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Last post Author Topic: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !  (Read 62456 times)

apankrat

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Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« on: October 22, 2013, 08:01 AM »
Hi guys,

I'd like to announce that my long-running backup project is finally feature-complete and available for public testing!

Check it out here - http://bvckup2.com - or read on for the summary and what's new in the v2.

--

Here's a couple of screenshots just to spruce up the thread, but go and see the website, there's plenty more.


bvckup2-dc-1.png
Main window (with log panel hidden)


bvckup2-dc-2.png
Backup config

--

As you may or may not know, original Bvckup was a simple directory cloning tool that I wrote for my own use back in 2009. What made it unique is its use of delta copying (whereby it would only copy modified parts of every file after the initial copy) and its real-time (continuous) backup mode. I put it out on the Internets just for fun and almost forgot about it as it was after all just a pet project. Then a year after I looked at some stats and there's nearly 1000 people of the mailing list and I was all o_O, hmm, interesting.

So I posted it on DC (here), Jesse reblogged it, Stephen reviewed it and I got a lot of useful feedback to mull over.

Long story short, last October I finally bit the bullet, sat down and started working on the Version 2 nearly full-time. It was a complete rewrite and it took about 8 months to get to the first shippable beta. That was in May 2013. Then it stayed in private testing with about 100 people for 5 months and eventually got ready for the open beta. Ta-da!

Short diff against the v1 is as follows:

  •    A complete rewrite
  •    Native 64 bit support
  •    Faster and more robust delta copying
  •    Excellent user interface - not to pat myself on a back, but it is really good
  •    Major performance improvements across the board
  •    Removable device tracking
  •    Move / rename detection
  •    Run-as-a-service support

  •    Full year of full-time development
  •    5 months in private testing with 100 people
  •    Stable, robust and of a production quality

  •    About 140,000 lines of C and C++ code
  •    No dependencies on any 3rd party frameworks or libraries, only native Windows APIs
  •    Executable file weighing in a shy under 600KB
  •    Idle RAM usage - under 5 Megs

Having previously wrote firmware for firewalls and routers, I have a sticky preference for efficient and highly optimized code. I also happen to get a strong kick out of messing with pixels and so this puts me in an interesting position when I can comfortably wear several hats at once. Bvckup 2 is essentially of show case of that :)

Have a look, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Cheers,
Alex
Alex

Jibz

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 08:41 AM »
Looks great, looking forward to trying it out :Thmbsup:.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 09:15 AM »
Have a look, give it a try and let me know what you think.
Cheers,
Alex

Okay, here goes! I am going to do a "live walkthrough"! Testing on a "slightly cranky" Windows XP box.

I work in layers so expect several posts and those to keep changing because esp for stuff like this I post thread replies "just to get them up there" and then modify them a couple of times. Then if a post threatens to get too long, I just start a new one!


apankrat

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 09:18 AM »
Bring it on :)
Alex

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 09:19 AM »
The "EULA" - not bad, short and clean. Elsewhere in the thread someone can discuss that.


THE END-USER LICENSING AGREEMENT

between

Pipemetrics SA (the company) and you

for

a beta version of Bvckup 2 software (the software)



- 1 -

The software is provided "as is" with no explicit or implied warranties in respect of its properties, including, but not limited to, correctness and/or fitness for purpose.

- 2 -

You acknowledge and agree to bear the inherent risk associated with using the data processing software, the risk that may result in a complete or partial data loss and/or data corruption.

- 3 -

You agree to not hold the company, its employees and owners responsible for any damages that may result from using the software. Additionally, you agree not to recover from the company any damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages.

- 4 -

You are hereby granted a non-exclusive perpetual license to use an accompanying beta version of the software for its primary purpose, free of charge.

- 5 -

You cannot repackage the software.
You cannot alter or modify the software.
You cannot create derivative works from the software.
You cannot rent, lease, lend or sell the software.
You cannot transfer granted license to a third party.

- 6 -

Granted license is for a beta version of the software only.

To use a production version of the software you need a different license that can be purchased from the company separately.

- End of the Agreement -


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 09:19 AM »
Bring it on :)

Oho! We have a challenge! Ask Skwire sometime - my prev "avatar text" was "official obscure-bug pest of DC" : )

And since "I know you're here" stay put so to speak and then we can get a live "interview with the dev" going on!

