Thursday, September 18, 2008

And this is why we make backups

I keep confidential data on my MacBook Pro inside of a 4GB TrueCrypt volume.  This morning after getting into the office, I launched TrueCrypt, attempted to open the volume, and got a file not found error.

Thinking that I may have accidentally dragged it into a different folder, using Spotlight I ran a search for the volume's name on the entire hard disk.  It's gone, nowhere to be found.

{Insert sinking feeling here.}

I do have a couple backup copies of the file, the oldest dating to no older than Sunday night.   So, while I've lost some data, I haven't lost much.

My backup regimen includes using Time Machine several times a week when I use Rohan at my desk at home, and a file sync every Thursday night using Cronosync.  Time Machine backs up to a LaCie 320 GB FireWire drive, while Cronosync backs up to a 160 GB portable disk from Otherworld Computing.  Periodically, I also copy the TrueCrypt volume to a flash drive that I always keep in my pocket.

I've been considering a fourth, online backup and this may put me over the edge.  I'm leaning towards Amazon's S3 service using Jungledisk.  Both my external hard disks are located at home, which means (a) I cannot access them from work, and (b) I'm SOL if the house burns down.  Online backup means I'll be able to access my files from the office or anywhere with an Internet connection.

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