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Posts tagged ‘mozy’

11
Jan

The First 100 Days of a Startup

Josh Coates, founder of Mozy and current CEO of Instructure, once taught a series of classes at BYU on high-tech startups. I jumped at the chance to audit his class.

One of the things Josh covered was what should happen during the first 100 days (14 weeks) of a high-tech startup.

Week 1 — Research and choose business
Week 2 — Build financial model and development plan
Week 3 — Build pitch with screenshots and practice
Week 4 — Interview law firm, staff and advisers
Week 5 — Incorporate and setup shop with office space and equipment
Week 6 — Initial documents, books, hires and cap table
Week 7 — Create website and logo (do a trademark search)
Week 8 — Identify 10 to 20 potential investors and study who else they invest in
Week 9 — Practice the pitch and setup meeting with the least important investor
Week 10 — Interview, build product, pitch again
Week 11 — Interview, build product, pitch again
Week 12 — Interview, build product, pitch again
Week 13 — Interview, build product, pitch again
Week 14 — Interview, build product, pitch again

He recommended interviewing one potential employee every day. Pitching to the least important investor first lets you have a chance to practice in a situation where making a mistake isn’t as damaging.

I first met Josh just after publication of an article he wrote on how many angel investors in Utah were doing it wrong. The article, entitled “Poison in the Well”, in addition to having a great title, was direct and clear in its criticism. It was one of the reasons I later applied to work at Mozy.

For anyone who knows him, I think “direct and clear criticism” is a good phrase to describe what it’s like to work for Josh. His class was no exception. It was a great chance to learn from someone who’s been there and done it successfully.

21
Dec

The New and Improved Mozy for Mac 1.6

Of course, it can’t really be both new and improved. Logically, it has to be one or the other. It’s just that I’m excited about the 1.6 release of Mozy’s Mac client. It was finished last week and the response has been very positive.

It seems that with #Mozy for #Mac 1.6 it’s finally reliable. Awesome! — @donut2d

Latest Mozy update (1.6) on Mac OS X is a major improvement – it actually works, and doesn’t suck out all of your RAM. — @mmetcalfe

Our last few releases, while making improvements in many areas, seemed to have lingering and subtle problems. With the 1.6 version, we hope to have finally put them behind us.

We turned on auto-update today. If Mozy hasn’t updated itself yet, please feel free to grab the latest version of MozyHome (or MozyPro) and let us know what you think.

Official List of Changes

You can see the official list at the pages linked above. Mozy only makes the list of changes available for the current release, so I’ve copied them here for the future. You can see the changes in Mozy for Mac 1.4 and Mozy for Mac 1.5 too.

Enhancements

  • Removed dependency on Spotlight since Spotlight queries are unreliable under certain circumstances
  • Changes to backup selections are now saved automatically
  • Reduced memory usage
  • Decrease size of SupportFiles.zip file
  • Improved the performance of the Configuration window
  • Improved support for Snow Leopard and fixed issues caused by Snow Leopard’s 64-bit architecture
  • Improved interaction between Mozy’s preferences and Snow Leopard; Mozy’s preferences no longer require System Preferences to be re-started
  • Improved the use of temporary files
  • Improved reports in Admin Console for Pro users
  • Improved support of our external drive feature by addressing edge cases that can cause stability issues
  • Improved feedback when setting a preference to an invalid value
  • Improved error handling when an auto-update fails to download successfully
  • Added support for nine non-English languages
  • Added the ability to delete a Backup Set using the keyboard
  • Added the ability to undo and redo configuration changes
  • Added the ability to sort Backup Sets by file count or total size
  • Added history information to main Configuration window
  • Added “Install updates automatically” checkbox to dialog which prompts user to upgrade
  • Added ability to manually check for an update
  • Added ability to back up network drives using the NFS protocol for Pro users

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issues which caused the “Show status in menu bar” preference to not work properly
  • Fixed the link in the Readme file for downloading the software
  • Fixed a computer name display issue in the Setup Assistant
  • Fixed an issue causing the Configuration window to crash when browsing a folder with lots of files
  • Fixed an issue which caused the file exclusion warning to not show up properly
  • Fixed an issue which caused network connection errors
  • Fixed an issue which caused several duplicate warning dialogs to appear
  • Fixed an issue which prevented the use of certain non-Roman characters in a password
  • Fixed an issue which caused a file to be accidentally excluded
  • Fixed an issue which caused the Backup Set Editor to display the wrong file size
  • Fixed an issue which caused files to be re-uploaded unnecessarily
  • Fixed an issue which caused files in Trash to be backed up

Languages

One of the two major changes in this release is support for nine languages in addition to American English:

  1. German
  2. Greek
  3. British English
  4. Castillian Spanish
  5. French
  6. Italian
  7. Dutch
  8. Portuguese
  9. Slovenian

If you have chosen one of those languages in System Preferences, Mozy will use it automatically. No assembly required. If you find spots where the translation doesn’t make sense, please let us know.

