Carbon Copy Cloner 4.0.3
Keeping your Mac up and running just got a whole lot easier
We’ve mentioned this app many times when discussing backups. It’s invaluable for maintaining a bootable backup of your startup disk, and as a complement to Time Machine. This version is necessary if you’re running Yosemite, and there are reasons to upgrade on older systems, too.
Chief among them is a new layout that consolidates task creation and scheduling in one window, making things clearer at a glance. All that’s required to make a bootable clone of your startup disk is to identify it as the source, choose a destination volume and, optionally, set how often the task will run. Advanced options are revealed only when you want them, and context-sensitive explanations are only a click of a question mark button away.
A task can be reviewed by selecting it in the sidebar, where you can also select a volume to confirm that it’s being backed up. Long overdue is the ability to modify tasks, rather than recreating them from scratch and possibly getting something wrong. It’s about time!
The content of emails that can be sent upon task completion is now customisable. In addition to running a shell script, you can mark another task to run. Handy if you want to, say, update your system clone on a local drive and then back up documents to a network drive in one session.
Tasks can be monitored from a newly-introduced menu bar icon, instead of a progress panel blocking access to the app. Advanced users may be disappointed by the removal of a detailed activity log, but the History window that replaces it is easier for mortals to digest – a recurring theme in this version, which is more approachable for newcomers and easier to manage all-round. Alan Stonebridge OS X Server is pitched at businesses, so it’s easy to miss that some of its easily configured features are useful at home too, and they’re a good way to put an old Mac to use provided it meets Server’s low requirements. Caching Server keeps copies of downloads from Apple’s App Stores (including system and app updates), the iTunes Store, iTunes U and the iBooks Store on your server. All you need to do is identify a disk on which to cache items and then turn on the service. From that point, devices running at least OS X Mavericks or iOS 7 will be aware of Caching Server’s presence on your network, which automatically saves a copy of their downloads from Apple’s stores. If the same item is requested by another device on your network, it’s obtained from your server rather than the internet, saving time and, on a metered connection, valuable bandwidth.
If you’ve held off buying a Time Capsule to easily back up your whole family’s Macs, OS X Server can fulfil the same duty. It enables a drive to be used as a networked destination for Time Machine. Each Mac’s backup status can be checked from the Server app. Of course, you can simply share folders and assign different rights so that family members can use, say, a networked RAID drive as a long-term archive, much like a NAS drive, and free up space on their Macs.
Easier to get the hang of than ever, and a compelling way to minimise downtime in the event of drive failure.
This easy to operate Carbon Copy Cloner still has detailed options for experienced users.