RE: How do I recover my old stuff?

Subject: RE: How do I recover my old stuff?
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 11:03:16 +0300

First, Al, let me tell you how much I enjoyed your fine art site. Thanks!

If I understand your process right, it sounds far more time-consuming
and complex than the typical folks will deal with--and, I'd imagine,
there are times at the end of your work day when other distractions
must be very tempting to skip a day here and there.

You did not say so, but it also sounds as if you may be backing up
everything including your operating system each time. That seems
somewhat unnecessary as well, assuming you have the OS and operating
system set up for easy reinstallation. I'd consider setting up a
customized DVD with the OS and primary application programs in case of
corruption or disaster, and updating that on a periodic basis to
include product updates and such--perhaps recreating it every three or
four months. That would also put less stress on the hard drive in your
daily file backups as well.

I still believe you would be even better served with a small NAS
connected to your systems via your local network. In fact, I would
suggest keeping your work files on the NAS itself instead of on your
laptop drives except when you may be working away from home. Some of
the NAS devices offer secure access over the Internet, too, in case
you are away from home and need to retrieve files that are on the NAS.

If the NAS is mirrored, and the mirrors can be reconstructed on the
fly by inserting a second disk, saving backups is as simple as
removing the second drive from the NAS and inserting another one to be
automatically re-synched. Elapsed time for your personal
involvement--perhaps ten seconds or so.

This would also allow you to use a fairly small but relatively cheap
solid state disk on your primary work machine, since you would no
longer be relying upon it for much if any data storage. The
performance advantage would be a revelation if you haven't yet tried
one of these.

If you have extended work sessions away from home, you could always
use the external drives for taking copies of everything you might
need, in case you are not able to connect to the NAS via Internet. You
could obviously also use them to save digital photos on your
photography outings. Many NAS devices also have USB ports so that
these external drives could be backed up very quickly and easily upon
your return home.

Finally, some of the NAS units also feature DVD drives for your
long-term storage use if desired.

As for budget, a small/home office NAS should be perhaps two to three
hundred dollars with a single drive included. Add two or three more
drives and you should be home free for about five or six hundred bucks
at the outside. Obviously, there are higher-priced units out there,
especially if you want more of the bells and whistles or one of the
high-priced brands like Cisco.


> From: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>

> I
> have two more Gateways that (knock on wood) are reliable. They are older
> (more than three years) models. I don't know if I would buy a new one as
> their laptops no longer offer docking stations.

> Everyone should get at least one USB external drive. They're dirt cheap and
> can save your butt. I now have three, each 1TB in size allowing me to have
> multiple backups of critical material. My 100 GB HD in my (my four year-old
> Gateway) laptop is backed up at the end of every day to a temporary external
> storage drive. The information on the temp drive is stored to the
> appropriate locations in the other external drives.....AND....everything new
> is copied to a DVD at the end of every month. It might sound like overkill,
> but I am responsible for many documents for a number of companies. I need to
> keep things organized and safe. I also have a huge (and growing) fine art
> photography inventory that went digital several years ago.

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