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Coppola Loses All His Data 266

Posted by kdawson
from the no-questions-asked dept.
Colin Smith writes in with an object lesson in backup methodology — once you have backed everything up, take it somewhere else. "Film director Francis Ford Coppola has appealed for the return of his computer backup device following a robbery at his house in Argentina on Wednesday. He told Argentine broadcaster Todo Noticias he had lost 15 years' worth of data, including writing and photographs of his family."
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Coppola Loses All His Data

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  • by randuev (1032770) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:07AM (#20799467)
    Don't worry, mate, It will be backed up very solid quite soon :) You will never lose it again. It will be as safe as it could be. (Unless you'll decide to purchase it and keep it private, of course)
  • Honestly (Score:5, Funny)

    by chuckymonkey (1059244) <{charles.d.burton} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:08AM (#20799471) Journal
    Why is this news? Someone somewhere didn't back up their data and the hdd was stolen. Happens a lot people, next thing you know we're going to be hearing about how Paris Hilton bought an iPhone and an iGasm.
    • use a safe & lock (Score:5, Informative)

      by OrangeTide (124937) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @06:47AM (#20800185) Homepage Journal
      A safe would be a good investment, most are fire proof which is important too.

      For a USB back-up unit, get one with a K-slot [wikipedia.org] on it and bolt it to your desk or wall. It will prevent theft in a robbery, a cable lock (the kind with the hoop that bonds permanently is the way to go, stronger than a K-slot). Using a lock on your home system is especially important if you use a laptop, all laptops have a K-slot.

      I love my old Powermac, it has a loop for a cable lock and when the loop is in use it prevents the case from being opened too. Some PC cases have that as well, rarely as fancy, but sufficient.
      • by (H)elix1 (231155) * <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday September 30, 2007 @10:30AM (#20801257) Homepage Journal
        Oh man, that brings back a funny memory. I was working a customer where there were many consultants parked in a cube farm. An evening came, and most everyone left the laptops chained via a kensington lock rather than un-network and take them home. They came back to find all of the laptops still there - minus the battery, hdd, memory, dvd, and any other removable part - without being overly gentle on the deconstruction.
      • Ya, that works great since we havent invented battery powered reciprocating saws yet. Makes mincemeat of cables and wall studs in seconds.

        Offsite storage is the only way to go. As you point out, even a simple fire would have wiped him out. With all the talk of 'movie vaults' in his industry you would think that off site storage would have at least crossed his mind once.

      • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @12:13PM (#20801953)
        A safe would be a good investment, most are fire proof which is important too.

        Yes, but let's not forget that what we're dealing with here is a forced entry into a place where the robbers were waiving knives in the staff's faces. Nothing makes a knife waive faster than when it's accompanied by the phrase (how ever you say it in Spanish), "I know you know how to open this safe, so get to it..."

        If Coppola can't afford the bandwith to push to an off-site storage service, I don't know who can.
      • Re:use a safe & lock (Score:5, Informative)

        by ozbird (127571) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @12:45PM (#20802155)
        A safe would be a good investment, most are fire proof which is important too.

        A safe that is "fire proof" for paper (< 451 F) is not "fire proof" for your backups - you need a data/media safe, which are significantly more expensive.
    • by jonbryce (703250)
      No, someone who's computer and backup disks were stolen, as they were stored in the same place.
  • Godfather (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:09AM (#20799475)
    The backup device was taken and in its place was a severed horse's head....

  • by Frans Faase (648933) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:12AM (#20799487) Homepage
    Another person who learn the hard way that making backups is not enough, but that you have to store the backups in more than one physical location. I wonder if the thieves will even hear his request, let alone consider to listen to it. Nowadays you can get a 2.5 inch 80 Gbyte harddisk for less than 100 USD. You can easily store this at a location that won't be found by thieves looking for computers. Thieves almost never search children bedrooms or kitchens for these kind of items.
    • by gregbaker (22648) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:27AM (#20799543) Homepage
      This still doesn't help in the event of catastrophe: fire, flood, etc. The backup has to go off-site. Some suggestions: parents' house, the office, a friend's.

