Cobian Backup's evolution
In November 2000, a friend of mine told me about a problem he had at that time. He used to administer a server, but the software he was using had a big annoyance: it wrote to a log file, but if the log file’s size became 1 MB, the software deleted the file and a new log was created. No warnings, no options to configure this server…
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My friend wanted to keep a daily copy of the file, before it was deleted the next day, so he copied it manually every day around 8:00 in the morning, and was getting tired of it. I promised him to write a program that, without any ambitions would automatically copy some files in the list every x minutes.
So Cobian Backup was born. The first version was a very simple application that could copy some files or folders to a destination without compression. It worked only as an application and had a log file. Nothing more, nothing less. The program was done in only 7 days. Unfortunately, I don’t have the source code or the binaries, so I don’t even have a screenshot of that primitive thing. It never got published. Only my friend and I used it.
The second version of Cobian Backup was released in July 2001. The main new feature on version 2 was compression. The main gotcha was that, to activate compression, you must use an external program: pkzip.exe. The only schedule type you could use was a timer.
The third version of Cobian Backup was released in January 2002. The main features were integrated compression, five different schedule types: Once, Daily, Weekly, Monthly and timer and, the program could work as a service!
Version 4 introduced events: before backup and after backup. The program became fully multithreaded, which was a big error, fixed in future versions. You see, if you had 20 tasks and you clicked Backup all, then 20 threads where created and began zipping, copying etc at the same time. Pathetic! This version was released in October 2002.
Version 5 was released in June 2003. This version fixed the multithreading hell introduced in earlier versions. It had a lot of enhancements too, and was even made Open Source, which was again a big mistake. Here you could have several sources in the same task, live update, etc. FTP backup was introduced.
Now this is a different animal: completely written from scratch, with a plug-in architecture, Zip64, TCP/IP for remote administration, automatic backup history, strong encryption... and more.
Introduced SQX compression, backup from a FTP server, SSL support, reminders, more events, speed limit for FTP transfers, and a lot more! This was the last version which would function on Windows 9x.
This new version was the first one to be (almost) fully unicode enabled. All the copy functions use now unicode API functions, which eliminates the 256 path length limit. Better FTP support and new encryption methods were added.
This version extends Unicode support. Unicode is now used with compression and FTP transfers as well. A new compression method: 7zip is now used. The most important change is the use of Volume Shadow Copy Services, which allows to copy locked files.
This new version introduces Volume Shadow Copy even for 64 bit systems, a more granular and flexible log file, a better mask handling, many new parameters, individually compressed files, full integration with Windows Vista and 7 UAC settings, a remote manager to handle all the clients from a single machine and a lot more!
This new version introduces a lot of new changes: AES encryption, Tasks with Groups, configurable vital folders, a new improved Remote Manager, many new scheduled types and parameters, etc.