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Author Topic: What Happened to Genie Backup Manager?  (Read 13139 times)
J-Mac
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« on: August 22, 2011, 11:18:26 AM »

Genie-Soft, the developers of Genie Backup Manager, have apparently abandoned that program and have changed their name to "Genie9". Not sure why since they don’t offer any products with that name. Anyway I found out about the name chage when I received some spam from them today and tried to go change/cancel my subscription with them - the one that once sent me info about Genie Backup Manager Pro releases. I found the Genie-Soft site abandoned except for their now defunct forums, and a new site called Genie9.com. And to think, I never even received any notification about the name or website address changes! (Their junk email still comes from the Genie-soft.com domain).

I used Genie Backup Manager Pro 8 for a few years. Then I started finding errors after one of their updates and I checked their forum and found that a number of users were reporting the same things there, but Genie wasn’t saying much. For a while they kept stating that this would all be fixed with Genie BU Manager 9 but the ETA for that slipped out over a year. Then they just stopped replying, in the forum and to support inquiries. I finally had to stop using Genie because of the problems. In August 2009 I found out why nothing was going on with Genie BU Manager: They had apparently been working on a new product, Genie Timeline. That's an automatic backup utility. Most GBM Pro users refused to switch because Timeline didn't offer much configurability; most settings were pre-configured and not changeable. I received occasional emails from Genie-Soft pushing Timeline; maybe every month or three.

Now today I received an email pushing "Tune-Up Utilities"! Which is not a Genie product BTW. Plus that's when I discovered that Genie-Soft is now "Genie9". Their forum is down and has been for a long time now, even though the emails still come from Genie-Soft addresses. Looks like they still offer Genie BU Manager 8 Pro and Home but no updates have been released since 2009 - the last one I had installed. So I guess that this is now officially "abandonware", since they haven't updated it in 3 years, have not responded to support inquiries in 3 years, and killed off their forum. All they want to do now is sell you a newer product and/or Tune-Up Utilities! If I can't "unsubscribe" I guess I'll be setting up a Sieve rule to send their junk mail to the spam folder.

Hate it when this happens!

Jim
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f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 02:57:20 PM »

Sad - GBM had a nice amount of configurability and acceptable GUI... and Timeline was a nice idea (never checked the implementation though... is there any similar software on Windows?).

Another one bites the dust, I guess.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 03:25:05 PM »

BackUp4All was very similar to GBM. I dropped that originally for GBM because their license was more strict. Maybe I'll check back with them.

Jim
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rjbull
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 04:06:04 PM »

I haven't tried those to compare, but SyncBack is pretty good.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 08:32:35 PM »

That's a different animal, rj. Genie and BU4A are "backups"; SyncBack is a sync program, basically creates a mirror. I already use SFFS, but as I said those aren't backup programs. I also use Acronis for images but that isn't a backup app either.

Thank you.

Jim
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tomos
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 04:17:17 AM »

I already use SFFS, but as I said those aren't backup programs.

I'm not sure are you saying Jim that SFFS is not a backup programme (?)
The name "Super Flexible File Synchronizer" is misleading as it is a sync and backup app - I think it does everything important at this stage (monitoring, partial file backup, etc etc.)
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Tom
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 03:26:01 PM »

Genie and BU4A are "backups"; SyncBack is a sync program, basically creates a mirror.
You mean, backup as in, keeping multiple earlier versions?  You're right, SyncBack doesn't seem to do that, even though their Web page clearly says it's a backup program.  It does seem a good synchroniser, though.

Mostly I've felt file sync was good enough for what I wanted, augmented by proper multi-generation backups of really critical things like KeePass files.  I can see circumstances where a real backup would be acutely necessary...
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mwb1100
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 07:35:32 PM »

You mean, backup as in, keeping multiple earlier versions?  You're right, SyncBack doesn't seem to do that

SyncBack does support keeping multiple versions (maybe the free variant doesn't - I don't know).
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rjbull
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 05:59:07 AM »

SyncBack does support keeping multiple versions (maybe the free variant doesn't - I don't know).
It does?  I missed that!   embarassed  Thanks, I'll have to investigate!
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40hz
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 06:46:07 AM »

I've had so many bad experiences with supposedly "good" and "verified" backups that I've given up on them for most purposes.

I will sync. I will mirror. I will version. I will copy. I will image...

But anything that backs up files in a format that isn't usable without the utility that created them is no longer welcome in my toolkit.