      I keep an up-to-date backup in my office, and drop a DVD or two in a drawer at my parents' every year or so.
      • The backup has to go off-site

        Yes, every place I have worked this has been standard operating procedure. People like Coppola should be getting advice on that from the people who do their IT. I suspect those IT people spend most of their time advising on what virus scanner to use and how to cut down on spam.

        I make a backup to take to work from my home system once a month. My wife doesn't like it. She is afraid of people accessing her stuff, and less worried about the house burning down or the server being stolen. Encyryption doesn't i

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          If you use Truecrypt or similar to encrypt the data, then you are quite safe. The key isn't stored anywhere. At least that's my understanding. Use a strong passphrase, and there is probably no way anybody will break the encryption in your lifetime, or even the planet's lifetime.
      • by BorgDrone (64343)

        The backup has to go off-site. Some suggestions: parents' house, the office, a friend's.

        That would usually still be in the same city or state, what if the entire city floods (new orleans anyone?) or an entire province like in my country in '53.

        For additional paranoia-proof protection the offsite backup needs to be on the opposite side of the planet. If you got family really far away, send them a flashdrive once in a while.
        • by Lennie (16154)
          If you want it to be safe, you should probably take it to them personally or similair.
          • by BorgDrone (64343)

            If you want it to be safe, you should probably take it to them personally or similair.

            You could ask them to send you the MD5 hash of the drive once it arrives.
      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @06:08AM (#20800065)
        I make video DVDs for friends sometimes. Usually there's a few hundred MB free space, so I stash a backup set -- my email, and other documents mostly -- in a data folder, ignored by players (though of course visible on a PC). I use encrypted RAR archives, their encryption is quite strong and uncracked as far as I know. Also of course on my own DVDs, the latter most likely useful in case of computer failure.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by the_doctor_23 (945852)

          I use encrypted RAR archives, their encryption is quite strong and uncracked as far as I know.
          RAR uses AES-128 in recent (V3.0+) versions, so it is quite strong indeed if the password is complex enough.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Esion Modnar (632431)
        and drop a DVD or two in a drawer at my parents' every year or so.

        Considering what my Mom did with all my porn the last time it was under her control... no.

      • by CODiNE (27417) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @09:42AM (#20800955) Homepage
        in a drawer at my parents'
        Upstairs isn't usually considered an "offsite" backup.
    • For the love of god. When we recommend off-site backups we mean off-site. Thieves are just one issue. Then there are fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and the whole gambit of other natural and man-made disasters. Unfortunately you don't get to choose which one.
    • by arth1 (260657)
      The funny thing is that it appears he brought the backups with him from the his primary residence in the US to his tax^Wsecondary residence in Argentina.
    • by LingNoi (1066278)
      WRONG! Theives take everything!

      They know people hide money in childeren's rooms, in toys, under beds, etc. They'll completely trash your room and your children's rooms stealing their toys and everything else they can find.
    • Don't store it in the same home/building/area. What if a disaster strike like a fire? Take the backup somewhere else far away. Internet would be good if you can secure the datas. A bank, that you visit, should be safe too.
    • by jafiwam (310805)
      I'd go as far to say "Backup is a Process, not a copy".

      Doing "backups" or "disaster recovery" is stupid until you have done an honest risk-assessment of what is more likely to happen to you, what the impact is when it happens, and recovery time or reconstruction of data.

      (rant about PHBs deleted)

      For an individual at home, the "release of data" from thieves is probably pretty small risk. (Face it, the guys breaking into houses are tweakers looking for quick cash usually, and nobody that is in the chain behind
  • Haiku (Score:2, Funny)

    by fmarkham (1091529)
    Three things are certain:
    Death, taxes, and lost data.
    Guess which has occurred.
  • Anyone have any theft prevention ideas? If someone lives in a high crime area, is there anything that can be done to prevent the easy theft of just picking up and taking a desktop computer?
    • Bolt it to the floor and lock the case panels?
      • That isn't an option for those living in rented areas.
        • You can bolt or chain it to the wall as long as you fill in the holes before you move out. Just make sure that the anchors whatever flavor they may be are sunk into wall studs or they're trivial to rip out.
          • Still, what if that isn't a feasible option?

