Turn back the hands of time

Most PC users have experienced that dreaded moment of silent prayer: “please, please, just let me put things back the way they were, and I promise to never play around beyond my computer skills ever again.” Of course, this prayer is never answered, and before you know it you’re hauling out manuals and disks for a software re-installation or system overhaul.

Someone up there may be listening after all. New software that won a PC Week Award at the recent COMDEX computer show promises to let you “send your PC back in time.” The aptly-named “Go-Back!” lets you “back out” of a multitude of PC problems arising from user error (overwritten or deleted files), system crashes, virus attacks or Y2K glitches, by taking your computer “back” to a time when it worked minutes, hours, or even days previous.

The software promises to be useful for even the most disciplined hacker. For example, suppose you installed new software at 7:20 a.m. It’s now 7:35 a.m., and nothing works, so you try the “uninstall” program. That doesn’t work either, and you discover that two older programs are now dead, too. Or, in a more common scenario, you suddenly discover that you’ve overwritten an originadocument with changes you really don’t want.

The Go Back! program simply takes your computer back to the state it was in at a time that you specify, and your problems are solved, according to the company. What makes this utility different from others is that you don’t have to understand your problem in order to fix it, which puts it way ahead of most system utilities. In simple terms, the program works in the background as a constant automatic backup, allowing you to restore it to a previous state at any time.

Go Back! integrates itself into the operating system to protect against data loss. Once installed, no further action is required – until you reach that moment when you used to start praying. The program retails for $69.99 (US).