Makes Me Happy

The One Where It Takes Me A Really Long Time To Get To The Point

Christmas of 2008, my brother and my Dad got me a new laptop for Christmas. It was a MacBook and it was the most beautiful thing ever. I had a work MacBook for awhile but I had never had just one of my own. If that MacBook was a car? It would probably have about 400,000 miles on it by now and if it was a car I could approach it like a mechanic upgrading a car by looking at the circuit boards of this MacBook maybe upgrading it with parts from websites similar to Octopart but I am not that techie so I don’t think I’ll do that but I hear some people do.

It never even made it to the OS Snow Leopard update in 2009, I believe. Once you can no longer update the Operating System, other tools start becoming obsolete with every year that passes. I don’t think I’ve had an updated browser on that laptop in over a year. It’s basically my “emergency” computer when I just desperately need something and can work around all of the outdated tools.

My desktop isn’t in much better shape. It did handle the Snow Leopard update, but that’s the last update it has had and while I was able to still update browsers and iTunes, in the last few months I realized I couldn’t update Safari anymore.

What I’m saying is, I was kinda screwed. I work from home as a web developer, I need updated browsers.

IMG_4356So we knew my need for a new computer was pressing and Donnie has a nice Windows Desktop so we figured I’d be getting a laptop as my next new computer. But – that is a HUGE purchase and something we have to think about and plan in advance. I visited every review site, including, so that I could make a well-rounded decision. It’s not something you can really do as a “surprise”.

BUT! As close as it could get to being a surprise? This one was!

A few days after Christmas Donnie said, “I’m not usually the best at presents for your birthday or Christmas or anniversaries, so why don’t we get you a laptop to make me feel better about that?”

WOOT! Christmas Gift AND a Tax Write-off! Great way to end the year!

We built it online and it came a couple of days ago. It’s beautiful! I spent the weekend trying to backup my old laptop onto DropBox and failed miserably. But, I sent it off with E anyway because his Chromebook needs to be sent back to Amazon as the speakers seem to be shot. I’m currently spending time trying to backup my desktop but it’s not going well either since our internet is sucktastic.

SO! I have this great new laptop, but I really can’t get rid of any of my old computers yet. YAY FOR useless clutter! In all honesty, there is one laptop at the end of its life, so I’ll be able to get rid of that soon enough.
I think we’ll need a bigger/better external backup for now. And I guess I need to get more organized and only backup stuff on DropBox that I really can’t live without. Although, that’s going to to take FOREVER. I have a huge digital footprint.

The point of this blabbering entry? How do you backup your digital life? I have DropBox but I can’t seem to dependably upload lots of files simultaneously. I thought I was, but when I tried to access them? They didn’t all make it. So the error reporting SUCKS. I have an external hard drive but it’s several years old too and getting to capacity. How do you backup your life?

10 thoughts on “The One Where It Takes Me A Really Long Time To Get To The Point”

  1. We use Dropbox in work so we can all access the same files but when I went on holiday in November it took almost a week for my computer to run normally as someone had renamed a folder with thousands of files in it and Dropbox slowed everything else down while it updated.

    You can now buy HUGE externa portable drives for very reasonable prices – I know here we can get a 1TB drive for about £50 (aboout $80) so that would be a good investment I think.

  2. Have you considered just copying your home directory up to Amazon S3? s3cmd (should work on a Mac) would give you basically rsync, which is nice, because it’ll probably take you a month to get all of /Users copied up there.

  3. Depends on how much you have to back up – we use CrashPlan which is $50 per year for 10 computers (So your son could also backup) for unlimited backup space!

    There is also a website for backing up to your own private Amazon Web Services S3 bucket, but that can be pricey if you have a ton to backup.

  4. I do what Alison does-use a 1 T external drive. I don’t have work files though. The crash plan deal sounds pretty good, especially since you have multiple computers.

  5. We use Zip Cloud to back everything up. It’s an online cloud storage system that runs regular system scans to back-up your new stuff. The best part is that you can access it remotely. That way if I am at work and need a file from my home computer I can still get to it. Also helps that it isn’t relying on me to put things on a drive. I always forget.

  6. We use Carbonite, which is $60 a year for 3 computers (I think-last time I signed up anyway), and you can access it remotely as well.

  7. I do freelance work too so I have to make sure I have backups because sometimes the client I work for loses things and they come back to me YEARS later to see if I have copies. They are very grateful when I do have them! My current set up is that my working files are in Dropbox and I periodically backup those onto my desktop hard drive. My finished project files get copied onto both of my 2 terabyte external drives before I will even consider deleting them from Dropbox. The files on the externals are identical and are precious to me as they have all of my personal photos on them too. I’m thinking of getting a 3rd 2T drive with all of the same stuff on it that I can keep somewhere out of the house in case of fire etc. I have lost too many files/photos over the years from fried hard drives so I may be a bit paranoid. 🙂

  8. I use external USB drives and Time Machine on the Macs, or a simple incremental-backup script using tar for the linux machine. I’m a developer working from home as well, so backups are critical. Tip: the backup drives can fail as well, so after a few months I retire them to a drawer and install a fresh drive. Every now and then I’ll put one into a safe-deposit box. Drives are free ($60 to $100) compared to lost work.

    If you’re working on discrete projects, the tip of copying finished work to a separate backup drive, or a separate partition on the ongoing backup drive, is a good one. That makes it easier to find things if needed.

  9. I backup my fave photos on
    Flickr and on a terabyte external HD (they really have come down in price) then save important docs on it as well as google drive. I also save annual dates on google calendar with reminder alerts. And save copies of emails. I don’t do much on paper so it is all electronic.

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