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You can call me Hal.

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New brain.
saint dogbert
Today I am wiping the drive on my desktop computer and re-installling everything. I really need to do it, to clean out the cruft of several years and to split things into two nice new accounts, one for work and one for play. That will keep me from sneaking peeks at LJ while I'm doing client work. And I hope to catch up on comments on my laptop while I wait for things to install.

I'm in the backup stage right now. I'm a backup freak. I have my regular nightly Retrospect backup of my user directory and a few other folders, I'll do a CarbonCopyCloner diskimage of the whole computer next, and I've done plain file-copying of my user dir. Sadly, my new firewire drive will not be here for a few weeks, so I've had to juggle things around between other drives that are almost full and a computer with nice empty drives that I have to access over the network because it doesn't support target firewire mode. Gah. I also backed up all my iTunes music yesterday -- 6 DVDs!

My normal backup routine is a nightly backup (using Retrospect) to a firewire drive. I have two, so I alternate nights. I make a full disk image before doing any maintenance work as well. But I don't have an offsite backup and that makes me nervous.

I can't think of how to easily implement that. When I was working at the agency, I had two drives and I would take them home with me. But there's no other place for me to take my drives now.

The only thing that seems plausible is to get a couple of small (in size, not disk space) drives and rent a safe deposit box. The bank is just across the street. But do you have to get a bank person to take you in every time you want to use the box? That could be a pain if I do it every week.

Do you have any suggestions for me? And what's your backup procedure?

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I have a 250 GB external hard drive, with a 40 GB partition (same as my iBook's internal drive) which I keep as a mirror of the iBook. I back it up once a week using Silverkeeper, the software that came with the external HD. I don't back up daily because I don't really do that much on a daily basis except read email and lj. If I'm working on a story, I sometimes back it up by posting it privately to one of my online journals.

Once a year or so, I make archive CDs/DVDs of all my document files.

I've thought about offsite backup, but haven't done anything about it. I don't have that much on my computer to lose, though -- the most important things to me are my stories and my websites, which are all online somewhere, and I figure that serves as offsite backup.

I've always been picky about backups but now that I'm doing client work on that computer I'm even more finicky. Most of that is web stuff so it goes online right away anyhow, but there are graphics files too.

200G external harddrive. It was love at Christmas. :D :D :D
but it gets in the way of my terminal deleting habits.

I love external drives. When my new one gets here, I'll have three and close to a terabyte of storage. Of course, one of the 250GB ones is nearly completely full because I have to have all my PoT files available all the time, not just burned off.

re the safety deposit box. Yes, you need to sign in and the bank person will have one of the two keys needed to open your box - you will have the other. But it's their JOB to let you in. Daily if necessary, heck hourly if necessary. Your work world is on those drives, and until you spring for offsite backup, that's a good plan. You should have a safety deposit box anyhow for your important papers.

One cavet. Bank vaults are NOT entirely air/waterproof (movies notwithstanding), nor are standard safe deposit boxes (don't know about the high security ones). Put important papers and your drives in zip lock bags that are. Since your bank is across the street, if you get flooded, it will, too. And vaults are almost always in the basement (or main floor if there's not a basement).

Thank you, that is really good info and advice! I hadn't thought about the water issue. I'm on the fourth floor, so my own stuff at least should survive the flood.

Maybe it would be enough to do a zip/upload of the client files to my webspace, at least for now. At least that's in another geographical location.

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Ha! But won't they also know the balance of my bank accounts? I guess I could pretend that my *real* wealth is in a numbered Swiss account.

Um. My usual back-up routine is to save everything to an external drive and then neglect to back up until I hear a funny noise from my old, ailing laptop. Then I back-up desperately, hoping I'm not too late.

I didn't say it was a good system.


I think that's most people's system. :) I confess, I don't have much sympathy for people who post that their hard drive failed and they lost everything from the last five years. Because they should have backed at least some of that up at some point if it was that important to them.

Worse yet is the fact that I've worked in systems, with the programmers, and I know better. Hell, my first job involved re-entering an entire database because the company hadn't backed it up.

I do tend to keep what's precious and irreplaceable uploaded to my website, fics, photos. And my music stays on the external drive.


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