            Would chaining/locking it to a desk work?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:33AM (#20799571)
      Put a Vista sticker on it.
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:40AM (#20799597) Homepage
      The data is a zillion times more valuable than the PC. Figure out the most painless way to backup the data and hide the backup disk somewhere.

      And... look! We're back on topic!

      I've been thinking of getting one of those hard disks with the network connector on the back. If you combine this with one of those "network across power lines" adapters you could put the hard disk anywhere in the house (attic, basement...) and still access it from your main PC.

      For a "high crime area" this seems ideal.

      PS: Yes, the chances of him getting his data back is zero. It's a pity he had to learn the hard way....

      I go around telling all my friends to back up their data, how important this is, how they could lose 100% their baby/wedding photos in a millisecond, etc. but I know none of them ever do.

      • Unless you're renting a place, then it becomes more difficult. Plus, the data is back-up. The problem is preventing the theft of the data. Well, making it incredibly difficult to steal the computer itself.
        • I don't think theft prevention is the issue for 99.99% of the population.

          I think it's more about losing a lifetime of your email/photos/writings/etc., none of which has any value to a thief who's just looking for something to hock.

          PS: What difference does renting/not make to my suggestion of hiding a network disk somewhere inaccessible and accessing via the mains wiring?

          • Sorry. I meant to say, "Unless you're happen to be renting the place." Your idea isn't feasible for renters. I can easily clone my drive over now and then to a spare hard drive, and put that hard drive in another location, or another city. However, I want something to secure my computer tower so no one can steal it and access my data. It isn't so much the data not being replaced, but preventing people from getting ahold of my data. It is a privacy invasion sort of thing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ed Random (27877)

        I've been thinking of getting one of those hard disks with the network connector on the back. If you combine this with one of those "network across power lines" adapters you could put the hard disk anywhere in the house (attic, basement...) and still access it from your main PC.

        This does not protect you from disasters like fire - the data plus backups should not be in the same building. I've got a "garden shed" on my property. Chances are, that it would survive if my house burnt down. Network-over-powerline would be a nice way to get a network connection in there.

        However, that scenario still does not protect against things like lightning strikes... Unless you use decent surge protectors etc.

        Data protection is not for the faint of heart, and unfortunately not for the average user

        • Acronis True Image is a great way to do true clones, to the best of my knowledge. It is a good idea to back-up because one day, the hard drive will fail.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Pax00 (266436)
      tesla coils and an rfid system to deactive them for friendly people
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Know Canada's army? That's right. You don't. Because they're at my house. Both of them. Protecting my data. Highly recommended. They go well with vodka.

  • by Vainglorious Coward (267452) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @03:21AM (#20799531) Journal

    Oops. Someone missed the 3rd step in the Tao of Backup : separation [taobackup.com]

    That list again in full:

    Backup all your data

    Backup frequently

    Take some backups off-site

    Keep some old backups

    Test your backups

    Secure your backups

    Perform integrity checking

    And note that it's not necessary to purchase [taobackup.com] anything to achieve backup enlightenment.

    • by Bios_Hakr (68586)
      I do most of my work on Windows. If you use windows, get SyncToy from MS or SyncBack from 2brightsparks.

      Both tools are free and work pretty well.

      I have a "hidden" PC stashed in a panel behind the entertainment center. I replicate nightly from my desktop to the media center. Weekly, I replicate from the media center to a portable USB drive. On Mondays, the USB drive goes to the office with me and stays there till Friday.

      Backups are not hard. Just set up a good, automatic tool and do occasional checks fo
      • by renoX (11677)
        >The *really* hard part of backups is getting people to organize their data. Mom, keeping everything on the Desktop is not an acceptable solution...

