Skip to main content

Back To The Future

Where things are as they once were. Philosophy? Nah, I’m talking about backup & restore! A couple of weeks ago I wrote Newbie Guide to Windows Backups, listing the 3 apps most useful for the job. A lot of people backup their data onto CD/DVDs & it is the best option for one time backups of your media – like say your vintage music collection or pictures of the last 5 years of your life. But what about the files you use on a daily basis – like documents, software applications, notes et al? 

The best bet for that is to backup to an external hard drive. Now you could just connect your HDD to your laptop daily and manually copy *all* the files & folders over but not only is it tedious, you’re also more likely to put off doing it as much as possible. Wouldn’t it be easier to have an app do it for you? Not only take the backup but also keep the various versions in order? Such an app does exist and it’s called - appropriately enough – Genie Timeline.

For starters, it is free. It is also the simplest & thus most effective backup software I’ve ever seen. I’m known for my bigger, faster = better philosophy (as regards to hardware & software) but when it comes to taking backups, simplicity is perfection! Setting up your backup shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

After you download and install it, you’ll see the main window called the Dashboard. There isn’t much you can tinker with. Just open up the modify data selections link & choose between the default smart selections (which include such common culprits as My Documents, My pictures etc.) or go ahead and select your custom locations from the My Computer tab.

The best part of Genie Timeline is of course The Timeline! The hallmark of a good backup software is not just the way it lets you take backups, but also the way it lets you restore your files as painlessly as possible. Genie, I think, achieves this spectacularly well. Most other software will let you browse through your compressed backups & chose which file you want to restore but it’s definitely painful (try sifting through 30 GB backups for a 12 MB exe file!). 
genie timeline

Genie on the other hand uses the Timeline. The timeline appears as a bar across the top of the regular explorer windows. So it essentially allows you to look at how your hard drive was organized at different points in time. Its one of those features which make you go ‘Well duh! That’s because while you may not always remember the name of the file or where you kept it, you’ll always have a vague sense of the last time you saw it. And the timeline makes it a very visual process, so even if you forget, getting the file back is a cinch.

So there you have it. A 3 step process taking all of 3 minutes to setup. From that point on, every time your external drive is connected to the laptop/PC, your files & folders are automatically backed up. Truly set and forget!


Popular posts from this blog

Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters?

This post originally appeard in Women's Web: Why Don’t We Raise Our Sons like We Do Our Daughters?

One of the hot button topics right now in Indian media is the safety of women – or rather how our country doesn't really care about half its population. From rape, sexual assault, harassment (in streets, public transport, nearly every public place) to violence perpetrated on women, Indians are finally getting around to discussing taboo topics.
One refrain that caught my eye throughout these debates – both online and off – is the fact that the reaction of the majority of Indians is the same: girls should stay at home, not go out after dark, dress appropriately and so on if they want to stay safe. No one seems to bat an eyelid when laying down these precautions for women. Except that the reality is women would be far safer if all the men simply DID NOT RAPE or HARASS any person that looks remotely female. No one has to stay at home and become a hermit! That got me thinking further. F…

Arranged Versus Love Marriage

This post originally appeared in Women's Web: Arranged Versus Love Marriage: Here's Why Things Are Changing

In 21st-century India, change is so rapid that we barely have time to get used to something before some new trend is on the horizon. And I'm not just talking about technology here. Whether it is human behavior, relationships, societal or cultural norms, Indian society – along with the rest of the world – today is hardly recognizable to my parents or their parents. It's not a surprise that the institution of marriage and the process of finding a life partner is also undergoing a metamorphosis. Perhaps this is one of the areas where the gap between generations is the most obvious. Almost every day, there is a TV show or media report or blog post talking about arranged vs. love marriages. So I figured I would present my take on it as well! Whenever anyone talks about arranged versus love marriages - I don't know why they are always portrayed as opposing players, as…

Bus Seats In Exchange For No More Rape? Sign Me Up!

Being a pretty outspoken atheist and feminist, I am frequently engaged by people in debate regarding these topics. Although I am non-confrontational by nature, it annoys me when people use straw man arguments or stereotypes to dismiss the feminist movement. Countless times I have debated with friends on the misogynistic attitudes prevalent in India and perhaps the most frustrating issue I have come across is when men point to small victories and say that there is no need for feminism or gender equality anymore.

I recall an incident when one of my friends tried to argue that dowry is not actually a social evil since it allows women to get a part of their parents' property. Although I exploded internally, I tried to patiently explain to him that a better way to go about it would be to make sure daughters and sons share inheritance equally, instead of pursuing a practice that leads to further discrimination or abuse against women!

The fact that even today countless female babies are ab…