Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Public service announcement - are you backing up?

Let me tell you a horror story.
Last Wednesday I turned 30...
I know it's terrifying, but stick with me. You can hide behind me if you like.
Mom was down visiting - so we got round to the subject of photos of her grandkids, and how I NEVER sent her copies of any of them. Partially because I've got a brilliant camera that takes HUGE pictures, and partially because I've got a habit of saying 'I'll do it tomorrow'.
We discovered the day before she went home that the external drive had died so badly that even after we'd taken it out of the caddy it was so unreadable it was crashing the system we attached it to.
It got me thinking about backups.
And the system we're using now is far better.

All it took was an external hard drive, some file reorganisation, some serious ruthlessness, a tiny bit of techie knowhow (provided by my other half, though, to be fair, the drive that we bought is plug and

First up - we bought a new drive - external, that networks to our router. We ended up with a 320gb Iomega (same guys as used to do zip drives), that plugs directly into our internal LAN.
It also came with software that backs up, but I've now (finally) subscribed to a site online that offers backups. I use Mozy, but I've heard things about Carbonite too.
My laptop backs up to my network drive (daily for my Liquid story binder files - weekly for things like email) - I also run a second, identical weekly backup from the laptop to the file server/older desktop in our attic - plus a once monthly backup of the network drive. Plus I backup my important stuff to Mozy.
One of the things that bugs me about my backup/duplicate system is that if I delete a file, it deletes it from the backup, unless I've moved it first. It means making sure things like my photos are moved to a folder that doesn't get touched at least once a week is kinda important. Once a month I also back up the photos and my finished work to CDs.

It's slight overkill I think, if it weren't for the fact that my laptop is one of the most fluid file stores I've ever worked with. I delete and move stuff off it all the time. I have to make sure the files play nice and are safe, so that's my backup system.
How about you?

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