Monday, May 21, 2012

Time Machine for Windows

I remember when Time Machine for Apple’s Mac OS X was announced.  It was heralded as an extraordinary accomplishment in computer technology.  Turns out Windows has had a similar feature called ‘Previous Versions’ since about 2003 that was originally available in their server line of operating systems and has quietly made it’s way into the consumer line of operating systems such as Windows 7.  Nobody knows about this feature as it’s kind of buried in the operating system’s features and not as flashy as Time Machine for Mac OS X. 

To access it, you simply right click on the file you would like to revert to a previous version and click on properties.  Select the Previous Versions tab to see any previous versions that exist for that file.  You may need to turn this feature on, which you can do by navigating through the link on this tab entitled How do I use previous versions?

screenshot

The reason I am mentioning this here is the usefulness of this feature when developing materials for training.  Having the Previous Versions feature turned on, allows to recall versions that you may have written over with new material.  It happens, from time to time, that your stake holders may request you changing a document back to the way it was last week.  If you haven’t saved that version as a separate document, using Previous Versions in Windows could help you get that information back.