File Scanning

The other major change — the one I’m most excited about — is the new file scanning engine. This is how Mozy finds all your files and decides which ones to back up.

In the past, we’ve depended on Spotlight, Apple’s file scanning feature in OS X, for about half of our scanning. Backup Sets that searched for files of a certain type used Spotlight. Backup Sets that matched a folder (and selections made in the Files & Folders tab) scanned the hard drive directly. We kept finding that Spotlight returned inconsistent results in some cases. So we decided to stop using it.

While we were making the change, we simplified how things work and made everything but the initial scan much, much faster. Mozy now uses far less memory, even when backing up millions of files. There are still some improvements we want to make, but the new file scanning engine makes Mozy feel rock solid.

Conclusion

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading. Please feel free to drop me a note (dan at mozy dot com) with any comments or suggestions. Oh, and Mozy for Mac 1.6 has two new easter eggs. :-)

If you’re new to Mozy, you can try our 2GB-for-free, no-strings-attached version here.

2
Oct

How to Neglect a Product to Death

My friend and former co-worker Matt Ryan recently commented on the impending death of Novell Forge. A message on the Novell Forge site confirms that Novell will be shutting things down soon. I can corroborate some of Matt’s story as I was on the Forge team for about a year during its heyday.

But what really interests me about the situation are the implied instructions on how to neglect a successful product into a slow death that can be blamed on the product itself.

  1. Avoid rewarding or recognizing any of the people involved. Even better, reward someone else.
  2. Do not feed its success. Withhold funding, staffing and career growth opportunities.
  3. Provide poor support. Delay fixing problems.
  4. Set unrealistic goals and expectations. Blame the product or team for failure.
  5. Find excuses to kill the project. Focus on the negative in all meetings with executives.

This was a particular worry at Mozy when it was acquired by EMC. They promised that EMC did not want to be the lumbering elephant that accidentally squashed its shiny new purchase. And it was true. But we worried about accidental squashing anyway.

It has been two years, and I have seen projects and executives come and go. Though I do not believe it was intentional, at times it felt like Mozy was being neglected. But the core of Mozy has remained strong and continues to grow.

Based on my experience, here is what to do to keep a successful product moving forward:

  1. Execute anyway. Deliver a quality product in the face of neglect.

There is precious little a neglected production team can do other than produce. I heard something once I have always remembered: nothing succeeds like success. It is much harder to produce in the face of neglect, but it is also nearly impossible to ignore or argue with.

Mozy is clearly not perfect, but despite occasional neglect it continues to provides a valuable, profitable service. Working with smart people helps. Working for smart people helps. Working with people you like helps. Working on something you care about helps. Working with cool technology helps. But over time, delivering a useful, profitable product is what matters.

30
Sep

Changes in Mozy for Mac 1.5

After a two week beta period, the 1.5 release of Mozy for Mac was released today. We’ve made a lot of improvements over the last few releases. If you’re new to Mozy, you should try our 2GB-for-free, no-strings-attached version here.

The official announcement is on our blog. Here’s more details about what changed in this release:

Enhancements

  • Consumer and business versions of the software can now run simultaneously on the same machine.
  • Added a file scanning progress indicator in the Configuration window.
  • Added a warning that appears when a backup is started before the product is fully configured.
  • Added a warning to prevent changes being lost when the Configuration is closed without saving.
  • Simplified the list of options in the menu bar.

