Free Backup/Mirror and Cart Wall Apps
[January 2010] Stu Engelke returns with some more free software that may be just the application you are seeking to take care of a task.
There is a lot of free software out there that can do some things well, perhaps many things sort of OK, and occasionally a few things really well. Those are the ones I keep looking to find. Here are a couple more such applications that may take care of some hassle you might be trying to solve.
A Nice Back Up Utility
Every IT professional knows how important backups are in preventing data loss. And everyone who has had a hard drive crash, losing anything from some recent photos to the CAPEX planning budget that is due on Monday, knows what a pain it is to try to reconstruct hours of work.
There are many backup programs and packages (often including storage on a second hard drive in a computer, a USB flash drive, network storage, or even “cloud” storage), but I was looking for one that was intelligent – and free. I think I have one here you will like.
Lazy Mirror is a backup program that can mirror a drive completely, but it also can use free space on the backup drive to store and/or archive just what files have changed. This is great – as it gives you a lot of “undo” capabilities.
Finding that Last Version
For example, if you have made changes in a file – or even deleted it – and then wish you had not done that, you can still be OK. Depending upon the settings and the space you set aside for your backups, you can find versions from a year ago – or longer, ready to get you back to work.
In keeping with its name, Lazy Mirror can make complete mirrors of a computer, subject to available space.
Lazy Mirror 9.1 is freeware for Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98 and 95. You can find Lazy Mirror at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~wstudios/LazyMirror/index.html The site also contains some other utilities you might find useful.
Wall ‘O Carts
No, I am not suggesting that you need to drag out those tape cartridge machines gathering dust in the back room at the transmitter site. But, how about a nice little utility – and free at that – which allows you to collect and play MP3 and WAV files at will?
Jazler Show! will play up to four audio cuts at once, even fading upon command. This live assist application comes from a Greek company, Jazler, that sells various packages to broadcast stations for automation, logging, etc. from their site at http://www.jazler.com/products/
Along with the regular programs featured and sold on the Jazler site is this smaller, free version, suitable for regular on-air use for audio cuts, sounds effects, jingles, drop-ins, or other imaging tracks. I actually stumbled across this one and showed it to some people. It has been used in a church for quick audio bits, on some big name talk shows – and my daughter just uses it for fun.
Organize, Select, Play
Jazler Show! features banks of 30 cart buttons – as many as you want – and can fire them off directly or “collect” them, even across different banks (or palettes as they are called), for replay in order. Playback is virtually instantaneous. It is even compatible with touch screens.
The current version of Jazler Show! – 1.5.1 – is designed to support 800 x 600 screens. You can download Jazler Show! by scrolling to the bottom of the http://www.jazler.com/demo/
By the way, if you have a favorite application/utility – especially of the freeware type – that you would be willing to share with us, drop me a note and let me know what works for you.
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Stu Engelke is Chief Engineer for Salem’s WMCA and WNYM in New York City. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org