        Well, why don't you backup the desktop?
        • by Bios_Hakr (68586)
          Well, the main problem is that Windows has trouble backing up files in use. If a user is logged-in, a backup of "Documents and Settings" will usually fail.

          At the very least, a Windows user should use the desktop for working files and My Documents for storage.

          If it's a multi-user system, it's better to keep a separate folder for stuff you want to keep.
      • by rvw (755107)

        Weekly, I replicate from the media center to a portable USB drive. On Mondays, the USB drive goes to the office with me and stays there till Friday.

        That still leaves two days of the week that your backup is not offsite. I recommend that you buy a second USB drive. Every Monday you bring a new backup to the office, and every Friday you bring the oldest backup home. That way you have during the week two backups offsite, and during the weekends the most recent. The investment is low, and there is no extra work involved in the backup scheme.

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        have a "hidden" PC stashed in a panel behind the entertainment center. I replicate nightly from my desktop to the media center.

        Using small backup systems in hard to find spots can help against backup theft. Not many burglars are going to notice the Mac mini/NSLU2/similar small device in the small corner above the cupboard, especially if the device uses 802.11 instead of wired networking (or the cable runs up to the device inside the wall. This approach also makes the power cord easy to hide). Hiding devi
    • by Lennie (16154)
      If people really understood these things, they would use documented document formats.

      Not MS Office.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      You linked to a site about 'Veracity' backup software and say it's not necessary to purchase anything for backups. I figured it would be free, but I click the link there and it redirects to Quantum's site, which doesn't even have Veracity any more.

      I'm just trying to figure out what your point in linking there was... Just because it's cute?
  • Safe deposit box (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KC1P (907742)
    Safe deposit boxes are a really good deal. Mine costs something like $20 per year, and every time I'm going to the bank anyway I just bring an optical disk with all my vital stuff and swap it with the one that's there. Now the trick is not losing the key to the deposit box in the fire/flood/etc. that presumably destroyed all my other backups at home.
    • by Fizzl (209397)
      Yup same here. All my data in a deposit box in a bank vault. Costs couple of euros per month. Less than a pint of beer.
      I haven't yet filled my box. I don't regularly deposit my backups as accessing the box requires procedures to which I don't have time every day.
      Anyway, whenever I feel like visiting the box I burn DVD's of all my personal data from my laptops/desktops, and finally one from my server with public data, database and configuration. I just toss this DVD set on top of the pile at the box.
      If I ev
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        Don't forgat that DVDs are pretty lousy as long-term storage devices. Unfortunately I don't know of a medium that is known to last longer (and feasible for home use)... Anyone?
  • I'm just a poor working stiff but I have easily 500+ CD and DVD backups going back 8+ years and some of those have data going going back to old 5 1/4" back ups. These days I also have multiple hard drive back up so there's a lot of redundancy. I'm planning to start a process of regularly archiving hard drives in a bank safety deposit box. With his kind of money hire some one to come in at least once a month to do back ups if you can't be bothered. Better yet set up a home network with the server in a safe.
    • by mbone (558574)
      I hope you have a process to regularly rewrite those CDs and DVDs, otherwise you probably will find you have a nice collection of coasters, should you ever need the data.
  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @04:19AM (#20799755) Homepage
    One should always have at least the bare minimum of three copies of their data whenever possible with at least one of the copies *always* located off-site ...

    1. The HD in the computer

    2. Backup device #1 that's intended for the next backup stored locally or off-site

    3. Backup device #2 that's intended for the backup *after the next one* stored off-site

    If one only has two copies, which is common, the problem is if the backup fails for whatever reason, then one can suddenly end up with messed up data on their HD *and* on the backup device too ... in essance leaving *no* valid backup at all.

    The key to avoiding that problem is doing backups in rotation where at least one copy (ideally even more than one) is always off-site during the actual backup operation ... this shuld be obvious to folks in IT ... yet often this basic precaution is neglected, especially by laypeople, due to ignorance, economy, laziness, etc.

