I’ve spent much of New Year’s Day making copies of my back-up discs — CVS had CD-RWs on sale — to send to a Secure Location. I suppose I could have made a gigantic tarball archive and stored it somewhere, but there is something to be said for not tying up bandwidth and using a physical medium for a backup. Add at twenty cents per disc, you can’t go wrong. Compare that with the 5.5 inch floppy my Mom had to buy for my sixth-grade computer class. I think she paid $5.00 for it!
Tip: You can mail your computer media within the United States at the ultracheap Media Mail rate. This makes perfect sense, but since this rate it is more associated with books it is easy to forget.
And speaking of moving data, here’s you chance to clean out your desk and do something good for others.
Practical move-the-data-physically information transfers aren’t restricted to the IT guy/gal porting files on a USB drive or a floppy from office to office. In some parts of the developing world, emails and web searches are cached and only processed when a USB drive-carrying courier travels from outpost to Internet-connected (perhaps by satellite phone) computer. This is sometimes called a sneakernet and I have to think it (and other uses) is behind an appeal by a San Francisco-based charity for new and used USB drives; they’re asking for drives as small as 16 Mb, which is smaller than any I’ve seen sold in ages.