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I backup my files:

by planetscape (Chancellor)
on Jun 03, 2007 at 23:47 UTC ( #619017=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Vote on this poll

[bar] 79/21%
[bar] 22/6%
[bar] 15/4%
[bar] 5/1%
[bar] 23/6%
[bar] 61/16%
I knew I was forgetting something
[bar] 97/26%
when it's too late
[bar] 62/17%
[bar] 11/3%
375 total votes
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: I backup my files:
by syphilis (Archbishop) on Jun 04, 2007 at 14:49 UTC
    Last time I backed up I wasn't checking the rear view mirror and ran into a bloody tree.

    Never again.

      I'm wondering why the tree was bloody. Was there a person between it and the car?
Re: I backup my files:
by liverpole (Monsignor) on Jun 04, 2007 at 00:44 UTC
    Good question!

    I usually get paranoid on whatever the current project contains, and backup every few iterations.  Then I have a whole bunch of files left over at the end, and cleaning them up gives me my reward ... lots of disk space! ;-)

    Update:  Of course, the best way to backup a Perl program is to perfect it to the point that it's publishable, and upload it to Perlmonks.

      with respect work VSS /CVS saves my day.
      Personal documents i always seem to have no time.
Re: I backup my files:
by jZed (Prior) on Jun 04, 2007 at 01:45 UTC
    Whenever I notice a group of pigs flying by overhead.
      if you see a group by pigs flying by overhead:
    • Backup everything you have on vour harddisc!
    • Do not save your current work!
Re: I backup my files: (another rev)
by tye (Sage) on Jun 04, 2007 at 01:12 UTC

    I usually only backup when I see a problem looming directly ahead and don't see a way to steer around it. I voted "weekly".

    - tye        

Re: I backup my files:
by shmem (Chancellor) on Jun 04, 2007 at 01:40 UTC some Open Source repository - best backup ever: publish your work :-)
    If your files are not useful to others, forget about them - you can't take them with you anyways...

    That said, whenever my disk is full, I get a new bigger one, copy worthy files over, delete old crap from the old one and rsync areas of temporal interest to the old disk (or somewhere else) rather irregularily.

    Yeah, I'll clean up some day...


    _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                  /\_¯/(q    /
    ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
    ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
Re: I backup my files:
by gloryhack (Deacon) on Jun 04, 2007 at 06:49 UTC
    I voted for daily, but it's actually every four hours via rsnapshot, which, coincidentally, is written in perl. The backups go to a RAID1 array on my workstation, which is then backed up daily to another machine that's also sporting a RAID1 array. Once a month I make incremental backups to CD.

    I just don't ever want to be caught without my backups when I need them.

Re: I backup my files:
by vrk (Chaplain) on Jun 04, 2007 at 07:34 UTC

    I backup my thesis files after a day's work, and do it manually. (Of course, I have a simple bash script that does the brute work, but I call the script manually.) I keep copies of the backups on a USB key and on two computers. Other than that, I usually backup my home directory at home five or six times a year.

    Over the years, I have learned that the data you will most miss when you lose it is data you have created yourself. I don't bother backing up Ogg Vorbis rips of audio CDs anymore, because first of all, they take up lots of space, and second of all, I can always rip the CD again or borrow it from the library. On the other hand, a Perl script I have written will cease to exist permantently one day if I don't have a backup of it. The manuscript for the greatest novel ever and the photos of your dear cat fall into the same category.

    print "Just Another Perl Adept\n";

Re: I backup my files:
by lin0 (Curate) on Jun 04, 2007 at 00:40 UTC

    I knew I was forgetting something ;-)

    Well... It depends. If I am making a lot of progress in my current project, I may do a backup every day or every second day. Otherwise, a long time may pass before I do a backup.


