• 20Feb
    Author: Katherine Pisana Categories: Technology Comments Off on Ba.cking Up and Own.ing U.p

    Backing up.

    How does that make you feel? Are you comfortable with the process or does it make you roll your eyes way into the back of your head and actively avoid walking anywhere near the IT department in case any one of those ‘IT guys’ should ask you, “So, when was the last time you backed up your work?”

    Lots of us have come to find comfort in the growing number of online services that store our information for us. In fact, I just saw an advertisement recently (while watching a show online) in which a smiley blond lady proudly boasted the benefits of a service offering that provides you with a helpful and convenient way of storing the information in your computer on their servers, so that if anything should happen to your machine, they’ve got you covered. Isn’t that generous? They mention nothing of having your information shared with others (and note that in this case, ‘your information’ goes far beyond name and email address and enters into the secret coves and private places of your filing system) nor do they clarify why anyone would want to use their del.icio.usservice when they could just get an external hard drive or go all out and dive into Time Machine. But, I digress.

    Let’s take bookmarking as another, perhaps more relatable example. Are you one of the many who have entered in the world of social technoratibookmarking? There are services like del.icio.us or Technorati or Digg to name but a few. Any Ma.gnolia users out there by the way? ‘Not anymore,’ you say? diggHmm….then I suppose you’ve heard that the service’s database crash of January 30 2009 rendered all data (that means all of Ma.gnolia users’ bookmarks) gone. Poof!

    Slashdot | Ma.gnolia User Data Is Gone For Good

    Ma.gnolia founder Larry Halff recently discussed the crash and the lessons to be learned from Ma.gnolia’s experience. A lesson for users: don’t assume online services have lots of staff and servers, and always keep backup copies of your data. Ma.gnolia was a one-man operation running on two Mac OS X servers and four Mac minis.

    Reflecting upon the ‘situation’, Halff has learned that it’s better not to do everything yourself. Ok. That’s pretty. I would say that an even bigger lesson for anyone at all engaged in the global information ecosystem is that it’s probably a good idea to remember to at least do some of it yourself.

    So tell me, when was the last time you backed up your data? Because the people who are supposed to be backing up your backups don’t always get it right.

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