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alternative to filehamster?

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This discussion has been very helpful to me -- I tested most of the software here and finally decided to buy File Hamster Advanced (thanks for the discount link).

A brief summary of what brought me to buy File Hamster is as follows:

Long ago I wrote a "power user backup guide" extolling the virtues of having a two-tier backup system.  The first tier is making full disk images, perhaps once a month.  And the second is for making versioned backups of your documents much more frequently, perhaps once a day.

I stand by that advice, and there are quite a few good programs for doing this on demand.  But recently I've become interested in having a versioning backup tool that works instantaneously every time a file is modified, without having to wait for me to run the backup tool manually or on schedule every X hours.

After trying every one of these tools I could find, I concluded that there is no perfect software for this.  None that I could use to backup everything automatically as soon as it was changed, that was low enough on cpu use AND versatile enough to handle everything that I might need backed up.

The main reason for this "failure" is that there are some files I need backed up regularly that are just too hard for the casual versioning backup tools to manage efficiently (my mail program database files can be 100+ megabytes large and change frequently).  There are some clever backup tools to handle these kinds of changes by storing changes at the block level, but these programs are unsatisfactory in other ways.

So anyway, I reached the conclusion that no INSTANT VERSIONING backup tool was going to serve 100% of my non-disk-imaging backup tools, and that I was still going to need a regular (maybe daily) backup tool for some files.

Once that is accepted, we arrive at a new question -- is there a fairly restricted SMALL set of files that I consider high enough priority that I want versions of them backed up instantly -- both for standard backup reasons and to have detailed version history in case i need to roll back stuff, and which can be backed up efficiently by existing solutions.

And the answer for me was a definite yes:  My written text/document/office files, and most of all my programming source code files.

And once I settled on that narrow scope of purpose, File Hamster clearly stood out to me as the best solution for instant versioning source code backup.

NOTE: At this time I can't really recommend File Hamster if you have a huge number of files you want to put under version control -- from what i can tell the program is really not designed for that kind of thing.

Just a follow up post that i am having a few frustrations with File Hamster (like silently truncating the file filter strings, huge memory use) -- so I would advise people considering it to trial it heavily to make sure it works well for you before you purchase.

Thanks for sharing that.
Do you remember why you chose File Hamster over AJC? was it because of the file format?

You could have a look at AutoSave Essentials. I used to use AutoSave 2 but development seemed rather slow (there have been no new updates in at least 2 years to AutoSave 2) and I moved to FileHamster. Not sure what the difference is between AutoSave 2 and Essentials but it seemed to do what it said on the tin (which includes file versioning backups).
-Carol Haynes (September 08, 2009, 12:54 PM)
--- End quote ---

I still use and like AutoSave 2. Avanquest ruined a great program with AutoSave Essentials. With AutoSave one could create a definition that would back up exactly and only what one wanted. With Essentials, if I recall correctly, one had to create a new definition for each type of file. It was designed for people who don't know what they're doing.

Since i wrote saying i chose FileHamster, it's only fair that I post a follow up saying that FileHamster just completely f*cked me.  It was supposed to be monitoring a set of files, and all the settings seem to show it is, but its randomly ignoring files that changed, grabbing changes sometimes.. ignoring some files revisioning others, etc.  Very unhappy.  I didn't lose any data but I've wasted a lot of time messing with FileHamster to now discover it seems completely undependable.  bad show :down:


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