What are the minimum system requirements for Blob?
Blob can only be installed on a computer running Windows Vista or later. Windows XP is not supported. Blob requires Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5 or later. This is needed to make secure (TLS v1.2) connections with your remote email, cloud storage and text messaging accounts – in fact, many vendors like Google, Slack etc. will not even allow less secure connections. A Pentium class CPU or better; 512 megabytes or more of system memory and 256 megabytes or more of free disk space is the required minimum. You will also need an internet connection that supports at least 1 megabits per second if you want Blob to index your web based accounts. You will need a more powerful system than this if you want Blob to work with a large number of Data Sources or with Data Sources that have large amounts of content.
Please note that Blob currently only supports the (US) English language, so all user prompts, warnings, errors etc. are displayed in English.
How does Blob's licensing work?
First, a quick overview of Blob versions. All Blob releases have an overall version number that has three separate sub-version numbers. This is in the format “[major-version].[minor-version].[extra-version]”. Typically, we change the major version number only when we add significant new capabilities. We change the minor version number when we add minor new features or substantial performance enhancements. We change the extra version number when we make bug-fix, security updates or smaller performance enhancements.
Blob licenses are tied to the specific major and minor version of Blob you purchased. We never charge for extra version number updates so bug-fixes, security updates and small performance enhancements are always free. This is true even for the “Free” types of Blob, not just the paid ones. At our discretion, we may stop supporting older major/minor versions and may no longer ship new updates for them.
Blob intrinsically supports two types of licenses:
- Periodic subscription based licenses. The subscriptions can be monthly or yearly. You can install for free any new version of Blob we release as long as your subscription is active. This includes new releases with higher major and minor version numbers. If your subscription expires, your Blob installation reverts to the capabilities supported by the “Free” type of that version.
Life-time perpetual licenses. These licenses never expire, but do not allow you to install newer major or minor versions of Blob. Extra version updates, of course, are always free.
At our discretion, we may offer only a lifetime license or subscription based license for the different types of our products (e.g. Blob @Home, Blob @Work…).
Your license purchase allows you to install Blob on one computer, unless you explicitly purchased a multi-user license. A purchased license needs to be activated, typically the first time you try to use it. We also periodically check it for continued validity. Once a license has been activated on a specific computer, it cannot be activated on another computer unless it is first freed up from the old computer. You automatically free up a license when you completely un-install Blob from your computer. Please Contact Us or send us an email to support (AT) datamaton (DOT) com if you are unable to un-install Blob from your old computer (e.g. because your old computer has crashed and will no longer power up).
What is Blob's return/refund policy?
We provide free and trial versions of Blob on our website, and strongly encourage you to try it before you buy to make sure it meets your needs and expectations. We will accept returns if it meets all of the return criteria mentioned here:
- You may return Blob up to 30 days from the date of purchase, if you bought a lifetime license. For subscription based licenses, you can cancel anytime without any early termination penalty. The minimum subscription duration is one month and we do not provide refunds for partial month’s use. If you pre-paid for an annual subscription, we will calculate the pro-rated charges for the months used and refund to you the remaining balance (if any) when you cancel.
- You must completely un-install Blob and destroy all copies, including backup copies. Only a full un-install will release the Blob license key you purchased, and this is required for a refund. Please contact Datamaton support (support at datamaton.com ) if you need help.
- All returns and exchanges must be accompanied by the original purchase or gift receipt.
- Datamaton reserves the right to refuse returns that it deems to be fraudulent or excessive.
To initiate a return, please send an email to Datamaton support (support at datamaton.com). Please include the name and email address you used to purchase Blob, your receipt ID and your Blob license key (this information is sent to you in your purchase confirmation email). Datamaton will process your return request within 4 weeks of receiving a complete refund request with all required documentation. Approved refunds will be made in the same method as payment unless you select to exchange the item.
Date columns show dates in different colors. What do the different colors mean?
These colors are visual cues that let you quickly determine how old the content is. A date/time that is within the last 24 hours from the current date/time is shown in red color. A date/time that is within the last 7 days from now is shown in dark green color. A date/time that is within the last 30 days from now is shown in orange color. A date/time that is older than 30 days from now is shown in the normal blackcolor.
