The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Backup solutions?

– February 14th, 2005 –

Yesterday evening, whilst getting to grips with a particularly tricky bit of design, Photoshop crashed. Wierd, photoshop hardly ever crashes on me. The dark days of OS 9 rose up within me like the morning after a really good night. It suddenly dawned on me I didn’t save my work for the last hour. Then it dawned on me again (there was a lot of dawning last night), I don’t have a reliable backup solution.

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p>Since last night i’ve been giving this a bit of thought and quite a bit of research. I have the following kit at home.

  • A G5 iMac
  • A Compaq laptop
  • My iPod
  • My wife’s iPod Mini
  • Airport Express
  • A Netgear wireless router
  • Airpot expreme
  • A USB scanner and printer

Neither the mac or the PC is backed up and now as my wife and I are a two iPod family, and the fact we mainly use Airport Express to play music directly from iTunes (can’t remember the last time I played a CD), we have a lot of music on these computers.

Ideally, i’d like the PC and MAc backed up to a network hard drive and also have all our media stored on this drive as well - photos, video and music. The clincher would be to have our iTunes libraries remote on this drive and accessible over the network when we launch iTunes, that way we keep all media in a central location.

Backup solutions?

So, i’ve been looking around for a suitable solution to the hardware issue and i’ve found a solution. The Lacie Ethernet Mini is a drive with an ethernet and USB port, which is then accessed over a local network and administered via http. It comes in 250, 400 and 500 Gb models. Maxtor and Iomega have similar solutions but I can’t find anywahere in the UK where they are as competitive as the Lacie.

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p> So, i’ve got my hardware. I’ve got all my media on it. This is where I need your advice. I need to backup the media on the drive (partitioning might be an answer here). I also need to backup the work folder on a 60Gb PC and an 80Gb iMac and have remote iTunes libraries. Here’s the questions:

  • What backup software would you recommend?
  • Is it possible to have external iTunes libraries sharing the same music files?
  • Would I be able to use the external hard drive’s USB port to share my printer and scanner via a usb hub?

I’m amazed it’s taken this long for the industry to release a cheap networkable drive like this. But what I also find amazing is the lack of robust, cheap backup software. Let me know your thoughts, I could do with your help!

Filed in: personal.

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