Classic backup utilities made sense when we were using tape drives. Because you needed to use compression and incremental strategies to save space and minimize wear & tear on your DAT or DLT media. But with fast and reliable hard drives dropping below $80 for 1TB of storage, doing 'incrementals' or using compression isn't worth the grief involved. If you run short of space, just buy an additional drive (or two  mrgreen) next time NewEgg puts them on sale.

If you do want a classic backup utility (with some nice modern touches) try Cobain Backup. Cobain is the only backup tool I never experienced a problem with. Which is more than I can say for some very expensive and highly recommended commercial programs I've used.
 Cool
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 06:49:22 AM by 40hz » Logged

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iphigenie
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2011, 01:16:59 PM »

Quote
But anything that backs up files in a format that isn't usable without the utility that created them is no longer welcome in my toolkit.

too right!

To stay on topic... Genie Timeline does backup in either a compressed or uncompressed format, and the files are just that, normal, browsable and accessible.

The way I set it up it just creates a root folder on the backup drive, and within there it has a)an index db of all the files and b)a mirror tree of the files chosen. I can access and find specific files via the software but I can also just browse the drive
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2011, 02:55:57 PM »

Post moved to:
General Software Discussion
backup software - file-by-file sets
http://www.donationcoder....x.php?topic=27785.new#new
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 08:57:41 PM by Steven Avery » Logged
nosh
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 04:57:51 AM »

I'm still using GBM 6 (from 2005, IIRC) - There are some known quirks (it won't always overwrite existing files, even if you set it to do so) but once you're familiar with its behavior, it's pretty dependable. The .gbp files are plain zip files, btw.

One thing I really need in a backup app is the ability to backup selective registry keys along with files, which Genie does well.

I didn't bother with future versions because they got rid of a less known (but useful) feature for no apparent reason...hate when that happens.  mad
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iphigenie
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2011, 11:32:34 AM »

I just received a promo email from Genie9 and it seems they at least still sell Genie Backup Manager
They are quite clear that it is not a product they are developing going forward, whereas Timeline is

Link to the 50% promo (very similar to the one they had early in the summer) http://www.genie9.com/Pro...?linkid=214&srcid=469
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longrun
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2011, 10:27:16 AM »

If you do want a classic backup utility (with some nice modern touches) try Cobain Backup. Cobain is the only backup tool I never experienced a problem with.

It's Cobian.

Quote
Then they just stopped replying, in the forum and to support inquiries.
In March they responded quickly to my inquiries. Unfortunately GBM is incompatible with my Seagate Dockstar but at least I got responses.
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delaners
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2011, 08:57:31 AM »

I started using Genie BU Manager when it was mentioned on Donation Coder.  I used Timeline, but removed it from my computer as it was very intrusive and really slowed the computer down when it was running.  There are plenty of better solutions to mirror files.  More recently, I am trying EaseUS ToDo Backup Free 3.0.  This is a relatively new program (China), free, and has characteristics of both Genie BU and Acronis.  So far, seems pretty good. 
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Curt
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 06:45:33 AM »

Quote from: Genie
Genie Timeline Professional 2012 (v3)

Genie Timeline 2012 has been enhanced with plenty of new features.

Backup speeds are twice the speed of the previous version, for instance.

The program is smarter, less likely to store multiple copies of the same file, so reducing backup space requirements.

Explorer folder icons will have a marker to indicate which ones are backed up. And it's now quicker and easier to restore the files you need.

The Professional edition provides fine control over which files are backed up, enable you to encrypt them for maximum security, can schedule backups to run on particular dates (and as frequently as every 3 minutes), and are able to shut your PC down once a backup is complete.

Note that Genie Timeline Professional 2012 ships with a single PC, non-expiring lifetime license.

Quote from: pcauthority
Genie Timeline Professional 2012 (v3)
includes a 1-PC, unlimited non-expiring license

RRP: A$59.95
Save: A$30.00 (50%)
Our Price: A$29.95

http://store.pcauthority....line-professional-2012-v3


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f0dder
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2012, 01:58:03 PM »

Hm, can't make up my mind with regards to purchasing Genie Timeline or not.

I'm near the end of my trial period, and so far it has been pretty satisfactory. It doesn't bog down my machine (admittedly, that would be a pretty awesome feat after my latest upgrade tongue), and I really like the no-nonsense simple GUI and the multiple backups. I've pointed it a my fileserver and let it use 50 gigabytes storage, which is enough for quite a few versions of my most important data.

So, what's holding me back?