      I knew I was forgetting something ;-)

      I know I am constantly forgetting something... actually a strange phenomenon is going on: since the day I fell ill, and it's recently been the first anniversary, I don't have to work nor study, etc. so in some sense I should have plenty of time available. Yet as I wrote to a friend of mine: "I don't have anything to do but I cannot seem to find the time to do it." (Or should that be not to do it?) Now, as far as backups are concerned, I'm risking -plain simple- and I hope not to have to meditate on the following .sig of mine:

      -- > I do have backups, just not recent ones. I think my wife is now pregnant. She has a supply of birth control pills and she does use them, just not recently. ;) - Jim Lisson in alt.windows98, slightly edited
Re: I backup my files: (Daily ...)
by DrHyde (Prior) on Jun 06, 2007 at 09:19 UTC
    ... although of course I *used* to back them up too late. An intelligent person only makes that stupid mistake once though, and these days I have no choice but to take regular backups - as the maintainer of rsnapshot I have to "eat my own dog food".

    It's worth noting that I also *test* my backups about once a week, and I pay attention to the logs that are generated every day. If you don't do those things then you don't have backups, you merely have hopes.

      First, thanks very much for rsnapshot, which absolutely wrawks.

      Second, and as important: How do you test your backups? I gotsta know!

        I pick a few files at random and check to see if I can read them from the last few days backups, and that they have the correct mode, owner, etc.

        Actually, I have a script that does that for me and just emails me the results. Occasionally it tests a file that is in the backups and no longer on the machine being backed up (or vice versa, or a file that has changed etc) in which case the script moans VERY loudly and I make sure I take the time to check that everything really is OK and it's not an error.

        Doing that is sufficient for file backups like what rsnapshot does. People whose backups can be used for a "bare metal" restore, inlcuding things like disk layouts, boot sectors and so on, should test their backups by periodically doing a full restore to their spare hardware.

        BTW, I very strongly recommend Curtis Preston's book Backup and Recovery. The link is to a mini-review I wrote.

Re: I backup my files:
by gregor42 (Parson) on Jun 04, 2007 at 15:09 UTC
    Mostly by leveraging combinations of the following:
    • R.A.I.D. Level 1:Mirrored (Preferably hardware based & hot swap/resync-able)
    • Revision Control System du jour
    • USB drives

    That being said, I believe that the best backups are the ones that involve minimal but regular user interaction. Just as you close up a storefront an hour before you go home at night so that you can zero out a register & clean up the place, so must it be habitual that you interact with the backup process.

    To some people that means swapping out tapes or kicking off the process. To others it means checking the logs of the automated process to make sure everything completed properly.

    What matters is that it matters. Pure automation alone will eventually fail for some reason and be unnoticed. Then you continue to run for a time without a backup - until you either catch the problem or else you have a real failure & no way to fix it.

    I'm also in the habit of putting working files on USB drives to bring back & forth from home & the office, to keep files I'm working on in sync. If I forget, I usually SCP them over. So my home system becomes an off-site backup.

    By no means perfect, but far better than nothing.

    Wait! This isn't a Parachute, this is a Backpack!
Re: I backup my files:
by margulies (Friar) on Jun 03, 2007 at 23:58 UTC
    Once I lost all my mp3, and my 10gb of personal photos...

    So now I have an external HD and put my stuff there like once a month.
Re: I backup my files:
by Old_Gray_Bear (Bishop) on Jun 04, 2007 at 16:52 UTC
    Projects at work go to back into CVS at least daily (it's part of the 'time to go home now' pattern). Things that are in a serious state of flux can get saved more frequently. (My current record is 19 minutes between CVS commits; the User changed their minds about the 'required functionality' four times between the second morning coffee and noon, a span of 90 minutes or so.)

    Non-work projects live on a portable hard-drive (Blessings on Seagate for the 5Gig flying saucer). I zip the entire drive and copy the archive to a RAID every Saturday afternoon. I have been burned once, so I get to be paranoid about my backups.

    I Go Back to Sleep, Now.


