a Flickr photo shareHaving read a few recent posts from Andy Budd and Jason Kottke, I’ve grown suddenly worried about the prospect of losing my Powerbook’s data. For the past couple of years, I’ve manually backed up critical files to CD, but I was lucky if this got done once per year…

After briefly flirting with DVD archiving (thanks for your help Jason), it was clear that this would be only slightly less annoying than CDs. And, web servers offer even less disk space…

No, I decided that it was time to set up scheduled backups, to hard disk.

First, I started with an old Dell Desktop, which we set up in our litter-box closet. We bought a USB Wi-Fi “G” adapter to connect the PC (and our printer) to the network. I should also mention that I added an 80GB internal drive…

With the hardware in place, I decided to use Déjà Vu to run the backups — this app does everything a backup app should do, but I like the way it is integrated in System Preferences, as a preference pane. It’s lean, clean, and fits well into the OS.

After an hour or so of Setup, I’ve got scheduled weekly backups of my user directory, starting tonight at 3am…

I know that I’ll sleep more soundly!

1 Response to “Backups”

  • I think it would be far easier to remove the old Dell PC from the backup routine entirely, buy a firewire case for the 80GB hard drive you purchased, and plug the firewire 80GB drive into your PowerBook at night and the backups will take care of itself.

    The best advantages to this idea are the speed of firewire, the portability of a hard drive in a firewire case, rather than a hard drive in a Dell box. Then there is also the reduced cost to your electricity bill :-)

    I cringed when you said that you joined the Dell to the network with a 802.11g wireless card. For a computer whose sole purpose is backups, you would want a faster connection than a measily theorectical max of 54Mbps. I mean, sure, it’s not bad as far as wireless goes, but you are only going to get 2-3MB/sec best case scenario. With a simple Firewire enclosure you’ll get a max of 40MB/sec.

    There are lots of different firewire cases you could buy, but I would recommend buying through “”: aka Other World Computing.

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