First, two relatively minor points, that still nag me somewhat.
1) the structure of the backups. Poking around there just looks... weird. OTOH, rather than 100% opaque binary blobs, there's a bunch of individually zipped up versions - plus special storage for files with very long path/filenames, and some bookkeeping database stuff. Would be a pain to extract stuff by hand, but seems doable. The structure also does seem to be relatively wasteful... then again, it makes for fast restore of individual versions.
2) the use of an explorer shell extension for the timeline explorer. I really, really, don't think that's the best way to implement this... also, the UI for this is a bit too simplistic, offering only home/end, prev/next and some 'dots' you can click - there's no decent overview of or way to select based on dates.
3) restore seems relatively slow - seems like traversing their version-database/whatever might not be designed the best way in the world (actual file restoration after the "preparing data" step seemed to run at fine speed). And this is after the 30-day trial period - I have no idea whether the "preparing data" step will take even longer as more versions are accumulated?
4) trying to con you into "extended download support" and adding whatever unrelated crap. I know there's a fair amount of online stores doing this, but it's still damn cheesy. (That's the shop on Curt's link, btw, not the official(?) genie9 store).

I can live with the above flaws, but they do nag me a bit. And I haven't found another piece of backup software that runs unobtrusively in the background and does local, versioned, on-modified backups.

Now, there's a few other things that, when added to the above points, makes me queasy.
1) the "tweet about this" and "like us on facebook" buttons in the main UI. Like, WTF? Sure, have those on your webpage if you must - but in the program UI? Tacky.
2) "but where did the forums go?"
3) genie-software/genie9's history of not updating their software for ages.
4) the genie9 blog... like, W-T-MEGA-F? Why the heck is a backup software company blogging about smartphone apps, Nikon kameras, tablets and stuff? The blog seems like a mix of somehow-revenue-generating links and stuff that really doesn't have anything to do with backup (olympics 2012, for instance).

So I don't really know. I haven't found any other backup software that I really like, but the company seems dodgy. What to do?

They currently have a 35% off summer sale, but Curt's link also seems to work (at least up until you enter your CC information, haven't gone through with it) - dunno if there's any differences between the Pro version there and the Pro version on their site?

*sigh*. Why can't these things ever be easy?
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tomos
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2012, 03:11:26 PM »

And I haven't found another piece of backup software that runs unobtrusively in the background and does local, versioned, on-modified backups.

what have you tried?

I would have thought SFFS would be your type of backup programme - have you tried it? Seems to me it does all you want, backups are very accessible. It's very versatile, I find that a problem at times - not knowing which goddamn option to choose- and have run into problems because of that.
But:
the developer is very quick to reply to emails or in the forum
I've had it a few years now and there was only one paid update - quite recently, in spite of the fact that there are very regular updates.

Oh, yeah: it's called Syncovery now - www.syncovery.com
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Tom
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2012, 10:35:06 PM »

I have used SFFS for about four or five years now. At first I just used it for syncing some folders, but now I am using it for more. I did away with Jungle Disk - once they were purchased by Rackspace they really pushed hard to get me to abandon my Amazon S3 account and use Rackspace instead. But the Rackspace storage doesn’t allow browsing your files/folders, as Amazon S3 does. So I stuck with it for about two years but each update broke a little more of the interface with S3 and they would pressure me to switch my data to Rackspace again. I finally set up SFFS to sync directly to Amazon S3 and that now happens daily, silently, and hasn’t screwed up anything at all yet. So bye-bye to Jungle Disk.

I didn't even know they changed the name, Tom! Tobias seems to have stopped sending out any newsletters or any emails at all. Maybe since he changed his web site I need to re-subscribe or something.

Thanks!

Jim
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f0dder
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2012, 07:23:28 AM »

And I haven't found another piece of backup software that runs unobtrusively in the background and does local, versioned, on-modified backups.
what have you tried?
I've been looking at a fair number of programs during the years, haven't really kept names of most of them. Traditional period-scheduled backup programs (like Genie's backup manager) don't really do it for me. I've been using SpiderOak for several years, but since it only does cloud, it's only usable for backing up the most important core files (bandwidth as well as storage capacity). Also, it's user interface is horrible.

I would have thought SFFS would be your type of backup programme - have you tried it? Seems to me it does all you want, backups are very accessible.
I checked it out a while ago, and it wasn't really my cup of tea. It does seem pretty fine for synchronizing, but I'm not sure it fits my backup needs. I've skimmed the bullet points for Syncovery, and it does mention Real-time sync and versioning now, but I still get the feeling that it's not exactly what I want. Guess I should take it for a test drive. Somewhat expensive, but OTOH it can also do a bunch of things Timeline can't... ho humm. It's pretty appealing that you can set up multiple backup jobs and there's S3 integration - I could backup the entire dataset to my fileserver, and then the critical stuff (i.e., the "SpiderOak set") to S3... would have to look closely at their versioning and security, because while SpiderOak has a lot of flaws, that's two things they got right, and the reason I use it at all.

