Personal backups for the win!

I might be preaching to the choir here a little bit, but perhaps you need a quick reminder to back up your personal workstations as well as your enterprise data.

After two and a half years of what I can only describe as abuse, my MacBook's hard drive gave up the ghost last night. This thing has traveled over 5,000 miles with me on my bicycle in my panniers, been slung hither to yon on buses, subways, planes and trains. Until recently, it was even my primary workstation at home.

It came with little surprise: my hard drive died mostly due to shock. Not one brute-force blow, by any means. It was just its time. As I sit here letting Time Machine restore my old stuff, I can say I'm thankful that I was at least somewhat diligent about backups. I probably only lost a few photographs that were on my hard drive for the past few days, and some of those got uploaded to Flickr anyway. The only lump in my throat was from having to explain to my wife why I'll need to lay out a Benjamin for a 320GB SATA drive this coming paycheck. It's amazing how much laptop storage you can get for $100. It's too bad I have to do this now, because it looks like the 500GB drives are going to be there soon.

You can read all kinds of reviews about Time Machine as a bare-metal restore tool as well as recovering from accidental data removal. I won't dwell on that here. All I can say is that when the time came, I wasn't sweating any bullets about my lost data. I can simply fork over some cash next week, and everything will be back the way I left it.

However you get your backups done, consider this a reminder to remain diligent. You never know when you'll need to restore, and the backup you made 8 months ago, while better than nothing, probably will leave you with a bit of regret.

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