Backup that data!

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Crushed Powerbook

It’s a brisk, overcast morning here in Portland. The coffee is steaming in my cup, as I munch on my Caribou Coffee Chocolate Mocha bar, listening to some harsh guitar rock by Buckethead. Nothing like a little thrash guitar to get the blood flowing.

I’m a little fuzzy this morning because I was up late last night (early this morning) recovering data from my cousin’s brand new Vista PC that has decided that it will not boot into Windows. I’ve been reminded yet again of the critical need for people to backup their data, regularly.

My cousin is a budding professional photographer and is making her start into the business doing senior photos and weddings. Like many new startup companies, she’s limited on funds and has to make some hard choices as to what new equipment to buy. Fortunately she has new computers and an external hard drive that she has been doing backups on. Unfortunately, her external hard drive was full and she was waiting for a new one for Christmas, so her backups had lapsed.

The good news is I was able to get all the data off her hard drive. Now we just need to reload the OS, I guess, or have her buy a Mac, but even that wouldn’t have prevented a corrupt OS.

It was this experience that drove home the concept to her of reliable, automatic backups. This is a concept that if I could do one thing before I die, it would be to have everybody doing regular backups of their critical data. Many a time I’ve had a customer call into technical support and say that they were having a crisis and we needed to help them undo the problems. Many times, the only option is to roll back to the last backup. No recent backup = world of hurt.

So while most IT departments have regular backup programs, with an automated systems and schedules, this is not usually the case with the small workgroup, or individual. So, do yourself and me a favor, burn a few DVD’s to backup your system tonight. Ask yourself, what is your time worth per hour of lost productivity? I think you’ll see that the cost of a few DVD’s is a cheap investment.

For a more permanent solution for my cousin we’re looking into either a Firewire RAID system, or at least a large external drive that automatically backs up everything every night. I’ve implemented the external drive solution for my wife, my in-laws as well as my parents. Last thing I want is for my mother to call me and tell me her 20 years of family history research is gone, or for my wife’s patient information is AWOL. To say nothing of the year of financial information that was eaten by a failed drive at the in-laws farm.

Backups are critical for the creative community. Back up your font collection so you have a known good set of fonts if / when you have font corruption problems or archiving off old client projects so you can free up space on your hard drive. Having a library of standard templates, fonts, logos, forms and other standard business tools is essential. Don’t forget that the IRS wants you to keep your financial records for up to 5 years.

And don’t forget to backup your iTunes collection. Some mornings strong coffee and a little Buckethead is the only answer.

PK out

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Extensis at Macworld 2008 - we’re giving away some exhibit hall passes, so stay tuned!

Macworld San Francisco 2008 is quickly approaching. As with many years past, Extensis will be there in full force. And this year, you won’t want to miss it. We’ll be demonstrating the powerful features of next-generation Type Server, the Leopard-ready Suitcase Fusion as well as our reliable asset manager, Extensis Portfolio.

Type Server reflectionHere’s all of the pertinent info:

What: Macworld 2008, the premier event for Mac aficionados.
When: January 15-18th
Where: Extensis Booth 1020, Moscone Center South Exhibit Hall, San Francisco, CA

Stay tuned to Manage This for your opportunity to score some free exhibit hall passes in the upcoming weeks. Of course, we’ll also have continued coverage of all things Macworld as we’re blogging from the show floor. There’s always something new and interesting going on to report.

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Suitcase Server X1Today we released a free update for the Suitcase Server X1 client that improves compatibility with the newest release of Mac OS X. This update is recommended for all Suitcase Server X1 client users, whether or not you are upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) now or later.

This release includes the following improvements:

  • Updates to ensure maximum compatibility with Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard). To provide effective font activation, Suitcase X1 now automatically disables two Font Book 2.1 preferences, in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). The preferences, “Automatic font activation” and “Alert me when system fonts change” can conflict with a professional font manager.
  • The installer for this release includes plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator CS2, CS3, and Adobe InDesign CS2, CS3, as well as an XTension for QuarkXPress 7.

The client is available in English, French or German.

To download the new installer, please visit the Suitcase Server X1 page.

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Let’s get right to it–Here’s the first peek at the end user interface for the new Type Server Client.

Client - medium

I do feel this doesn’t do it justice, after all, a font manager looks a lot like a font manager. It is what’s under the hood that makes the big difference.

For the end user, here’s the short list:

  • Multi-face previews combined with QuickType. You can even set preview point size by line. Plus, previews are even better and faster than Suitcase Fusion.
  • Smart sets: save your search criteria as a set and the smart set will automatically find the fonts for that set- dynamically- each time the set is selected.
  • Search on multiple criteria. Can’t remember the name of that typeface? Then narrow-in by searching on what you know:
    • OpenType + Humanist sans + Adobe = whoops, there it is.
  • Granular font information. You can see file type, date added and by whom, version number, unique Font Sense ID, workgroup, classification, etc.
  • Type Server auto-classifies your fonts when they are added- style, foundry, etc. And yes, you can also add your own custom keywords, as well.
  • Highly accurate activation with unique Font Sense ID’s.
  • Activate either the entire family or just individual faces.
  • My favorite fine-tuning thingy: adjust preview size on the fly with the preview size slider (see bottom right of the screen shot above).
  • Did I mention ‘faster’?

If you want to see the new Type Server in action, come check out our booth at Macworld Expo in January. We will be showing the new Type Server on the floor. If you don’t have tickets yet, stay tuned to Manage This. We’ll be giving away tickets to the exhibit floor as we get closer.

There is a lot more to show before then, however. Next up: we’ll talk about what’s under the hood for administrators- and a UI sneak peek for IT types is right around the corner.

As always, let me know if there is something you want to see.

(*This is Alpha, so I make no promises that things won’t change a bit between now and then. After all, this is software.)

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Suitcase Fusion 12.1.5Today we released an update for Suitcase Fusion. This update is available directly from the auto-update utility in Suitcase Fusion (Choose Suitcase Fusion > Check for Updates…), or can be downloaded from the Extensis website.

This release includes improvements to the Manage System Fonts feature as well as enhanced system font override and font-activation under Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.5.1 (Leopard).

This update ensures that important system settings are automatically adjusted rather than requiring you to complete the changes manually, and additionally ensures that Leopard’s new system fonts can be managed via Suitcase Fusion’s Manage System Fonts feature.

This release is recommended for all Suitcase Fusion users, and highly recommended for users who have upgraded to Leopard. For information on the Leopard compatibility of all Extensis products, please visit:

In addition to this update for Suitcase Fusion, a newly updated version of the Extensis “Font Management in OS X Best Practices Guide” is now available on the Extensis site, and includes best practices for managing fonts in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). The Best Practices Guide can be downloaded at:

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