Car­bon Copy Cloner 4.0.3

Keep­ing your Mac up and run­ning just got a whole lot eas­ier

Mac Format - - RATED - £26 (£13 to up­grade from ver­sion 3.5) De­vel­oper Bombich Soft­ware Inc, HFS+ for­mat­ted par­ti­tions (for bootable backup) More ra­tio­nal lay­out Ap­proach­able for new­com­ers Eas­ier to mon­i­tor and main­tain

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.

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