Backupify cares

Well, someone read my last post on backups and restores using the online cloud backup service Backupify.  I reported a problem where I could not open my archived email files.  Rob from Backupify replied to my post and suggested a possible cause:

Hi Andrew,
We can’t replicate this error, and haven’t had a single user complain about anything similar, so you might want to send us an email with some more information so we can look into it.

We’ve seen a weird bug with some versions of IE 7 where it downloads empty zip files that really have data, so you may want to include your browser info.

Well, I did some more testing and found that downloading and opening the .eml files works fine on my OS X system.  Mail opens them right up, the spam and the ham, attachments and all.  So cool, it works, I can sleep at night.

So what was the problem?  Either my Windows XP box is hosed (I suspect it is) or the Untangle box at work is stripping .eml file data.  I’ve been meaning to reformat my desktop and install Windows 7 at work and one day I will. Really.  In the mean time I’ve got a 27″ iMac inbound any day now and as soon as that comes in, I’ll check and see if I get the same result at work.  That will rule out Untangle.  Everything works fine from home and so I look at setting staff and students up with Backupify for their Google Apps accounts (something I am seriously considering) I’m fine knowing my email is being backed up and I can get to it if need be.

Again, its restoring one email at a time which is sufficient should I accidentally delete an email and need to recover it.  I would love to see an archive download option that would allow me to download every email to my local desktop in a single, easy to move folder.  Maybe when the service comes out of beta…

Blogger is also working now, although it was not on the two computers I tried from work and from home yesterday so I am guessing they kicked a server or too and knocked lose some dust bunnies that were sitting on my account settings.  I like it.  It’s a nice clean backup with all my posts listed in chronological order.  If need be, I could copy and paste them back into a blog.  I’d lose the dates and links (probably as bad as losing the data completely in the link based economy), but the content would be recoverable.

This whole experience has left me excited about the cloud and blogging.  I’m guessing someone over at Backupify must have read What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis.  They obviously are on the lookout for customer issues on the Interwebs and responding to customers in a meaningful and authentic way.  Great to see companies that get it and I look forward to seeing Backupify’s services continue to improve over time.

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