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Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: dmag
Date: August 31, 2011 04:40PM
In case you ever come across a product from software maker Chronos...

[chronosnet.com]

I suggest you take great caution in deciding whether or not to buy. I've just had the kind of experience that should make you think twice.

I purchased their Soho Notes product about a year ago and have gone through a couple of upgrades. The product had a database glitch early on but performed adequately after that. Until now.

To be brief, after a Soho Notes session I shut down the computer. When I restarted later that day, all the data was gone. Because databases aren't to be fooled with unless you know what you're doing, I contacted the Chronos support. It's a ticket-only system, no phone calls, no e-mail, no user forum. Nothing. You just have to wait for them to reply.

In case you wonder if there was a backup, there was. Unfortunately, the backup had apparently taken place after whatever problem had beset the database. So, no solution there.

On the second day I got an answer and it didn't help. I replied within 10 minutes of reading their response. That's the last I heard from them and it's now nine days later.

I have left daily updates and pleas for help. Zero response. I sent a note to their marketing department, which generated a form letter that stated I should contact support.

I also put in a second ticket, alerting them to the problem and referencing the first ticket, thinking that maybe the first one was somehow lost and they couldn't access it. That one never got any reply at all.

There is no way to contact these people, except through the meager support system. They clearly don't want to be bothered.

I'm not passing judgment on them here, calling them names, or anything else. Just be aware that if you buy a Chronos product and have a problem with it, you may suffer the same kind of poor service that I did.

I was on deadline for a project and that has been severely affected.

I know that no software is perfect and there will eventually be some issue with almost any app you buy. BUT YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF HELP.

If nothing else, what about a note to say that they don't think they can help with the problem?

Chronos fell way short of anything that approximates "reasonable."

Like I said...BEWARE.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2011 04:43PM by dmag.
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: tortoise
Date: August 31, 2011 04:53PM
My sympathies to your plight, I would point out that a good backup will have the ability to go back to any point in time and restore selected files from that point in time. TimeMachine by Apple has that capability as well as Retrospect. Sounds like you are using a backup that merely images your drive without the capability to go back in time beyond the most recent backup. Not really a very good system in the real world as you have just learned.
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 31, 2011 05:44PM
Carbon Copy Cloner can do incremental backups as well, and recently they added pruning to it.

CrashPlan does incremental as well.




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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: silvarios
Date: August 31, 2011 05:52PM
Quote
tortoise
My sympathies to your plight, I would point out that a good backup will have the ability to go back to any point in time and restore selected files from that point in time. TimeMachine by Apple has that capability as well as Retrospect. Sounds like you are using a backup that merely images your drive without the capability to go back in time beyond the most recent backup. Not really a very good system in the real world as you have just learned.

Let me echo, this is true. I use Carbon Copy Cloner with the option to archive deleted/changed data. Works alright for the purposes you suggest.

Then again, a good backup doesn't fall over dead for people on a regular basis, but Time Machine is particularly touchy. Try a search for Time Machine failure on your favorite search engine. Make for fun reading. Here's a fairly recent bit of info (make sure you follow the link to the mailing list).
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: silvarios
Date: August 31, 2011 05:56PM
Quote
M A V I C
Carbon Copy Cloner can do incremental backups as well, and recently they added pruning to it.

I need to test the pruning feature. Previously, I had to dig down manually through the Finder or through specifically built queries.
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 31, 2011 06:00PM
Quote
M A V I C
Carbon Copy Cloner can do incremental backups as well, and recently they added pruning to it.

CrashPlan does incremental as well.

Incremental, sure ... but is it versioning, too?
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: silvarios
Date: August 31, 2011 06:10PM
Quote
deckeda
Incremental, sure ... but is it versioning, too?

CrashPlan or Carbon Copy Cloner. The latter will archive deleted/changed files, not sure about CrashPlan.
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: dmag
Date: August 31, 2011 06:28PM
Guys,

Yeah, my backup apparently just updates changed files. I'd be okay in trying something else but I've already got 400gb on a 500gb drive. If I used Time Machine or something else that goes back to any point in time, wouldn't that have required a 1tb or 2tb drive?

Sorry if I'm missing something here. Maybe this allows one to be selective on what gets backed up, requiring less space. However, if so, it would also seem to require more time and expertise to set that up.

I'm in "learning mode" on this, so feel free to offer any advice you can. I'm not real technical so the more complex stuff may be over my head.

Thanks for the replies.
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: dmag
Date: August 31, 2011 06:55PM
By the way, I just found something on the Chronos blog that is mind-numbing. It's a post from two years ago and shows how they view service.

The release of version 8 of SOHO Notes and SOHO Organizer has been HUGE. As a result, our support technician has been getting behind on support tickets. We've pulled a couple of our software engineers off of their normal duties of working on the software to help with support in an effort to reduce wait times, but wait times are still probably at one to two weeks. We appreciate your patience during this high volume period and we're really sorry for the delays.

"Support technician" indicates that they've got one person dealing with all customer technical problems. With all the products they sell, one person? Then, there's the lack of a user forum or any other outlet for service. On top of all that, the outrageous statement that "wait times are still probably one to two weeks."

Who can wait two weeks to get an issue solved, particularly when it involves loss of important data?

Yikes.
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: IronMac
Date: August 31, 2011 07:14PM
Ohhhh..let me add my Chronos' horror story. I purchased a product of theirs...think it was a Notes program back in 1998 or 1999 and they advertised how there was a privacy feature whereby you can lock your note with a password.

It turns out that, yes, you can lock a note with a password in one view but if you were to switch to another "view" the password magically does not work and your note is out in the open for everyone to see. I pointed this out to their tech support and they said to wait for an upgrade/update that will take care of that problem. Never happened and I never went back to them.
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Re: Horrible experience with Chronos software...BEWARE
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: September 01, 2011 11:32AM
Quote
silvarios
Quote
deckeda
Incremental, sure ... but is it versioning, too?

CrashPlan or Carbon Copy Cloner. The latter will archive deleted/changed files, not sure about CrashPlan.

They both offer various types of versioning.

I use CCC for local backups because the end result is just on the filesystem. I use CrashPlan for backups over the internet... which in my case I do to a Linux box.

I have various rules and types of data. The important stuff goes like this:

Hac Desktop ->[CCC]-> Hac Server ->[CP]-> Micro ATX (Pentium M) Linux box with a 2TB HD.




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