What appearance customization does Blob support?
Blob supports many different “skins” that change its color and appearance. You can click on the “Setting” (Gear icon) menu, and then on the “Appearance” menu option to see the list of opeions.
There are too many possibilities to show them all, but here are some pictures of the same screen with different appearance settings.
How can I measure the performance impact of Blob on my system?
How much load Blob puts on your system depends on how many Data Sources you have, how frequently they are being checked for content updates and how many tasks you have set up. If you feel that your system is getting sluggish and suspect Blob as a possible cause, you can check the current performance impact of all Blob related tasks using the Blob “Dashboard”. To open the Dashboard, open Blob, click on the “Help” button (the “?” question mark button on the main menu of Blob) and then click on the “Dashboard” button.
The Dashboard will display performance information for all Blob and background processes, including any backup tasks that are currently running. You can terminate a task if it is making the system unusable by hogging too many system resources.
How can I reduce Blob's performance impact on my system?
Blob tries hard to minimize its performance impact on your system by indexing and running backup tasks in separate background processes that run at low priority. You can open the Blob Dashboard to see how many resources each Blob task is using. Blob is also highly configurable, and you can do the following to further reduce the systme load:
- Reduce the amount of content Blob indexes: for each storage location or cloud based account, you can tell Blob what to index. You can exclude file/email folders or high volumne text messaging channels that you don’t really care about.
- Tell Blob to not collect additional info for specific file types: for photo files, Blob cracks open the file to collect additional info like album name, title, camera make & model, thumbnail etc. Similarly, for audio and video files it collects info like title, genre, play duration etc. For ZIP, CAB and ISO “compound” files which have other files embedded inside, Blob opens them and indexes the embedded files just like it would index non-embedded content. To reduce the performance load, you can tell Blob to collect such additional info only for specific files. For example, the default settings screen for drive “C:\” below shows that for music files, Blob will collect audio specific information for mp3, wma, wav and aac files but not for swa or aiff files.
Such default values exist for compound, photo and video files too. You can change them to reduce the number of file extensions that Blob will probe for additional info.
- Check “large” Data Sources for content updates less often: Blob lets you control how often a Data Source is checked for new, modified or deleted content (see “How often are my Data Sources indexed?”). If a Data Source is being checked more often than you need, you can set it to a higher value (see “How can I control the indexing process?”). Many times, checking a single “large” Data Source less frequently (e.g. a network attached drive with 1 terabyte of storage) will be sufficient to significantly reduce the performance impact on the system.
- Make sure your local hard disk is set to be checked “Constantly”: Windows will provide Blob with a notification any time a files is created, modified or deleted on your local hard drives (e.g. C:\, D:\ etc.). This happens only if you have set their “Check Data Source for content updates” setting to “Constantly” (this is the default behavior). Blob can update your drive’s index files much more efficiently with these Windows notifications. The alternative is for Blob to periodically scan your entire drive for changes – a far more performance intensive operation.
- Run backup tasks less often: When a backup task runs, it first evaluate the rules that determine what content it should back up (or synchronize). It then checks each affected file, email etc. to see if an identical copy exists at the destination. If not, it then copies the content to the destination. Reducing the frequency of this process may reduce the performance impact on your system.
Note that backup tasks that are set to run “Immediately after content is added or modified at source” are generally not the problem. These tasks generally run when Blob gets a direct notification about new or changed content. Such notifications provide details about the affected files/folders that allow the backup task to operate just on the affected folders in a quick and efficient manner.
- Terminate the “Blob.exe” process if you don’t need it: The “Blob.exe” process is just the interface to you, the user. It does not directly check your Data Source for content updates or run your backup tasks – these jobs are performed by background processes that are automatically started and stopped as needed. If you are not actively doing anything with Blob, feel free to terminate it by clicking on the “X” (terminate) button at the top right corner.
When “Blob.exe” is running, it will reload the index files for a Data Source if a background process (e.g. “Cataloger” or “File Monitor”) updates them. Some Data Sources like the C:\ drive change very often (more than once per second!), so reloading its index files repeatedly can slow down your system.