March 01, 2008

Church of Monthly Backup

As the excellent Gina of Lifehacker fame once wisely said, "While Macs may be less vulnerable to viruses and spyware than PC's, they're just as likely to get stolen or suffer from a hardware failure like a hard drive crash. When that happens, will it be a catastrophe, or just an inconvenience? It depends on whether or not - and how well - you back up your Mac."

Backing up is boring. And largely unnecessary. Until the ice dams in your gutter cause a stream of freezing water to slide down your library wall and render your computer null and void. (Insert your own situationally appropriate scary thoughts here.)

In recognition of the fact that not being sufficiently backed up is an avoidable hazard, and therefore one which whould not pass the "how would I explain it to Dad" test, my father and I have entered into a pact to ask each other, "So, how backed up are you?" at the end of each month.

So this? Is a picture of Silverkeeper in the midst of backing up my entire hard-drive to my external Fantom drive. Also known as "a good night's sleep." Thanks, Dad!

(Geek aspirants may want to read
the rest of what Gina had to say on the subject here.
There's a kind of hierarchy... first start with backing up by hand
the stuff you know you'd be hard-pressed to replace,
then think about automatting the process,
and about WHERE the backups should live.
Right now, if my house burned down, my Fantom drive would, too,
but hey, it's a start. And starting is huge, IMO.
Tune in later this weekend for photos from the 2008
FIRST Robotics Regionals!)


~Jenn said...

OH MY GOD WHAT A NIGHTMARE. Okay, I'm ready to learn about backing up. Preach that gospel, sister!

Anonymous said...

Shelly Did this really happen to you. Ask Terry if she remembers the great flood we had in our dining room in Troy. Dick

Anonymous said...

Terri I do know how to spell your name Love Dad

Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelley said...

Dear friends, I am so pleased that my words of warning are moving you to consider "seeing the light" and joining the church of monthly backup. And no, I haven't lost any data recently. There have been no ice-activated disasters in our lives of late. That's just my over-active imagination kicking in again...


Nancy Bea Miller said...

Just chiming in with my own "It can happen to YOU!" story. No natural disasters necessary! My young son was wearing headphones plugged into my MAC G-5; he leaped up suddenly (forgetting he was attached to the computer), and the computer fell to the wood floor. Oh dear! The local Drive Saver company could not help and we had to send it to some big deal super geek company out in CA but no dice: the hard drive had been completely wiped. The computer hit the ground at just exactly the right angle to do this, a rare occurrence. I was not backed up and I lost everything including the over 20,000 photos in my i-photo library.

So, yes, now I back up. Once a month is a good idea Shel!