Re: I backup my files:
by starX (Chaplain) on Jun 04, 2007 at 14:41 UTC
    I never seem to back them up well enough, though with the dropping cost of 1 GB thumb drives, they're cheap enough so that I can make a second archive of my more cherished directories.
Re: I backup my files:
by wjw (Priest) on Jun 05, 2007 at 00:29 UTC
    infrequently..Bad Doby! I am so Baaaaaaad!!
    • ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...
    • The Spice must flow...
    • my will, and by will alone.. I set my mind in motion
Re: I backup my files:
by swampyankee (Parson) on Jun 04, 2007 at 03:30 UTC

    Not often enough.

    I should know better, too. I've had two hard drives and a mother board fail on various home systems.


    Any New York City or Connecticut area jobs? I'm currently unemployed.

    There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.

    —Herman Melville
Re: I backup my files:
by Moron (Curate) on Jun 04, 2007 at 09:32 UTC
    All my work whether done at home, client, at hosted sites under my personal or business identities are backed up daily by someone else or else I find a different site to host it or client to work for, for that matter! But my 150Gb collection of mp4s (or divxs or whatever) and mp3s - hmm - maybe when I get to the end of my higher priority list - erm ca. 2017?

    ^M Free your mind!

      Pointless trivia of the day: Did you know that Finland will have been independent for exactly 100 years in the year 2017?

      print "Just Another Perl Adept\n";

Re: I backup my files:
by Minimiscience (Beadle) on Jun 05, 2007 at 01:48 UTC
    Whenever I get paranoid & think my computer is heading for a breakdown. So about once or twice a year.
Re: I backup my files:
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Jun 06, 2007 at 00:41 UTC

    In a typical case of "The Shoemaker's Children" none of my files on my personal server get backed up on a regular basis. Once in a Blue Moon® I will make a CDROM of my CVS tree or some of the other "important" directories. But that's about it.

    Funny thing is, in my professional life I consider failure to maintain backups reason to terminate someone on the spot.

    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
Re: I backup my files:
by wolfger (Deacon) on Jun 06, 2007 at 12:59 UTC

    Bad option: yearly
    I don't think it's coincidence that "yearly" has zero votes. If that's how often you back up, you are probably going to answer "infrequently", "I knew I was forgetting something", or "when it's too late", because at least 2 of those 3 apply.

      I don't think it's coincidence that "yearly" has zero votes

      Actually, I backup yearly. My personal stuff, and for a good reason:

      On the first day of every year, one of my hard disks has headcrashed. This has become a certainty, and given that I never wanted to turn to superstition (and switch off the machines over night or on New Year's Day holiday which might just save some money), I back up everything early on new years eve. That saves time in early January.

      I backup things at work nearly all the time.

      And of course, wolfger is right, every year aplies to be "infrequently", so I had considered checking that option.

      Cheers, Sören

Re: I backup my files:
by rir (Vicar) on Jun 04, 2007 at 16:23 UTC
    All of the above. It took a long time to realize it, too.

    Be well,

Re: I backup my files:
by merlyn (Sage) on Jun 11, 2007 at 04:52 UTC
    Daily, and I just had my most recent "thank the maker" experience from that.

    Thursday, I had backed up my laptop at 9am, to a bootable clone, as I do daily, every day that I'm home.

    At noon, I rebooted my machine to finish the installation of something that wanted a reboot (rare on OSX, but it happens).

    The reboot failed. Two hours later, with all the various attempts at fsck's and safe boot, it still wouldn't boot.

    So, I booted from my external clone, and it came up (albeit slowly). After a two-hour "clone the external back into the internal" sequence, my internal is rebootable again. Yeah.

    Thank the maker. I lost a couple of podcast masters that I had created in the meanwhile, but far better than losing months of work.


      Don't you have a .mac acct? I back up everything to iDisk and you can always buy more space.


Re: I backup my files:
by Moriarty (Abbot) on Jun 04, 2007 at 02:39 UTC

    We have automated systems to do backups at work, but at home, however, it's a different matter entirely.