(Score!)

:)

Actually it might be useful data as as dev "if the customer's box is not in tip top perfect order". After all, a backup tool is ... wait for it ... because you think your data is already slowly going downhill!

And I am a good tester because I am half decent on concepts, but I find making backups slightly more scary than being tenderly chewed by Cthulu!

 :o


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 09:24 AM »
The Install process:

4.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !
4.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !
3.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !
4.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !



TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 09:29 AM »
Hmm. I don't see a desktop icon. So that will be useful as an offered option in the installer.

---

"Get a Beta License"
5.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !
6.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 09:32 AM »
"Initial Use"
- The opening "Nothing happened yet" screen
7.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !

Starting Menus:
File:
Add New Backup
Exit

Options:
Preferences
Show Log Panel (greyed out)

Help:
Bvckup Homepage
Bvckup Support
Beta Forums (Yes, bolded)
Check for Updates
About Bvckup

Haha! I found my first bug!
Help/Support ... does ... nothing!




« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 09:46 AM by TaoPhoenix »

apankrat

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 09:37 AM »
"Initial Use"
- The opening "Nothing happened yet" screen

The white background on menu items - is it yours or is it mine? I.e. is this a part of the theme you are using?
Alex

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 09:50 AM »
"Initial Use"
- The opening "Nothing happened yet" screen

The white background on menu items - is it yours or is it mine? I.e. is this a part of the theme you are using?

Yours. No other app I have defaults to a fixed color under-menu background.

Also the menus are "soft rollup" so that for example I can't (easily) screen capture them because as soon as I go to ScreenShot Captor (By Mouser! All Rights Reserved, see Mouser for details!) makes the menu roll back up because it loses focus. And I happen to be on an "emergency backup" Mac Keyboard that won't Print Screen.

Help/Check for Updates appears to work, and says no update is available.

The Beta Forums button pulls this page, but detailed notes on the forums will go some other post in the thread maybe later.
http://bvckup2.com/beta/#!/topic/148


« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 09:58 AM by TaoPhoenix »

apankrat

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 09:56 AM »
"Initial Use"
- The opening "Nothing happened yet" screen

The white background on menu items - is it yours or is it mine? I.e. is this a part of the theme you are using?

Yours. No other app I have defaults to a fixed color under-menu background.

Weird, I'll have a look, but the menu isn't custom-drawn in any way. Might be a bug in your skinning app or the theme.

Also the menus are "soft rollup"

I don't know what this means :-/

Help/Support ... does ... nothing!

Ok, will look at this too. It merely calls ShellExecute with "mailto:[email protected]".
Alex

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 10:04 AM »

Weird, I'll have a look, but the menu isn't custom-drawn in any way. Might be a bug in your skinning app or the theme.

One of those answers that could prove frustrating! To a user it can sound a bit aggressive because it makes it "my fault". This is just a color bug that's pretty harmless, so I don't want to look for a new theme right now, but for functionality bugs, especially per earlier a big reason someone would use a backup program is when the comp starts to go downhill, I think it is extra important to try to work around these kinds of "whose fault is it" bugs, especially when the EULA says "not responsible for any data corruption"! Eek!

(Re "Soft Rollup") Well, for example, in Firefox Browser, I can drop drown a menu, "loop the mouse around the screen" down to the icon (tray?) and click Screenshot Captor and capture the menu. For your app when I do that the menu rolls back up. This keyboard doesn't have a Print Screen button, so I haven't tried it that way.

(Re Help Support does nothing)
Ok, will look at this too. It merely calls ShellExecute with "mailto:[email protected]".

Curious - why call that like that? Why not just make a window like the help one with the support address? I get grumpy with "mailto" calls because I use web mail and without a special trick, it invariably tries to call Outlook Express!

(Bleh I got lost in the quotes!)


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 10:11 AM »
The hysterical license! Yay dev humor!

Help-About Mysterious License.png

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 10:13 AM »
Preferences menu with a bunch of stuff "enabled". (I picked them - the defaults are different.)

Preferences.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2013, 10:26 AM »
Starting my first backup.

The real meat of the program is all in here. The first few screens could give someone the mistaken impression "it's a quickly made app" aka they're very short and light.

But once you go to make the backup, it's a modular expand-contract unique window.

