Pilot program to save computer files in case of crash

Lisa DiTuro

The University launched a test pilot of a computer protection program called U-Vault on March 16. Twenty students loaded the program powered by redBoomerang on to their laptops at IT’s Support Services offices.

RedBoomerang is a product offered by MicroComputer Consulting Group Inc. It guarantees immediate recovery of lost information should anything happen to a user’s computer. Once users download the software to their computers, they can set up a timer that automatically saves all updates and files that they obtain or save to their personal computer during the course of the day.

Once the timer is set, no other work is required to ensure that files are safe. The program does it automatically. However, it is possible to command the program to save an added file at any point by just clicking a button. Retrieving lost information is as simple as clicking a “restore” button.

Registering with redBoomerang connects a user’s computer via the Internet to U-Vault’s server. Information is passed over the Internet to a secure server where it is stored and cannot be accessed by anyone but the owner of the computer. A yearly fee is paid to obtain this product.

U-Vault is a version of this program aimed at universities. It offers the redBoomerang service to college students at a discounted price once the university has purchased the product.

The University is trying a pilot program to assess the interest in this product on campus. Besides the 20 students involved with the pilot already, as many as 50 will be able to try it on a volunteer basis.

“We’re always looking to pilot programs for students,” Steve Fugale of UNIT said. “We decided to offer this and see whether students were interested in it, whether there was a need to back-up files.” Surveys were taken throughout campus to assess student interest in a back-up system.

It is too early to tell whether the program will be picked up in the future, according to Fugale. He says the program is easy to use, install and restore.

“I feel much more at ease now that I have my pictures, purchased music and homework in a separate location, updated whenever I want, without having to waste CDs,” Robert Filardo, one of the students testing the pilot program, said.

Fugale, who has been using the program since December, has been very happy with it. He says it is very easy to use and having a very small operational effect, not slowing down his computer at all.

Junior Laurie Goldberg has a strong tie to this product. Not only did her computer crash recently, but her father is the president of MCG Inc. She had been using the redBoomerang program long before the pilot program came to campus.

“I do have it, and I love it,” she said. “It’s good for papers, pictures, music and everything.”

There are a number of different back-up products on the market currently. The University and UNIT are trying to decide if this is something that the students see as valuable and what students are willing to pay.

“We haven’t negotiated a price for the product yet,” Fugale said. “We have to see if there is need first. But the company has been great to work with. They’re very cooperative and want to understand student feedback. They are the kind of people we like to deal with.”