Another One Bites the Dust
October 18, 2005
I was beginning to wonder how many times I had to lose my data before I sat down to setup backups for my computers. Backing up is sort of like exercise in that everyone says you should do it, but no one ever does. Ironically enough, once you do it, you feel much better and wonder what was holding you up in the first place.
UPDATE: I came across the following quote, which I believe serves as a very fitting introduction to this entry.
There are two types of people in the world -- those who backup their data and those who which they had.
Ignore for a moment the fact that I am the Grim Reaper of hardware, as my co-workers now call me. If I get anywhere near a hard drive, I seem to have this touch of death that just puts the needle to the disk, if you get what I am saying. Not one, not two, but three hard drives have crapped out on me in the past six months. In addition, I have had one data-wiping exploit on my webserver and, finally, one "oops" by sourceforge that terminated my project wiki. And yes, I lost data, but luckily nothing irreplaceable. The reason for this blog entry is to give you fair warning not to let this happen to you.
If you cannot pick up your computer right this minute and drop it into a bath full of water, you don't have good backups.
Let me say that another way.
If your data isn't backed up right this instant, you should be counting your lucky stars that nothing has happened yet, while at the same time working on a backup script.
I recommend rdiff-backup.