Here is my screenshot of "turning all the protections on" aka when you don't trust your comp is in good shape and a normal option that could be faster might magically fail.

When I built this comp I put twin terabyte drives in, with the second drive specially for backups etc. So I'm not afraid of the extra space used by "full copies vs delta changes".

I turned a bunch of other stuff on too.

My big suggestion is put a lot / all of that stuff "outside in the preferences" so the user can work on it and then just make the backup.

FirstBackup DamagedComp Scenario.png

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2013, 10:29 AM »
This next screen is really easy but a little subtly funny.

Awaiting Go.png

Hehe aka it's one more button click to run! I can see someone go through all the rather dizzying options, and then go to lunch ... and come back to "awaiting go"!

So then you click go ... and go to break...

and come back to find this!

go-2.png


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2013, 10:38 AM »
Off we go!

Partway1.png

Part way through a scan.


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2013, 11:27 AM »
And we're done!

Here are some log shots.

Notice on the left there are "log options" - you can expand-collapse stuff.

Log1.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !

log2.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !

log3 scrollbug.pngBvckup 2 is in open beta !
Notice on the last one I found a bug - changing the size of the window around seems to allow the background to "bleed through".

Ad because I selected "full copies not deltas", here is an example that the files came over.

Proof of Files.png

And I am done!

Question for the dev - how do I make a backup of my *entire* c drive? Theoretically if I have a bit perfect backup of the entire C drive, and it tanks, I could just have a comp tech "rename" my "D Drive" into "C", copy over from "Backup Oct22" into "C:" and I could resume using my computer, right? Please advise because I think I want to do that fairly soon.

Also please advise how I would do some kind of process like "re-install Windows", then "dump bit perfect backup on top of it" and maybe have a "brand new computer"! In other words, if the D drive is "brand new" (basically had only like 1000 transactions performed on it max as opposed for ex billions on C drive), a Fresh OS, (And I'm seriously thinking of going Win7 if my box can handle it and I think it can), then I win! Right? Stop me if I made a horrible blunder!


But the backup needs to be "auto-zipped" or whatever so that it's smaller than the regular data!

So overall I like this program!
 :up:


apankrat

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2013, 11:50 AM »
Notice on the last one I found a bug - changing the size of the window around seems to allow the background to "bleed through".

You most certainly want to log a bug report with whoever made the themeing software that you are using. This is a bog standard Windows scrollbar that is not getting painted through. I just have *zero* control over this.

Ad because I selected "full copies not deltas", here is an example that the files came over.

You misunderstand what the delta copying is and I guess the explanation I have in the Backup Config window should be reworded -

bvckup2-dc-3.png

Delta copying doesn't copy deltas and store them in a separate file. It copies them into the existing backup copy. Think of it as a selective, per-block update of the backup copy. Performance-wise it makes no difference on the first run, but on the second run in vast majority of cases it delivers significant speed up (over copying file in its entirety).

And I am done!

And Thanks! :)

Question for the dev - how do I make a backup of my *entire* c drive? Theoretically if I have a bit perfect backup of the entire C drive, and it tanks, I could just have a comp tech "rename" my "D Drive" into "C", copy over from "Backup Oct22" into "C:" and I could resume using my computer, right? Please advise because I think I want to do that fairly soon.

Bvckup is not a system backup, it's a data backup. The principal difference is that it is not aware of things like bootable sector, MBR and other file system elements that are not files, but that are required for a successful OS boot-up. So while you can backup entire C:\, it will not give you a bootable image.

Basically the use-case for Bvckup is that of backing up your precious data, but not the program files or drivers or DLLs. Then, if the source collapses, you'd reinstall the OS and all the apps and then restore app's data from the backup created with Bvckup.

Also please advise how I would do some kind of process like "re-install Windows", then "dump bit perfect backup on top of it" and maybe have a "brand new computer"! In other words, if the D drive is "brand new" (basically had only like 1000 transactions performed on it max as opposed for ex billions on C drive), a Fresh OS, (And I'm seriously thinking of going Win7 if my box can handle it and I think it can), then I win! Right? Stop me if I made a horrible blunder!

See above.

But the backup needs to be "auto-zipped" or whatever so that it's smaller than the regular data!

Just direct backup to a compressed NTFS folder. This gives you a ZIP-level compression rate and absolutely transparently.

