Journal: News & Comment

Monday, September 06, 2004
# 8:57:00 AM:

Backups through the storm

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Bob Cringely:

I have on my wrist a watch with a built-in 256 megabyte USB flash drive holding all my e-mail since 1993, everything I have written since the late 1980s, and a bootable Linux partition. So worst case, I can buy a new PC wherever we land, plug-in the watch and be up and running again in minutes with most of the stuff I need.

It's now been eight years since my last really disastrous "no backup" situation, and I still remember it all too well. While I don't have Bob's backup-on-my-wrist, I do have:

  1. A laptop that comes to work and on the road with me, and holds nearly all the documents that also sit on my main computer, going back to the early 1990s at least (I haven't checked recently).

  2. A FireWire hard drive with a complete clone of my main computer's drive, updated every few weeks, plus a weekly incremental backup of all my family's documents, e-mail, passwords, and application preferences.

  3. A second, compressed copy of all my e-mail back to 1998, sitting on a remote Internet server in California.

  4. At my workplace, a stack of several dozen CD-Rs, backups I've made over the past several years.

I hope it's enough (yes, I know my computer is manipulating me). If my house is burning down, my priorities are, (a) my wife and kids, (b) that FireWire drive, and (c) our photo albums from the pre-digital era.

How about you?


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