends them securely to the data center. At the data center the files are Spotlight-indexed, and there's a Web-based interface for searching them and their metadata that Ohlin claims is "just like the Finder."

 

MacBak also makes it possible for you to share files with your clients over their service. According to Ohlin, "If you're a creative professional and you're collaborating with your clients, and they want to send you files, we also have a collaboration suite so we can allow for file uploads. It's a secure area where a customer can upload files to your shop or download files from you. It's user-based, so if you're doing work for Pepsi and Coke they won't see each other's files." Pricing for this part of the MacBak service is not yet set.

 

Ohlin expressed pride that MacBak is "very Mac-centric." The entire process, he said, is "all Mac-Mac-Mac." The same, to be sure, can't be said about Retrospect.

 

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iPod junkie

I hope that the Macally TunePro sounds half as good as it looks (though I doubt it -- reality is always such a disappointment...) because it would make the ideal nightstand speaker stand. Thing about it: The alarm goes off and your favorite wake-up tune starts playing, but then you see your own bleary face in the mirrored flat-panel speaker and you're rudely jolted awake. You'll never be late for class again!

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