What do you use as your digital filing cabinet?

This is icon for social networking website. Th...
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I have been fascinated with databases for quite some time. I used Devonthink Pro Office for the longest time to store all my documents, but found that once I was out and about in the real world, I didn’t have access to it.And it didn’t help that it was Mac only…

I started using Evernote as a replacement once I needed cross-platform support, and access online. The added bonus of course is that now that I have a smart phone, I find I use Evernote all the time! When I go for a hike for instance, I have pictures of maps that I’ve taken with my phone, and have them stored inside Evernote.

I also use it as my photo backup. Anytime I take a picture with my phone, I send a copy over to Evernote so I have a permanent backup.

My issue right now though, is that Evernote has poor Linux support. Most of the benefits to using Evernote is that you have a backup of all your important things. The desktop applications under Windows and OSX allow for drag and drop backup, and access to an Export Notes to Archive feature. The web interface does not have this.

So I run Evernote in the web interface by itself. It makes me feel uneasy that I can’t have a backup of my backup on my computer. In other words, I like Evernote to plug along collecting all my snippets, photo backups, and PDFs, and once in a while I’d like an archive to store on DVD.

I’m not familiar with how well Nevernote works, but I think I will either have to see if it can do a good archive, or if running Evernote in Wine will work.

Does anyone have experience with other note taking apps on the Linux side that offer the same features as Evernote, but have an archive feature?

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I see a Fatal Flaw in our Backup Strategies

Hard drive array
Image by Shanghai Daddy via Flickr

Tonight I moved a couple of my external hard drives closer to where I sit my ass every night.  I can now start to organize my backups. I used to use Time Machine on the Mac to backup. I have at least 6 to 7 years of digital media diligently backed up onto two 1Tb drives. All my family photos, videos, music. Lots of stuff!

I also did a manual backup in the summer of 2009 as I went very mobile at the time and only had my Macbook Air. It has a small harddrive(80Gb) and couldn’t store all my data, so I burnt DVDs and used 2 other drives to store just my photos. Continue reading “I see a Fatal Flaw in our Backup Strategies”

Today’s Mixed Tapes and Movie Backups

Walkman and mix tapes
Image by henry… via Flickr

Were you around when tape players and recorders were the big thing? I was. I remember getting my first double cassette player/geto-blaster from my grandparents, and thinking I had won the lottery! Now I could record my favourite songs off the radio, and mix them with my favourite songs from other tapes. Eventually I was able to tape songs off my records too. This made for the best mixed tapes EVER! I would spend hours listening to the radio for the right moment to hit the record button. The newest White Snake song? Got it. The best song by Aerosmith? Got it. Every song off Van Halen 1. Yup. Got it. Continue reading “Today’s Mixed Tapes and Movie Backups”

What is your Computer Backup Plan?

Opened hard drive with top magnet removed, sho...
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Today I was listening to an article on CBC Radio One about one reporter’s desperate hunt for a data recovery company that could salvage her entire digital photo collection. One day she was turning on her computer when the monitor flashed and ‘went blue’. Sounds like a Windows machine to me, but if there is one thing that is not different at all between ANY operating system, that’s failing hardware! As an example, I got my first Mac in 2003 and had the hard drive fail within the first month.

I have always had an underlying fear and anxiety around backing up my data. Most of my personal documents are backed up to my Dropbox account, but not my music, videos or most importantly my precious family photos. There are simply too many and I have 250Gb combined! Part of my anxiety is that I don’t have a bomb proof backup system in place for my most prized memories. My fiancee’s Mac runs hourly backups over the network through time machine. Recently her OS went down hard, and I was able to retrieve everything in a couple of hours. My Linux laptop doesn’t have a backup system in place yet, so I store nothing on it. Paranoid? Yup.

My biggest worry concerns my backup HD? When will it die? It will one day. So will yours. You can count on it…

I took a look at all my photos and family videos and now have 200Gb+ on that backup HD. Unfortunately most of it was run in iPhoto. iPhoto wraps its images inside the application and backing them onto DVD is a task I am just not up to. I would have to break up all those Events into 4.7Gb chunks. Ugh. This also makes me anxious. When will my photos not be able to be opened by some future application due to my past application choices? At least in the past with film, the hard copy of the picture could always been seen! Corrupt pictures meant something different 20 years ago. lol.

Too much for me to think about right now, so my current backup plan is to backup my large 1Tb drive onto another 1Tb drive and remove it from the house and hide it someplace safe(mom?). At USB2 speeds though, this task may take me a while to complete…Once I have a good automatic NETWORK backup for my Mac & Linux laptops, I will breathe a little easier…

What applications do you use to backup all your important digital stuff? I’d be interested to hear your computer backup plan!