Like many other members of the geek brotherhood, I provide informal tech support services for my friends and neighbors. In return they take care of Dr. Humphrey D. Dogg, DCS (Doctor of Canine Studies), when I fly off to Interop or TechEd. A few weeks ago one of my dog-run buddies was lamenting the lack of a good backup program for his Mac that would save his data to recordable DVDs. Given that he had an older PowerPC-based Mac and couldn't run Time Machine, I didn't have a better answer for him than to run Carbon Copy Cloner to a USB drive. This morning he told me the drive in his machine died. Of course, he was planning on running a backup today.If he had been a PC user, I could have given him a ClickFree DVD (See www.goclickfree.com). He'd stick it in his PC, the ClickFree software would start up via Window's autostart feature, scan his hard drive for Microsoft Office files, and since ClickFree comes on a DVD-R disk, back them up to the ClickFree DVD. All he'd have to do is click OK or next a couple of times. Best of all, a 5-pack of ClickFree DVDs is just $15 bucks, so I can afford to give them away as party favors.
In addition to the Office backup version, there also are Photo and Music versions that collect and backup the usual media file extensions. A savvy user can change the file extensions before the file scan begins to backup both Word docs and photos if he wants.
If your friends and neighbors have more than 4 GB to backup, they can buy a 120-GB hard drive with the ClickFree software that's just as stupid simple to use. Plug it into your computer and it handles backup. It even keeps the data from multiple computers separate so your idiot brother-in-law can use one for his whole family. At $150, it's a bit expensive for a 120-GB USB hard drive. The same $150 could buy you a 320-GB Western Digital Passport, but stupid simple is worth it.