When I want to feel virtuous, I think about my backup system


Yeah, I’m a computer backer upper, and I’m damn happy, too. The first few times I lost files–always a few day’s work, never an entire project, thank Pikachu–I thought “I should back up more in the future.”

And I would be diligent about it… for a while. But I’m a lazy bastard, so what I really needed was an automated system. Which I did. (Ask me about my backup protocol!)

First, I do my writing on my laptop. There’s an 8GB travel drive on a lanyard around my neck, so whenever I finish a day’s work I copy the changed files to there. Those files (plus a number of family/kiddie pics) are as safe as I am.

I also copy the files to my dropbox folder. Dropbox is not only an online backup service, it syncs files with my home computer. As soon as I have a wifi connection, Dropbox copies the updated file to their server, then downloads it to my desktop computer at home.

Copying the files to those two places is the only part of this I have to remember to do. It takes less than 20 seconds, which is apparently just on the correct side of onerous for my lazy self.

Dropbox gives me 2GB for free (plus a little extra I get for referrals–anyone want a free backup and sync service? Lemme know)

Once the file is on my desktop, Time Machine automatically backs it up to the 2TB external hard drive on my desk. I also have Mozy, which, for five bucks a month, backs up everything in my dropbox folder plus all our family photos and home movies.

That’s two external hard drives, two online servers, and two computers. Excessive? Maybe. But to me it feels like virtue.