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THOUGHT: Why Sprite Backup is worthier than ActiveSync
Posted by Richard Sargeant - on Tuesday, 07.06.05 - 19:58:53 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 11943x
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It was Murphy's first law of mobile computing; the device will crash at the time that is least convenient. I'd grabbed my Qtek 9090 on the way to the airport for yet another business trip, seen the battery was a bit low and decided to swap it. To my dismay, for some strange reason, hardware reset. Oh no!

But I'd actually just spent money on the most boring type of software you can buy, and even more boring, I'd used it. That's backup software, using it is like going to the dentist, something you'll do next week. But this was much less painful!

Sprite Backup is a backup application for mobile and handheld PCs. I'd tried Microsoft's attempt, which is part of ActiveSync and found it will only restore to the same device. After a hard reset ActiveSync seems to think it's a different phone, so ActiveSync is useless for a total restore.

Sprite Backup was written by the same guys that wrote the original "Ghost" program for cloning Windows NT boxes and I'd been pretty impressed with that, so I had high hopes for Sprite Backup. The app installed like any other, complains about an unsupported version of Windows Mobile like any other (why?) and gave me (sigh) yet another Today plug-in that tells me how much memory I have. Can configure that, but not turn it off completely; guys, how many apps do I need that tell me my memory and battery status? But more usefully, it also gently but firmly informs me how many days have passed since that last backup – time flies!

I'd invested in a SD card, so chose to configure Sprite to backup to that. In its default configuration, starting Sprite leads to a simple screen with 2 large buttons, "Backup" and "Restore". Being a highly qualified technician, I chose "Backup"… No other configuration needed. And kept doing that, every 3 or 4 days until that business trip where I swapped the batteries.

Reconnected to ActiveSync. Yes, new handheld, no, I want it to be Guest. (Re)install Sprite on handheld. Run Sprite. Restore from SD card. Reset. Works. All settings, everything, my complex MMS, GPRS and Bluetooth settings are back. Even Microsoft ActiveSync recognised this prodigal son again! And by the way, yes, I can choose to back up just a few files and restore individual files too, before you ask! :-). Bliss...

Having benefited from using Sprite Backup "in anger" I decided to read the manual and found I could set it to automatically perform a backup daily at 02:00 to my SD card. Better still, that backup could be a self-extracting .exe file that meant I wouldn't even have to re-install the program in the event of a future disaster.

Do you want to spend a whole day resetting your laboriously configured MS Mobile device, or do you just want to use it? If the answer is the latter, you need Sprite Backup.

There's more – much more but this neat program manages to offer a lot without adding complexity. No room to tell you here, but download a 14 day trial from the usual watering holes and explore it for yourself. And just think, "Yes, it's boring, but do I really want to spend all day putting back all those settings"? You'll buy it.


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