Backups

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 “http://macsales.com”:http://macsales.com aka Oth­er World Com­put­ing.

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