Still Looking for Reliable Mac Sync Software

My search for a reliable, fast, correct, usable program to synchronize my G5 with my TiBook over Ethernet continues. It had been almost a year since I last evaluated and rejected Decimus Synk, but it had been through several minor versions since then. I figured it was time to give it another try, and see if Decimus had fixed the bug syncing large (> 2.1 GB) files that had led me to reject it last year.

I synced up the TiBook before I left for Norway and all went well, after I finally excluded enough data to allow the desktop content to fit on the laptop. However when I came home and ran the sync in the other direction, Synk hung on my Thunderbird Inbox. Seems I hadn’t cleaned it out enough in Norway and it had grown from just about 2.0GB to 2.4GB in the week I was away. Apparently that was enough to break Synk.

When are programmers going to learn that a signed four-byte int (or even an unsigned four-byte int) just isn’t big enough to hold a file size any more? It hasn’t been large enough for years. Heck, I’m not sure even a long would be large enough for some applications. It’s not just e-mail Inboxes that are big but any sort of data recorded from the outside world: sound, video, scientific imagery, DVD images, backup sets and more. Large files are proliferating. We’ve got to stop ignoring them.

On the plus side, Decimus gets a gold star for resetting the demo time period with the new release of their software. Too many publishers think that just because I tried (and rejected) WhizzyWriter 3.0 a few years ago, I shouldn’t be allowed to try a much improved WhizzyWriter 6.5 today. That’s really foolish. If the new product is better as it should be, I might buy it this time out. If Decimus Synk had fixed this one bug, I would have bought it; but I guess I’m waiting for the next version instead.

Or maybe not: I see that Bombich Software has just released Carbon Copy Cloner 3 and new features include “Synchronization built-in, not bolted on.” and “Support for backing up across the network to another Macintosh.” Carbon Copy Cloner was never really an option for me before, but maybe now it is. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to try it before I leave for Boston and SD Best Practices tomorrow, but if not I’ll give it a spin when I get back. I’ll let you know how it goes.

One Response to “Still Looking for Reliable Mac Sync Software”

  1. Steve Byan Says:

    I like Synchronize Pro! X from I’ve used it since the OS 9 days. Haven’t ever had any data integrity problems. I now use it mostly with a firewire disk to sync between my home server and my laptop. A network connection doesn’t let you preserve user and group ID’s, and I’m syncing some directories that are shared by my family, hence the disk-to-disk sync. But if you’re just syncing things in your home directory over the network it should do just fine.

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