Editor's Blog: The Continuing Back Up Chronicles

Editor's Blog: The Continuing Back Up Chronicles



This is epic. No, no, not my paranoia. Though that is too. I’m talking about the aftermath of the moment when I lost everything and wrote about it. While I was flooded with emails deriding my casual approach to backing up I was also inundated with emails from geeks (and I use that term lovingly) with dreams. Specifically business dreams of being able to either back up my stuff for me, correctly counting on the fact that I would never really do so myself, despite having said I would (a situation familiar to anyone I owe money to), OR dreams at having the world pay attention to their uniquely significant backup schema.


Well, I had more patience with the former than the latter and I welcome (need, whatever) all the help I can get and so when Devin Knighton from Berkeley Data Systems emailed me I was all ears. They had a public beta of something called Mac Mozy that would make my problems things of the past. At this point I had no problems though and told him so, “I back up now. I have one of those La Cie Porsche things and I save once a week.” Yeah, this simple solution was not nearly as cool as what Mac Mozy can do though, which is: use the Spotlight Search so you can select the types of files you back up while running unobtrusively in the background, leaving you free to do just about whatever. Like, perhaps figure out why Porsche is branding hard drives. Sounds good but what about ready access? Well he says their servers keep the most recent versions of your stuff, as well as 30 days worth of your previously saved stuff. You can also get your files or versions of the files via the internet or by a DVD they’ll send later after your possible catastrophic event.


Which is all well and good but do I want strangers to have their hands on my…well, you know, stuff?


A famous paranoiac like myself says, “maybe not.” Great product, great service but I think I need something easy AND self-contained.


Like maybe SuperDuper…or I can buy another La Cie…or what about the all-too ambitious RAID thing, which creates mirror images of your hard drive leastways as I can tell? My usual dictum, of course, is when I have the choice between two things, I should take both and while the compleatist in me wants to do this, the pragmatist says there’s nothing wrong with not spending my weekend opening disk utilities and naming RAID sets.


So weekly (very weakly) I truck out my La Cie Porsche, almost better than the car, and back up. But for the rest of youse consider the options.


1] hard drives
2] online backup clients
3] doing the whole RAID thing.


You’ll sleep a lot better…and I know I will. Because you’ll stop with the “do it THIS way you idiot, emails,” and I'll stop blogging about back up.


See? Textbook definition of a win-win.



+ Add a Comment


It really depends on the personal choices of the person who wants a good back up, in my opinion I would have to go with carbonite



With Leopard (and Time Machine) not pouncing until October, and my AppleTV hungrily filling up on whatever digital media I throw at it, I've been thinking "Back up, stupid!" a lot lately myself.

So, I purchased a pair of 750GB drives and very, VERY easily set them up as a mirrored RAID using Disk Utility. I even amazed myself. I'm no IT guy, but this was cake!

I plan on using Time Machine to the best of my (actually my Mac's) abilities, but until then, just a few minutes in Disk Utility has brought me some serious peace of mind.


manuel (ivan the swiss)


Nice to read you actually DO backup and you don't have to send your Macbook over the ocean and have me rescue your data... but at my new job i 'fell' into a nice Restrospect backup server and whenever i get to my desk and plug in to the network, my server kindly asks me if he may backup the folders i told him to backup. It's an incremental backup and keeps old versions of files while adding new versions to the backup file. And since it's 'my' server, i got total control over it.
I still do the disk image game at home because - i quote: 'if you have the choice...'. well actually, my experience, you can never backup enough, think - say - your house burns down - the disk is gone, too.

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