Retrospect 5 still in works

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Dantz Development's Retrospect software has long been a cornerstone in many Mac-dependent users' and companies' arsenal of utilities. The software enables Mac users to archive and backup their data to tape, removable mountable volumes and other backup media locally and over a network.

Since the advent of Mac OS X, the lack of complete backup solutions has been a thorn in the side of many Mac users and administrators alike. Dantz has released a public beta version of the Retrospect client software, enabling Mac OS X-equipped systems to be backed up to a remote Retrospect server on a network. The company hasn't yet released a full Retrospect package for Mac OS X yet, however, and that's led many Mac users to wonder about the status of the company's support for the new operating system.

It's just going to take some more time, according to the company. Dantz today updated its Web site with a new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions list) outlining the company's commitment to OS X and its product plans going forward.

The bottom line, said Dantz, is that a new version of Retrospect Backup has been in development since 1999, but isn't yet ready for primetime because of limitations in Mac OS X itself.

Dantz said that Mac OS X 10.1 now includes "the level of device access and arbitration that Retrospect requires, [but] it does not solve several issues that prevent Retrospect from successfully restoring a complete Mac OS X system to a functioning state."

Dantz also reported that it is working with Apple's operating system engineers to resolve these issues presently.

The company anticipates that once Apple gets the necessary OS components ready and in place, Dantz can begin testing Retrospect 5.0 for the Mac, which it says will take approximately 10 weeks. All told, Dantz hopes to make Retrospect Backup 5.0 for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X ready by the mid to late part of the first quarter of 2002.

Dantz also offers some important information for users of the Retrospect client public beta for Mac OS X. The company said that the beta has the same problems that affect the full application's ability to restore files reliably. "As a result, users should not rely on the beta client for backing up critical data."

In the interim, Dantz recommends that users copy critical files to removable media for offsite storage, or at least duplicate the files onto another hard drive. "The beta Retrospect client for Mac OS X may be used, but it will not allow for the restoration of much more than user's files," said Dantz.

The full details are available from Dantz's Web site.

This story, "Retrospect 5 still in works" was originally published by PCWorld.

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