So overall I like this program!

Thanks, glad to hear that!
Alex
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 01:15 PM by apankrat »

Jibz

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2013, 12:27 PM »
Bvckup is not a system backup, it's a data backup. The principal difference is that it is not aware of things like bootable sector, MBR and other file system elements that are not files, but that are required for a successful OS boot-up. So while you can backup entire C:\, it will not give you a bootable image.

Basically the use-case for Bvckup is that of backing up your precious data, but not the program files or drivers or DLLs. Then, if the source collapses, you'd reinstall the OS and all the apps and then restore app's data from the backup created with Bvckup.

I seem to remember we've discussed the name before -- I think "backup" gives people some associations about features like restore, compression, etc. As I understand it, what Bvckup does is one-way sync, which can be used for simple backups.

apankrat

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2013, 01:03 PM »
I seem to remember we've discussed the name before -- I think "backup" gives people some associations about features like restore, compression, etc. As I understand it, what Bvckup does is one-way sync, which can be used for simple backups.

It's a matter of terminology really. To each his own. For example, I disagree that compression is an expected part of backup. Nor do I think that Restore should be a built-in app's function, especially if it"s essentially a thinly veiled basic file copy. I hear you that many people were led to believe that a backup without compression is not a "proper" backup, but that's not a reason enough for me to play along. This tendency to compete on the length of a feature list is very unfortunate.

In information technology, a backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.


That's from Wikipedia too. If a program creates an archive copy of a file, primarily to protect against the data loss, it's a backup. It's really quite simple.

But that aside - have you tried the program? What do you think?
Alex

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2013, 01:10 PM »
Notice on the last one I found a bug - changing the size of the window around seems to allow the background to "bleed through".

You most certainly want to log a bug report with whoever made the themeing software that you are using. This is a bog standard Windows scrollbar that is not getting painted through. I just have *zero* control this.

And that vendor is ... Microsoft!
http://www.istarteds...0061029/royale-noir/
"Royale Noir: secret XP theme uncovered

    During Royale‘s development (the XP Media Center theme), the graphic artists also produced a black version of the skin, sans the overused “glass” effect. The result is an aesthetic black skin named “Royale Noir”, it even works with Office 2003.

    Since the skin was never released (or reached final adjustments) there are a few issues with it: some of the colors don’t meet the overall “feel” (they’re too purple-ish compared to the greys of the bitmaps) and the inactive titlebars are a little too dark.

    You’ll find it’s been signed by Microsoft and doesn’t require a custom UxTheme.dll in case there are any doubts as to its authenticity.
...
    This skin has not been released to anyone outside Microsoft, until now."

 8)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2013, 01:19 PM »
Notice on the last one I found a bug - changing the size of the window around seems to allow the background to "bleed through".

You most certainly want to log a bug report with whoever made the themeing software that you are using. This is a bog standard Windows scrollbar that is not getting painted through. I just have *zero* control this.

Ad because I selected "full copies not deltas", here is an example that the files came over.

You misunderstand what the delta copying is and I guess the explanation I have in the Backup Config window should be reworded -
 (see attachment in previous post)
Delta copying doesn't copy deltas and store them in a separate file. It copies them into the existing backup copy. Think of it as a selective, per-block update of the backup copy. Performance-wise it makes no difference on the first run, but on the second run in vast majority of cases it delivers significant speed up (over copying file in its entirety).

I'm not so sure that I am. Copy Files In Full creates "snapshots" in a point in time, right? So if I want one complete snapshot of the files several times in various destination folders, I don't want delta files in a continuous rolling single backup ... I think. This may be confusing because apparently my data processing style is a little unusual where I rely extremely heavily on my desktop and then down into "batched folders".

Then when I "finish something" esp something big, after like now when I have a file-complete backup copy, I might delete it from my desktop "front line copy". So then the next time I do another run, it has a different set of files. But also in case I am a moron and damage my backup, for really critical things it means there is an entire extra copy of it in the backup folder.




tomos

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Re: Bvckup 2 is in open beta !
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2013, 01:24 PM »
What theme are you using Tao - is it a default XP one? Answered above

@apankrat: the logs look so nice and easy compared to your average log :-*
+
Query (similar to one in previous post) -
does it do versioning? (with apologies if stated above - have been following the events, but not very closely...)
Tom