Hard Drive Utility Software
The first time you connect the LaCie Porsche Design Desktop Drive, you’ll see this icon on your desktop:
Opening this pseudo-volume reveals a single program: the LaCie Setup Assistant. Your first task upon running it will be to decide how to partition the drive.
The idea here is that part of the drive will be formatted as HFS+, for Mac use, while another part will be formatted as FAT32. The idea is that since Macs can read and write FAT32 volumes, a FAT32 partition can use used to share information if the drive is used with both Mac and Windows computers.
After the drive is partitioned and the volumes formatted, the last step is to install the utility software. This comprises a simple Desktop Manager program and the more interesting Intego Backup Assistant.
The Desktop Manager doesn’t do much: it can reformat your drive (by launching Apple’s own Disk Utility), or set “Eco Mode”, which Apple calls “put hard disks to sleep when possible.”
Intego Backup Assistant is a powerful and versatile utility that can keep your internal drive backed up to the LaCie drive, as well as synchronize folders on multiple machines using the Porsche Design Desktop Drive as an intermediary.
Intego Backup Assistant has many more options than does Apple’s own Time Machine, and you can designate that files or folders be copied or not based on a number of criteria (visibility, file type, file name, date of last modification, and so forth). You can also create multiple backup scripts that will run on a defined schedule: for example, full system backups that occur weekly, and user file backups that occur daily.
While it’s running, you can visualize the backup progress in a number of ways. I liked the throughput graph best…if you have nothing better to do than watch your backup run.
Like Time Machine, Intego Backup Assistant produces Finder-readable backups that you don’t need a specialized utility to read or restore from, and uses hard links to minimize backup space while presenting the user with what appear to be full incremental backups.
In the next section I’ll discuss my final thoughts and conclusion.