    I used to do backups of my data and programming folders every week, however, that sort of lapsed due to there being not much activity in the programming folder (it's hard to get enthusiastic about programming at home when your main employment involves programming). I probably should still backup my data folder, but it's been a while.

Re: I backup my files:
by wazoox (Prior) on Jun 05, 2007 at 10:31 UTC

    I backup my home directory daily at work and at home with rdiff-backup (similar to rsnapshot, but... written in Python :) and I keep a 30 days incremental backup of everything. I rarely use it but it saved my life a couple of times...

    BTW it needs absolutely zero work : cron takes care of the daily backup, and sends me an email when (very rarely) something wrong happens (it detected a corrupted filesystem a couple of times, and a bad disk block once), and that's it.

Re: I backup my files:
by TStanley (Canon) on Jun 05, 2007 at 15:42 UTC
    I use an online service called Carbonite. Its only $50/year and it backs files up if it notices a file has changed, and when the system is idle.

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. -- George Orwell
Re: I backup my files:
by Skeeve (Parson) on Jun 04, 2007 at 06:03 UTC

Re: I backup my files:
by zentara (Archbishop) on Jun 04, 2007 at 17:08 UTC
    If God is my backup, then why do I feel like I'm hanging on a cross? :-)

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
Re: I backup my files:
by the_hawk_1 (Scribe) on Jun 04, 2007 at 18:14 UTC
    I wasn't really forgetting something, its on my 'to do soon' list, but people who know me knows that 'soon' in my life can be count in years, not minutes or days.

    So I gess I'll make my second home computer backup withing the next 25 years... hopefully!

Re: I backup my files:
by jesuashok (Curate) on Jun 04, 2007 at 01:41 UTC
    Whenever I am asked to work on a code which is in live server.
Re: I backup my files:
by ambrus (Abbot) on Jun 06, 2007 at 21:20 UTC

    Two or three times a year.

Re: I backup my files:
by stonecolddevin (Parson) on Jun 06, 2007 at 21:23 UTC

    when it's too late.

    Thankfully i know what i use primarily so I just dl it from whence it came and BS the rest.

Re: I backup my files:
by doob (Pilgrim) on Jun 08, 2007 at 04:12 UTC
    For text files, I back them up onto my email as soon as any changes in the file occur. This is just to make sure any changed files are up to date and accesible anywhere. Music and such, I just use ye olde DVDs or my trusty 4GB memory stick. As for *some* files, I don't know if I want a back-up of them :) doob
Re: I backup my files:
by arc_of_descent (Hermit) on Jun 11, 2007 at 10:46 UTC


    I have two sets of scripts. One copies my folders from my dev machine to the server (using rdiff). And the second set of scripts creates ISO images and then I write those to a CD. The second set of scripts I run around once a month if I find time.


Re: I backup my files:
by cdarke (Prior) on Jun 11, 2007 at 14:16 UTC
    When I need to, or more correctly, before I need to. I backup when I change stuff, sometimes > daily. I backup to other machines and to a USB hard-drive, I archive (not the same as a backup) monthly.
    Those that backup infrequently just have not made enough mistakes yet. Mistype rm *.o as rm * .o and you find out how good your backup strategy is.
Re: I backup my files:
by b10m (Vicar) on Jun 11, 2007 at 09:04 UTC

    As a Perl user, I'm lazy, which also reflects in my backup behavior. Unfortunately, I spend more time digging in /lost+found/ than actually writing a few lines of code to backup my work...


    All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.
Re: I backup my files:
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 07, 2007 at 08:11 UTC
    Where can I get some files? :)
      It's traditional to get someone on the outside to bake them into a cake, then give you the cake.
Re: I backup my files:
by Ojosh!ro (Beadle) on Jun 08, 2007 at 13:50 UTC
    Actually I don't ... really

    I don't really back-up, I shuffle files around and forget to remove the source. But all my important files I have at least twice.
    And if I lose my SciFi-series... *shrug* Buck Rogers will still be there in the 25th century.

    if( exists $aeons{strange} ){ die $death unless ( $death%2 ) }

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