I find it easy to have peace of mind with the use of an external hard drive to back up my home files. Digital photos, website files, documents for the book I am writing for doing virtual world field trips, and even recipes!
In reality though, I rarely do these back ups and simply copy directories onto an external hard drive. If I had a hard drive failure it would be a mess to set up a new one. My install CDs are in a neat CD organizer but what a pain it would be to start from scratch. Plus I have several programs that are Open Source that I have downloaded and if I lost my hard drive, I could be hard pressed to remember where I found some of these.
I came across a well respected freeware app that does backups to a server and thought that would be a great use of our new HostGator account seeing as it has no space limits but went on to do something else. Now I don’t remember what it was! That certainly would not do me any good if my drive went out today!
Some of my posts on this blog get reposted on the iliveisl blog (I Live in Science Land) but I typically don’t repost those written by Ener Hax onto this blog. For one thing, I only blog a few times a month and Ener blogs more than once a day! However, the post below on an easy-to-use backup application inspired me to finally take action! Thanks Ener!
backup, backup, backup – it’s virtual but it’s real work [by Ener Hax of iliveisl]
if you build it, they will come . . . umm . . . if you build it, back it up!
whether you are in Second Life or on an OpenSim grid or run OpenSim on your own machine or your school’s server or anywhere, you should backup your work
in Second Life you can’t easily backup your entire sim (well you can, but that product is “not allowed” for use with Second Life) but you can export your builds and creations
for OpenSim peeps, we have more options. we can back up our entire sims into OAR files. those will include the terrain, parcel information, and every prim, texture, and script!
depending on your OpenSim situation, you may even be able to backup your inventory. i mistakenly blogged some time back that i could do IARs, inventory backups, in Reaction Grid but i was later informed that it is not implemented yet, bah (silly me, i believe what i read and the RG blog said “IAR (Inventory Archives) available”) =
but for inventory and builds in Second Life, you can also export those using the right viewer (Hippo and Imprudence both export) and you’ll want to be sure to export your textures in the process too =)
that is all fine and well – let’s say you are all OCD and have backups of this stuff on your machine. but do you back that up?
i used to, occasionally, just do a hard copy of a work folder onto an external hard drive. but that took forever (like 13 hours) and i would always miss a folder here or there (like stuff on my desktop). but if you are like me, a once a month backup still leaves a lot of work out there that would suck to redo if i had a hard drive failure
i bought a 500 GB external drive for like $80 a few weeks back (looking up those coupon of the day sites and scoring a Hitachi HD from Dell Business with free shipping – woot!) and it came with some free backup utility. i thought “sweet!” my woes are over . . . .
the hard drive is really nice (cool lights under it glow like a spaceship) but (OMG!) the free backup software was killing my machine! it constantly ran in the a background and was a huge resource hog!
i started looking around and found a really nice and inexpensive backup software. there are some pretty sweet open source solutions that will backup to anywhere, including to a server, and i considered that with the new HostGator hosting we have. it’s unlimited disk space and could be a nice resource for this. but in the end, i wanted something in hand sitting on my desk (yeah, i know, it should be offsite – what if my desk caught on fire or some poutine gravy incident happened . . . ) =D
rebit is a software that backups everything – operating system too! in theory, if your HD poops out, just put in a new one and boot from the rebit install CD and in a few hours you’ll have a working system again
so far it’s worked well and barely takes any overhead. installation was simple (you can download it and start while waiting for the CD to arrive). i’d give the step-by-step, but i’m not sponsored by them nor was i given their software – at $29.95 it was worth the piece of mind (plus it’s a frog logo – fitting for a french canadian! and they use hubspot, which i love for SEO stuff)
all of this to say – if someone like me can get decent backups going (i really hate being techy, but i do love what i can do with technology) then there is no excuse for you! =)