I guess listing what I find Timeline does right would be helpful.

1) real-time monitoring of file changes, instead of scheduled backups. However, it doesn't backup files just as they're changed - it queues up changes and backs up periodically. IMHO this is the best of both worlds - it doesn't need to re-scan the backup set, it knows what to backup because of the monitoring, but you don't waste CPU time, disk I/O, network bandwidth and backup storage by constantly backing up files that are modified often.
2) the background backups run at a priority level where it doesn't put much strain on my computer, but I can hit "backup now" and enable "turbo mode" to get the job done ASAP.
3) it has VSS/Shadow Copy support, so in-use files can be backed up.
4) the versioning system - both that you can set it to auto-purge, but also the scheme (which is similar to rsnapshot and Apple's time machine): keep X copies for the last four hours, a daily set for the past week, and a weekly set for stuff older than that.

I also quite like it's UI, it's simple and uncluttered, and has relevant information readily available (when was the last backup run, when will the next backup run, how many files have been modified since last run).

For "regular people", it's backup source selections ("documents", "pictures", etc.) is cute, but I only really need to specify file paths (which it fortuntaley supports) - the easy source selection isn't something I need in another backup program. And one of the big limitations of Timeline is you can only do one backup set. While I can live with that, it would definitely be nifty to have local as well as cloud backup, as I mentioned above - wouldn't mind running a single backup program.

I've also looked (very little!) at some of the open source offerings, and some of the client/server offerings seemed interesting - but often too much hassle setting up, lacking a bit in the client end, or only offering web-based GUIs. Ho humm.
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2012, 08:02:59 AM »

1) real-time monitoring of file changes, instead of scheduled backups. However, it doesn't backup files just as they're changed - it queues up changes and backs up periodically. IMHO this is the best of both worlds - it doesn't need to re-scan the backup set, it knows what to backup because of the monitoring, but you don't waste CPU time, disk I/O, network bandwidth and backup storage by constantly backing up files that are modified often.
2) the background backups run at a priority level where it doesn't put much strain on my computer, but I can hit "backup now" and enable "turbo mode" to get the job done ASAP.
3) it has VSS/Shadow Copy support, so in-use files can be backed up.
4) the versioning system - both that you can set it to auto-purge, but also the scheme (which is similar to rsnapshot and Apple's time machine): keep X copies for the last four hours, a daily set for the past week, and a weekly set for stuff older than that.

I'll compare (to the best of my knowledge) with Syncovery/SFFS

1) "it queues up changes and backs up periodically. IMHO this is the best of both worlds" - it cant compete with that. [/edit] Either it's been updated or I missed this: there is an option when monitoring folders to set a 'minimum pause between actions'. See this dc post [/edit]
OTOH, it's never gotten in my way while working or noticably slowed things down. I did install the related service which, IIRC, is optional.
With Timeline, can you set how often the backups are made, or is there a default (- how often then?)
2) not sure here, all I can say is it hasn't slowed me that I can remember (i.e. if so, not within the last couple of years)
3) the same
4) I like the idea of that scheme. There is the danger that you work intensively on one document and end up with only one backup of it, so I dont use it myself (Filehamster implemented something similar which I disabled).
Re SFFS, it's easiest to just give you a look at versioning tabs:



« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 12:45:45 PM by tomos; Reason: see in red... » Logged

Tom
J-Mac
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 11:48:36 AM »

Tom, can you explain the "synthetic backup" to me? I hadn't created any new profiles since they added that "feature", so I never even looked at it. To be honest I never knew it was there! Tobias doesn’t announce anything when updates are released - you have to discover updates by manually checking. And the Help file doesn’t even contain the word "synthetic" in it.

That's one of two big negatives with SFFS/synco....whatever-the-hell-he-calls-it-now:

  • Documentation - or the lack of it, and
  • The convoluted, mashed together, UI-less settings dialog, if you can call it a dialog!

In those two areas the program does suck. But it performs so well, at least for the parts of it I have managed to figure out.

Jim
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tomos
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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2012, 03:45:55 PM »

^ that seems like a fair summary of SFFS

Tom, can you explain the "synthetic backup" to me?

I took the liberty of moving the answer to the SFFS thread.* I was suprised by some of what I found out about it...


*(I started the SFFS stuff here, but I dont want to take over this thread - I'm never sure what to do in that situation!)
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