Bug Fixes

  • Improved memory usage during backup and restore.
  • Improved the way network encryption keys are retrieved.
  • Improved the ability to restore default backup sets in the Configuration window.
  • Improved the efficiency of the log file collector.
  • Improved the handling of temporary files.
  • Improved the handling of database corruption.
  • Eliminated unnecessary API calls to improve performance.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some Mac 10.4 (Tiger) users from backing up properly.
  • Fixed many instances of potential configuration corruption.
  • Fixed an issue importing a personal key into the decryption utility.
  • Fixed a potential root exploit security issue.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some files with aliases in their paths from being backed up.
  • Fixed an issue where Status would get stuck if the backup process was not running.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Restore to crash for some users.
  • Fixed a rare issue when restoring files with resource forks.
  • Fixed an issue where the uninstaller missed some files.
  • Fixed an issue with handling email addresses containing a “+” sign.
  • Fixed a display defect in the Files and Folders tab.
  • Fixed a display defect with the “Temporary Files Location” in the Preferences window.
  • Fixed the display of exclusion notifications.
  • Fixed a display defect which appeared after saving changes in the Configuration window.
  • Fixed a rare issue which forced user credentials to be reentered.
12
Sep

My First Mountain

I live along the Wasatch Front which is surrounded by beautiful mountains. Not quite as pretty as the Tetons in Wyoming perhaps, but I’ve always wanted to climb the nearby Mount Timanogos.

Of course, I thought I’d start with one of the smaller mountains closer to Spanish Fork and work up to the 12.4 mile round trip hike up Timpanogos. But when my employer Mozy sponsored a company hike, I decided I’d jump on the bandwagon. About 20 people took the hike that day, including two who got to the top (the vertical elevation gain is almost a mile at 4,652 feet) in less than two hours.

Copyright (c) Eric Ward. Used by Permission.

I started out keeping up with those guys. I’m sure that the embarrassment of having a newcomer like myself tagging along is what caused them to pull ahead after about 10 minutes. Yeah, that was it.

We hit the trail at 6:17am. In my rush to keep up at first, I didn’t notice much of the scenery. But it’s a gorgeous hike.

Starting the hike

Pheasant overlooking a valley

One of the waterfalls crossing the trail

The trail consists of the following:

  1. Steep climb
  2. Bushy semi-flat walk
  3. Steep climb
  4. Meadowy semi-flat walk
  5. Really steep climb

This is the view of the top (on the right) from the second meadow area. Well, I thought it was the top. It turns out that you can’t actually see the peak from here. It’s a higher point behind the peak on the right. There’s nothing quite like thinking you’re at the top only to to realize you aren’t.

The peak from the second meadow

From the meadow, you go up this trail to the saddle where you can see Utah Valley for the first time.

Trail up to the saddle from below

This is what the trail up to the saddle looks like from the peak. The saddle is just above and to the left of center.

Trail up to the saddle from above

View from the saddle

The climb from the saddle to the peak was, by far, the most exhilarating part of the hike. Slower going and entirely rock, but with victory close at hand.

Trail from saddle to peak

Reaching the top was awesome. I got there in 3 hours 23 minutes.

Me on the very top

Five of us summitted fairly close together. Mark (back left) took much better pictures with the nice camera he lugged the whole way up.

Mark, Jamie, me, Derek and Corey

After getting down, I found out that Mount Nebo is actually the tallest peak in the Wasatch Front (and Utah County). Since Nebo is about as far south of me as Timpanogos is north, I guess it’s next on my list. Just need to get rid of this limp first.

3
Aug

Changes in Mozy for Mac 1.4

The Home and Pro versions of Mozy for Mac 1.4 are out. We’ve been working on this since January, and it feels great to finally get it out the door.

The major change in this release is the new file scanner. We’ve greatly improved how Mozy looks for and keeps track of files that need to be backed up. The release has been enabled this afternoon for new customers and existing customers which manually upgrade using the links above. Auto-update will be turned on for all existing Home and Pro customers shortly.

Since we don’t have an official place for showing our Home users a list of what’s changed, I’m including the full list here.

Enhancements

  • Improved overall performance and stability for file selections and backups
  • Added menu option to automate the collection of log files
  • Moved Preferences to global System Preferences
  • Improved sorting of the Files and Folders Configuration window
  • Improved the behavior of saving and canceling in the Configuration window
  • Added a new icon to indicate partially backed-up folders in the Configuration window
  • Added menu item to start a backup from the Configuration window
  • Added the ability to create backup sets to exclude files
  • Added the ability to sort by column in the Backup Sets window
  • Updated online guides
  • Added menu item to send product feedback or suggestions
  • Improved appearance of menu bar icons and other graphics
  • Improved speed of file preparation
  • Added the ability to use the escape (ESC) key to close the Configuration window

