Dear FileSlinger clients, colleagues, and friends:
So far my DVD-writer is working out very well. It’s much faster now that I got a 9-foot firewire cable and connected it to the back of my XHD.
I had a discussion with the Ur-Guru about whether the backups I’m making onto that rewritable DVD are in fact “differential backups.” To him, a differential backup means that only the bytes that have changed get backed up. That means each backup would not copy a whole file, only the changes to the file. That sounds pretty confusing to me, and it doesn’t appear to be what’s actually happening. (It’s also what Microsoft describes as an “incremental backup” in its help files.)
What Rapid Backup is doing is checking for files which have changed and copying any that have a more recent “last modified” date over onto the DVD. I’ve got it set to run every hour, and it does so pretty unobtrusively, though it did once cause some serious slowdown when it tried to back up a very large Word file while I was working on it.
So I have on that DVD all of my most recent documents and data files, except
- files that were open when RapidBackup tried to copy them and
- files that have changed since the last copy session.
Okay—last week I promised you a bit of “What will they think of next?” in the backup department. This is the reByte™ system, which is a computer built for one purpose only: backing up what’s on other computers.
To me, reByte seems like a geek’s solution, particularly if you’re going to build your reByte™ system out of an old computer. It presupposes enough space to keep a second desktop PC around just to make backups on, as well. And while it automates backups and can back up your whole network in one place, it doesn’t create drive mirrors that will restore your software and system state as well as your data. The reByte™ answer to the obvious question “Why not just get an external hard drive?” is “There’s nothing to install on your client PC and nothing to remember.”
I’m not about to run out and get one, myself. I don’t think it’s a very good solution for an individual. But for a company that’s got several networked computers and no existing backup system, it might be a reasonable and economical option.
More backup news next week!