Review: ABSplus Automates Backups

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Date: Saturday, November 16th, 2002, 13:35
Category: Archive

CMS ABSplusIf you are like me you probably forget to backup your hard drive. Often, it isn’t a question of wanting to do it, it just becomes a low priority on my list and I will ofter forget altogether. All it takes is one disk failure for you to realize the importance of a good backup and most times, unfortunately, it takes a bad event involving data loss for people to do anything about it.

If this sounds like you, you should check out the ABSplus from CMS Peripherals. The ABSplus bills itself as “the universe’s first Mac OS X bootable automatic backup system” and lives up to its name. The ABSplus is an external 2.5-inch Firewire (IEEE1394) or USB2 hard drive that ships with automatic backup software taking the tedium out of backing up your data.

Setup was as simple as connecting the drive to my Firewire port, installing the included ABS Backup software and choosing between express vs. advanced. I selected the express mode, and my /user/Documents folder for backup and the ABS Backup software (Mac OS 10.2 compatible) took it from there. The software automatically launches any time the drive is connected and backs up the folder(s) you previously selected into a human-readable format.

If you set it up to backup your complete hard drive, the ABSplus automatically initiates a complete backup of your drive, including all files, applications and operating system, creating a fully bootable drive.

The ABS backup application gives you a lot of feedback while it is working, including a progress bar each for the precentage of total backup complete and the percentage of each file backed up (including the file name). The progress window also includes file and MB backup totals.

My favorite feature is the cool blue LED (see picture above) that illuminates the whole rear panel of the drive and acts as a activity indicator. The addition of a second FW port would be nice for daisy-chaining my iPod but is not a deal-breaker in this otherwise excellent device.

The ABS backup comes in several sizes from 20GB (US$299) through 60GB (US$499) and is highly recommended for quick and easy backups of your most important data. Every weekend I simply plug in the drive and it backs up my data without any intervention on my part whatsoever. The drive is fast and the software is completely transparent – the way a backup system should be.

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