.:Backup System

January 28, 2008 at 11:35 pm (hardware) ()

One of my mottos is that I’ll try anything (within reason) twice. You could have had a bad experience on your first go round, and a second shot may prove to have unearthed something you didn’t know you could have lived without.

There are certain things you can’t do twice if you have a very bad experience. One of them would be skydiving

You wouldn’t go skydiving without a backup parachute unless you didn’t know any better. Right?

.:The Crash

Well, I had a bad experience with skydiving (metaphorically), and had something of a crash back around Christmas. My faithful computer of 3.5 years decided to half die on me. It had a RAID-0 configuration, which means it had 2 150gb hard drives that acted as two parts to a brain. Since files are stored partly on one side and then the other part on the other side… when one goes, the other is crippled and most information is useless.

What did I lose? All the working timelines from the last 3 years, excepting for my most recent projects (both work and personal, thank goodness) that I fortunately had sitting on an external drive because I was running low on my 300gb of storage. All my high-res photos (thank goodness for Facebook), a lot of high-res finished products of my videos (thank goodness for YouTube), and a lot of important documents were lost.

It took a little bit of coping to deal with the fact that my old friend would never be the same… so I replaced the 150gb with a new 500gb internal drive, upgraded the RAM from 1gb-4gb, and used the old 150 as the installation platform for Windows and not much else (I’m not trusting it as far as I can throw… well, it’s just a little brick, so I could probably chuck it a ways…) with all my important files on the new 500gb.

Great, computer is better than before, but I still have the crisis of what happens if my hardware fails me again? I did a little research…

.:Back it up

There are two schools of thought to backing up your goods.

  • You can do it.
  • Someone else can do it.

You can do it. Like Rob Schneider in The Water Boy says, you can do it (there seems to be a Rob Schneider tendency to my posts lately…). You can go out and look up the data on what a good external harddrive runs (or better known in the techie world as an HDD, as I learned), and be sure to have enough space to save everything in the event of an emergency… but then you run the risk of your backup failing (which some are known to do)…

Someone else can do it. There are online services out there like mozy.com that do the dirty work for you, and you merely upload your files to their servers, and they guarantee the safety of your beloved files. It’s nice in the event of a backup dying… or a fire, but it comes with a cost… A monthly fee, usually. It’s nominal, especially with mozy.com’s infinite space backup (for individuals, not companies) that I am currently taking advantage of for less than $5 per month. This is very nice when you have 200-300gb of data to back up. If something happens or the computer gets wiped, you just download all your files back to your revived or new computer. They heavily encrypt your files too, so they won’t see your vacation photos, or anything else you might not want in the hands of others.

So, I went down a hybrid path. I have an external drive that I back up my latest work files with, which makes me more mobile when it comes to editing, and I also have service from mozy.com, which I was able to find a coupon code to make it even cheaper. It’s not hard if you do a little digging for it.

The moral of the story is that in this digital age, once you lose something… it’s gone. You have to learn from it and move on. Technology comes with a high convenience, but also has a steep fall if you use it as a crutch.

-Ryan

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