Backup Ideas


Backups are something that in my experience, most don’t worry about until they’ve been caught without one. Luckily I guess I’m paranoid enough that I’ve never found myself in a situation without my important files appropriately backed-up. But I think we can always do a little better to safeguard ourselves, especially as more and more of our lives revolve around the data we store on our computers.

There are many things you can do to help you get better with this process. Several developers offer great solutions, such as ChronoSync, SuperDuper!, CarbonCopyCloner, psyncX, and so on. Or you can also roll your own solutions via Automator.

However I’ve found that the biggest obstacle for me – being a notebook user – is consistently hooking my MacBook to an external drive for backups. So a tip for the mobile crowd:
Create a workflow (through Automator, or a backup program if it gives you the option) that uploads to ftp space. The benefit here is that you don’t have to remember (all the time) to connect to another drive for backups. Admittedly this is for extreme situations – I do a nightly backup/upload to ftp of a handful of important files that I use daily.



After reading several articles on Lifehacker and other reliable sites, it looks like Silverkeeper is best for Tiger users and iBackup and Backuplist have just been updated to be fully compatible with Leopard.

All three of these applications are free to boot!

It’s always nice to find a free solution, especially to something we should all be doing to avoid disaster.

John Cage

I think the fact that there are a good number of companies offering rempote backups now is wonderful. The speed of the internet is such that its possible to remotely backup your files and therefore the worry of theft, or other damage such as fire is removed. As long as the backup tool is ‘set and forget’ then thats the main thing.

For backing up entire machines I use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner. They work REALLY well


I backup my work in two steps with an external hard drive, and a 1gig thumbdrive.

For weekly system backups, I just drag out my external Maxtor drive and backup to it all of my work.

For daily backups of projects, pictures, and work that I need I write an application with Automater and have it active when I mount my thumbdrive.

Avi Flax

I also back up to S3, using JungleDisk. I highly recommend this approach for laptop users, people with more than one computer, or people with offline data to back up, in addition to what’s on their computers, such as the contents of an external drive.


I recommended Chronosync when your hard drive went tits up.
And I’d recommend it again for the MacBook along with a network drive. I got one of those that look just like an external USB/FireWire drive but connects to a rounter instead. It was pretty cheap & can I backup my MacBook Pro wirelessly. I think you can just buy the caddies nowadays if you have a spare HD lying around. I use the drive between 3 computers & it’s really convenient.


While I use a MacBook Pro I no longer manually hook up an external drive now that my external drive is available on my airport…making backups easier.

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