Photos Spare Cycles MythBusters

Data Casualties

poisonAs a reminder to myself to back things up, here's a list of data casualties (files that I failed to backup and were unrecoverable from the dying disk):

  • entire iTunes library: not a huge loss, as I do own the CDs and have an old version backed up, but it will take quite some time to reburn, and I've also lost all the ratings (unless someone knows how to extract that data off my iPod)
  • some Daily Show clips: also not a huge loss, possibly some missed laughs down the line, but so much of my Daily Show archive survived that I should be more than fine.
  • my Desktop: this is an unknown. A lot of what's on my desktop is copies of data that I'm staging for printing, etc... but it's also where I put a lot of data that's awaiting filing. I can't remember what these files might have been, so this is an unknown loss.

The important thing is that my Web server and photos made it through unscathed. I await a future in which data loss is eliminated by massive network replication -- a future that is quite possible with today's technology.

Comments (2)

Ray Chiang:


- Hardware
Linksys NSLU2 10/100 Ethernet/USB2.0 Bridge
Firmware (Unslung) and software hacks (OpenSLUG) via

Any USB 2.0 enclosure + HDD (SATA up to 500GB, IDE up to 400GB at the moment)

- Software

Tons of solutions for Windows and UNIX. Just search for "rsync" off SourceForge.



Thanks for the recommendations -- I'm currently using robocopy (Windows Resource Kit) to a USB hard drive, which works well for my desktop, though it is tempting to start backing up my laptop as well. Currently nothing unreplaceable goes on it, but given that it has a better screen I'm tempted to do more with it.

Main problem was that I had 80GB to backup 120GB, so I had to leave off the more 'replaceable' data (music, downloaded video). Part of my weekend expenditures was to buy a 200GB external hard drive, which should last me about 2 months at my current photo-taking rate :). I also got a new DVD burner that can handle dual layer, which should ease some of the hassle of backing up the photo collection.

The main thing that I lost was the Desktop files, that was a #$@! up. In the future that will be part of my scripts.

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