Backups and Why You Should Never Listen to Me

Last night I made some changes to my PC at home and in the process I blew up all my photos for the past 7 years or so. That sucks. I have some backups on DVD and I can eventually track them down. The part that’s doubly stupid is that despite the fact that I am a (semi) professional sysadmin and manage terabytes of data and co-ordinate their associated backups for a living, despite the fact that I rigorously backup the data on the servers you are connected to right now, I have been incredibly neglectful in backing up the data on my own PC.


In any event, there’s really no point in screwing something up badly unless it teaches you a lesson. So today I decided I’d finally get Time Machine working. (Yeah that’s right, I use one of the very few operating systems that ships with a sophisticated native backup tool that does snapshots, yadda, yadda, and I still didn’t have a backup of my data!) I decided I’d start with my work notebook and that means I had to get some sort of external disk.

Herein lies the silver lining, I decided I’d get a Firewire/IEEE1394 disk, not so much because of the performance, though that is nice, but more because I have a low level of confidence in USB disks based on past experience. After a bit of research I decided it was easier just to buy a retail disk instead of an OEM hard drive and a 3rd party enclosure, even if it is a bit more expensive. So after some digging around it turned out that the only place in downtown Toronto that sells a wide range of Firewire disks is the Apple Store. I wasn’t looking forward to the markup, but this problem just can’t wait any longer I need to deal with data protection for my workstations. So off I go to the Apple Store and in the end I decided to buy a 250GB G-DRIVE Q for 200 bones. Not a great deal, but it’s a good disk and I can lock it to the pillar by my desk at work with a simple cable lock and that’s pretty much a requirement in an open office. So I got home about an hour ago and started to set up my backups only to discover that the disk in the box was a 500GB disk. All of a sudden it’s not such a lousy deal. It seems like the gods of data management have taught me a lesson and then quietly blessed my response. So now I’m feeling better about things.

In any event, rambling stories aside: “Don’t be a Gabriel, back up your fucking data!”