Friday, September 24, 2010

Stoopid Stoopid STOOPID

Stoopid This morning I found a section of the grant I'm writing had disappeared. I'm of the opinion that no-one takes backups seriously until they've personally experienced a significant data loss, and I have in the past, so I'm normally pretty anal about backing up. My normal practice is to back up nightly but for various reasons I didn't on Thursday night, and now I've lost several hours (I can ill afford) of work on a grant application. This wouldn't have happened if I'd used Google Docs as I often do, even when writing in isolation - GDocs gives me version control, data portability plus auto backup via the document history.

In my frustration (at myself), I expressed my unhappiness in fluent Anglo Saxon on Twitter. My network helpfully castigated me for not using TimeMachine, but as far as I'm concerned unless you backup off-site there's little point, since fire and theft are a likely cause of data loss. Paying for off-site storage introduces a cost element, and that's a problem for me right now. At present I carry out a nightly incremental backup to a small 8 Gig flash drive (I 'm going to need 32GB soon), but this is run manually and I'd like to automate the process to run in the background. The other need for my backup disk is to sync the multiple computers scattered around my life.
  • TimeMachine is of no value to me unless it's off-site and there's no sync capacity.
  • I've not previously looked at, but at £42 a year it has too many limitations such as file size limits and no sync capacity. Off-site storage probably also contravenes various institutional data protection regulations (but we won't talk about that ;-)
  • Michele recommended ForeverSave, and it looks quite good. I think I'll give it a trial once I've got myself a bigger flash drive, unless anyone else has any better suggestions?