    Ron
  • by CranberryKing (776846) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @04:41AM (#20799815)
    I can't believe this was tagged with haha. Why is it funny when non-techsavvy people lose all their valuable data? It's not funny. It's terrible. As techies, we should be educating & empowering people, not isolating them.
    • by Plutonite (999141)
      Well, it's pretty stupid to have 15 years of memories on a single medium of storage (or "thing" since we're being nice to non-techies). Don't put your whole life on a "thing". Things break, and get orange juice spilled over them, and stolen by mafia like the ones you make movies about. EVERYBODY knows that. I have many non-geek friends who have 2 or 3 copies of their photos..etc because they know the world of IT is pretty much in it's infancy, so a world-renown director should really know enough about life
      • by gardyloo (512791)

        Well, it's pretty stupid to have 15 years of memories on a single medium of storage (or "thing" since we're being nice to non-techies). Don't put your whole life on a "thing". Things break, and get orange juice spilled over them, and stolen by mafia like the ones you make movies about. EVERYBODY knows that.
        Crap. And here I've been backing all my memories to my brain. Now you're telling me I have to stop drinking orange juice through my nose?!?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Big Nothing (229456)
      I agree. Sure, he's got tons of money and should be able to buy a really great backup solution for his stuff, but non-techies don't think about these things. So is Coppola losing his personal data funny? No. It's a personal tragedy for him. He's lost the only irreplaceable thing he had. That's not funny, that's sad for him. No matter how much money the guy has, these things cannot be bought for money. In this case he's just like any regular Joe Schmoe who got ripped off.

    • by bazorg (911295)
      yeah, we'll get to that as soon as we're done making fun of the poor sod.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2007 @04:44AM (#20799817)
    ...which was a transistor wrapped up in a newspaper, along with a note that said, "Maxtor sleeps with the fishes".
  • by LS (57954) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @04:44AM (#20799819) Homepage
    When losing the sole copy of data, everyone always laughs and says you should have backed up. People, shut up please. That is a fair criticism to an IT or development professional, but not to an average computer user. While average users do know that data loss can occur and will often backup important files to a CD or DVD, there is no standard and easy way for users to backup ALL their important data, do it at regular intervals, test it, an distribute it geographically. Much of this process must be automated. Also, either the quality of media needs to go up, or specifically designed backup-grade hard drives and media need to be developed and released, because the current crop of equipment is pretty unreliable.

    Are people expected to keep a second car around if their main one fails? Are people expected to perform regular scheduled maintenance on their cars themselves? No, because it is too complex and troublesome for the average users.

    I've reviewed several backup applications and services, and none of them would pass the "mom" easy of use test. I believe there is a potential market for a robust comprehensive backup system...

    LS
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ditoa (952847)
      If the user knows how to check their email then they should be able to master an application such as Mozy from http://mozy.com/ [mozy.com]. If they still can't get their head around such a simple app as Mozy they should do like they do with their car maintenance and out source it to a local IT company/person.
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      there is no standard and easy way for users to backup ALL their important data

      TFA says Coppolla lost a "backup device" (portable hard disk?) as well as all his PCs. So he did probably have an automated backup, but failed to make the relatively (compared to setting up his backup, which he had already done) trivial final step of making a copy of that (in whatever medium) and getting it offsite.

      • What are the options for home users to backup tens or hundreds of gigs of data offsite?

        The only reasonably priced one I can see is buying two external hard disks, keep one offsite and fetch it home each time you make a backup.
        • What are the options for home users to backup tens or hundreds of gigs of data offsite? The only reasonably priced one I can see is buying two external hard disks, keep one offsite and fetch it home each time you make a backup.

          Maybe you shouldn't be backing up hundreds of gigs of data. The most important thing to back up is stuff you created (photos, essays, programs, whatever). Sure, losing your movie collection sucks but you can download^Wrip^Wbuy it again. Otherwise, use two external hard drives like yo

    • by kklein (900361)

      SyncBack for Windows, ChronoSync for Mac!

