Editor's Blog: Eugene Loses EVERYTHING: An iMac G5 Primer

Editor's Blog: Eugene Loses EVERYTHING: An iMac G5 Primer


Everything is gone. A moment of inattention, a brief blip or blink, and focus slips and it is all gone. All the pictures, all the music, all the words. Sure, the advice was clearly followed—back up early and often—but most people do that as frequently as they change the batteries in their smoke detectors, which is to say: twice a year [neither often or early I guess].


But everything on my two-year old iMac G5 [do the math: that would have been four back ups] is gone. This had happened once before. That once before moment is one I'm holding on to now as being the defining one because you could see that one wasn't my fault. I blame Palm. I blame Palm because Palm made the Palm Pilot that held numbers that would never be gotten again.


Can I name check a bit?


The three numbers that I had the most amount of chagrin for losing were, in no particular order, Halle Berry's home number, Bill Clinton's personal assistant's cell phone and Don King's cell phone (don't ask). I'd collected these from interviews and I'd not ever get the chance to get them again and when that Palm died I slowly and carefully moved on to my back up. It was curiously corrupted as well.


Manuel Liebeskind, my Swiss mad Mac expert went all CSI on my hard drive and it still resolutely refused to give up its secrets. They were gone Johnson but it was not my fault. Like a hurricane, or an earthquake or a record by Kelly Osbourne.


Captured here by iSight, you can clearly see how OK I am with, um, everything.


However, this iMac debacle was very much my fault. I was installing Tiger. Did you know it actually comes with an Installation and Setup Guide? Well, I do now. In all fairness I did then too but given the much-vaunted ease of Apple installations why would I even use it? Outside of maybe caring about six months of non-backed up info?


In any case when Options offers you an "Archive and Install" OR an "Erase and Install" choice and you're not paying attention and click the one versus the other you know what happens? Yeah, you do: you write sad blogs about loss, the lessons learned and the leavening effects of liquid libations. Lots and lots of libations. A WHOLE lot of libations. Because, after all, tomorrow is a new data-less day and I'm...I'm actually sort of looking forward to it.




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...I don't back up: tech spread. That's right. I blame the technology. Maybe the way a bad dancer blames his shoes. But I say tech spread and in this instance I mean having several platforms, several systems, several uses for several reasons sort of prevents a unified field approach to backing stuff up. And then there's the BIG thing that never gets talked about and that's organizing back up when you've backed up...and multiple back up formats...to paraphrase Bukowski "when I think of all the platforms and all the back up methods and methodologies my head hurts." But there is a recokoning coming which I'll deal with....tom'w. Maybe.


michael Petit

I am equally bad if not even worse about habitual backups, but I never lose a minutes sleep over it. The Reason: RAID (level 1) I have a mirrored raid for my system and apps, and I have set up another larger one with All of my data files. Whenever it occurs to me, I check their status in Disk Utility- 'Online' is good to go- and find complete peace of mind for a total investment of less than a grand for 3 disks.



Uh, is there anything in this blog that I should care about? That you f*cked up? No advice? No things that'd make me better at having a Macintosh? A waste of time, IMHO.



to quote Sinatra, "drink, drink, drink, stupid, stupid, stupid..."

I thoroughly blame myself. As does everyone else who had stuff on that computer. But I will procrastinate on backup NO MORE.

hahah...yeah. That's right.


Howard Shubs

Why don't you backup? I'm not asking why you don't feel the need, but rather what actually prevents you from doing it? Is it too difficult? Does it require input from you? Is it not, therefore sufficiently automatic? Is it too complex for you? Is the task daunting? What makes YOU avoid doing it, Eugene?

I don't feel smug about his data loss. It happens too often to too many people. I stopped feeling smug long ago. My backup practices are too involved to go into here.

I drew up a not-very-focused web page on the topic a while ago, which needs updating due to an experience I had last weekend. I use tapes for backup. Last weekend, I used an external drive for the first time, with Retrospect, as part of a repartitioning sequence for the 160GB boot drive in my PowerMac G5.

Things went much more quickly than with tape, unsurprisingly. On the other hand, the 300GB external drive doesn't hold as much as my tapes. More if anyone cares.



that's like having car insurance two days of the year and hoping, if you were to have a wreck, that it's on one of those days.

i'm sorry but as much as you folks preach backup backup backup i think it's rather funny that you don't take your own advice.

I back up at LEAST every other week, if not every week.


Dave Barnes


What about your data that you backed up to your external FireWire drive. Surely, you could not have lost that also?

What about your data that backed up to http://www.dropsend.com (250MB for free and 250GigaBytes for only $99/month)? Surely, you could not have lost that also?



Wish it was Anonymous

I bought and installed a new 60GB HD for my Pismo. No problems for a year +. I last backed up 3 months ago. The drive crashed and all data was lost. I was going on blissfully adding content and TAXES and other need to have info since the last BU. A HARDWARE failure was the last thing I expected. Now I am backing up weekly.

I should have known, I was the sys manager for my engineering group at work, I backed up to tape every night. Think I learned? Not till last month. Now I AM a believer again.



Among all the Mac lifers here in the office, I think I may be the only one who backs up on a daily basis - and at home I back up each of my five volumes (General, Videos, Photos, iTunes, and Extras) to external FireWire drives every night at 3:00 a.m., automatically, using BounceBack. It may not be the world's most elegant app, but it gets the job done.

And, yes, over the years I've had three or four hard-drive failures, but I've never lost more than a day's worth of work. The reason I'm so careful is simple: I know enough about exactly how hard drives work to completely trust the little buggers.

And, yes, I'm feeling mighty, mighty smug right about now...



whats wrong with you mac life ppl?

i think this is going to be the last time i ever come to this site again

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