Feel PeaceBang’s pain and back up your data

I’ve read PeaceBang’s blog and spoken to her about her morbid hard drive. Hun, I feel bad for you, but thanks for preaching the good news of backing up your data. (My hard drive is even older than hers.) I’ve backed up everything I had onto 17 CD-ROMs.

But data management is more than pushing everything onto another medium, and inherited models of organizing your data from vertical files and hanging folders doesn’t work as well as other options. At least for me.

I’ll be writing about this in the coming weeks, and I expect the MLSs out there to chime in.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I’m not an MLS, but if you are on a mac or Linux use a combination of something called rsync and cron. Both of them have gui’s, if you need them, but if you can handle the command line, it’s pretty simple. I back up onto a external drive, as well as one of those thumb drives. Works really well. And cron means you don’t have to remember.

    I did make a little perl script to have cron call, which checks to see whether or not the device is available. If it is, it will back up things. If not, it won’t. And I never have to think about it again, but I can rest knowing that I have a backup that is as old as the last time I plugged those drives in. I’m glad to share it.

  2. Aw, crikey. I should have asked for one of those external hard-drives for Christmas. At least I can download and install rsync and cron for free. I’m useless with a script (even if I can manage a command line) but I appreciate the offer. And is the offer a general one? If so, where can others get it?

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