      Got my mom using the former. You can automate it. It goes to a NAS in a storage room in another part of the house.

      I'm not too concerned about thieves where they live, though.

      Here at home, it gives me pause. Keeping all my personal data on a drive at the office, however, really doesn't sound prudent to me...

    • by Secrity (742221)
      I find it funny. The only reason it wouldn't have been his own fault would be if he had hired somebody to make sure that his important data was properly backed up and archived.

      The guy obviously knew that his data was important to him and likely to be of monetary value, he also has the financial means to get competent IT assistance in setting up a backup strategy.

      There is also the PHYSICAL security aspect -- which was obviously inadequate.

    • by crt (44106)
      It's true that setting up backup is too complex for most "moms" - even if the software is easy to use, most don't know what they need to even back up. However, that's where "sons" (or other computer-savvy folks) come in - you know they'll call you when they lose the data. Why not spend 15 minutes setting them up with backup beforehand.
      With easy and cheap options like Mozy or Jungle Disk [jungledisk.com] you can set it up and they don't need to think about it again.

      ..and besides that, how many tech savvy folks, who probab

    • by Eevee (535658)

      This isn't somebody's mom backing up her personal pictures of her cat. This is an experienced CEO-level executive with what is essentially a major company asset (film script) that's been lost due to his failure to perform the due diligence his position requires.

      Are people expected to keep a second car around if their main one fails?

      Bad analogy, as there are many alternative solutions (having a second car, ride from neighbor, taxi, public transportation, rental car, or even going out and buying a new ca

  • He'll receive an offer from The Godfather he can't refuse.

    In reality I expect some moron who doesn't know jack will end up selling it to get high.
  • use a memory stick (Score:3, Insightful)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@alum.m[ ]edu ['it.' in gap]> on Sunday September 30, 2007 @05:26AM (#20799941) Homepage

    Memory sticks have gotten to be large enough that I can keep a backup of my most important and changeable data in my pocket. They aren't large enough for audio and image files, but they hold a fantastic amount of compressed text. Burglars won't get it because it isn't at home, and it isn't very likely to be damaged in a natural disaster either.

  • The last time I checked Dreamhost's prices, it was $20/month for 1 TB of disk space. At this point, I believe you are primarily limited by the upload speed of your Internet connection as far as how much data you're able to actually backup off-site to your webhosting account. I left an external USB hard drive (with my backups) at work over the weekend, uploading to the webhosting account. Cheap and easy backup solution.
    • The problem with web hosting for backups is two-fold. First is you are trusting your web host with your data - are they going to look after it, protect the files you don't want private, etc. Who is to say that they won't suddenly remove .htaccess support (for example) and all of your private data that was once protected by a mere password is now available to all who stumble along.

      Like most of us I keep a lot of things that I don't want to lose and a lot of things that I don't want to share; nothing really
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        Webhosts also have an awful tendency to delete anything that looks suspicious... ZIP, MP3, whatever... Gone. They're fine as an additional easy-to-access backup, but they are -not- reliable. I had all the ZIP files on my site disappear one time and I still have no idea why... They were zips of programs I had written and were linked to my site and clearly named. No warning, just gone one day. I uploaded them again and they haven't disappeared since.

        Also, most cheap webhosts will tell you that they are
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      you are primarily limited by the upload speed

      Coppolla is a movie producer; and he was in Argentina. Thus massive amounts of data, and probabz\ly an expensive and/or unreliable connection.

  • This case changes the Coppola scenario somewhat in that instead of a thief the data is lost to a careless computer store employee who discards a customer's old drive instead of copying it to the PC the customer just bought. Customer had no backup. Debate at Network World has found little (although some) support/sympathy for the customer; most say it's his fault and absolve the store of responsibility. Harsh? http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/19742 [networkworld.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Raideen (975130)
      I used to do that kind of work for a living and I still do similar work on a higher level (moving data across servers, among other responsibilities). The usual case was that they'd bring in their old drive and I would give back the hard drive and tell them to hold on to it for backup. If they brought in their old computer and gave us authorization to trash the computer, I'd still give back the hard drive. If they didn't want it back, I'd put it in an anti-static bag, label it, and I'd hold on to it for at l
  • The universe tends toward maximum irony. Don't push it. ...Do a backup onto [a third] drive...take that to your office and lock it in a desk. Every few months, bring it home, do a backup, and immediately take it away again. This is your "my house burned down" backup.

