Retrospect 17

Originally published at:

Major new release for the Mac backup and recovery software with improved speed and dashboard displays. ($49 for Solo and $119 for Desktop new, upgrade pricing available, 195 MB)

What does Retrospect mean when they specify a “non-server computer”?

I’m not sure it has that much meaning in the Mac world, now that I look.

Back when I was still using Retrospect, they meant any Mac running Mac OS X Server. When Server became an app store app, they checked for its presence.

Which is why I stopped using Retrospect. They decided that the presence of a $20 app was sufficient to force me into a massively overpriced installation, even though I was only going to be backing up one computer.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re still playing stupid games like this.

Was that when they were part of Dell EMC?

I used Diskfit but never had the need for Retospect when it came out from Dantz.

I’m pretty sure it was as a part of EMC. I bought my first license in order to back up to a FireWire tape drive from a PowerMac running non-server editions of Mac OS X (10.2 through 10.5). When my data got too big for two 33 GB VXA tapes, I switched to using hard drives for my backups, but kept on using Retrospect.

When replaced that Mac with a mini (running 10.7), I decided to purchase Server because it was cheap and easier than manually hacking/enabling the various server features I use (web, FTP, remote login, screen sharing, DNS, DHCP), I found that Retrospect would refuse to run. It saw the presence of and told me I needed a license for the server edition - which cost over $500, compared with the Desktop edition which was under $150.

At that point, I started making my backups with Carbon Copy Cloner and haven’t looked back. CCC is no good for things like making archival backups onto optical media, because it’s a disk-clone utility, not a backup utility, but it’s good enough for what I need most often.

I always liked Retrospect, but their brain-dead licensing policies have permanently changed my opinion regarding doing business with them. Still, I might consider using them when I get my next Mac, since Apple has stripped so many features out of that there’s no longer any reason to use it with current macOS releases. Without Server, I expect I will be able to use Retrospect Desktop even if I manually install Apache and turn on file sharing.