Leigh’s Backup Strategy Begins…

I’ve never really had a backup strategy. Now and again everything’s turned to toast, but previously it’s not been much of a worry. As one gets older, however, things start to seem more important, and constant nagging focuses the mind as well.

Each loss of data eats away at your soul a little bit. Admittedly I haven’t had a big crash for a while, but little losses happen all the time. I seem quite adept at overwriting newer versions of files when synchronising online and offline copies of this site, for example. Every time this sort of thing occurs I find myself reminded of the fragility of digital data.

Secondly, things become older, and the function of more and more hours of expenditure. After a while the thought of losing a big project becomes more acute.

Some initial worries of data loss got me thinking about online storage. Collecting your email via IMAP is an easy way to start the process. Now the death of a computer doesn’t mean you’ve lost all your previous emails. Since most of us tend to accumulate emails containing useful information, this is a definite plus.

As part of this online storage drive, I moved my diary online. I also uploaded my budget and some other bits and bobs. Of course one does have to make the assumption that the hosting company are better at looking after data than I am. I don’t think this is a bad assumption – after all, that is what I’m paying them for. Not only this, but a few bad data losses would almost certainly destroy their business. These people have a backup strategy, unlike me.

The last time I lost data badly was when I was still at school. I think it could have been related to the widely-publicised “Deathstar” drive errors, but all I can really remember is that the hard drive was toast. So the first part of the strategy was to buy another one.

So, we’ve now got backup potential and a speed bonus by putting programs and data on separate hard drives. Maybe it could be time for a dual-boot Linux installation as well…

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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