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed rare case of file changes not included in backup
  • Fixed several “database is locked” and “database disk image is malformed” errors
  • Fixed memory leaks
  • Increased the accuracy of the bandwidth throttle
  • Fixed creation date issue for restored files
  • Fixed problem with excluded folders being backed up
  • Fixed an issue limiting the amount of custom backup sets
  • Fixed an issue when the user restarts the computer before completing installation
  • Removed redundant column in the Backup Sets window
  • Fixed an issue restoring a file with a resource fork
  • Fixed an issue restoring a file with identical copies being backed up
  • Fixed the occasional “ClientError15” error caused by stopping a backup in progress
  • Fixed “no files selected for backup” message from mistakenly being displayed in the Configuration window
  • Fixed some Snow Leopard compatibility issues

UPDATE: We’ve got an official announcement on Mozy’s blog. I updated the links to point to the 1.4.3 release, which has fixes for OS X 10.4 and Time Capsule.

2
Jul

Mozy Coupon for July

Mozy is offering 10% off new annual and bi-annual subscriptions for MozyHome Unlimited and MozyPro this month. Just type JULY into the referral box when you sign up.

If you’re interested in Mozy’s free 2GB of online backup, just sign up for a MozyHome Free account. I’d recommend using someone’s referral code as you’ll both get an extra 256MB of space. If you can’t find a referral code online, you can use mine which is 56EEVL. But Mozy employees get free accounts so try to hook someone else up if possible.

And if you’re a Mac user interested in helping us beta test the Mozy for Mac 1.4 release, please drop me a line at dan at mozy dot com.

5
Feb

Mozy Coupon Code for February

Mozy is offering 10% off new annual and bi-annual subscriptions for MozyHome Unlimited and MozyPro this month. Just type FEBRUARY into the referral box when you sign up.

If you’re interested in Mozy’s free 2GB of online backup, just sign up for a MozyHome Free account. I’d recommend using someone’s referral code as you’ll both get an extra 256MB of space. If you can’t find a referral code online, you can use mine which is 56EEVL. But Mozy employees get free accounts so try to hook someone else up if possible.

And Mozy is hiring again too. In addition to the jobs listed, my team is interviewing Windows and Mac developers. Please feel free to ask questions or send a resume to danr@decho.com. We’ll need you to be located in Utah, so apologies up front to all the awesome developers we’re going to miss out on.

5
May

MozyHome for Mac is Out of Beta

It’s been a long road, but the Mac version of Mozy is finally out of beta. We released our official 1.0 version late last week, and I am a happy developer. It was almost exactly a year ago that Mozy released it’s first Mac software, which is way too long to be in a beta program. We won’t let that happen again.

We are going to release a business version, MozyPro for Mac, later this summer. And we have a lot of performance improvements and interface changes we want to make. There is a lot of work ahead of us, which is great.

So while I was taking some deep breaths, I got a chance to read up on some of what people are saying about Mozy. iDrive, one of our competitors, just released a beta version of their Mac software, so I thought I’d take a look.

They seem to have done some pretty cool things with their software, but it’s clear that they don’t understand the word unlimited. iDrive includes this disclaimer in small text on the bottom of their homepage:

The concept of ‘Unlimited Storage’ is subject to fair usage of the service. This is to facilitate a low one-price plan to backup a PC’s critical data that meets requirement for high majority of consumers; there may be some limits based on what constitutes fair usage. The current limits include 150GB of total storage and 100GB of bandwidth utilization per day. Do refer to Conditions of Use. Pricing structure for business use varies from personal use.

So you get “unlimited” storage for whatever they decide is “fair.” Not really unlimited. I really like that Mozy’s unlimited service has no restrictions on space.

MozyHome does have a bandwidth cap to limit how fast files are uploaded, but in practice very few people have upload speeds that reach this limit. We are always open to customer feedback, however, and reevaluate this decision from time to time. MozyPro does not have this limitation.

In addition to the whole unlimited thing, iDrive’s comparison with Mozy is incorrect in several places.

Still, they have some good ideas in the design of their software. And it’s good for Mozy to have competition. Keeps us all working hard at listening to our customers.

5
Mar

MacNN Review of Mozy

My job involves working on the Mac version of Mozy. It’s good to see very positive reviews of our work. I know there’s room for improvement too, but it’s great to see happy users.