    - jwz on backups, 29 Sep 07.
    http://jwz.livejournal.com/801607.html [livejournal.com]

    I guess you could call that "my shit got stolen" backup, too. Maximum irony, indeed.
  • but this is something that has happend and will happen. Fires have destroyed posessions for centuries. Sad, but he will survive. Let us be honest. They where personal and probably emotional items he lost. Boo-f-ing-hoo.

    This is not a loss for humanity. This is a personal loss. That's it.

    Yes, we all could do the backup-and-save-it-on-another-planet routine, but it just isn't worth the trouble in 99.99999% of the time. You win some, you loose some. Get over it and get on with your life.
  • On the bright side, he should encourage the thieves to put everything up on bittorrent. At least he'll finally have redundant, off-site, storage.
  • Been there (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kbahey (102895) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @10:13AM (#20801171) Homepage
    Several years ago, I had a break in. The computer was stolen.

    Luckily, I have been using a tape backup, and the robber did not take those. So, I was able to go back one month with everything intact.

    In those days, everything I had fit in the 2.5GB tape. I then bought a 10GB tape, and it lasted for a few years. Backups were simply a cron job and an email to tell me that the backup is done and to change the tape. I kept one tape offsite as a precaution.

    However, life changed. I got a digital camera and started taking a lot of pictures. Then I got another one with more megapixels and started taking more pictures which are larger in size. All of a sudden, tapes were not enough. The largest Travan tape is 20GB native capacity.

    Getting tapes for a home setup is a real chore, specially with the rate the capacity of hard disks is growing. Tapes cannot keep up, specially at price points that home users can afford for both drives and media. Finding the media can be a challenge, let alone finding them at reasonable prices.

    To this day, my page on Linux tape backup [google.com] comes up first on Google, despite moving on from tapes.

    Because tapes are no longer enough for the size of data that I have, I now use external disk drives in USB enclosures, two of them to be sure, and a cron job to do daily incremental dumps, and weekly full dumps. See setting up a hard disk USB 2.0 enclosure for backup under Linux [baheyeldin.com] and Ubuntu Linux backup of a laptop using a USB enclosure and the dump utility [baheyeldin.com] (I use a similar approach for the server).

    Although drive enclosures can be theoretically kept offsite, they have to be unmounted, unplugged and are bulkier than tape. So it is inconvenient. Using 2.5" drives may make this more convenient, but their price vs. capacity still makes them more costly.

    What are others using for a home setup for tape and offsite backup? DLT? DAT? What?
  • by mbaciarello (800433) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @10:31AM (#20801269)

    I haven't seen any comments about online backup solutions.

    They're quite cheap (~ $50-$100 per year with unlimited storage) now and they make for the (almost) perfect off-site backup solution.

    I've tried Mozy.com and Amazon S3.

    While not technically a dedicated backup solution, Amazon is quite cost-effective for me and has amazing bandwidth -- I can upload or download through my 24/1.2 mbit connection at full speed 99% of the time. Yes, it's not very user-friendly at first, but after setting up JungleDisk [jungledisk.com] (or your choice of WebDAV interface) and any backup application the first time, you just let the scheduler work its way through your data.

    Mozy is cheap at $60/year/computer with unlimited storage, but I get modest connection speeds to their servers. Yet, their Windows client is extremely simple to set up. The Mac client (still a beta) is also good, although not ready for "production" work, yet. Linux is a no-go, though.

    Of course it's always best to also keep a local device for quick backups/restores of large amounts of data, but the peace of mind and convenience afforded by online solutions... It's priceless to me...

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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