While I’ve got a couple of guest posts promised (both on Mac backups), nothing has yet materialized, so I thought I’d take a closer look at some of the backup news that’s come up in the past week. I bookmark all those stories I find in Google Alerts or hear about from other sources, but I don’t always go back and investigate them further.
If you’re a non-WordPress blogger (heresy!), you’ll want to check out Allen Stern’s “Do You Backup [sic] Your Blog?” post in the InformationWeek Digital Life Weblog. Allen provides links to guides for backing up Drupal, Movable Type, and Blogger, as well as mentioning the WordPress DB-Backup plugin I’ve covered extensively here.
Actually, speaking of WordPress (as I do a lot these days), I went to my first WordPress Meetup in San Francisco last week—and we found ourselves talking about backup, and this blog, and the post on the WordPress Backup plugin by BTE, about which even the experts in the room had not heard. (Well, there are 4,000 registered WordPress plugins.) Everyone there but me was a Mac user, and nearly all of them had some kind of horror story to tell about fried hard drives. Whether or not Macs have superior operating systems, a hard drive is a hard drive, and anything that spins at high speed is at risk. (Like my CD/DVD drive, for instance, but let’s not talk about that.) I hope all their blogs are more backed up as a result of that discussion.
Anyway, back to the news. Peter Kent of the Northern Colorado Business Report is a geek in search of the perfect backup. (I know just how he feels.) Right now he’s using two online backup systems: SugarSync (about which I’m supposed to write, or get someone to write, eventually) and iDrive, in combination with a Rebit—though he’s not actually quite sure that he could restore from the Rebit. I’m glad to know Rebit is hanging in there, though I suspect that a product designed to work for the clueless user is always going to encounter problems with the power user’s modded machine. It’s always a challenge to design a drive-imaging product for Windows, because there are so many possible hardware variations. Macs are a far more controlled environment.
The Technically Personal blog has a list of “Top 10 Websites to Take Backup of Data for FREE!” (a title that says “Non-native speaker of English” to me). Among familiar sites like Mozy, iDrive, MyOtherDrive, and our friends at SpiderOak (featured in the December 12th Backup Reminder), TP lists the less familiar Adrive, SkyDrive (from Windows Live), Humyo, 123-drive, Drive Headquarters, and Orbitfiles. Technically Personal also has a post about free data recovery software for USB sticks, but I’m pretty sure DriveSavers would tell you not to use it.
Finally, I thought I’d see who was giving presentations about backup, so I hopped on over to SlideShare and did a search. I found 2577 presentations available for download. If you want a lesson in the basics of backups, there’s definitely one available for you. In fact, I could probably fill up the blog for weeks just by posting the slideshows, even if I leave out all the ones specific to enterprise environments.
Somehow, though, that feels like cheating. Still, I might pick out a few favorites. Come to think of it, I might see about sharing the presentations I did on backup for NYLF, way back when. They’re only slightly dated; all that’s really changed is the average size of a hard drive.
What never changes is the importance of backing up your data. So what are you waiting for?