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New Take Control Book Provides Easy, Comprehensive Backup Advice

I think it’s telling that our best-selling ebook of all time has been Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Mac OS X Backups.” Quite simply, there is no more important topic for anyone who, like us, relies on a Mac for business, for important communication, or for irreplaceable data like personal photographs and videos. Over a hundred backup programs of every ilk vie for your attention, from Apple’s Time Machine to the simplest synchronization program. And then there are the online backup services, each promising more than the next. Through all this, Joe is the only person who has made a systematic study of the field, and his hard-won experience accounts for the popularity of his book.

Now, with the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and numerous other changes in the backup world in the past year, Joe has updated all the details and distilled his various advice in “Take Control of Mac OS X Backups” and its younger sibling, “Take Control of Easy Mac Backups,” to provide a single, unified set of recommendations that will serve the needs of nearly any Mac user. The result is the 210-page “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac,” available now for $15.

In “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac,” Joe provides, as he puts it, “a modern approach to Mac backups that covers the bases but doesn’t overwhelm you with extraneous details.” Although it’s carefully designed so you can read just the parts that are important to you, the full ebook describes how to design a reliable backup system, understand backup lingo, shop for hardware, choose backup software, manage Time Machine (and determine whether Time Machine is a good option and what to do if it’s not), make backups, deal with any special backup needs, and — most importantly — recover lost data after a crash or other catastrophe.

Readers of “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac” will learn how to:

  • Understand the three components of a successful backup strategy.

  • Reassess an existing backup strategy in light of changing habits or newly available options.

  • Choose a “versioned” backup program like Time Machine, and determine what to do if Time Machine doesn’t meet your needs.

  • Shop for and prepare a backup hard drive (or drives).

  • Set up backup software to make backups work smoothly and reliably.

  • Make offsite backups in various ways, including backing up to an online service.

  • Handle special backup needs like huge quantities of photos, or backing up several Macs in a home.

  • Restore backed up data after disaster strikes!

As we have learned all too many times over the years, when a Mac breaks down it can be a major inconvenience, but when it breaks down and takes irreplaceable data with it, it’s a heart-breaking disaster. With Joe’s highly considered and time-tested guidance in “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac”, you can avoid calamity without busting your budget or wasting your time. And if you want to hear more about backups and the book, tune into Joe’s MacVoices interview with Chuck Joiner!

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