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Do We Really Need Personal Data Backup Strategies?

December 29th, 2008

Some people advocate frequent backups – and some go so far as to suggest making use of offsite storage, duplicating their DVD/CD collections, and so on. This fixation on personal data redundancy seems multi-compulsive for an individual or a family (running a company is obviously a different situation).

I personally do not have a data backup plan – aside from online storage like Google Docs, Flickr (for photos and videos), and source control. I have lost years worth of files a number of times, and every time my hard drive comes screeching to a halt, I feel that burning pit of anxiety deep in my stomach, but guess what? It doesn't last long. Seriously, over the years there has never been a case where I lost something that I absolutely needed (again, personal pictures and videos are an exception). After losing data, I find myself pining for a couple recently created / used files, I then recreate the files in a quarter the time it took me to do the first version, then I forget about the heaps of digital baggage I was hording over the years.

Personal data loss might be part of a natural regeneration process – like a forest fire, it makes way for new growth and forces us to focus on the present.

Stop fighting nature, forget about a data backup plan, involuntary random data purging might be good for all of us. Perhaps a digital natural disaster is in order for you. :)

Can you let go of your bits? What is your backup strategy? Why do you backup?

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Musings, Software Tags:
  1. December 30th, 2008 at 18:16 | #1

    agreed. i actually intentionally avoid backing things up, to avoid that clutter. i have a large music collection, which is the main exception, although i have lost it a few times, as well, and again found that it helped to rejuvenate my musical taste. the few important documents and files that i have are all under source control. this allows me to repave my machine or work exclusively from VM’s.

    for source control, i used to use subversion, but have switched to git. i have a master repository on a separate physical drive that runs in a VM. i backup in each VM that i use, and push regularly to the master, so important files are always on at least 2 physical drives.

  2. Terry Bordeleau – Macpablodesigns
    November 17th, 2009 at 00:15 | #2

    Back-up, Back-up, Back-up…. I do a lot of data recovery for all sorts of things. One of the first things that I hear is ” I was just about to do one” or “it was just there a minute ago”. One back-up suggestion that I like to give everyone that I recover data for is if you care about your photo’s, video’s documents, buy 2 external drives (one to keep connected to your computer all of the time, and one that will sync once a month and be placed in a safety deposit box) burn a lot of dvd’s and do the same thing. I also recommend burning a full set of all of the stuff that you would like to have saved onto optical media, ” if the dive in the safety deposit box fails, then you still have something”

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