Awhile back I endorsed Rebit as a Time Machine like backup for Windows. I just deleted it from my system and can no longer recommend it. I don't think it's terrible, but the reasons I gave up on it are sort of interesting.
  • It's noisy. Rebit is designed to run all the time, which means it's constantly writing to a chattering external drive. It was irritating enough I started turning off the drive most of the time.
  • It's intrusive. Rebit installs a Windows Explorer extension so that when you right click on a file, it offers a menu of options. They did it wrong somehow and it added 300ms+ of latency to interaction.
  • It's buggy. At some point an upgrade of Rebit failed. It kept trying to "upgrade" to an older version. Their support folks tried to help me ("delete this magic file!") but it didn't fix the problem. Also, maybe related, I lost confidence it was actually making backups.
  • It's confusing. I bought "Rebit Backup Software". That product is no longer offered, they now sell "Rebit SaveMe". I think it's a different program, but I'm not really sure, and can't be bothered to find out.
These kinds of problems are typical for software. Geeks like me will often spend a lot of time figuring out how to work around the problems, find the right version of the software and the quiet hard drive and understand it. But for Rebit I couldn't be bothered. So I uninstalled it and switched to manual backups using the built-in stuff in Windows Vista.

It amazes me there's not a really good versioning filesystem for consumer computers. We've been doing it in Unix and VMS for 10+ years. Apple's Time Machine gets mixed reviews from what I've heard.

  2011-01-24 17:58 Z